One of my fellow Libloggers has decidedly come out in argument that Elizabeth May, the Leader of the Green Party who is now running in Saanich-Gulf Islands, BC, should be elected, as she's apparently just that darn awesome. Other Libloggers I suspect as well hold this opinion, though I doubt its the majority.
Well, I'm here to say to our friends in Saanich-Gulf Islands and elsewhere say that you shouldn't elect Lizzy May to Parliament, but instead elect local SGI Liberal Party candidate Renée Hetherington instead, who truly is awesome, and will do an awesome job as MP.
Let me lay down some realities for you: the Green Party is not going to elect many candidates. One is a maybe, two a stretch, and three is the absolute maximum - but no more. That's a simple fact. The Greens don't have enough momentum, organization, or money to do much more than that. And I'll tell you right now, three members of Parliament, more likely just one, is not effective representation.
While yes, Independent MPs can do a fair job, the fact is that they don't hold a lot of weight in Parliament. How often do you hear André Arthur or Helena Guergis in the news (excluding the latter's particular situation) or standing up in Parliament? How often do you see anything out of these politicians? Not a heck of a lot, because they are just one of 308 members, and because they're not part of parties, they're never on the agenda.
What SGI needs is not what essentially amounts to an independent MP, it needs a voice in Parliament, a voice that will fight for the environment in an effective, collective manner. That is Renée Hetherington to a T - she is huge on the environment, she knows what SGI and the region need, and she will be apart of what we hope to be a strong Liberal caucus, one that will have more than one or two members sitting in the House of Commons, one that will fight Stephen Harper and Gary Lunn, and one that will serve Canadians in an effective manner.
Furthermore, it's obvious that with three opposition candidates running in SGI, vote-splitting will be inevitable. In the last election, however, with the dropping of the NDP candidate, then-Liberal candidate Briony Penn came within 4% of knocking out Gary Lunn - voting splitting with Green candidate Andrew Lewis and the remaining 5% of votes for Julian West's redundant candidacy kept SGI from having better representation than Lunn can ever offer. With this election, all parties are running at full strength - but Gary Lunn will be laughing all the way back to Ottawa because the other three parties split the vote.
So if you want to have effective, strong representation in Ottawa, a Member of Parliament that will work for the good Liberal values of caring for our environment, of strong but compassion-minded finances, and a Prime Minister that will respect Canadian democracy and work with citizens to make Parliament accountable and actually work for once, you need to vote for Renée Hetherington - she is the only candidate who can offer you the full package. Not Elizabeth May.