Whither the Elizabeth May Party?

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KenS
Whither the Elizabeth May Party?

 - - Previously known as the Green Party of Canada...

 

After high hopes of 2008, Green party has faded

Hébert wrote:
One explanation for the gap between polling hopes and voting realities is that the party does best with voters ages 18 to 25, the group least inclined to follow up on its intentions by casting a ballot. A less charitable explanation could be that the Green party, under May, reached a plateau last fall and has since been dropping off the radar.

Snert Snert's picture

I think the mothership stopped transmitting the special beacon.

I'm actually picturing, in my mind's eye, the Greens supporters waking from their trance all at the same instant, with that "wherethehellamI?" look on their faces.

"I supported Who???"

Polunatic2

Thank goodness for first past the post to keep the heathens from the gate. 

Stockholm

I think its just that people under 25 tend to have very very low levels of political literacy and they confuse the question "Which party would you vote foir?" with "What's your favourite colour?"

madmax

It's my observation that the Green Party with Elizabeth May at the helm was given a free ride by the media. The media is prone to building you up just so that they can tear you down again.  There was no real strength in the party anywhere in Canada. But their was a belief created by the media that something was happening.  Seems the media started buying into their own news hype.  Release a few false polls and combined with some high numbers that don't come to fruition and you have a major lunch bag letdown.

The Reform Party swept in lots of seats after Prestons Manning was in the debates.  The Green Party came up with a donut after Elizabeth Mays Televised performance.   Media was not happy, their story was a fizzle.  All the hype in Central Nova, didn't even produce a remotely close result.

Follow this up 1 year later, with Quebec Polls showing the Green Party  11% and 15% only to see in the following By Elections the Green Party ends up with 3%. 

Chantel is particularly ruthless on Elizabeth May.  An F the other day and now this piece of work.  My guess is the F is for Flake more then anything else.  Chantel loves to stick a knife and twist on various political leaders, whoever she doesn't suffer fools.

Easiers to have fun at Elizabeth Mays expense.  But seriously, the party has done poorly, plays the never ending blame game on the electoral system, and bombed after getting what Green Party Activists wanted. Which was a seat at the debate.

The media free ride is over for Elizabeth May and the Green Party. Politics is serious business  and the only thing worse then being attacked is being ignored. 

The Green party has been ignored for much of the past year and likely will be ignored in the next election.  

The BC by election was brutal for the Green Party.  Chantels argument wasn't just about Quebec. 

 

 

remind remind's picture

People keep saying this 18-25, what happens when people turn 25?

 

Does the full development of the frontal lobe mean that people wake to the fact of how useless they are?

 

after all, people who were 25 when the Green Party first started, are close to 50 nowadays...

Polunatic2

"It's not easy being green" - Kermit the Frog.

Too bad those people are too stupid to ever support the NDP. 

HeywoodFloyd

The green party is the current anti-establishment party, which is IMO why it attracts the under 25 group.

Stockholm

I think that a lot of people - in a whimsical sort of way - like the IDEA of voting for "a" green party - but it is a bit journey to go from that whimsical sentiment to actually trekking out to a polling station and actually putting your "x" there on the ballot.

sandstone

i guess bashing a party out of power is as much fun as bashing the one in power... lots to choose from... as a person with a facebook account and young friends can attest to, there was a fair amount of action on facebook in the last election supportive of the green party.. however, my thinking on the media is they are periodically raised up in order to offset any forward movement the ndp might be able to get and it seems it is a similar audience for both parties, with some obvious differences of course... it is called splitting up things and keeping power centralized in the hands of a few...

it was a different story when the media was involved in resurrecting the conservative party..  one has to give them credit for their effective brainwashing of a country suffering from mass selective memory dissonance... 

so let me see if i have this right.... the status quo of conservatives and liberals is generally always supported in the media and the ndp and green party are used as regular whipping posts.... people generally accept this corporate ruled approach and all that it says... interesting...

sandstone

i think a successful wedge can be made of the conflict between two priorities - economic and enviromental...  these ideas don't have to be exclusive of each other and there are many who are working to make enviromentally friendly businesses - a marriage of economic and enviromental considerations, but overall it seems you are either for creating jobs at any cost, which includes basically raping the planet, or you aren't... i think this is where the green party has an ear with young people... the mainstream parties have sold themselves down the economic creek a long time ago... the green party will continue to be a whipping post for media, but it is entertaining to see them treated similarly here...

