Thursday, June 03, 2004

And Along Came the Greens

Between 1993 and the reunification of the federal Progressive Conservatives with the Alliance Party over the last few months, Canada's federal political scene was dominated by five parties to the advantage of the Liberals. We all thought that figure would be reduced to four with the new Conservatives running under a single tent, but perhaps we were wrong, because suddenly the Green Party is showing up in polls.

Until recently, the Green Party was just another one of those insignificant parties that ran a few odd-ball candidates and never got anywhere. But a string of polls is showing that the Green Party is now polling at 5% of the vote, and most of that is concentrated in British Columbia.

Those figures aren't likely to win them any seats, but numbers like that could affect close races in Vancouver where New Democrats and Liberals are fighting it out for the left of centre vote. And the biggest losers here will probably be the New Democrats, who the Green Party accuses of not being truly leftist. It must be quite a shock to the NDP to find themselves under attack for not being far enough to the left, but as I said, this is primarily occurring in BC, and that's one province where eccentric parties and politicians can do surprisingly well.

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