Why Elizabeth May should run for the federal Liberal leadership

Andy Radia
Politics Reporter
Canada Politics

The Toronto Star's Susan Delacourt published a list of potential  Liberal leadership candidates on Saturday, and one of the names on her list — in the Wild Cards/Mischief/Conversation Starters category — was Green party leader Elizabeth May.

At first glance, you'd think Delacourt is just rabble-rousing to sell newspapers.

But maybe the idea isn't all that crazy.

"May, 56, has been open to Liberal-Green co-operation for several years now," wrote Delacourt.

"When Stéphane Dion was Liberal leader, he and May negotiated a co-operation deal, which saw Liberals standing down in her riding to help her (in vain, it turned out) win a seat in the 2008 election. More recently, May was working with the Liberals this month to try to amend [Bill C-38] the Conservatives' omnibus budget bill."

"And [now MP] Dion is slated to be the keynote speaker at the Green party convention this summer in B.C. Conspiracy theorists love this stuff — a Liberal-Green merger in the works, with May leaping in as a surprise leadership candidate."

As for the Liberals, they could do a lot worse than May.

The Green Party leader has proven herself to be one of the most effective MPs in the House and has earned kudos for the amount of 'noise' she  made in the battle over Bill C-38.

"The consensus among analysts is that May's exploitation of parliamentary procedure rules, and her famously media-savvy communications skills, have shown what a single MP can accomplish in a Parliament increasingly known for its predictability and deep devotion to scripted media lines," Peter O'Neil of Postmedia News recently wrote.

May has punched above her weight as an independent MP; imagine what she could do with 34 MPs.

To be clear, there's no evidence, at this point,  that May is considering or would ever consider a run at the federal Liberal leadership.

But it's an intriguing thought, isn't it?