I read the first post from Mike, a news story about the leader of the Green Party of Canada, Elizabeth May. It is good news to see that Greens can become at least the loyal opposition as May finished 2nd among 4 candidates in a partisan special election to fill a vacant seat in the Canadian parliament.
I find it striking that the basis of her relatively successful campaign is so different from the Green Party's focus in the US and especially that in the GPCA.
May was elected Party Leader at a national Green Party convention in late August in Ottawa. Since then, she's been shifting the focus of Canadian political debate around environment and economy.I no longer find either the economy or the environment as being central to the debate in the GPCA. It is all about electoral reform rather than winning converts to our issues and programs. I wonder if that disconnect is why we are losing registration at a time when the majority of California Voters say that they support the rise of a strong third party. (p. 9 of the linked PPIC Survey Report).
The current favor for Democrats notwithstanding, a long-term challenge looms for the two-party system. Majorities of Californians (53%) and likely voters (56%) believe that the Republican and Democratic parties do such a poor job of representing the American people that a third major party is needed. Independents (72%) are far more likely than Democrats (52%) and Republicans (45%) to believe a third party is needed, but the numbers of voters who hold this view are significant across the board. "The growing numbers of independent voters may drive this change, but the fact is that many Californians question the relevance of the current system," says Baldassare. (Research Director - Public Policy Institute of California).If the GPCA wants a model of how to succeed, maybe we only have to look to Canada.