Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Follow Your Rules, Lizzie May

Green Party leader cements status as sanctimonious hypocrite

If one were to judge Green Party leader Elizabeth May by her statements regarding Prime Minister Stephen Harper, one would think that rules are really, really important to May.

After all, she frequently accuses Harper of breaking the rules, including in her book.

All the rule-breaking, she contends, is just awful.

Unless it's May herself breaking the rules.

The leadership review mandated by the Green Party's constitution won't take place, although a resolution by Sylvie Lemieux that would require a leadership contest proceed as planned received enough support to be discussed at the upcoming Green Party convention.

While the elimination of any prospect of the Ottawa Group of Four extending their iron grip over the party will likely be good for the Greens, the violation of the party constitution by way of a dubious online/mail-in vote unequivocally is not.

For one thing, as Tasha Kheiriddin points out, May's rationale for wanting to avoid a leadership contest is rather weak.

"News to the Greens: in a minority government situation, there is always the risk of an election," Kheiriddin writes. "One could argue that an early spring election, when the government puts forward its budget for a confidence vote, is more likely than one this fall. So watch for the continued presence of Ms May on a television screen near you into 2011."

"If the Greens want to be taken seriously, they have to start by respecting their own rules," Kheiriddin later continues. "That means holding a leadership contest when they say they will, and attracting a strong roster of quality candidates to the race."

In other words, not only does the Green Party need to hold a leadership contest, but it needs to attract stronger candidates than Elizabeth May or Sylvie Lemieux. Perhaps attracting David Chernushenko to take another run at the leadership would help. Perhaps even a lunatic like Kevin Potvin to liven things up.

But it's clear that May thinks she's been written carte blanche to simply disregard the party rules.

"[The convention] will be a good occasion to get together and recharge our batteries," May muses. "Then I will be back to British Columbia, where I have the certainty of knowing I don't have a leadership race to deal with so I can concentrate on winning my riding."

In other words, May is treating the defeat of Lemieux's resolution -- which must pass through the workshop phase in order to reach an odd green light/yellow light/red light voting process whereby 60% of delegates would have to support the resolution for it to pass.

That 51% of voters in the aforementioned dubious online/mail-in ballot would support this resolution suggests that it may have legs at the convention.

That would be a long way to go for Sylvie Lemieux -- who herself holds some alarming policy plans for the Green Party -- just to get Elizabeth May to respect her own party's constitution.

Canadian politics' queen of sanctimony needs to start playing by the rules, not just by her own rules.

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