Green Party Leader Elizabeth May seems to have shifted from her earlier stated position and now says she could support a Conservative minority government led by Andrew Scheer, if — and it is a very big if — it got serious about climate change.
A July 21 story by Canadian Press reporter Mia Rabson quotes May as saying:
“People change their minds when they see the dynamic of a way a Parliament is assembled and maybe think, ‘Killing carbon taxes isn’t such a good idea if the only way I get to be prime minister is by keeping them.'”
The chances of Andrew Scheer abandoning his core commitment to scrap the carbon tax might be far-fetched.
Scheer has stood shoulder to shoulder with four powerful Conservative or Conservative-aligned premiers and solemnly sworn fealty to the anti-environmental resistance. The federal Conservative leader would be taking an enormous risk if he were to cavalierly break that promise. It might be a way to invite a massive rebellion within his own ranks.
But, for now at least, it is May who is taking the greater risk.
Those who are considering voting Green in this fall’s election should be asking May exactly what her price might be for propping up a Scheer government.
Would it be sufficient for Scheer to maintain the Trudeau government’s carbon tax as is? Is that all it would take for the Conservatives to win Green support?
Could the Greens still support a Scheer government if, for instance, it rolled back the newly enacted and more stringent rules for approving major projects such as pipelines?
Would May and her party be able to hold their noses if the Conservatives acted on another key pledge: to scrap the current clean fuel standard?
And what about other Conservative policies, such as imposing tougher restrictions on asylum seekers, or killing the Liberals’ fund for local news while radically cutting funding for the CBC? Those are not climate-change related. Would the Greens be comfortable supporting them?
Is Elizabeth May being naive?
The Green leader told the Canadian Press she hopes for a minority Parliament because it “would be the very best thing;” but she seems a bit naive about how much power a governing party — even one that only has a minority of seats — can exercise, in our system, without seeking approval of Parliament.
When Andrew Scheer’s predecessor as Conservative leader, Stephen Harper, governed with a minority from 2006 to 2011, he proved that point. Harper could not get everything through the House that he would have liked to, but he ruled with an iron fist nonetheless. MORE