Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Elizabeth May meets Saanich Gulf Islands politics

The Saanich Gulf Islands electoral landscape is unfolding in ways that thus far have been unkind to Elizabeth May. It may yet get worse.

She's facing an intransigent Green who seeks to challenge her for the nomination. Not exactly what a party leader should face but she's handling it appropriately, the best that anyone could it appears, with such statements: "He's making a very strong case that we are in fact a grassroots party that is not top-down." There's not likely much doubt that May will prevail ultimately. I mean, if she can't even get her own party's nomination, the party would be embarrassed.

Yet to come, however, is the information that could be crucial to the outcome in this riding. The Liberal nominee is to be chosen on the 12th and there is a very strong environmental candidate up for the nomination. Arguably more environmentally credentialed than May herself. We'll see whether Renee Hetherington does indeed become the nominee, but if she does, why would residents in that riding vote for May over a strong environmentally sound candidate who has roots in the riding? May knew of Hetherington's run before making her decision to commit to Saanich Gulf Islands. So if this is how the race shapes up in the end, she went in with her eyes wide open. But again, let's wait until the 12th.

What is good about the May run in Saanich Gulf Islands, however, is the needed attention that she will bring to the isotope issue. May as a national party leader attracts significant media attention to her campaign. That she took the opportunity today to hammer Gary Lunn for his role in firing Linda Keen, the former nuclear regulator, was a sign of things to come in that campaign and a very welcome development. Conservative negligence in failing to act to ensure there would be isotope production in the event of a second shutdown of the Chalk River reactor is ripe for criticism.

Going to be a fascinating one to watch, that's for sure.

(see also FarAndWide on this today)