Whilst it gears up for a possible spring election, the Green Party of Canada is being forced to take care of a controversial internal personnel decision that some party members say may very well be a distraction that would hurt the party’s election preparations.
Green Party Leader Annamie Paul has been prepping policy announcements and discussions, including one Monday that reaffirmed the party’s position to campaign in favour of a universal basic income, that party strategists hope will broaden the party’s brand in order that, along with being known for a progressive tackle climate change and environmental sustainability, it’ll even be known for standing for a progressive tackle a bunch of other issues, from fighting poverty to coping with long-term care homes to addressing housing shortages.
“There isn’t any climate justice without social justice as well,” Paul said Friday. “And so during this pandemic, our focus, while never forgetting the climate, in fact, has been on ensuring that individuals don’t fall through the cracks.”
Inside days, the party will officially announce its latest national campaign director, an person who, party sources say, will likely be tasked with stealing votes that went to Jagmeet Singh’s Recent Democratic Party within the 2019 general election. The party desires to turn the 2 dozen orange seats within the House of Commons into two dozen green seats.
And, on Friday, the party launched its candidate recruitment drive under the slogan “Time to Run.”
Paul says an internal and potentially divisive party debate over the circumstances by which former party executive director Prateek Awasthi quit that job is having no impact on the party’s election preparations.
Others aren’t so sure.
“They’re having these internal conflicts and it’s really stopping numerous their momentum,” said Jonathan Dickie, the party’s 2019 national campaign director. “I could see the downsides going into the subsequent election where it could be tougher for Annamie to position the party.”
Dickie was a signatory to a letter, obtained by Global News, that was sent to the party’s governing body, its federal council, at the tip of November. Former interim party leader Jo-Ann Roberts together with a past president and a past vice-president also signed that November letter.
“A pattern of poor governance has taken hold on the Green Party. Qualified, effective, and progressive professionals inside our Party are sometimes pushed away,” the letter said. “We, as a celebration, must do higher.”
The party is currently operating with an interim executive director and an interim president, Liana Canton Cusmano. Cusmano didn’t reply to requests for comment.
In a telephone interview, Dickie said he believed the Green Party now’s experiencing a few of the same turmoil that the NDP experienced prior to the 2019 election. Just as Singh in 2019 was preparing for his first national election, so, too, is Paul preparing for her first national election as leader.
“Much of the difficulties that the Green Party is experiencing immediately, in the event that they’re not careful, they could take an actual step back because unlike the NDP, the Greens have far fewer MPs,” Dickie said. “They’re nowhere near the established kind of party that the NDP are.”
Within the 2019 election, Singh’s NDP lost 15 seats and with 24 seats became the fourth party within the House of Commons. The Greens, under former leader Elizabeth May, boosted their seat count by one to 3 MPs.
As for dozen national polls done because the starting of the yr, the Greens have hit a high of eight per cent and a low of 5 per cent versus its 2019 popular vote of 6.5 per cent. The NDP is faring barely higher than its 2019 popular vote of 16 per cent, polling as high as 22 per cent in a Leger poll published on Jan. 31 and as little as 14 per cent in a Mainstreet Research poll published Jan. 20.
David Akin is the chief political correspondent for Global News.