Green party leader obscures the truth in toxicity complaints
While Elizabeth May's unelectability has certainly rendered her inactive as a politician, she's certainly been very busy as an author.
Hot on the heels of Global Warming for Dummies, May has a new book about to debut, entitled Losing Confidence: Power Politics and the Crisis in Canadian Democracy.
The book argues that Canada needs significant electoral reform in order to restore Canadian faith in electoral politics.
"The health of Canadian democracy just isn't very strong," May complains. "We're seeing decreased voter turnout, incivility in political discourse, a Parliament that can't function because it's seized with toxic levels of partisanship."
Moreover, she blames that toxicity entirely on Prime Minister Stephen Harper and the governing Conservative party.
"In the normal course of democracy, the level of animosity dropped when you were out of an election period. But the Harper government is about taking partisanship to a level where you never stop campaigning, where every issue is an excuse to score points."
Yet it's May herself who has indulged herself in some of the most virulent anti-Conservative partisanship. It was Elizabeth May who has spent the bulk of her time preaching to any Canadian willing to listen to her about the atrocity that is the Harper government, and insisting that the Conservatives had to be defeated as soon as possible.
Her rationale was the government's alleged lack of action on climate change, more specifically the Kyoto protocol. Yet she stumped relentlessly for a party -- the Liberals -- who, while in government, did even less to address climate change.
This toxic level of partisanship preceded the election of the Harper government by years. During the days of the Reform and Canadian Alliance parties, left-wing activists demonized Preston Manning and Stockwell Day relentlessly. When the Canadian Alliance merged with the Progressive Conservative party to create the modern Conservative party these individuals demonized Stephen Harper with furious vigour.
The Liberal party gleefully echoed these sentiments. While people like May want to continue to pout over the Conservative party running negative ads about Stephane Dion highlighting his failure to act on the issue that May insists is the basis of the Tories' unsuitability to govern, Canadians also remember the viciousness of the attack ads the Liberal party has run against Stephen Harper.
Elizabeth May can say whatever she wants about Stephen Harper and the alleged incivility of his discourse. His party has never implied that a political opponent was planning a military coup. The Liberal party that she so prefers did.
May's participation in these campaigns of demonization renders her complaints purely hypocritical.
But at the end of the day there's clearly little reason to be alarmed. The Canadian people don't take Elizabeth May seriously enough to elect her, so it's unlikely they'll take her seriously enough to buy her hypocritical arguments at face value.
Canadians have demonstrated that they have no confidence in Elizabeth May.