The battle for green voters begins
This is a C._B._C.. PODCAST in the fall of nineteen ninety eight an elderly woman known as the Cat Lady went missing she had a very <hes> very distinctive silhouette and very recognizable and you'd see you're walking into town a handkerchief on her hair long overcoat like somebody that lived on the street. All police could find were her thirty cats shot dead. I always knew something that happened to her D- vanish like that uncover the Cat lady case from C._B._C.. podcasts is available now hi. I'm Michelle Shepherd in for Jamie Whistle. The Canadian election is three months away and the fight for the green vote is on last month. We shared our plan to fight climate change while also creating reading three hundred thousand new good clean jobs that Jagmeet Singh preaching the N._D._p.'s platform of green new deal but what about the Green party well their popularity is searching their winning seats and provincial elections and now they've caught up to the M._v._p.. In the polls some light think its mission impossible to do what's required but we we have crunch the numbers its mission possible. We can do it so here. We have two parties fighting for the same green turf in the next election. Asian is their room for them. Both maybe they should think about cooperating or are mergers in the mix offi Arash has been talking to voters in B._C.. This week for the Huffington post voters there are trying to figure out who to support in this crowded field this this is front burner. Thanks so much for joining us this morning via. Thank you for having me. Let's start with where you are right now in B._C.. And you're with the candidates and you're talking to voters. What are you hearing from them? There is a great deal of disenchantment with the Liberal government whether you're speaking to people on the right of the political spectrum or people on the left the political spectrum a lot of people in two thousand fifteen. I think it's fair to say lent the Liberal Party their vote. They really wanted to get rid of Stephen Harper Liberal majority government who thought it'd be saying that just two months ago conservatives you look at that thirty two percent nationally nationally <hes> they really drop back in Atlanta candidate but on the left side of the political spectrum that you have voters who would describe themselves I think as progressives who believed in the Liberal Party's message they were interested in the Liberal Party Hardy's centre-left platform lot of new Democrats lent the Liberals or vote twenty fifteen election will be the last using I passed the post the environment and the economy they go together like paddles and canoes sunny ways my my friends so those people though now are looking at the Liberals record and they are either really unhappy about electoral reform or on climate and climate is really big issue. They feel a liberal government has let them down. The Trans Mountain pipeline expansion attention is a vital strategic interest to Canada. It will be built if you believe and the I._P._C. Report. This is the U._N.. report that came out last fall that says that we basically only have twelve years to you avoid catastrophic climate change then you probably are trying to square a carbon tax with buying a pipeline and a lot of those voters and EP and potential Greens are saying we don't WanNa vote liberal again. I'm intrigued intrigue that a lot of this seems to have benefit the Green Party obviously the one that's been most advocating for environmental reforms and if feels like there's this rise that they've been across the country that they've been winning provincial seats. Can you give us a bit of a recap of where they're at and what you think they've accomplished capitalizing on this this movement right now and somebody's I guess you could argue that. What we're seeing now is kind of the orange wave that seemed to be building in the lead up to the two thousand fifteen election in the sense that Rachel not least government in Alberta had been elected? Change has finally come to Alberta the M._v._p.. Federally were ecstatic and it seems like the option for change. The Anti Harper option was <hes> galvanizing around the M._v._p.. Of course we know that's not what happened the M._V._p.. There well under twenty percent. They're back to where they used to be free twenty eleven days that the green seemed to have momentum on their side. They've elected Greens in many parts of the country of course N._B._C.. Here they hold the balance of power there no coalition government with John Horgan's and EP government for Green Party announced it would back new Democrats in the legislature paving the way for an end. To sixteen years of liberal rule most recently were the official opposition in Prince Edward Island. There are Greens in New Brunswick Caucus Rena Malaise. We will do what he will be shaking things up and the Greens elected an M._p._p.. In Wealth in Ontario I'm ready to take my sita Queens Park so there seems to be across the country. Provincially the Greens are making inroads that was going to say. Do you think that'll carry over federally though well what it does help the party with Federal Party is is hoping that they can benefit from is focused areas of strength so there are opportunities for the Greens perhaps more than ever before and we see not in polling that they're doing much better than they ever have frankly the raising more money than they ever have but I wanted to add like an asterix while we're staying all these wonderful things about the Greens the end ep when they were basically at the same fundraising level and at the same area of polling we were saying that the end ep was on its deathbed and boy was that ever troubled for the end ep so take that with the grain of salt right like they're doing a lot better than they ever have but there is no majority green in government in the polls year right right. How close are the two parties? The Greens are obviously up in the polls the end EP or down but are they running neck and neck. I mean what's the real competition there well. It depends which pool you look at Michelle so just earlier this week then Nana's <hes> Nanos research poll had the M._v._p.. At nineteen percent and the Greens at eight whereas the Angus Reid had the M._v._p.. At Fourteen and the Greens at ten I mean basically what we're looking at our trend lines. The Greens means our polling far above weather normal goodyear seven eight percent there have been in the double digits which is kind of unheard of and the end EP has been I in some polls as low as single digits they they are close and they're fighting voters who are tend to be quite similar so it's fair to see that there's some cannibalizing going on here and what is happening with the M._v._p.. The