Tuesday, September 08, 2009

Amateur Hour

By all accounts Elizabeth May probably won't unseat Gary Lunn in the next election. The odds of failure, however, are much more likely because of this asinine scorched earth opposition from fellow Green and generally self righteous nimrod Stuart Hertzog:
May first has to win a nomination contest at a meeting set for Sept. 19.

Stuart Hertzog, an environmental and social justice activist and website publisher from Victoria, B.C., will contest the nomination and has also filed a complaint with Elections Canada accusing the Greens of pouring central money into the local riding association to support the May campaign and take away his fair chance at a fight.

"I don't believe I can compete on a level playing field," Hertzog said in an interview last week.

He originally decided to put his name forward in the Vancouver Island constituency to protest against what he described as an anti-democratic shift in the party from the grassroots to the leader and executive, but May said her willingness to fight him proves him wrong.

Now, in a complaint Hertzog said he filed Thursday, he alleges the party's federal council illegally transferred $62,000 from a special fund it set up to get May elected — after it decided this spring that winning a seat for the leader would be the priority in the next campaign — to the electoral district association, and that it is being used to finance the nomination campaign.

Elections Canada refused comment on the matter.

May said the fact the party hasn't simply appointed her as the riding candidate proves Hertzog is wrong about any anti-democratic shift.

"You obviously can't imagine any other party in Canada where the leader would be even contemplating running in a riding where someone would say — just to make a point — the nomination would be contested," May said last week.

"He's making a very strong case that we are in fact a grassroots party that is not top-down."

The party has disputed the amount of money and its purpose.

May's local campaign manager John Fryer said the money from the fund to get May elected is being held in Ottawa and has not been touched. He said the party lent the riding association $50,000 as seed money to mount its campaign after May wins the nomination.

I don't know the initimate details, but for arguments sake lets say that Hertzog doesn't have a hope in hell of winning the nomination. What good then, to have this crusader blooding May's image in the riding, framing her as an elitist outsider? Hertzog will revel in his principles, sacrificing the big picture for personal gratification. Meanwhile May undermined, slumps into a general election and the Greens fail. See, it is failure to have no MP's, absolutely no influence in our political culture. It's fine and dandy to have all the ideals, but if they have no practical application, it's utterly useless.

Hertzog is an environmentalist, among other things, as is May. Anyone in the Green party with the slightest clue gets behind this idea and fights hard to get May elected, they don't get bogged down in the details of their puritan wants. I see the crusade as selfish, because it fights for the personal vision, and in the process sacrifices something else. Worst yet, this display will just demonstrate to voters that the Green Party isn't ready for primetime, amateur hour reigns.

5 comments:

Scott Tribe said...

Stuart also happens to be a member of Progressive Bloggers with this blog, so he isn't all bad ;)

rww said...

"May's local campaign manager John Fryer said the money from the fund to get May elected is being held in Ottawa and has not been touched. He said the party lent the riding association $50,000 as seed money to mount its campaign after May wins the nomination."

After, not if, eh. I guess Fryer knows something everyone else doesn't.

Anonymous said...

If they had any interest in the realities of Canadian politics, or actually getting their policies implemented, they wouldn't be Greens in the first place. They would have joined a party with seats in The House (as I did) attended a policy conference, doing the hard work of actually formulating policy that might one day come before The House.

Greens are living in a fantasyland where they think winning one seat will suddenly make them relevant. It won't, and with the way they behave, they won't even get that.

-Former Green

Anonymous said...

I'm sorry but the addition of May to the ballot and presumably no last minute implosion by the NDP candidate this time means yet another term for Lunn, no matter what.

Anonymous said...

How soon we forget. This will be May's third crack at a seat in three years and, in three different provinces (Ont., NS, now BC). Now that's an all time three for three for three record for Canadian party leaders that will never be beaten!

This time however, May has some very real political baggage, namely: 1. Her parachute tactics have rightly upset many greens, locally and nationally 2. She broke her often and loudly repeated pledge to run in Central Nova again. Is this promise breaking the "doing politics differently" that she always claims? 3. Her constant disruption of the party's campaign in 08 by her ill-considered musings on strategic voting (that's why she can't run in the top rated riding of Guelph, where the EDA is still furious with her). The irony is that her running in SGI is the blowback on her strategic voting obsession. She will now assure the re-election of the conservative incumbent. 4. Her shallow justification for going to BC in the first place. The party did not order her to do this, she ordered the party. Her own numbers guy, Greg Morrow, rated SGI as her seventh best opportunity in the country to get elected (check out his great website). Can you imagine a party "ordering" its leader to run in the 7th best seat? Even the Greens are not that dumb. Oh yes, Morrow quit in the spring after eight weeks on the job. What does that tell you? 5. May keeps claiming that she wasn't the priority in the last election. Strange. She received more pre-writ money, more post writ money, more advertising support and more staff time that all the other fully funded campaigns put together. Poor E May.