I was recently reminded of what an NDP friend of mine used to be fond of saying: "The Greens are just Cons on bicycles."
At the time I didn't give it much thought, I just thought the whole idea was hilarious.
But I'm not laughing anymore. Now I wondering where Elizabeth May is taking her Green Party, and what she might do in the event of a minority government.
And in that regard I didn't find this video clip very reassuring.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May says if her demands are not met in a minority government, she is prepared to let the government Fall & trigger another election until she gets a government that meets her demands#cdnpoli #cdnmedia #elxn43 pic.twitter.com/BVAff1ov8x— G.T. Lem (@gtlem) September 3, 2019
For like Alan Freeman does, I can't help wondering whether the thought of sharing power in a minority government, after so many years in the political wilderness, has caused May to lose her grip on reality.
There are signs that Elizabeth May, the party’s longtime leader, has got way ahead of reality, portraying herself as kingmaker for a minority government and even musing that she could support a support a minority Conservative government under Andrew Scheer.
Or at least appear dangerously naive.
In July, May suggested that her huge influence in a hung Parliament could make the Tories drop their opposition to carbon taxes and turn it into a party of tree-huggers.
The other problem with this approach is that it equates the Liberals with the Tories when it comes to climate change policy.
True, the Liberals have disappointed environmentalists with their two-sided policy of buying and building a bitumen pipeline on the one hand while at the same time insisting on putting a price on carbon. But that’s quite different from the Scheer policy that’s foursquare in favour of pipelines and the Alberta oil industry and takes no meaningful action on climate.
So like Karl Nerenberg I think May needs to be asked some very hard questions.
Those who are considering voting Green in this fall's election should be asking May exactly what her price might be for propping up a Scheer government. Would it be sufficient for Scheer to maintain the Trudeau government's carbon tax as is? Is that all it would take for the Conservatives to win Green support?
And what about other Conservative policies, such as imposing tougher restrictions on asylum seekers, or killing the Liberals' fund for local news while radically cutting funding for the CBC? Those are not climate-change related. Would the Greens be comfortable supporting them?
What would be the price for her support, and does she even understand how our system works?
An experienced leader such as Elizabeth May should know that what constitutes a government, in our system, is a lot more than the legislative agenda it submits to Parliament.
If she and her party were to vote confidence in a Scheer government, they would be giving that government, and that prime minister, carte blanche to take all kinds of crucial decisions over which Parliament would have no say.
But what I find even more disturbing is that some of her candidates, like Mark de Bruijn in the North Island-Powell River riding, seem to think that the Greens and the Cons were made to play together.
“It may be a bit of a challenge to get there because of pretty entrenched ideological beliefs,” explained de Bruijn, “but Conservatives have some very good ideas. They are fiscally conservative, as are Greens. We have a lot in common with conservatives at their ideological core.”
And that, along with her flirtation with Warren Kinsella, should save as a flashing red light for anyone naive enough to vote for the Greens.
For they are not what they appear, they are not a truly progressive party.
And where once May had to be supported by a Con like Lisa Raitt...
Nobody should be surprised if next time May and her Greens could end up supporting Raitt and her ghastly Cons beyond the call of decency.
For once they have tasted power does anyone think they would give it up easily?
Progressives who can't bring themselves to vote for the Trudeau Liberals, should support the NDP in the few ridings where they have a chance of winning.
For Jagmeet Singh has at least vowed never to work with the Cons.
But those who want to make sure the monstrous Cons are kept out of power, should vote for the Liberals to ensure that they have enough seats to also keep the Bloc Quebecois from propping up Andrew Scheer.
The stakes are just too high to gamble with our future.
So nobody in their right minds should vote for the Greens, lest they get a very unpleasant surprise...