Stockholm

Some of us suspact that the "powers that be" purposely promoted the Green party because they thought it was a good way to weaken the NDP and help the Liberal/Tory duopoly - then the election last year showed that the Greens actually cut into the Liberal vote more than the it did the NDP vote - so the "powers that be" realized that their scheme backfired and ever since they have gone ba ck to de-emphasizing the Green party - Doctor Frankenstein had created a monster!

KenS

To a large degree, the GPC dropping off the radar after the election was inevitable. The NDP takes that kind of dip as well, although not to this degree.

But Elizabeth May managed to keep attention on herself for 2 years, through more than one full election cycle. Her media savvy had everything to do with why she was elected Lader in the first place. And she didn't dissapoint on that score.

Since Layton's image has grown and broadened, people forget that when he became Leader he got attention the same way- to a lot of derision. Long ago he learned to go beyond being Jack the media hound to being the actual face and voice of a party.

Elizabeth May never made that transition, and she can't get attention anymore with her bag of tricks.

Thats the directly observable side of why she and the Green party have fallen off the radar.

But May has exacerbated that greatly by turning herself and her party inward: its all or nothing for her getting a seat.

And it isn't just the distraction of putting more time into moving to and campaigning in Saanich - Gulf Islands. The internal Green mythology about how this emphasis is "new" obscures how focused she was on Central Nova before, and how little she got around. "New" or not, there is a cumulative effect of her being physically removed from the Ottawa and national scene.

There is yet more distraction required in manupulating the party organization remains focused on her careening choices. It takes time and effort to make sure dissident voices remain at a significant remove from the decision making black box. Which in turn gets harder to keep a lid on when resources are getting tighter. Etcetera.

remind remind's picture

Oh my goodness how embarrassing for them, now that I have actually had time to read the article...

Quote:
It has been a while since the Green Party of Canada posted a poll on federal voting intentions on its website. As of yesterday, the last numbers on offer dated back to Oct. 27. Based on an Ipsos Reid poll, they showed the Greens overtaking the NDP in Quebec and moving in on Jack Layton in other significant parts of the country.

It is easy to see how the party's webmaster could have found those numbers irresistible and even easier to understand why he or she is now finding it hard to update them.

A bit more than a week after the poll was published, four Green candidates were crushed in a series of by-elections. On average, the party earned 3 per cent of the total votes cast in the four ridings. That's less than half of its 2008 election score.

In Montreal's Hochelaga, the NDP outvoted the Greens by a ratio of six to one. In the one riding at play in British Columbia – the province where May is hoping to win a seat in the next election – the NDP score was 49 per cent to the Green Party's 4 per cent. So much for overtaking the NDP!

 

Sandstone, the bashing of the Green Party comes from the realization they have actually wasted environmental actioning time and been a net loss to the environment during their almost 25 year history. They have successfully split the vote and allowed the Cons to take seats they should not have had...and  then they lent legitimacy to the Liberals when they should never have done so, and one could add many many more smaller destructive to environmental movement actions. Overall they have caused more harm to the environment than good.

 

 

KenS

sandstone wrote:
the green party will continue to be a whipping post for media, but it is entertaining to see them treated similarly here...

Actually, we are only on the cusp of the Green party becoming an object of ridicule for the media.

Elizabeth May got a lovely free ride right up to and through the election. They many times ignored it when she visibly contradicted herself in a way that any other leader would be crucified for.

Snert Snert's picture

I think the media was downright sympathetic the last time May bleated about not being invited to the debates, both through their reporting of her complaints, and also through ultimately letting her participate.

Which in a sense was a good thing, because now we know that the Greens didn't faceplant because they didn't get to play with the real parties.  Now FPTP is the excuse.  And the media.  Oh, and the NDP.  Of course the NDP!

Polunatic2

If we had fair voting in Canada, GP voters would have some representation. You can't have it both ways. They're shut out by the electoral system yet get derided for trying to win a seat the "old fashioned way". Electoral reform might give the Greens a foot in the door of Parliament which is one of the reasons the NDP can live with FPTP. 

KenS

Actually, I'm quite happy for the GP to be in the House under PR- for pragmatic reasons as well as reasons of principle.

