MP Jenica Atwin Quits Green Party To Join The Liberals

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Mighty Middle
MP Jenica Atwin Quits Green Party To Join The Liberals

Jenica Atwin's departure comes after the Israeli-Palestinian conflict exposed fault lines in the Green party ranks.

Atwin directly challenged party leader Annamie Paul's position on the conflict, saying Paul's call for de-escalation and a return to dialogue between the two was "totally inadequate."

"I stand with Palestine and condemn the unthinkable airstrikes in Gaza. End Apartheid!" Atwin tweeted on May 11.

The day before, Manly tweeted that the removal of Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighbourhood of Sheikh Jarrah "is ethnic cleansing."

More recently, the Canadian Press reported that the Green executive committee voted not to renew the contract of one of Paul's senior advisers.

The adviser, Noah Zatzman, had expressed solidarity with Israel in a May 14 social media post that accused many politicians, including unspecified Green MPs, of discrimination and antisemitism, sparking a letter-writing campaign calling for his removal.

Separately, two party executives recently announced they would step down early. One of them was John Kidder, a vice-president on the party's governing body and husband to MP and former leader Elizabeth May.

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jenica-atwin-joining-the-liberals-1.606...

robbie_dee

NorthReport

As long as right-winger Elizabeth May is involved with the Greens they are going nowhere.

Ken Burch

And if she stands down and fights a by-election in her riding as a Liberal, she'll almost certainly win going away.

Not only does the GPC need to completely cut ties with May now- Annamie Paul has to stand down.

Left Turn Left Turn's picture

https://twitter.com/christoaivalis/status/1403021456116785156

Christo Aivalis wrote:

We're looking at an election where the Federal Greens could die, folks.

It's that dire

cco

Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Edzell Edzell's picture

https://www.cbc.ca/news/politics/jenica-atwin-joining-the-liberals-1.606...

In the 2019 campaign, Atwin said left-leaning voters felt "betrayed" when Trudeau broke a promise to reform the electoral system and said they were now looking at the Greens as a more genuine progressive choice.

"We think we're that option," she said. "We think we're the ones to look to for voters looking for change, and looking to get better outcomes than what we've seen in the last four years."

And then she joins Trudeau. Something of an about face! - Just another run-of-the mill hypocritical politician, I guess. And yet another party failing to confirm the integrity of the candidates it fields. How depressing.

Ken Burch

Left Turn wrote:

https://twitter.com/christoaivalis/status/1403021456116785156

Christo Aivalis wrote:

We're looking at an election where the Federal Greens could die, folks.

It's that dire

And quite frankly, it would not surprise me if that's exactly what May wants- her refusal to stand down as federal GPC leader for years and years, even though the party had nearly no growth at all, other than her personal victories in Saanich & Gulf Islands, clearly marks her as a leader-as-abuser type- the one whose message to their party is "you're nothing without me- you owe me everything, I owe you nothing, and you have no right to expect any say in this relationship".  And it is entirely possible she could have engineered Atwin's defection to the Liberals- May's conception of the GPC's role in federal politics, after all, has always been as junior partners in an anti-left, anti-NDP coalitoin- it's the only thing that explains her bloodyminded opposition to the idea of the GPC becoming a an antimilitarist, anticapitalist party, and her insistence on endlessly repeating the discredited Liberal talking point that it was the NDP who caused the Harper victory in the 2006 election by not delaying the election everyone knew was going to happen anyway for one single month.

kropotkin1951

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Imagine being one of three MP's in a party that claims to not have a whip and having no voice because of the internal politics. As a backbench Liberal MP she likely keeps her seat. She did not reach out for the NDP.

Ken Burch

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

She wouldn't be the first person to cross over to the Liberal bench to think they could do that without cost.  Every NDP MP who ever joined them claimed the same thing- IIRC, we never herd a progressive peep out of any of them again.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

 .... it would not surprise me if that's exactly what May wants- her refusal to stand down as federal GPC leader for years and years ....

Is the Green party not able to elect a new leader if the current one would like to stay on?

Ken Burch

Edzell wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

 .... it would not surprise me if that's exactly what May wants- her refusal to stand down as federal GPC leader for years and years ....

Is the Green party not able to elect a new leader if the current one would like to stay on?

They could, in theory, remove Paul...but May set up the party's internal structures to make that all-but-impossible.

Edzell Edzell's picture

Edzell wrote:
Is the Green party not able to elect a new leader if the current one would like to stay on?

Ken Burch wrote:
They could, in theory, remove Paul...but May set up the party's internal structures to make that all-but-impossible.

I was actually referring to the possibility of removing Elizabeth May. In what way was that made all-but-impossible? (I'm not trying to be 'funny' - it's something I don't know about.)

Pondering

This is wonderful news! Lascaris could yet become leader! 

josh

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

melovesproles

Zatzman flat out attacked her and Manly. The Green party executive seems to have zero respect for not only its members but most of the party's MPs. Pretty bizarre. We'll see if another disastrous election results in them chucking the centrist BS and staking out some actual turf.

I wonder how hard Manly is considering rejoining the NDP and if the Mulclairites in the party are still in a position to block that from happening.

voice of the damned

josh wrote:

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

Reminds me of when Jack Horner, a far-right Tory MP from Alberta who hated the supposedly left-wing Joe Clark, crossed over to...the Trudeau Liberals.

He got a brief cabinet-stint out of that, but was subsequently turfed in the 1979 election.

NorthReport

Having the Green Party in such disarray should be a gift to the NDP. The question is will they be able to capitalize on it.