same indicators that suggests that the Greens are doing well suggests that the doing badly I mean that's going to the bad media. New Democrats are really frustrated with journalists who are suggesting that losing seats six months out that has to worry you leave. It's hard not at all I mean there's things that we can learn from by-elections but the only election they count and this is the general election but you know like the end ep in the last quarter of two thousand fifteen when the ramp up through spending they pulled in close to two million dollars one point nine seven million I think it was the Greens pulled in one point five million and then we wrote about how like Oh this was like a breakthrough for the Greens because they'd never raises money whereas whereas like the N._d._p.'s in trouble we don't actually have clear sense of what their financial picture is because they have not given their annual report two thousand eighteen to elections candidate. They were granted an extension but what the party is told me is that they a are still generally spending more money than they're bringing in when the report will be released it will show that they are a little two point six million dollars in debt. They still owe that money from the two thousand fifteen campaign they've had to remortgage well mortgage actually the building basically unions gave them money before we change the election rules in two thousand four and they purchased this building downtown which they've had to put up as collateral to get alone for this next election campaign things are not going well. They're not <hes> engaging in fundraising at the same level as other political parties the end EP spin on that is that over different that being said you know when the only fundraiser you've had a typical ticketed fundraiser has been for twenty five dollars whereas Justin Trudeau and Andrew Sheer your are doing sixteen hundred dollar fundraisers in an election year. You probably do want to raise as much money as you possibly can and I know we went to before coming on. We went to their website to see when the next fundraising event was the M._v._p.. And it just simply says there are no fundraising events planned <hes> beyond what they say that they're not about this. They don't want to do it that way. There has to be more behind that as to why there's no effort for fundraising. What did you find out well? I mean the party does not want to say how any fundraising events of the leader has taken pardons. He became leader on October first two thousand seventeen. There isn't that much data that one can look at to see how much money they're actually pulling in but they're not raising that much money. They say that what happens some DP events is they will ask people for donations. When you have like a group meeting or whatnot like I was at spen- Robinson who's the former M._p.? Now candidate in burnaby north see more of his campaign launch and they did like can open call like who can give us a thousand dollars Mook and give us eight hundred dollars and while they were a few hands but you know when they got two hundred dollars quite a few hands right so fundraising is done in different ways but the overall health of. The Party and the real really the fact that they had to put the building up as collateral and that they're still paying off their two thousand fifteen campaign debt the there were rumors running around Ottawa that then ep wasn't even going to have a regular leaders campaign that there weren't GonNa Charter harder clean and the party was really quick to put those rumors duress no no he will have an official campaign but those things are really expensive and that's one of the reasons why they need to go to the bank and say hey we need some more money <hes> and then you have you know the fact that according to the caucus at least a quarter of the caucus not running again so there is a lack of incumbency advantage and you have a leader that frankly is really unpopular. You know it's really not <hes> things are not going well for the end ep well in fact Thomas Mulcair the previous sweeter of the M._v._p.. Set on T._V.. That he thinks progressive voters may abandon his party for the Greens. Mr Sing has now decided he's going to support a liquefied natural gas pipeline so people who believe that environmental issues should be top of mine are worried about what type of society in world. We're GONNA leave to our children grandchildren. They're kind of start paying attention to Elizabeth as Green Party. Thomas Mulcair. I think has an extra at the moment with the he's a little bit ep well. Yeah I mean no political leader ever in Canadian history was beheaded the way politically that he was with getting forty eight percent of support fifty two percent plus have said they WANNA leadership convention. Go tell you that there were times kind of felt like public hanging from the election. Obviously is something that we're now going to be able to leave behind us with a change at the helm and that's fine. I think a lot of people in the end EP are actually having buyer's remorse like they were really upset that the end ep ran campaign that was seen as being to the right of the liberals the last election and so I think Mr Mulcair well sometimes you make is really great points a does you know have a little bit of an agenda and I think we need to look at that from that angle that being said I think it is possible if voters droves who are unhappy with the end EP leader and just tired or don't see a reason to vote and EP in the writings they may go green. I think the Greens also have <hes> they're not just seen as an option for new Democrats but you know I met a bunch of conservative voters is who told me that they think they're gonNa vote green this time that they voted liberal in two thousand fifteen just because they want to get rid of Harper. They're more to the rights but hey why not give Elizabeth may chance <music> so as a strategy if the M._v._p.. Is recognizing that Jagmeet Singh is not there. Most popular leader is part of their strategy to go after the Green Party in a way that we are watching this rise of the Green Party and perhaps the M._v._p.. Is Looking at it as pulling votes away from them. <hes> I think it was Shawntel Baron Toronto Star she wrote that it was the rise of the Green Party that she sees as a mortal threat to the and DP. I think you can clearly see that the M._v._p.. Is struggling not to be in contention for government is it wasn't the last election but to hold on enough seats to retain official party status in the House of Commons and knocked led the Greens become the so-called green conscience of the house of comments. Do you think that's fair. Absolutely I think especially like I've been N._B._C.. For about two weeks now and you can