Liberal leadership hopeful and Member of Parliament for Vancouver Quadra, Joyce Murray, is absolutely certain that opposition electoral cooperation in the Labrador by-election “will ensure progressive win and Harper fail”. That it would demonstrate how electoral cooperation works to arrest the perennial anti-democratic trend of vote-splitting in Canadian politics. And that it would be an opportunity for Canadians to witness her proposed one-time electoral cooperation in 2015.
This press release from Murray’s campaign office:
Member of Parliament and Liberal leadership candidate Joyce Murray expressed her pleasure at the agreement of the Green Party of Canada to help ensure the election of a progressive candidate in the by-election expected to be called for the riding of Labrador shortly.
“When news broke that a by-election was imminent following the resignation of Peter Penashue, the Harper Conservative MP forced to resign last week due to an election financing scandal, and in light of the 2011 results in Labrador and Stephen Harper’s attempt to stack the deck in Penashue’s favour, I called Green Party Leader Elizabeth May and asked her to consider having the Green Party EDA not run a candidate when the by-election is called.
She immediately agreed to discuss the unique circumstances of this riding with the Green Party’s Executive Council and today we see the result: the Green Party has announced that it will not run a candidate in the Labrador by-election,” said MP Murray. “I am solidly on the record supporting local level electoral cooperation to elect progressives and defeat the Harper Conservatives. In this instance it is abundantly clear that the progressive candidate with the greatest ability to do that would be the Liberal candidate and not the Green Party candidate.”
In 2011, Peter Penashue won the riding with 39.81% of the vote; a 79 vote – or 0.74% – margin over former Liberal MP Todd Russell with 39.07%.
“Canadians crave a more democratic, more representative Parliament and government. They solidly favour electoral reform. But we know that will never happen as long as vote-splitting among progressives continues,” said MP Murray. “I have proposed that one-time electoral cooperation in 2015, initiated at the local riding level in ridings where conservatives won by less than 50%. This by-election affords us the opportunity to show Canadians how it can be done.”
Kay Young, a former Newfoundland and Labrador MLA and Cabinet Minister and the Newfoundland and Labrador Chairwoman for MP Murray’s Leadership bid, added her strong support for cooperation in the upcoming by-election.
“In the last election the majority of the votes cast in Labrador were for a progressive candidate,” said Young, who currently sits on the Executive Board of the Newfoundland and Labrador Liberal Party. “But the Liberal/NDP/Green vote splitting delivered a Harper Conservative win – in fact the only win for the Prime Minister in the entire province. With this cooperation in the by-election, we can give the people of Newfoundland and Labrador the representation that they actually want. And that is Harper-free.”
The Greens announced Saturday that they will not field a candidate in Labrador. They also challenge the NDP to do the same.