The downside of them under FPTP is that in their vain quest for a seat, they can be the margin in any number of ridings.

In that sense, it ALL being about electing Elizabeth May and the hollowing out of the rest of the party is a win-win: they stand to be more marginalized everywhere but SGI.

Not ideal, but it will work.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
They're shut out by the electoral system yet get derided for trying to win a seat the "old fashioned way".

 

You mean "derided for FAILING to win a seat the old fashioned way".

 

Independents win seats, yet for a million reasons — none of them having ANYTHING to do with E.May or the Greens themselves — they apparently cannot. I encourage them to try to win a seat "the current way". Others do, and in particular, the others they want to be peers of.

 

Quote:
If we had fair voting in Canada, GP voters would have some representation.

 

If my aunt had testicles, she'd be my uncle. So far the electorate doesn't seem to feel that our system is unfair to them.

Scott Piatkowski Scott Piatkowski's picture

remind wrote:
People keep saying this 18-25, what happens when people turn 25?

They start voting.

Polunatic2

Quote:
 Not ideal, but it will work. - KenS
I respect your honest & pragmatic approach. Wild allegations, demonization and derisive insults hurled at green voters don't sway me and does not raise the level of discussion.  
Quote:
 So far the electorate doesn't seem to feel that our system is unfair to them.
Quite right if you're referring to the electoral system. However, there is already a sizable minority who are ready for change so I wouldn't over-generalize. In Ontario, more than twice as many people voted for proportional representation as they did for the ODNP (36.7% vs 17%). And the NDP only got about 10% of the seats. Greens got 8% and no seats. 

Voters do know that the political system stinks which is why cynicism and abstention are rampant. The challenge is to make the links between bad public policy, broken promises, dirty elections, corrupt practices, corporate interests AND the voting system and the governments that get elected. The challenge is to conduct ongoing public education which is why I keep harping on it. 

Yes, the Federal NDP supports PR. It would be great if they helped out more in promoting it, first and foremost, by educating their own base and creating new ambassadors. This means repeating the message - in "private" and in public - and providing easy access to resources on their website. That would demonstrate proportional representation to be a priority. 

Elizabeth May has been one of the staunchest and consistent voices for electoral reform on the federal scene (and in provincial referenda). In the leaders debate, her first answer to "what would you do if you were elected PM?" was "I would bring in proportional representation." (or something like that). That earns her some points in my book even if I've never voted GP in my life. I respect her for that. The NDP should be allies with the GP on this issue as they should be with reformers from other parties. 

Jack Layton has been another voice for electoral reform and that gains him some points too (in addition to the  gazillion he wracked up as a local councillor). However, I think the party could do a lot more to educate voters about the unfairness and undemocratic nature of the first past the post voting system. 

RP.

Polunatic2 wrote:
Voters do know that the political system stinks which is why cynicism and abstention are rampant. The challenge is to make the links between bad public policy, broken promises, dirty elections, corrupt practices, corporate interests AND the voting system and the governments that get elected. The challenge is to conduct ongoing public education which is why I keep harping on it. 

...and as we all know, it has been empirically proven that in all cases, countries which adopt PR have none of these problems.

George Victor

sandstone:

"so let me see if i have this right.... the status quo of conservatives and liberals is generally always supported in the media and the ndp and green party are used as regular whipping posts.... people generally accept this corporate ruled approach and all that it says... interesting..."

 

The people who own the media and who advertise in the media, are Conservative and Liberal party members. The local chambers of commerce, are members, as are servicxe club members. They only want to see their businesses thrive, along with their investments and bank accounts. And the media, now in a frenzy to stay alive, are desperately moving right in their portrayal of the political scene. Even the destruction of the myth of superior knowledge of economics with the international collapse of financial institutions and bailout by the public purse has not shaken that need to have "friends" in power.

 

It is beyond "interesting" mate. France use to support alternative mainstream press. It was an attempt to overcome the ugly disparity in a land "devoted" :D to freedom and equality. Nothing new here.  Or have I mistaken your reason for finding this historical bind "interesting"?

Polunatic2

PR is not a panacea but it is an enabler to finding more democratic solutions. 