sense it just speaking to the candidates how oh they fear that the threat to them comes from the green. There is a lot of overlap between the two political parties if you think the I._p._C._C. report is like a call for change that really need to take bold action when you look at both parties. These platforms are actually quite similar. They boats ingest federal government action that would try to get us to one point five degree Celsius warming rather than the trajectory that we're on at the moment with big bull change all experts have made it clear the future energy source for our planet cannot be fossil fuels that has to be renewable energy start with the essential step of making sure that all the electricity we use comes from renewable energy. You know the Greens platform is far more detailed than the M._v._p.. Platform but the N._D._P.'s message at the doors is while we need to do big bold action but we also can't forget workers which obviously resonates with a lot of new Democrat voters but there is definitely a sense of the two parties or kind of cannibalizing each other. I'd say the end EP has become far more progressive and attacking the Greens not just in what the candidates are saying but also in terms of their social media presence like you've had a couple of and EP M._p.'s take it go. I'd Elizabeth May for when she talked about Canada being energy independence as we move off fossil fuels we should only be using Canadian fossil fuels till twenty fifty. The Democrats are suggesting that Oh that means building a new pipeline to eastern candidate which obviously is very unpopular popular in Quebec and that the Green Party leader in Quebec came out and said Hey. I don't support this. I think it's very important for Greens. All across candidates take a clear position against the Alberta Tar Sands. It's an oil that <hes> that comes out of there that is much more rehouse. Host gas emission intensive than conventional oil has since changed what she's saying on that to say no. We don't need to use Alberta oil. We can use Newfoundland's oil firm Hibernia to make us energy dependent out east but there's it's definitely a sense of the two parties are more aggressive towards each other especially from the end ep be more aggressive with regards to the Greens and the N.. P. Not only has to like watch. It's like left flank to make sure that the Greens are not coming up certain writings but also across the country where it's possible voters decide that they're going to give something else to try but is there room for both of these parties you know you see in various op-eds and calmness have been talking about even having a merger between the two who or candidates run strategically but in practice. That's really not what we're seeing. It's they're digging in and going after each other. Where do you think that's GonNa go well? It could go to help elect conservative government which is what the conservative certainly are hoping for like. Why would why doesn't seem like a discussion? That's being had between nodes or not. I mean at the moment it's probably too early to have discussion on the left about merging these tea parties the partisans seasons in the M._v._p.. And the GREENSVILLE argue they are very very different. New Democrats will say that the Greens are not socially progressive enough that they're actually rather conservative. They'll point Elizabeth may working with Brian Mulroney in the eighties. What Mr Mulroney accomplished push for us was huge Elizabeth? <hes> is a Christian earlier comments on abortion or L._G._B._T.. That she's not l._G._B._T._Q.. Friendly enough out I when you have demonstrated that they are that that they are committed to women's rights now ubt rights so women must have access to legal say abortions whenever a woman needs one but those author basically the areas of of attack from the EP the Greens thing that the N._d._p.'s not going far enough and that they're the only party that really has a plan to eliminate fossil fuels completely that their targets are much bolder that they we have detailed plan that is feasible. I mean that they will work in part of the Green. Ethos is that they will work with other political parties like the new Democrats Elizabeth may talks about building a war cabinet address climate change bring and members of all political parties to it kind of focus attention on this one crisis that that she believes the country needs to be obsessed with to the point where are single mission is to make sure that in her words humanity survives and the Greens have a plan to get us there so can they merge the moment. No I mean even when you raise that with new Democrat candidates and green candidates that they think the public will elect them. Everybody thinks that they're going to win right that the public will elect them and then they we'll be able to influence the debate. Maybe it's not a majority government. Maybe he's not even a government but maybe it's the balance of power. Maybe they can change the way that what the Liberals Common Policies are. I mean at the end of the day there to parties who on this issue really resemble each other mm-hmm and this is an unfair question because I know it so difficult to predict but with three months to go. Do you see any big game changer any dramatic shocker. That's GONNA come and really change the terrain. Oh I have no idea three months before the two thousand fifteen election you know who had heard of like Alan Kirti who had heard of who sought that the kneecap cab decision was gonNA send the campaign kind of Anna Tailwind in in Quebec. We don't know what's going to happen. Maybe Jagmeet Singh is like a total rockstar and he knocks it out of the part and the debate and people take a second look. Maybe Elizabeth may lands of really vicious attack against the Prime Minister and people you know give new consideration devoting liberals and maybe maybe this is the year to give it to the Greens. Maybe enter sheer surprises. Everybody incomes that with a much stronger climate plan and has all these probably not but you know like you. You never know what's going to happen. We could be talking about a completely different issue in three months. Well thank you so much. We'll continue to watch your reporting leading up to election action. Thanks Michelle was the pleasure and the Liberal Party was also talking up its environmental credit this week. They announced Stephen She bo would be running for them. In Montreal Sheba worked for Greenpeace for ten years and was an anti pipeline activists which might seem unlike a weird fit given that the liberal government bought a pipeline. She both says he thinks he can do more to fight climate change by working inside the party for me. The decision to jump into the political arena is the logical conclusion.