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Joyce Murray, I Salute You

02/11/2013 05:42 EST | Updated 04/13/2013 05:12 EDT
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Greens favour a cooperative strategy in the next federal election. We need to move away from First Past the Post (FPTP), to a voting system that will ensure every vote counts and that the popular vote will be reflected in the proportion of seats held by each party in the House of Commons. And while we are discussing the impact of FPTP, it is clear we need some form of cooperation between the New Democrats, Liberals and Greens to avoid another term of Stephen Harper's agenda.

Even as strong a New Democrat as Murray Dobbin is now pointing out that the NDP fixation on destroying the Liberal Party is responsible for the seven year (and counting) reign of Stephen Harper.

It is clear that, at least for the moment, efforts at cooperation are being thwarted by the NDP and by most of the Liberal leadership candidates. It needs to be mentioned in this context that B.C. MP Joyce Murray stands out as the exception to all the rules. As a contender for Liberal leader, she is advocating many of the same things that I have been doing as leader of the Greens. She is calling for cooperation and for the end of the FPTP voting system.

Nathan Cullen called for cooperation in his bid to lead the New Democrats. Many Greens temporarily left the GPC and joined the NDP in order to support his candidacy. Some Greens have asked for advice, and all I can say is that we need our supporters to remain active in the Green Party.

As leader of the Green Party of Canada, I am not going to endorse candidates for leadership in other parties. As an MP, I know and work well with Joyce, as well as with fellow MPs Justin Trudeau and Marc Garneau, and I regard all three of them with respect and affection.

Nevertheless, it is pretty obvious that Joyce Murray doing well in the leadership race should advance the shared goals and objectives held by Greens, by NDPers who supported Nathan and by many across a political, progressive spectrum.

In that spirit, I want to publicly salute Joyce Murray for charting a difficult course, displaying political courage and integrity. Let's hope the goals of cooperation and electoral reform gain ground through her efforts.

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