gives six reasons why Liz May would be foolish not to run in the by-election for Bill Casey's Nova Scotia seat:
1. Bill Casey's 60% of support running as an independent means there's a large chunk of voters open to attract;
2. Casey might even campaign for May as the Greens didn't run a candidate against him in 2008 and he might like the idea of putting the antagonistic May directly in the path of Prime Minister Harper;
3. The riding of Cumberland Colchester Musquodoboit Valley - try saying that five times fast - is exactly the type of riding that the Greens should be targeting in their quest to elect someone (rural, close knit, open to non-traditional political choices);
4. May's shown commitment to running in Nova Scotia with her foolish decision to run against Peter Mackay in Central Nova, so running in the neighbouring riding shouldn't be seen as carpet bagging;
5. A by-election is probably the best chance for a new party to win a seat (see: Reform, Deb Gray/Bloc Quebecois, Gilles Duceppe) as the government isn't being decided and "goofy" results are more likely to occur; and finally,
6. The Greens consistent polling (even the low end of 3-4%) shows that the country is likely ready to elect a Green MP. It is just that there hasn't been the right convergence of events/situations to do so. Some people in the riding will see electing "The First Green" as a noble action.
I agree on most points strongly and the others at least tentatively (Bill Casey's motivations notwithstanding), and say this: Elizabeth May must run in this riding if she wants to show herself serious about the 2010 election. Running - and winning - the race should be a referendum on her leadership in the party. The Greens do not often get opportunities this positive for their fortunes and if they wish to because a permanent player in the Canadian political debate, they have got to show themselves capable of significant gain from time to time.
Getting into the debate was nothing compared to getting into the House. If May fails to see that (or shows herself unable to translate profile and personality into victory), then it will be time for the Greens to recognize her limitations as leader and move on.