There will be a by-election in the BC riding of Victoria in the coming months. We are running a great candidate, Donald Galloway (go like his facebook page), who was the founding president of the Canadian Association for Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and one of the founding members of the Canadian Association of Refugee Lawyers (CARL). Donald lead human rights organizations in their opposition to Harper government's Bill C-31 and he has testified as an expert before House of Commons and Senate committees.
That is some major human rights cred. Plus, being a Green, he's an environmentalist running for a party that honestly values the environment.
Local candidates matter, but parties matter too. While the Green party believes that our MP(s) should represent their constituents first, the other parties make their MPs tow the party line. If a party doesn't have strong environmental values, and a strong history of voting for the environment then the record and intentions of a well meaning back bench MP won't make much of a difference.
I'm sure Murray Rankin is a nice guy who's well intentioned and certainly has lots of environmental cred, but if elected he'd just be another MP forced into lock step with the NDP leader.
Let's not forget that in late 2005 it was the NDP that worked with the Bloc and the Conservatives to bring down the Liberal government during the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Montreal and it was the NDP who ran a negative campaign in 2006 attacking the Liberals relentlessly. The bottomline is that the NDP put party over country and abandoned their values to pick up a couple extra seats and in doing so they helped elect Stephen Harper. More recently the NDP shouted down Elizabeth May as she tried to ask a question about climate change. They have shown time and again that when faced with a decision between what is environmentally prudent and what is temporarily popular, they will always side with popularity.