ReeferMadness

Of all of the conversations that transpire on babble, none is quite so pathetic as watching NDP partisans line up to take cheap shots at the Green Party.  Seriously.  Is that what it takes to make you feel better about your party?

Oh, and do continue to entertain us with idiotic conspiracy theories on how the only purpose of the Green Party is to draw gullible voters away from the NDP.  'Cause it's all about you.

remind wrote:

People keep saying this 18-25, what happens when people turn 25?

Does the full development of the frontal lobe mean that people wake to the fact of how useless they are?

Ooooh. Nice ageism, remind.

 

madmax

That won't fix the problems and the focus of this article.

remind remind's picture

:rolleyes:

 

hardly.....it is medical fact about frontal lobe development, or are we no longer allowed to refer to medical realities anymore either, if it interfers with someone's political agenda?

RP.

ReeferMadness wrote:
Of all of the conversations that transpire on babble, none is quite so pathetic as watching NDP partisans line up to take cheap shots at the Green Party.  Seriously. 

Agreed, it's gross. 

hsfreethinkers hsfreethinkers's picture

RP. wrote:

ReeferMadness wrote:
Of all of the conversations that transpire on babble, none is quite so pathetic as watching NDP partisans line up to take cheap shots at the Green Party.  Seriously. 

Agreed, it's gross. 

I find it entertaining, though it doesn't get either party anywhere. It does show the NDP-folk consider the Green Party a threat to their electoral prospects and future growth. But really, it isn't the Greens' fault that the NDP isn't attractive to most of the electorate. The energy wasted here would be put to better use in considering what can be done to improve the NDP.

ReeferMadness

KenS wrote:
But its not all partisan rants.

Some statements could be construed as fair comment but commentary can only be properly interpreted within context.  The tone of commentary towards the Green Party (and not just on this thread) is overwhelmingly petty and disparaging.  As if tearing down the Green Party is going to boost the fortunes of the NDP.

Quote:
Don't shoot the messenger. Etc.

You guys are just the messengers???  Who is scripting the message?  Is it being written by NDP headquarters?

Quote:
Let alone that it's convenient and possibly self serving to focus on and get riled up over the most extreme comments.

Nice switch from defence to attack.  Very deft.

I don't belong to the Green Party (or any party) so I don't know how it can be "self serving".  But I can suggest how people could make it less "convenient".  Just stop all the schadenfreude and cheap shots. 

Babble is supposed to be more than just the mouthpiece of the NDP.  Some people don't seem to get that.

madmax

Seems that every 3 or 4 weeks Chantel takes a nice swip at a party leader or political party.  Its usually pretty good to read the fallout on babble afterwards.   Not alot of comment from the pundits against the gist of Chantels article.   

Its one of those columns that strikes a nerve but is hard to counter.    

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Of all of the conversations that transpire on babble, none is quite so pathetic as watching NDP partisans line up to take cheap shots at the Green Party.  Seriously. 

 

I like to think of it as doing the soul-searching and asking the inconvenient questions that the Greens supporters should be doing for themselves, but cannot or will not.

 

NDP supporters rip on the NDP all the time. If Jack makes a bad call, the NDP supporters are first to point it out. But no matter what E. May does, no matter how much she makes the entire Green Party about her, no matter how poorly the Greens do in the polls, it's still all "We're on our way up!! My attitude determines my altitude, and the Green Party is going to the top!!!". You want to talk gross? Try accidentally barging into a Green Party masturbation session.

remind remind's picture

ohhhhh dearrrrrrrr, it is apparently okay that people attack the Liberals and Conservatives, but let someone talk about the Green Party's failures, or their antics, or question why the majority of people stop supporting them after 25 and we are unfairly defaming the Green Party.

 

Or better yet as a red herring, we apparently feel threatened by them if we state truths about them.... lmao.....if it makes you feel better to think so....go for it...but just know it is not reality, at least on my prt as it is pretty damn hard to feel threatened by  those who have achieved nothing.

remind remind's picture

oops..... found a thread where a Liberals supporter is upset too about negative criticism for the Liberals, so I stand corrected, both Liberals and Green Party supporters are angry that some NDP supporters find them less than acceptable in deed and existence.

Michelle

Every party's partisans on babble get upset when their party is criticized.  It's par for the course.  Certainly NDP supporters are no exception to this on babble.

