The House

Midweek podcast: A breakthrough for the Greens

On this week's midweek podcast, Green Party Leader Elizabeth May joins us to talk about the win in Nanaimo-Ladysmith and what the future holds for the party in October.
Green Party's Paul Manly celebrates with his family from (left to right), his mother Eva and father Jim, wife Samantha and daughter Aven after results come in for the Nanaimo-Ladysmith byelection at the Cavallotti Lodge in Nanaimo, B.C., on Monday, May 6, 2019. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito (Chad Hipolito/Canadian Press)
Listen to the full episode27:44

Elizabeth May says her party is gaining traction because they're offering something different, not because they're stealing voters who are unhappy with the other parties.

"We also get a lot of votes from people who otherwise wouldn't vote at all," she told host Chris Hall on The House. 

"I'm kind of uncomfortable the idea that we take votes from one party or another. We represent something different that attracts voters to us from across the political spectrum."

The Greens won their second federal seat this week after Paul Manly came out on top in the byelection in the B.C. riding of Nanaimo-Ladymith. 

In 2015, the party took 20 per cent of the vote and was defeated by the NDP, who won with about 33 per cent. 

The Greens have long attributed a lack of federal success to their support waffling in the face of strategic voting or vote splitting, but May says those days are over. 

"You know what we're looking at I think really is there's less reason for Fear Factor voting as long as we are actually voting for what we want."

Recent wins provincially in Ontario, New Brunswick and P.E.I. have put the wind back in May's sails. 

"We're no longer geographically limited. We're also no longer limited by people saying 'oh well, Greens will never get elected.' Clearly Greens can get elected across Canada."

May also says the presence of more viable options — other than the three main parties — is pointing to a potential minority government result in Ottawa, and she's ready for that. 

"We're prepared to work really hard and work across party lines to make a minority Parliament work."