Citizen Action Monitor

In a Brexit-like second-chance move, 44% of Canada’s Green Party members call for a repeal of their pro-BDS vote

The chronology of events suggests this has less to do with BDS than with fear of the loss of Ms. May as party leader.

No 1766 Posted by fw, September 5, 2016


Breaking newsBrexit debated by British MPs after 4.1 million sign petition for 2nd referendum  reads headline in CBC news story published today at 2:55 ET. — In the days following the Brexit referendum result, millions of people signed the petition calling for a second vote on membership. Britain’s government has ruled out a second referendum and says it is preparing to trigger the formal divorce proceedings that would eventually take Britain out of the club it joined in 1973.


Shifting gears, for those who have been following the pro-BDS/anti-BDS Green Party drama on this side of the pond, in a survey of party members, 44% called for a repeal of the pro-BDS resolution passed at the August 7 convention in Ottawa. 28% said the resolution is acceptable as is. And 28% said the resolution should be made more neutral so that it does not apply solely to Israel, which, in my opinion, would be nonsensical.

Fear of pro-BDS vote or fear of loss of May’s leadership?

Were those Green Party members who called for a repeal of the BDS vote more fearful of losing Ms. May as party leader than they were of the Green Party supporting the BDS resolution?

The following chronology of recent events could reasonably support the former interpretation — members’ fear of losing Elizabeth May’s leadership.

August 7GPC News Release — OTTAWA – “The (Green party’s) resolution process is very different from other parties. Members come up with resolutions independently. Neither the leader nor anyone in the executive of the party can reject resolutions that comply with submission guidelines, nor does the party know ahead of time what resolutions will come forward. This grassroots process is a testament to the democratic values of the party.” (Source: Canadian Press)

August 7 – GPC adopts pro-BDS resolution

August 8Canadian Greens back BDS but leader Elizabeth May, the party’s only sitting member in Commons, opposed this weekend’s BDS resolution.I would rather not, as leader, be leading a party that has endorsed BDS,” she stated during discussion of the resolution in committee. “This is a perfectly legitimate movement,” May said. “There is nothing illegal about it, and within the Charter of Rights of Freedoms. So, I am uncomfortable with the demonization of this movement. But there is for me, no question that there’s a better way to put pressure on Israel, bearing in mind the history of Israel; the fact that it’s, I think, a tactic that won’t work.

August 8 – CBC — Jewish groups condemn Green Party for supporting Israeli boycott policy

August 10 – Globe and Mail — Elizabeth May taking time off to consider resigning as Green Party leader

August 11 – Green Party members asked to complete a survey with “your thoughts on the BDS”, offering three options: Accept resolution as is; Repeal it; Neutralize it

August 12 – CBC — Elizabeth May could quit as Green Party leader this month

August 22 – Elizabeth May says she will remain as leader in email to party members

September 2 – Green Party of Canada members receive results of August 11 BDS survey, as follows:

Question 1: What do you think about this decision? Which answer best applies to you?
I think this resolution is acceptable as-is. 27.9%
I think this resolution should be repealed. 44.0%
I think this resolution should be made more general or applied more broadly (e.g. not tied to one actor or movement). 28.1%

In an attempt to sort all this out, the Green Party will hold a Special General Meeting in Calgary this December 3-4. At this meeting, the members will:

  • Re-open policy resolutions passed at the August 2016 Convention which did not achieve consensus
  • Review and adopt improved processes for policy making

Should be interesting. Stay tuned.


This entry was posted on September 5, 2016 by in moral & ethical counterpower, political action and tagged , , .
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