Sunday, April 15, 2007

Limited benefits

CanWest reports that both Stephane Dion and top Greens have ruled out any further cooperation beyond this week's much-criticized deal in the leaders' home ridings. And the announcement makes it clear that the deal was aimed solely at helping Dion and May personally, rather than any positive change for Canada as a whole:
Stephane Dion is ruling out any extra measures to help the Green Party beyond his controversial deal with Elizabeth May.

Dion described Saturday his decision not to run a Liberal in Central Nova where May, the Green leader, is seeking a seat as "an agreement between two leaders," suggesting he was not planning further aid...

Adriane Carr, deputy leader of the Green Party, said she was pleased the deal goes no further than the announced plan.

"This decision to provide 'leaders courtesy' is a refreshing move to infuse move civility and respect into Canadian politics," Carr, the former leader of the Green Party of B.C., said in a statement.

"I am also happy to say the reciprocation goes no further. The Green Party intends to run a full slate of candidates-minus one."
What's noteworthy in today's statements is that neither party has any apparent intention to make a deal which would meaningfully reduce the likelihood of a Harper majority. Instead, the agreement was intended to serve as nothing but an image boost for the leaders involved - to be justified by a bizarre claim that certain leaders should be entitled to a different form of democracy than the rest of their parties in the name of "civility".

Fortunately, there are other options out there. And the NDP has rightly started using the spotlight on Central Nova to emphasize its own position and candidate in the riding:
Layton said he's bullish on the prospects of Louise Lorefice, the sole candidate for the NDP nomination in Central Nova, who is to be acclaimed today.

"She is well-known teacher with deep roots in the community over many decades," said Layton, noting the NDP ran second in the riding in 2004 and the (sic) 2006.

"We'll be putting forward a very strong candidate with deep roots in the community."
While it's a bit disappointing that Alexis MacDonald won't continue to build her support in the riding, it's still a plus for the NDP to earn national attention for another strong candidate. And with the Libs and Greens showing that their agreement to deprive Lib and Green voters of their preferred choice is nothing more than a cynical political game, both Lorefice in particular and the NDP in general figure to gain from voters' justified frustrations.

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