Waters: One candidate representing two parties – will it work in Kelowna-Lake Country?

Many questions raised by bid to have Liberal candidate represent the Green Party as well in Kelowna-Lake Country.

I haven’t seen any federal Canadian political party adopt yellow yet as its prominent colour.

But if Kelowna-Lake Country Liberal candidate Stephen Fuhr is successful in becoming the “co-nominated” candidate representing both the red-clad Liberals and Green Party, he may want to think about it given yellow is the colour you get when you mix red and green.

In an interesting move, a group of Greenies has decided that unseating long-time Conservative incumbent Ron Cannan in this October’s federal election is too big a task for a Green candidate alone, so it is seeking the help of another.

And it has turned to Fuhr to represent both parties—that is if enough other local Green Party members agree at the July 16 nomination meeting.

And even then, the complicated process of having another party’s candidate be your candidate won’t be easy for those behind the scheme.

To do it, the co-nomination forces will have to get another man, Green Party member Gary Adams, nominated so he can step down and let Fuhr carry the political football.

Complicated? Yeah, and then some.

And what about all the questions that its raises?

As the Liberal candidate, when does Fuhr put Green views ahead of Liberal views? His party says it will only require him to vote the Liberal way on confidence, constitutional and platform pledge issues. But it’s that last one that could be problematic.

The Liberals and Greens may have a lot in common but their election platforms won’t be the same. So, if Fuhr has to vote with his party on Liberal platform promises, where does that leave representation of Green Party promises should he be elected?

And, is it fair to all the Green guys and gals who want a candidate who represents their party’s point of view during both the election and beyond if Fuhr wins?

Estimates of support here show the Conservatives have more backing than the Liberals and Greens combined so this co-nomination plan is going to need a little help from elsewhere to win the ultimate prize—a seat in the commons—even if Green Party nominating voters go for it.

Of course Fuhr loves the idea of co-nomination, why wouldn’t he? More votes for him can only be a good thing, right? He is running for office after all.

In Canada, each federal election is actually a series of individual separate elections. There is no big, single vote like there is in the U.S. for president.

Voters in Kelowna-Lake Country upset with Prime Minister Stephen Harper have no say in whether he gets back into Parliament or gets to be the leader of the Conservative Party. That’s because Harper is not running here.

We vote for one MP only. If that MP represents the party with the most seats, then we, in a very small way have helped elect a government.

As intriguing as it may be to try and cobble together a “contractual endorsement” to represent two political parties in one, Green voters here deserve better.

They deserve their own candidate who will express Green Party views exclusively and not defer to another party’s plan.

It may be messy but in a democracy, one person gets one vote and anyone can run for office. That why government’s can win power with less than 50 per cent of the vote.

And that’s why all political points of view deserve to be heard—whether the candidate is successful or not.

Alistair Waters is the assistant editor of the Capital News.

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