The Opportunity

(Lifted from www.roninnova.ca)

The Federal election of 2006 delivered the following results for the riding of Central Nova:

Peter G. MacKay CON 17134 40.66%

Alexis MacDonald NDP 13861 32.89%

Dan Walsh LIB 10349 24.56%

David Orton GRN 671 1.59%

Allan H. Bezanson ML 124 0.29%

The first thing to note is the poor performance of David Orton, the Green Party of Canada candidate, at 1.59% of the vote. Yet, based on this level of GPC support, Elizabeth May is predicting a Green victory as the result of the May-Dion pact. Should Peter MacKay’s vote hold at 40.66 +/- and, should the gagged Liberal vote swing to Green, Ms. May would still have to take about 15% plus from Louise Lorefice, the NDP candidate. Should the combination of the latter two voting patterns hold is a long-shot, to say the least (see below, appeasement of the Federal NDP).

The 7% Solution

Now, let us throw an independent candidate into the electoral mix. Within this new electoral context, I would like to put forward the following premises about the Liberal voting block:

Judging from the outcry in the community over the May-Dion pact, a high percentage of Liberal voters may just stay home, that being their “protest vote.” This assertion is made without the benefit of a telephone pollster disturbing peoples’ evenings meals. It is a political sentiment that is percolating at the street level and that the voters of Central Nova are all aware of.

Just how exactly the Liberal vote vis-á-vis the other parties will break down is, of course, an unknown.

Contrary to Ms. May’s forecasts, I would venture the guess that she takes no more than 15% of the Liberal vote, while the Conservative and NDP votes hold pat, bringing the GPC vote in at 5% of the total vote, give or take. That leaves roughly 20% of the total vote unaccounted for, i.e. the Liberal vote. I would like to propose that of the Liberal vote left in political limbo, one-third of it (7% of the riding’s total vote) would support an independent candidacy that is targeting the May-Dion pact as political and electoral theft, leaving the balance of the Liberal vote to stay home, or vote Conservative or NDP.

Should an unknown independent running as an eco-libertarian garner more votes than Ms. May, then the writing would very likely be on the wall. I would imagine that only political junkies are tuning into this site, so you do the math. The very intent of the May-Dion pact, i.e. the gagging of the Liberal Central Nova constituency, could back-fire and be inverted by the electoral voice of a small portion of that very constituency to determine some serious political consequences. Karma is always just, if at times hard. Such is the responsibility and power that 30% of the Liberal constituency now tentatively holds in its hands by virtue of this independent candidacy. The “7% solution” is a political option that can only be put into play by an independent candidate. My independent candidacy is merely a medium for the constituency’s sentiments…and the eventual electoral choice of that constituency. As I perceive it, 3,000 voters out of roughly 42,000 hold in their hands significant political leverage and sway. If this electoral potential is contrasted against a position of being totally disenfranchised (courtesy of May-Dion), then we have the makings of something very serious here. As the saying goes, the glass is either half empty or half full. My job is to bring into focus a perception for the electorate’s benefit that leans towards “half full.” The situation before one’s eyes remains the same. However, an altered perception of the situation exposes entirely different possibilities.

The NDP candidate, Louise Lorefice, is on record as saying that the May-Dion pact is “a gift” for the NDP. When one looks at the electoral numbers, this could very well be the case. Actually, an NDP victory in Central Nova could be the intent behind the May-Dion pact, a gesture of appeasement to Jack Layton and the Federal NDP to pave the way for an attempt to unite the left. When reports first surfaced that the Greens and Liberals were hunkered down behind closed doors, the reported item on the table was how to unseat Peter MacKay, not necessarily how to elect Ms. May.

As for Peter MacKay and the Conservatives, well, in all likelihood Mr. MacKay holds the seat of Central Nova, if the Liberal vote does not swarm over to the NDP.

An independent candidacy in Central Nova offers the voters a principled and realistic electoral option. There is a term for this. It is called grass-roots democracy. This is the political opportunity as I see it. This is what the Liberal constituency can do to salvage its integrity and send a clear signal to both the national Greens and Liberals that, in spite of a gun held to its head, democracy is alive and well in Central Nova.

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