"Facts are meaningless. You could use facts to prove anything that's even remotely true!"
-Homer J. Simpson

Saturday, September 13, 2008

The Green's Overall Strategy

The whole Buckdog/GPC lawsuit fiasco is, to my mind, indicative of the broader strategy of the green party (and in particular the green bloggers) in this election.

The greens (as a relatively young and inexperienced) party are falling into the exact same trap that the NDP fell into for years. Let me lay out the NDP follies.

For years the NDP knew that there was a group of voters that occasionally voted Liberal, occasionally voted NDP. (hence the whole 'lend me your vote' thing recently.) There are many in our party who for years and years advocated attacking the Liberals so that those voters would "wake up" and vote for the 'true party' - the NDP.

What this analysis was missing that for these swing voters, the calculation wasn't "which party better represents me" but "which party comes close enough to representing me, but also will stop the right-wing forces" which in a first-past-the-post system, is a perfectly reasonable strategy.

Lately, the NDP have woken up to this fact and now they are running straight-on at the Conservatives, rather than wasting their time on the Liberals. This is not only good for the NDP, but is good for ALL progressives. The more discredited the Conservatives are, the less likely the true swing voter (who can go any way at any time) is likely to vote for them. That person may not end up voting NDP, but they may end up voting Liberal, or Green, but that is OK (in the general sense, if not in my partisan sense) becuase what we have in common is (if only slightly) more than what seperates us from the Conservatives.

Not only that, but it is a more honest campaign. I would much rather attack the forces of the true right-wing rather than attack the only psedo-right-wing Liberal Party of Canada.

What is particularly interesting is that the Green Party and Elisabeth May, deep down, get this. Hence the whole last week of the campaign strategy to ask voters to vote Liberal to stop the Conservatives. But why not say - vote Liberal, or NDP or Green to stop the Conservatives?

Because the Greens are caught in the same trap that the NDP have been caught in for years, focusing on fighting over a small piece of the pie, rather than trying to make that pie bigger. that is why they would rather sue a NDP blogger for posting a video that a Conservative blogger made.

I hope that with time, the Greens will grow up, just like the New Democrats have. Let all of the left0wing parties attack the right-wing parties and let the voters decide which one is the better alternative.