Former Green Party candidate offers statement of support to Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr:
“To my supporters and other interested parties,
At our most recent meeting, Kelowna Lake Country Greens voted for me based on my platform of co-operation with the local Liberal candidate, Stephen Fuhr. Subsequently, Green Party leader Elizabeth May asked me to put our partnership on hold while she initiated a conversation about co-operation at the national level. While Justin Trudeau has always been supportive of our local cooperation effort, he was not interested in a broader cooperation that involved Liberals standing down in another riding, and Thomas Mulcair would not even return May’s phone calls.
Stephen Fuhr is a superb candidate with broad appeal across the political spectrum, and therefore an excellent chance of winning. He is personally committed to evidence-based policy, serious action on climate change, and proportional representation, all key parts of Green policy. In addition, he has welcomed Greens as part of his team, including as independent policy advisors fully encouraged to maintain their Greenness. These are some of the reasons I entered into a cooperation agreement with him, and presented this agreement to our members.
This Green-initiated local grassroots endeavour was never envisioned as an endorsement, but rather a working partnership. Quite rightly, however, our local Green EDA executive wants to avoid any appearance of endorsing the Liberal Party, since our policies differ on many points. To that end, I am stepping down as the Green Party candidate, and will instead be volunteering as an individual on Stephen Fuhr’s campaign team. My personal aim is to help Fuhr and his team bring Green policy to the voters, and ultimately to Parliament; this is the essential element of our partnership agreement which made it attractive to my local Green supporters, and unique in the history of Canadian politics.
I am pleased that our party and EDA executive will be respecting our members’ grassroots decision by not running a candidate and freeing local members to work on other campaigns, including to join me on Fuhr’s. This demonstrates how the Green Party does politics differently; we are not a top-down organization. I also value the Green process aimed at achieving consensus on decisions. However, this process does take time and, in this case, it was in addition to the already considerable delay while waiting for Mulcair. I thank those who supported me in the nomination contest for their patience.
To Green supporters who wish they could mark their ballots for the Green Party in Kelowna-Lake Country, I am genuinely sorry that you will not have this opportunity on October 19th. Fortunately there are many ridings where excellent Green candidates can win, especially in BC, and the best way to discard our dysfunctional first-past-the-post electoral system, protect the planet, and save our democracy from the Harper Conservatives is to elect them. In Kelowna-Lake Country, however, I recommend that you cast your ballot for Stephen Fuhr.