Political watchers in Latest Brunswick say the provincial Green Party is well-positioned to avoid the fallout from the continuing turmoil of their federal counterparts.
The federal wing of the party has been engaged in a public spat amongst members, leader Annamie Paul and the party council during the last several weeks. It began, partly, with Fredericton MP Jenica Atwin’s defection to the Liberal Party over her tenuous relationship with Paul and one in all her advisors over the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Some political scientists in Latest Brunswick say the provincial Greens are in position to avoid the damage being done to the federal party with a federal election widely expected in the approaching months.
“There’s some wind at their sails no matter what happens with the federal Greens,” says Jamie Gillies, a professor of public policy and communications at St. Thomas University.
“I feel the federal Greens is their very own federal Green Party mess and that may sort itself out, for good or for bad for that party, in the following federal election.”
Gillies says the provincial party has emerged as a reputable voice on greater than just the environment, increasingly capturing the province’s progressive vote with its dedication to vital social issues in Latest Brunswick.
“They’re two separate entities. The provincial Greens have their very own base of support,” Gillies said. “The provincial Greens have established themselves because the third party within the legislature and their focus is just not just on the environment but on Latest Brunswick issues that they feel are neglected by the main parties.”
“I feel they’ve got a base of support that could be very strong and different than the federal party.”
The federal and provincial parties are indeed different organizations. They don’t officially share resources and are independent on policy matters.
And Donald Wright, professor of political science on the University of Latest Brunswick, says the federal party depends far more on the provincial party than vice versa.
“The provincial Greens don’t need the federal Greens, however the federal Greens need the provincial Greens,” he said. “They’re those — the provincial Greens — which have the machine. People who find themselves going to place up signs, people who find themselves going to make the phone calls, do the social media, people who find themselves going to open up their pocketbooks.”
“(The federal party) doesn’t have a sturdy machine on the bottom.”
That base of support has worked to the federal party’s advantage prior to now. Wright says Atwin’s election in 2019 was, largely, on account of the mobilization of the party apparatus that has grown under provincial leader David Coon during the last several years.
Each Wright and Gillies say the provincial party appears to be extremely healthy. Within the 2020 provincial election, the party kept its three seats and grew its share of the favored vote from 11.9 per cent in 2018 to fifteen.2 per cent.
More importantly, in keeping with Coon himself, the party finished second in 17 ridings.
“We’re working really hard now to be certain that when 2024 arrives we’ll be people’s first alternative in those ridings,” he said.
The party’s recent fundraising numbers show that the party’s ability to contest a province-wide election is growing. In 2020, the party brought in $345,988, breaking their previous third-party fundraising record of $302,749 in 2018.
That dwarfs the $80,287 and $64,548 brought in by the People’s Alliance and NDP respectively.
Gillies says if that trend holds up, moving towards the following scheduled election in 2024, it can allow the party to be aggressive in a few of those ridings they placed second in last yr. Particularly in ridings like Fredericton North and Moncton Centre where the party lost by about 700 votes apiece.
“They’ll then expand the map and goal ridings … find great candidates who fit the community profile of the actual constituency and run there,” Gillies said.
“They got here up slightly bit short, but they’ve the power to return in there and win.”
Coon said the following two years shall be about establishing more of a celebration apparatus, with a deeper pool of volunteers to assist contest key ridings in 2024. And extra money coming in means extra money for the party to rent staff to assist make that occur.
“With a view to move those second-place finishes … to first-place finishes, we’ve got to extend, in some parts of the province, the organizing capability on the bottom,” Coon said.
“It truly is setting up the work to mobilize local members … to get organized locally.”