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A Green Guelph?

It’s a little quiet out there today so far, so let me say I’m also going to place my money on the Guelph riding as being the riding where Green Party leader Elizabeth May will run for Parliament in the next election. There are several factors why this riding would be her best shot at winning;

– Mark Taylor has a list of reasons at his blog (he’s a Green Party supporter).

– Dan Arnold (known better by his CalgaryGrit blog and handle) also put out a list of ridings where Guelph ranked #1 in criteria (though interestingly, Dan figured she’d rather run in the Saanich-Gulf Islands Islands riding – ranked #2 in his list – against Conservative cabinet minister Gary Lunn).

– One of Dan’s commentators (who has a blog here) put out an equally compelling 3rd list of reasons why Guelph would or should rank #1 on May’s list of ridings to go in.

My own thoughts on the matter would be this: Green Party candidate Mike Nagy did very well there in 2008 – well enough that there was a big worry that enough votes would be drained off by Nagy from the Liberals and Frank Valeriote that the Conservatives under Gloria Kovach would sneak up the middle (which would have been a very depressing result, as Kovach would have been one of the best parroters of Harper rhetoric in the Commons if she’d made it in, but I digress). With an established base of volunteers, a pretty environmentally conscious riding containing a university that is known to be a bit lefty in its political orientation of its students, plus the fact May has shown that she can increase Green votes and turnout substantially in ridings she runs in, Guelph looks to be a good bet for her and the Greens to choose.

Some have made the point (like Dan) about May allying herself with the Liberal Party under Dion, so why would she run against a Liberal incumbent? Her allying with the Liberal Party, however, came under Dion’s leadership, and I’ve gotten the impression May hasn’t exactly been enamored with Ignatieff. I’m basing that on the belief she didn’t like Iggy’s decision not to go forth with the coalition option last January, or more likely Iggy’s seemingly softening Liberal views towards the tarsands. Regardless, if the number 1 goal of the Greens is to now get May elected, then from her strategists point of view, it shouldn’t matter who is the incumbent in whatever riding they choose, if that riding has the most favourable criteria for her to have a shot at winning.

It won’t surprise me at all if that riding chosen is Guelph. In fact, it might surprise me if she doesn’t pick it.

UPDATE @ 5:00 pm: Impolitical opines here – not a bad assessment/argument about why May should try the Gulf-Saanich Islands rather then Guelph.


4 comments to A Green Guelph?

  • I suppose the big question to ask is whether or not the Greens will be a significant factor in the next election at all. I write this as someone who voted provincially for them last time around – and in Guelph no less.

    I tore my hair out in frustration when May was stupid enough to run against Peter McKay. I think that had she run last time in Guelph, she could have taken the riding (Frank Valeriote, who won, only secured 32.2% of the vote to 21% for Mike Nagy of the Greens). But up against an incumbent (the seat was open last time), and with the economy rather than the environment as the hot issue, I think she’ll face a greater challenge. It’s not an impossible one, but it will be harder this time than last. Mind you, if the NDP don’t decide to run a star candidate like they did last time, it might help the Greens pick up some protest votes.

  • Guelph is the best shot for a win. It’s not the only one, but it is the best, for many reasons. In response to Matt above, Mike Nagy won’t be running there next general election anyway. There might be a wee bit of backlash from the locals, as EMay got plenty of flack from these people over her controversial ‘strategic voting’ faux pas in the last election, but the organisation there is pretty damned strong. Any dissenters will be outweighed by volunteer strength brought in from the rest of Ontario.

  • Interesting suggestion, although part of the reason the Greens have done well in Guelph is that local candidate Mike Nagy has gradually built up the local organization over 3 elections. May parachuting in wouldn’t necessarily work as well for her and there could be a backlash. And up against a popular local incumbent in Frank Valeriote, she might have a difficult time. But it wouldn’t be impossible. She might be better off in Bruce-Grey where the local Green vote has been higher than in Guelph the last two elections (2007 and 2008.)

  • Whooee! I reckon Gwelp’s Lizzie May’s best bet, too. I suspect she might rather stay down east in her Nova Scotia home area but I think she’ll do better in Gwelp. A good thing about runnin’ in southern Ontariariario is that she can depend on a lotta volunteers comin’ in and knockin’ on doors for her. Gwelp’s just a hop-skip from Trawna. I’d probbly even wander up from Nanticoke and pound on a few doors myself. Much as I mighta wanted to, I couldn’t justify travellin’ all the way down to Pictou last election and, besides, I was dang busy workin’ on the Green campaign here in Haldimand-Norfolk.

    Mark Taylor mentioned Bruce-Grey-Owen Sound as a possibility based on good GPC results last time. I don’t see that one as a good possibility on accounta the last GPC candidate (Hibma) is a Bruce Power employee. They’re the biggest local employer and even though the GPC is strongly anti-nuke, I figger he got lotsa fellow employees votin’ for him. That wouldn’t be the case with Lizzie. I reckon Bruce Power would try nukin’ Lizzie outta the water if she was to challenge ’em on their home turf. I’m fightin’ ’em down here in Nanticoke an’ they’re puttin’ up a good fight. I’m plannin’ on winnin’, though.

    Like somebuddy already said, if Lizzie’s plannin’ on runnin’ in Gwelp, she better get movin’ ASAP. She better get livin’ there. I seen her up in Aberfoyle a year or so ago. She’s up on a lotta the local issues already. Yer boy Iggy was down here a coupla weeks ago an’ he didn’t know much about local stuff. He’s a pretty good brainiac when it comes to international stuff but he needs to get up to speed on local issues more. Lizzie shines in that department, sez I.


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