While the West Shore has no Green Party of Canada members of parliament, the recent decision by federal Green leader Elizabeth May to stay on in her party’s top job is a good sign for all Canadians.
Yes, the Greens have just one MP, May, sitting in the House of Commons and on the surface it appears they have virtually no clout when it comes to swaying the Liberal majority government on legislation.
But May’s track record working as a member of parliamentary committees – she currently sits on the Special Committee on Electoral Reform as well as a related subcommittee – is solid and she may help the country move closer to the proportional representation system so needed. As Saanich-Gulf Islands MP, May has been visible around Greater Victoria, including the West Shore, and she has done a creditable job engaging residents in the political process.
Her previous decision to step down over her party’s support of an international campaign for a boycott of sanctions against Israel received mixed reviews. But we’re glad she looked at the bigger picture and chose to continue using her platform as Green leader to influence other parliamentarians on such important issues as electoral reform and climate change initiatives.
Being in a parliamentary minority, or in the case of the Greens, barely fourth-party status, has to be tough for MPs when it comes to being proactive and trying to see meaningful legislation brought forward.
The record of private member’s bills being passed is rather dismal in Ottawa. But opposition and other MPs like May play critical roles in the committees that help craft policies that often turn into government sponsored legislation.
May has proven to be a political force to be reckoned with during her time in public service. She has worked too hard for too long to have her talents wasted, just when some of those ideas seem to be gaining momentum.