MUN Prof. MUN Prof.'s picture

If anything, it's the E-May crowd who threaten any possibility of PR.

I hear snipes now and again about Layton not "demanding" electoral reform from Harper et al.

What did E-May "demand" in her pact with the Liberals other than her own skin? Did she "demand" PR in exchange for her tacit endorsement of Liberal candidates on the eve of the 2008 election?

HeywoodFloyd

Michelle wrote:

Every party's partisans on babble get upset when their party is criticized.  It's par for the course.  Certainly NDP supporters are no exception to this on babble.

Oi! How often do I get upset??!! ;-)

Mind you.....I'm not hugely partian.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:
Quite right if you're referring to the electoral system. However, there is already a sizable minority who are ready for change so I wouldn't over-generalize.

 If only we had some kind of electoral system (for voting on electoral systems) in which the minority wins! We'd have PR, despite the majority who don't seem to want it.  For the record, I'm among that minority, BTW.

 

Quote:
Voters do know that the political system stinks which is why cynicism and abstention are rampant. The challenge is to make the links between bad public policy, broken promises, dirty elections, corrupt practices, corporate interests AND the voting system and the governments that get elected. The challenge is to conduct ongoing public education which is why I keep harping on it. 
 

Well, fill your boots. But I have a hard time believing (simultaneously) that voters are sick and tired of the same old system AND cannot be bothered to mark an "X" for a new one. If voters are feeling that disinfranchised, what the hell are they waiting for? Someone should come and mark the X for them because they just can't figure that out? The government should tell them "you should vote for PR"? The idea that the electorate wants PR, but somehow just accidentally failed to indicate this in referenda in Ontario and BC is absurd.

madmax

When Chantel writes a thread...... against the LPC or the NDP (Not alot of CPC activity here after all), the partisans take shots back at her and generally challenge her column point by point.  Sometimes Chantel is way off the Mark  and you wonder what she smoked that day or who spiked her coffee for the vendetta piece.  But normally the comments are about the article and her criticism.  Few political journalists are as effective as Herbert. Like her or not, its hard not to read her columns. 

I felt this was a typical Herbert column.  But being par for the course, why did she decide now is the time to make hay over the Green Party Leader. For whatever reason, she has taken that F ranking and turned it into a full on commentary.   Reading the comments afterwards and the comments here, the really interesting thing is the failure to address anything she has put out there.   Therefore, the column is unchallenged.

I am not certain if Herbets column is leading anywhere or framing future coverage of the Green Party? 

 

 

remind remind's picture

Oh damn heywood, I thought you were going to make it a broad sweep of partisan whining about attacks on their party, but I suppose it is pretty hard for you to claim hurt, given it is the CPC you support. ;)

Polunatic2

Quote:
 I hear snipes now and again about Layton not "demanding" electoral reform from Harper et al. What did E-May "demand" in her pact with the Liberals other than her own skin? Did she "demand" PR in exchange for her tacit endorsement of Liberal candidates on the eve of the 2008 election? 
I don't know. So that makes it okay for the NDP to under-perform on this issue? It's not just about making "demands". It's about raising awareness Prof. 

sandstone

George Victor, i agree with your view.. i use the word interesting as it is a bit provocative which might get some to thinking... the media is hands down the means for running things, framing the conversation, telling folks how to think, what to think,  and etc... not that everyone complies, but if you remove the thinking part, a lot of folks just go along with the news feed and what makes for news.... here we have some journalist making a story about the green party or whatever.. make it interesting.. fine... appeal to the blood sport of politics.. fine... is there more to any of this? i think their is... the big story is the medias role as king or queen maker and in their defining the conversation.... works for them, lol.... doesn't work for the ordinary person on the street however...

 

notice how the conversation devolves back to a snit about which political party is doing what... i am just as guilty, but only due the fact i see big biz and corporations wanting to maintain the 'status quo' which would mean - conservative and liberal for canucks... my 2c and i haven't read all the comments.. back much later...

sandstone

btw - proportional representation was an idea that the reform party was pushing... that was one of their planks that i actually agreed with... we see the new revised weasel party no longer sees any value in something they were advocating before... wonder what that says about them???  someone voted for these sleazeballs...

Debater

Well it looks like Rabble was ahead of the media on this one.  People here have been predicting for months that the Green Party and Elizabeth May have become non-players, and now Chantal Hebert has finally written about it.

