02 March 2009

Second Place is the First Loser

Happy March everybody!

News today (actually I first heard about it last night) that the Liberals will break from Stephane Dion's poor decision to not field a candidate in Central Nova. You'll recall that Dion wanted to help out the leader of the Green Party--which has fielded candidates who find common cause with Al Qaeda--by not running a candidate in the riding held by Peter Mackay. Elizabeth May promptly lost that election, and the Dion-led Liberals looked so much the worse for supporting her. Now, with a leader who understands that the Liberal Party is a national party that must run everywhere nationally, the Liberals have turned that corner.

But May will persist. She reckons that if she can come in second in a three horse race, somehow she'll do better in a four-horse race. Never mind that a large portion of the Liberal vote in Central Nova went to her as she was the de facto candidate for them, a luxury she won't enjoy this time, right? She also figures that not winning an election race is a "high-water mark for Green parties anywhere in the world." I beg to differ. Joschka Fischer was Foreign Minister of Germany for seven years, the leader of the Germany's Green Party and vice-chancellor in the Bundestag. I would put forward the argument that Fischer's political career vastly outshines that of May, her delusions of grandeur notwithstanding.

Her moment in the sun has come and gone. If she decides to go ahead and run in Central Nova again next time out, she'll be longing for the days when she could, in true Canadian fashion, at least claim that she was a strong second place and that's pretty gosh-darn good and is its own reward.

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