Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Elizabeth May speculation: go west

Seems to be a bit of speculation going on as to where Elizabeth May will run in the next election. Won't cover the ground that's already been covered here, here and here.

But I will say that I hope May seriously considers the BC riding of Saanich-Gulf Islands as her best option. Knocking off Gary Lunn, a high profile Conservative would be preferable to taking on a Liberal given the parties' respective positions on the environment, one would think. Lunn was beatable in the last campaign and should be ripe for the picking with a greater anti-Conservative tide that will be rising in a coming election. May can hammer Lunn for his prior role as Minister of Natural Resources, exploit lingering weaknesses in his role as a result of the Chalk River shutdown and its continuing impact on the national isotope shortage. It's in her "wheelhouse." She has shown an inclination to take down the Conservatives before, I'd expect her to stick with that given the Conservative record on the environment. Isn't that the principal argument she'll want to make?

Secondly, Frank Valeriote, the newly elected Liberal MP in Guelph should not be underestimated. He's got roots there, he's a tremendous communicator and has made a splash in parliament as a vocal critic on the auto file in particular. To an extent, you can't just look at past party success in isolation. Sure there's a core of Green support to build on, but Valeriote is a solid MP and I'm betting he's grown on the folks in Guelph. He's very likable (met him at Vancouver convention, full disclosure, very impressed). So, factor that in, along with what could be the flip side of that anti-Conservative tide in a coming election. A more pro-Liberal one that will advantage Valeriote.

Go west, Ms. May, go west...