Last week, Liberal leadership hopeful and Member of Parliament for Vancouver MP, Joyce Murray, called for opposition electoral cooperation in the Labrador by-election. To void splitting the vote. To ensure a “progressive win and Harper fail“. The Greens immediately heeded the call and are now challenging the federal New Democrats to also desist.
This press release, issued on March 23:
Elizabeth May announced today that the Green Party of Canada has decided not to field a candidate in the upcoming Labrador by-election and challenged the NDP to do the same.
“The electoral situation in Labrador is very unsettling. The call for the by-election is potentially rushed given that Mr. Penashue may still be found guilty in the Elections Canada investigation of his 2011 campaign. Yet it appears the Prime Minister will aggressively support his re-election and has done nothing to stop the Conservative Party threats that federal spending in Labrador will be curtailed if voters do not vote Conservative,” said Green Leader Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament for Saanich-Gulf Islands.
“The Green Party is committed to electoral cooperation in the interest of proportional representation. At this point only the NDP joins the Greens in officially supporting voting reforms that eliminate First Past the Post. Some Liberals, notably leadership candidate Joyce Murray, favour cooperation and proportional representation. I call on all progressive voters to make the Labrador by-election a place where the goals of cooperation and proportional representation are advanced,” said May.
The Federal Council of the Green Party of Canada has made the decision to step out ahead of nominating meetings of other parties to call for cooperation in Labrador.
Peyton Barrett, Campaign Manager for George Barrett, the Green Candidate in the 2011 election, concurred, “At the grassroots level, we agree that cooperation can work in exceptional circumstances and when it is in the best interest of voters.”
“In the recent by-elections, the Greens proved we could run hard, effective campaigns, in contention to win seats — eclipsing the Liberals in Victoria and the NDP in Calgary-Centre. We will run to win in ridings across Canada in the next federal election,” said Elizabeth May. “But in Labrador, we think not fielding a candidate is the right thing to do for the country.”
To which the NDP responded with: “If someone should stand down in this byelection it is Peter Penashue while Elections Canada completes its investigation.”