Paul Manly’s Green victory is personal vindication and sends a message on climate change

The NDP’s prevarications on the export of natural gas and fracking, coupled the neoliberal parties’ efforts to conciliate oil and gas interests that are, at heart, unreconcilable, means that the Green Party may remain the only choice for many voters in 2020.

Paul Manly. Photo: Green Party of Canada/Facebook

Green candidate Paul Manly has won the federal byelection in Nanaimo-Ladysmith on Vancouver Island, a seat formerly held by the NDP’s Sheila Malcolmson. Commentators are saying the result is a wake-up call for all of Canada’s political class. It means Canadians might be much more serious about climate change than most politicians seem to think, they say.

That may or may not be true. One byelection does not tell the whole story.

What is definitely true is that the result is a great one for the Green Party. It gives a thumbs-up to the excellent work Green Leader Elizabeth May has done in the House since first winning a seat in 2011. Opinion polls routinely show that May is the only federal leader with a positive favourability rating.

The Green victory in Nanaimo-Ladysmith might only be a local, personal and evanescent phenomenon. But this writer has been picking up indications from erstwhile NDP and Liberal supporters in other parts of the country that they are thinking of voting Green next time.

The fearsome scientific forecasts of potential environmental and climate catastrophe — of which the UN report on biodiversity released on Monday, May 6, is only the latest — could be having a greater impact on public opinion than the mainstream media and political class seem to believe. MORE

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