The following text was circulated by Elizabeth May, Member of Parliament, Saanich-Gulf Islands, Leader, Green Party of Canada
After seven years as leader of the Green Party of Canada and two and a half years as a Member of Parliament, I do not think of myself as a politician. I don’t think of myself as someone who yearns for power. I hope I am not the kind of person who would want to build a new political party for its own sake. Nevertheless, I am more committed than ever to getting a full caucus of Green MPs (at least 12) elected in the next federal election. The question we should always ask is “why?” Will working and focusing to elect twelve MPs change anything? Will we – as so many progressive voices allege – merely “split the vote?”
When I first decided to run for leadership in the Green Party, my primary motivation was to stop Stephen Harper gaining a majority government. I thought I could prevent his chances of a majority by being in the leaders’ debate, working to keep a focus on issues. I wanted to blunt what I saw then – and still do today – as the informal alliance between Conservatives and the NDP to destroy the Liberal Party – thus keeping Harper in power. In 2008, thanks to a huge public outcry, I was in the debates and we held Harper to a minority. In 2011, when the other party leaders and the networks did a better job of covering their tracks to block Green participation, Harper won his coveted majority.