Saturday, July 03, 2010

Should Elizabeth Go?

An article appeared in the Toronto Sun and it lit up the twittersphere. If you search all the tweets that have the hashmarks #gpc, you will see a lot of talk about the article. Is it true? Is it the Sun seeking to find something to print besides another article about how horrible those smelly hippies are and how brave the Toronto Police Department really is and how they saved the city.

The article states there's a fair bit of discussion both at the national level and in the grassroots that wants to see another leader. One twitter wrote:
The Green Party of Canada's happiest day will come when Elizabeth May is dumped and a party leader (not a self-centred twit) takes her place.

Apparently a lot of people didn't and still don't accept the results of the leadership vote that made Elizabeth May the leader of the party. I suppose that's natural, when you strongly support one person and they lose, there will always be a strong feeling of resentment, immediately following. Hopefully time heals and a person decides to work for the leader or at least keep quiet and wait.

I will be honest and state I did not support Elizabeth May as leader. For a time I was one of those people who were critical of Elizabeth. I will be honest there has been times that I have questioned her authority or even her competence to lead the party. There were times she seemed to be the right leader and at times the wrong leader.

To give the litany: during the last election she seemed be more supportive of Stephan Dion then even the Liberal Party. She announced the strategy of *not* running a Green candidtate in Dion's riding and he wasn't going to run a Liberal in Central Nova. By the way, the choice of Central Nova was a bit of a head scratcher, considering how well she did in London. Many wondered why not run in Green friendly British Columbia, which she is doing now.

She managed to get involved in the leadership debate during the last election but came across more a supporter of Stephan Dion and was a bit annoying with her attach against Stephen Harper. I think she should have spent more time discussing why people should vote Green rather then the same old three.

Then there was that bizarre rumour she was up for a Senate seat, if the Liberals won the next election. As well as there was the discussion to join the Liberal-NDP coalition. Yeah, that's an idea, join the coalition of losers.

A few people are not pleased with her recent letter. In particular she wrote:
Please review all the related leadership motions. Recent changes to Election legislation have put our Party's constitution into conflict with the Elections Act, and this must be rectified. Council has put forward a solution avoiding any immediate leadership race as Resolution c029. I abstained on that vote, but it is entirely up to you, our members, whether I remain as leader through the next election or not. We have an excellent chance of winning seats in the next election -- in fact, some recent polls have projected as many as four Green seats! The campaign in my riding of Saanich Gulf Islands is going extremely well. But the election strategy is only one factor. If members want me to step down, so be it. It will have been my honour to serve you since 2006.

Some people are confused, what changes is she referring to? It appears, from what I have read, the changes took place in 2004, and so the Party has had opportunity to make the necessary changes. Also do the changes effect the ability of a party to decide when and where to have a leadership review.

For the record the Green Party constitution has this:
All Federal Council members shall be elected to serve a two year term or until their successors are elected, except the Leader who shall serve a four year term or until a successor is elected.
The Leader shall be elected in 2006 and every four (4) years thereafter.

One of the resolutions coming up during the General Convention attempts to make more sense of this:

BE IT RESOLVED that Bylaw be amended to " All Federal Council members shall be elected to serve a two year term or until their successors are elected, except the Leader who shall serve a term pursuant to Bylaw "

BE IT RESOLVED that Bylaw be amended to " Within six months of a Federal General Election, unless the leader becomes prime minister, a Leadership Review, where all Members in good standing may vote, shall be held. The date of the Leadership Review vote will be set by Federal Council and may coincide with a General Meeting. The Leader's term shall end if Members in good standing do not pass a resolution endorsing the Leader by at least 60%. "

So let me answer the question, should Elizabeth go? Yes she should. She should step down because that is required of her by the constitution. She should step down and allow for a leadership race and vote. If she chooses to run again, she has that right. If she wins, then she wins. Also, the party should pass the resolution listed and this become the means by the way the party operates.

Considering all I have written, should she still be leader? That's up to the rank and file, but nonetheless, she should honour the constitution.

1 comment:

Mark Taylor said...

I also commented on my blog about the comment in the Sun article and the history. I don't think this is about not accepting the 2006 results, it's about not having a choice in 2010.