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Greens see political connections behind strategic voting site

The Vote for Environment website is attracting enough attention that Green Party members, largely left out of the site's choices, are hitting back hard.

An e-mail circulating among Greens accuses organizers Kevin Grandia and Alice Klein of being shills for the Liberal and NDP parties respectively.

“Five minutes of exhaustive research showed that Kevin Grandia was a paid Liberal staffer for many years,” said the message. Citing a blog, which in turn cites Sean Holman's Public Eye site, it noted he worked for Liberal incumbent Raymond Chan as well as the B.C. Liberal Party.

Grandia did not return the Tyee's call.

As for Klein, she is the editor and CEO of Toronto alternative weekly Now Magazine. The paper, according to the message going to Greens, “backs the NDP.”

Klein could not be reached either.

Vote for Environment makes assumptions that favour the Liberals and NDP, the message said. The choices are based on inaccurate polling, it said. “Unfortunately without accurate polling this site is not doing anyone any service,” it said. “In fact it is making things worse.”

It concluded, “The web site is founded by a former Liberal staffer and funded by a NDP newspaper editor – is it any wonder the site only recommends voting Liberal or NDP?”

The site does pick Green leader Elizabeth May as the best person to beat Conservative Peter McKay in Central Nova.

Green Party communications director John Bennett said the Vote for Environment people are welcome to their opinions, but the site is flawed. “I can say we don't agree with their calculations in a lot of instances,” he said. “We don't advise people to go there.”

Saanich-Gulf Islands Green candidate, Andrew Lewis, said, “What I'm hearing is people vote the way they want to. Nobody can tell them how to vote. I think there's a lot of backlash against this thing, which I think is healthy.”

In unrelated news, you'll find The Tyee's take on strategic voting here.

Andrew MacLeod is The Tyee's Legislative Bureau Chief in Victoria. You can reach him here.

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