On May

Earlier, a reader asked what I thought of May, so far.

Before I got on the train, I sat down with a Green Party strategist and had them outline their concerns with the party leader.

“For starters,” this person said, “I’m not sure what the Greens’ message is. If you could tell me, I’d be happy.” Then, they said, May is opposed to the idea of a set media roll-out, and is honest “to a fault.”

Politics is about strategic communication. You have to repeat the same thing over and over again. May isn’t likely to do that. She refuses to be scripted (and has a tendency to say whatever comes into her head.)

So far, however, she’s kept to a message, using train travel as metaphor for a cleaner, greener way of doing things. Though she has been sidetracked, talking about proportional representation at our last stop in Jasper today.

Now the whistle stop schedule—with VIA conductors breathing down her neck every time she gets out to stump—doesn’t exactly allow for lengthy policy discussions. Still, two days in, I don’t know what the Green message is.

Are they the Green Jobs party? Is this a showdown between the environment and the economy? Where necessary, should Greens vote Liberal? I haven’t got a clue.

On another note, May has the luxury of being able to say things that other politicians won’t. (She herself will admit—as she did this afternoon—that she’s not running to get the keys to 24 Sussex, which gives her a lot of breathing room.) So you don’t often get scripted, plastic answers typical of pols, which is both rare and refreshing.

“We’re a twenty-something year-old party that is still in infancy in some ways,” the Green strategist told me this weekend. There’s a certain charm to that.

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