Canada Seeing Green

Our national colours may be red and white, but green may just be our country’s colour of the future.

With Stephen Harper’s numbers dipping due to the Brian Mulroney controversy, the time seems ripe for opposition parties to rise to the challenge. However, despite Harper’s shortcomings, it would appear that Dion has his work cut out for him: He’s still not top dog in Canada! Dion’s numbers, though considerably better than last month’s, are still not enough to instill confidence in the party should an election come to pass.

And neither are the Bloc’s or the NDP’s. Where these two parties stood as the “alternatives” to the longstanding major parties of Canada, a new group is positioned. Indeed, the nation would appear to be turning an eye towards a relative newcomer to the Canadian political scene. For November 13th, a press release was issued by the Green Party celebrating the fact that “Today, for the first time in our 24-year history, we [the GPC] are polling as one of Canada’s top three parties in a national survey of voter intentions.”

A recent poll released by the Globe and Mail and CTV (linked to in the Green Party e-mail) gave this breakdown of the current national standings. The poll results in full, dating back before 2007, can be found on page 14 of the report:

The stats show that the Green Party is reaching the point of contention. Though only a percentage higher than they were in February, the NDP slide has left them with a far stronger position amongst the minor parties. The Bloc’s relative stagnancy, and the potential repercussions for Harper should the Mulroney incident turn out poorly, could both be further motivators for Green Party success.

Though it’s a little early to be handing over the nation’s keys to Canada’s biggest underdog, their climb must be marked as a rousing success. As Adriane Carr points out in the e-mail, this means that “people, tired of scandal-ridden politics and inaction on the issues that count, are putting their trust and hope in us.” Having gone from a relative no-show in the Chrétien years to the third highest-ranked party with the fastest-rising numbers is quite an accomplishment, and in large part this is due to their consistency. While other parties have fluctuated on their platforms as events have risen and fallen, the Greens have maintained their stance on most major issues. Convenient that their primary goal — an environmentally-friendly culture — happens to coincide with public desires right now? Of course! But without a solid platform on other affairs, they would never have risen the ranks to become the new alternative to the major parties.

So while it may be some time before we witness a Green government, don’t put it past the Greens to rise in the ranks even further with this behind them. Layton will soon be green with envy, and Harper/Dion will be glancing over his shoulder to ensure that the relentless Elizabeth May is still a safe distance behind!


4 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Stephen
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 10:07:20

    This is a positive development, in my opinion. I would like to see the Green Party supplant the NDP as the party of choice on the left.

    The NDP peaked in the 1980s, when the highly-respected Ed Broadbent was its leader. In recent years (as we just witnessed in the Ontario election) the NDP has repeatedly made “strange bedfellows” with the Conservatives.

    I understand it as a political strategy, but it offends me as a voter. The strategy of treating the Liberals as their enemy is unprincipled expediency, in my view.

    Public sentiment has shifted away from the old model of socialist policies on the left. Even union leaders have swung from the NDP to the Liberals in recent elections, rightly regarding the Conservatives as the greater threat to the working person’s interests. And I don’t think Bob Rae’s recent conversion to the Liberals was based solely on self-interest.

    Meanwhile, the Green Party has carved out a niche for itself on the environmental front. But it also has the potential to be a more natural fit for left-minded people in what looks like a new era in Canadian politics (and politics in the West in general).


  2. nebcanuck
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 10:16:20

    Perhaps relevant to this post is the Green Party’s most recent platform. Called “Vision Green”, the platform as a lot of environmental jargon, but throughout it all there are tons of things on how they would handle finances, policy making, and other important Canadian issues.

    Vision Green can be found here! I haven’t perused it fully yet, but I will over the next bit. It’s worth knowing who the adversary to the biggies is!


  3. Bill
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 11:54:27

    I could go for a green opposition. That said, while I do not like to trend I think that even with the Mulroney problem the Conservatives are fending better than should be expected.

    This is The summation attached to a Nov 10th Ipsos Ried poll for CanWest and Global TV. I suspect that polling has entered the fine art of persuation in this instance. Who do you believe?

    Harper’s Tories At High Water Mark (42%) As Quebec Lifts National Fortunes Tories (31%) Tied With Bloc (31%) In Volatile Quebec, But Can It Be Sustained? Ottawa, ON, November 10, 2007 – Stephen Harper and his Conservative Party have been lifted to their high water mark in terms of national support, with a new Ipsos Reid Poll conducted exclusively on behalf of CanWest News Service and Global Television revealing that the Conservative Party now enjoys the unprecedented support of 42% of Canadian decided voters, a three-point climb nationally since last week.


  4. Stephen
    Nov 14, 2007 @ 14:57:44

    I had also noticed the discrepancy between the two polls. To some extent, it’s obvious that pollsters are able to phrase their questions in such a way as to tell their respective constituencies what they want to hear.

    I think the Conservatives are headed for stormy waters, once the inquiry into Brian Mulroney’s conduct begins. Not that I expect an inquiry to begin any time soon.

    In any event, it doesn’t detract from nebcanuck’s point: i.e., that at least one recent poll has placed the Green Party ahead of the NDP.


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