December 2, 2008 / 5:47 PM / 9 years ago

Canada's Greens see role in proposed coalition

OTTAWA (Reuters) - Canada’s tiny Green Party may have a role to play in a proposed coalition government aimed at replacing the minority Conservatives, leader Elizabeth May said on Tuesday.

<p>Green Party leader Elizabeth May waits for the start of a media interview at a park on the East River in New Glasgow, Nova Scotia, October 15, 2008. REUTERS/Paul Darrow</p>

The opposition Liberals and New Democrats agreed on Monday to form a coalition, while the separatist Bloc Quebecois pledged to support them for at least 18 months. The three parties want to unseat Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s Conservatives at the at the first opportunity, accusing the government of mismanaging the economic crisis.

The Green Party, which has no elected members in Parliament, fully supports the alliance. May said she has been in discussions with Liberal leader Stephane Dion over what role the party might play in the coalition.

“The Greens have been seeking a way to be in the House of Commons and in Parliament. The Senate is an important part of Parliament,” she told reporters at a news conference.

When asked if she would accept an appointment to the unelected Senate, she said: “That’s a hypothetical possibility. There are many hypothetical possibilities, including that I wouldn’t be in the Senate.”

“But we’ve had discussions, including many aspects of how the Greens could play a role, including the Senate, hypothetically.”

She said the party’s role might simply be to provide advice to the coalition.

A spokesman for the Liberal Party said Dion was not offering cabinet spots or Senate positions to anyone. “That’s premature speculation,” he said.

May was defeated in the October 14 general election, running against high-profile Defense Minister Peter MacKay. But she won a major victory during the campaign when she successfully fought for a spot in the televised leadership debates.

She called on those same supporters who lobbied for her to be in the debates -- a first for the Greens -- to mobilize in support of the coalition.

“It’s clear that we have an opportunity to do something creative for democracy in this country,” May said.

Reporting by Louise Egan; editing by Rob Wilson

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