ReeferMadness

Snert wrote:

Quote:
Of all of the conversations that transpire on babble, none is quite so pathetic as watching NDP partisans line up to take cheap shots at the Green Party.  Seriously. 

I like to think of it as doing the soul-searching and asking the inconvenient questions that the Greens supporters should be doing for themselves, but cannot or will not.

Oh, I get it.  You guys are just doing the Green Party a favour, kind of like a public service, right?  And because you all believe in full service, it includes stuff like inferring that people vote for the Green Party because they're mentally undeveloped.  Or they're too dense to realize they're being duped by conspirators.  Now I understand.

ottawaobserver

ReeferMadness and others:

I think Dippers are entitled to a little schadenfreude (sp?) given all the crap we've endured from the self-righteous Greens and E.Me herself over the last 18 months.  We patiently pointed out that the Green Party (Jim Harris being the worse offender) was overhyping their prospects, and risked facing dismissal when the expectations they ramped up failed to materialize.

In addition, the GPC has made some monumentally stupid strategic decisions which have been costly and squandered the considerable taxpayer resources that have been sent their way, not to mention E.Me's completely undisciplined communications about strategic voting at the end of the campaign that clearly cost many of her candidates their rebates, and her dissembling about the priority being placed on her running in Central Nova last time, where they dropped the ball on spending the limit, in spite of having had the spending limit transferred by the party to that campaign.

And her effort to turn the coalition into a Senate seat for herself (great commitment to electoral reform there, Liz!) was one of the final nails in that whole project, and completely unhelpful.

We pointed these things out, having learned those lessons the hard way ourselves in days gone by.  Now, we've been proven right.  And the Green Party is going to have to go back to basics and build their party properly, if they're going to keep their funding and pay off their debts.

Notice that they have contributed VERY little to the policy debate about climate change or other environmental issues in the last 18 months.  All we got for the public money sent their way is a big fight about tactics, a big push to get her into the leaders' debates, endless internal wars, and now a big constitutional brouhaha about when the convention should be held, and who gets to decide that.  It's been all tactics and campaign schools, AND NO FRIGGING POLICY WORK.  Not one significant brief to a Parliamentary committee, no significant policy work, no issue campaigns.  Oh, but they did throw a brunch for the Press Gallery at Hy's with Ralph Benmergui.  I wonder what the budget was for that!

So, I think we're entitled to one thread of "I told you so"s.

David Young

As a resident of South Shore-St, Margaret's, I can for certain that in the 2008 Election, the Green Party candidate's presence allowed the re-election of a Conservative.

Maybe one of the NDP's slogans in the next campaign should be 'A VOTE FOR GREEN IS A VOTE FOR BLUE!'

That would look good on a T-shirt, eh?

 

Pogo Pogo's picture

I am good friends with the perenial Green candidate in Richmond.  He is very progressive particularly about green issues.  Of the people I know that vote Green a good chunk are not voting to elect a candiate but to get their disappointment in the establishment registered ("I voted Green cause none of the current lot are doing enough" is a common phrase).

I have trouble getting mad at progressives exercising their rights in a system that is rigged.

remind remind's picture

David Young wrote:
As a resident of South Shore-St, Margaret's, I can for certain that in the 2008 Election, the Green Party candidate's presence allowed the re-election of a Conservative.

Maybe one of the NDP's slogans in the next campaign should be 'A VOTE FOR GREEN IS A VOTE FOR BLUE!'

That would look good on a T-shirt, eh?

as we can  by the declining vote share, that many are getting why the Green Party is in existence, and indeed it would be a good slogan...too bad more didn't and give their vote to Harper.

 

That is what actually   makes me a tad angry, is that they are really giving their vote to Harper and those who are against all things environmental.

Slumberjack

Although uninspiring on practically all fronts as a party, I don't believe credit should be solely reserved for the Greens when their choice at the ballot leads to the election of Cons or Liberals.  At least some blame should spared for those who spend time bemoaning the miniscule level of support offered to splinter parties, instead of engaging in a more constructive approach, one which involves glancing in the mirror at their own shortcomings, while working to convince voters of their merits.

Unionist

Oh SJ, you take all the freude out of schadenfreude.

 

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