Letter: Amping up the power of the opposition

The (Green Party, Liberal Party) “contract” is a written agreement containing promises and having absolutely no legal weight.

A recent Capital News story discusses an attempt by local members of the Green Party and the Liberals to cooperate electorally to combine their vote shares and improve their chance of defeating the Conservative incumbent Ron Cannan (Kelowna-Lake Country Greens looking to a Liberal to represent them, July 7).

Unfortunately, the riding projections from threehundredeight.com that were quoted by the story’s author include polling data only up to June 9.  Two releases of statistics have since followed, the last putting Cannan’s vote share at 38.3 per cent.

That’s a full 19 points below the percentage of support he enjoyed in 2011.

Meanwhile, the NDP, sitting at 26.6, have gained 6 points since the release of statistics the Capital News used, overtaking the Liberals who are at 21.6 and falling.  The Greens, at 11.7, have also fallen slightly since the last release.

If, under a plan to co-nominate a single candidate, the Greens and Liberals were to combine today’s projected vote shares, they would have 33.3 per cent, which may put such a candidate within striking distance of the incumbent.

However, since a meeting on July 3, the small group of Greens agitating for pre-electoral cooperation have dropped the idea of co-nominating with the Liberals.  Now they’re promoting what they call “contractual endorsement” of the Liberal Party.

With this proposal, they aim to persuade a majority of Green members to nominate a Green candidate as usual.  What is unusual is that the candidate would tactically withdraw from the race and endorse the Liberals sometime after the two parties sign a contract laying out terms for the Liberals to represent the Greens on the campaign trail and in parliament.

The “contract” is a written agreement containing promises and having absolutely no legal weight.  Furthermore, the ability of Liberals to represent the Greens in parliament would be limited by the Liberal policy on vote-whipping.

If the Greens put on their tactical hat, they might realize that any contract with the Liberals would be unenforceable and would likely strike no policy agreements that they would not instantly have, without need of any contract, if they simply aligned with the significantly more progressive NDP.

Several important historical circumstances illustrate this.  Both the Greens and the NDP were opposed to C-51 and vow to repeal it, both opposed the Nexen-CNOOC deal and foreign ownership of natural resources by Chinese state-owned enterprises, both opposed the Canada-China investment FIPA.  The Liberals supported all these.

Moreover, it’s the NDP who are leading federally and are projected to win a minority government.  Again, it makes good tactical sense to endorse the NDP rather than the Liberals.

If the Greens did so in Kelowna-Lake Country, their combined projected vote share would be 38.3 today—instantly a dead heat with Cannan.

While there’s no saying how long these numbers might hold, whether they might increase to further threaten Cannan, or what the Greens might eventually decide to do, if all the stars align and they play their cards right, they could help engineer an end to the Harper government and the beginning of a new government promising electoral reform and fair representation for all.


Dianne Varga, Kelowna



Just Posted

Kelowna chamber doesn’t like new payroll health tax

New tax will help government make up loss of revenue from elimination of MSP premiums

New proposal suggested for Gable Beach

District of Lake Country staff’s new recommendations will be presented March 6

Overnight chill falls short of Feb. 21 records

Icy temperatures across the Okanagan-Shuswap don’t beat lows set in 1910, 1894

RCMP continue investigation into missing Sun Peaks man

Ryan Shtuka disappeared after leaving the village of Sun Peaks on Feb. 17

Friends of late Kelowna ‘boarder raising money for charity

Friends and family of a young man who died in snowboarding accident gives back to the sport

VIDEO: Top 10 B.C. budget highlights

The NDP is focusing on childcare, affordable housing and speeding up the elimination of MSP premiums

How to keep local news visible in your Facebook feed

Facebook has changed the news feed to emphasize personal connections. You might see less news.

BC Wine Institute to take legal action against Alberta

The BC Wine Institute to seek injunction to protect B.C. wineries from Alberta wine ban

Kamloops couple assaulted in their home

RCMP are asking for the public’s assistance in solving this crime

BC BUDGET: Tobacco tax hike may light up black market in smokes

NDP government adds another 56 cents per pack as of April 1

4 treatment centres to open in memory of B.C. teen who died of an overdose

A treatment centre for addictions is opening in Penticton after the first one fell through

South Okanagan front line workers say comments add insult to tragedy

Workers entrenched in addictions want people to see the humans behind the addictions

DeHart: Ride-along in Dragoons’ armoured vehicle

Kelowna hotelier Maxine DeHart’s weekly business column

Driver rescued down 90-foot embankment along Coquihalla

Rope rescue conducted on mutual-aid call with Chilliwack SAR, Hope SAR and Agassiz fire department

Most Read