No 1778 Posted by fw, September 15, 2016
“‘May has lost a lot of support within her own party over what’s taken place so far,’ Tyrrell said. ‘I think by throwing out members of the shadow cabinet for elaborating a simple criticism of Andrew Weaver’s position on the matter is a completely exaggerated thing to do.’ He said the party was united on the BDS stance and it didn’t begin to become an issue until after it was passed…. According to Tyrrell the party is far more left-wing than its current leadership and needs to shift away from the centre and modernize to reflect it, starting with a hard look at the results of last election where the Greens saw their share of the popular vote diminish.” —Jeremy Nuttall, TheTyee.ca
Elizabeth May is pinning her hopes on the use of a “consensus building” process to resolve fractures in party solidarity over its pro-BDS vote. The BDS matter will be on the agenda at a Special Meeting of the Green Party of Canada to be held in Alberta this December.
Below is a very much reorganized, abridged repost of Jeremy Nuttall’s original piece. Subheadings have been added. To read his version on The Tyee, click on the following linked title. By the way, readers’ comments on The Tyee version make for interesting browsing.
But federal party leader stands by decision to purge shadow cabinet over Weaver criticisms.
Jeremy J. Nuttall is The Tyee’s reader-funder Parliament Hill reporter in Ottawa.
May rejects Andrew Weaver’s claim that “extremist fringe elements” are trying to take over the national party
Green Party of Canada leader Elizabeth May doesn’t agree with the leader of the BC Greens, Andrew Weaver, who said “extremist fringe elements” are trying to take over the national party. “He’s entitled to his opinion. I don’t think that’s the case,” May said. “Certainly he was entitled to be angry finding that a whole bunch of federal Greens had signed something that decided to criticize him.” Still, she stands by her decision to oust from her shadow cabinet those who criticized Weaver. May said the members were kicked out of the shadow cabinet for criticizing another Green Party leader as party representatives. “It is a violation of the trust of serving on my shadow cabinet,” she said. “You can’t sit on shadow cabinet unless you’re prepared to apologize for what was a gigantic error of judgment in offering any criticism of the leader of the Green Party of B.C. while using a federal title to do so.”
May out of step with membership: Quebec leader
Quebec Green Party Leader Alex Tyrrell also signed the letter and said May’s actions in support of Weaver have damaged the party and said she’s contradicting years of her own claims the party is the most democratic. Tyrrell, who said he has a “negative” opinion of Weaver, questioned May’s siding with someone who admittedly isn’t a federal Green party member over the actions of party members speaking in support of a motion passed by members. “May has lost a lot of support within her own party over what’s taken place so far,” Tyrrell said. “I think by throwing out members of the shadow cabinet for elaborating a simple criticism of Andrew Weaver’s position on the matter is a completely exaggerated thing to do.” He said the party was united on the BDS stance and it didn’t begin to become an issue until after it was passed and said Weaver was “asking for” the criticism. According to Tyrrell the party is far more left-wing than its current leadership and needs to shift away from the centre and modernize to reflect it, starting with a hard look at the results of last election where the Greens saw their share of the popular vote diminish.
“The Green Party in Canada needs to remain relevant,” he said. “The fact Elizabeth May refuses to accept any kind of responsibility for the decrease in the popular vote is problematic.” He blames May for being “detrimental” to the organization and said the leader has lost her ambition, resigned to concentrating on ridings the party can win. He said he believes May can fix the problems he identifies, but questions if she wants to.
Green member Eva Manly, shocked by developments; wants May to reverse firing decision
Eva Manly, another Green member who signed the letter and a delegate for the Women’s Boat To Gaza, said she was taken by surprise by the dismissals Tuesday. Manly said she is “shocked” by what has transpired over the last few days and wants May to reverse her decision to expel the trio. “I always believed Elizabeth May would not censor people in the party,” she said. Manly said the opinion piece in The Tyee was merely supporting what became party policy during the vote.
May insists Greens are as united as ever and that she has support from “the vast majority” of party members
May insists the Greens are as united as ever despite a public airing of grievances and subsequent removal of Lisa Barrett, Colin Griffiths and Dimitri Lascaris from the party’s shadow cabinet this week. The three, and 21 other party members who signed the piece, criticized provincial Green leader Andrew Weaver in an opinion piece in The Tyee for his stance on the party’s adoption of the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement. Meanwhile May said she has support from “the vast majority” of the party members on both the issue of her leadership and the decision to revisit the BDS vote results. She said she hasn’t been stressed by the controversy.
May attributes BDS adoption to the failure to “vote in its usual way” – pins hopes on “consensus building”
May said the BDS vote only passed because the party didn’t vote in its usual way, instead passing the motion on the floor at the Ottawa convention in August by simple majority. The result will be discussed in Calgary at a special meeting in December in a process meant to build consensus. She said the situation underlines “how we make decisions, not the decisions we make.”
“The reasons we have any signs of people being unhappy is because there were winners and there were losers,” she said. She said the Green Party will restore its usual process for consensus building and that “reasonable people will be able to agree” on “thoughtful and coherent” policies.
That’s the kind of week it’s been for the Greens.
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