Ken Burch

voice of the damned wrote:
josh wrote:

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

Reminds me of when Jack Horner, a far-right Tory MP from Alberta who hated the supposedly left-wing Joe Clark, crossed over to...the Trudeau Liberals. He got a brief cabinet-stint out of that, but was subsequently turfed in the 1979 election.

The worst part of that, for Horner, was that he was induced...if not heavily pressured...to stand in his old riding AGAIN as the Liberal candidate in the 1980 election- after not only losing to the PC candidate in '79, as noted, but losing by an epic margin, 75.15% to 18.20%.  in '80, it was even worse...76.61% to 15.53%.  I had no use for Horner's politics, but you have to wonder why the Liberals would make him do that to himself TWICE.

Debater

On the "At Issue" panel last night, Chantal Hébert said that the troubles of the Green Party could be good news for the NDP.

nicky

It has often seemed to me that the raison D'être of the Greens, particularly under E, May, has been to siphon votes away from the NDP.  Paul was recently quite explicit in targeting  seats held by the NDP or those with good NDP prospects. 

It would be a good thing for progressive politics in Canada for the Greens to fade away.

That being said, Atwin's defection is one more episode in the ceaseless campaign of the endlessly cynical Liberal Party to lure away other parties' MPs and MLAs. Few of them make any impact and many are literally never hear of again.

The Greens are little better. Witness Bruce Heyer and a couple other almost anonymous NDP MPs  who succumbed to E. May's dubious blandishments. So they can hardly complain about Atwin.

nicky

And remember as well the forgotten Liberal MP Wilson who sat for one of the North Shore ridings in Vancouver.

He was booted from the Liberal Party over fraud allegations.

At the time the Greens had no elected members but May welcomed Wilson, an MP too odious for even the Liberals ( get your head around that) into her party because it gave her an argument to be included in the Leaders' debate.

So the Atwin defection looks good on the Greens.

Badriya

voice of the damned wrote:
josh wrote:

cco wrote:
Does Atwin think she'll have more freedom to speak out on Palestine as part of Trudeau's caucus?

Yeah, I don't get it at all.  Probably just a matter of enhancing het re-election chances.

Reminds me of when Jack Horner, a far-right Tory MP from Alberta who hated the supposedly left-wing Joe Clark, crossed over to...the Trudeau Liberals. He got a brief cabinet-stint out of that, but was subsequently turfed in the 1979 election.

It reminded me of when Angela Vautour was elected as an NDP MP in Beauséjour, crossed the floor to the Conservatives and lost to Dominic LeBlanc in the following election. I’m afraid Atwin’s riding will revert to the Cons.

Angela Vautour - Wikipedia

Debater

MP Atwin’s departure the culmination of months of Green Party chaos

https://ipolitics.ca/2021/06/10/mp-atwins-departure-the-culmination-of-months-of-green-party-chaos/

voice of the damned

Ken Burch:

Thanks for the info on Horner's pathetic attempt at a comeback. Not sure if I knew that.

The only explanation I can think of is that 1980 was(correctly) expected to be a Liberal revival, so the party might have figured that the national wave, combined with Horner's name recognition and quasi-incumbency, might get them at least a semi-respectable showing in the riding. And Horner went along with it hoping to redeem his utter humiliation of 1979.

Badriya, thanks for the info about Angela Vatour. Another weird, counterintuitive crossover in Canadian politics.

cco

The NDP's had multiple party leaders (all of them "respectable moderates" the party elected to get the approval of the pundit class) cross the floor to other parties, including Ujjal Dosanjh, Dominic Cardy, Bob Rae, and probably soon Tom Mulcair. For me, though, the all-time winner for weirdest floor crosser is this guy who represented my riding, elected as a member of the anglo-supremacist and ironically-named Equality Party, who crossed the floor to the PQ.

jerrym

Debater wrote:

On the "At Issue" panel last night, Chantal Hébert said that the troubles of the Green Party could be good news for the NDP.

While it will likely help the Liberals image, it could also help the NDP, especially in BC, where the Greens have historically been strongest. Some of their voters may shift to the NDP, disillusioned with Green Party infighting. It seems unlikely with an election likely in the offing in late summer or the fall, that the Greens can replace the image of a fractured party in time before the election. 

kropotkin1951

However just to prove some people from the elite can do whatever they want if they are fated for the job. David Emerson was in the middle of selling out BC's softwood lumber industry when the election got in the way. He crossed before parliament even met.

At some point between election day and the day Stephen Harper was due to be sworn in as prime minister, Emerson accepted an offer from Harper to cross the floor and become Minister of International Trade in Harper's new Conservative minority government.[1] According to Emerson, British Columbia Conservative campaign coordinator John Reynolds called him the day after the election to ask if he was interested in having a conversation with Harper.[4]

Gaining regional representation in Cabinet from key metropolitan areas, such as Vancouver, according to Harper, was key to the decision in asking Emerson to cross the floor. Indeed, 2006 marked the first time in decades that a centre-right party had been completely shut out in Vancouver. However, Emerson's Conservative opponent, Kanman Wong, claimed on February 10, 2006 that Emerson was seriously considering crossing the floor during the run-up to the election. Wong added that he would have stood down in Emerson's favour had he done so.[5]

In any case, Emerson's decision was kept secret from his Liberal colleagues, the press, and even most Conservatives until February 6, 2006, when he arrived at Rideau Hall, the official residence of the Governor General, for the swearing-in of the new government. In addition to his International Trade portfolio, Emerson was given responsibility for the Pacific Gateway and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics, areas of particular importance to the riding of Vancouver-Kingsway and in general, the Greater Vancouver area. He was ranked third in Cabinet in the order of precedence, behind Harper and House Leader Rob Nicholson, by virtue of his appointment to the Privy Council in 2004.[6]

Mighty Middle

In the 2013 Bloc MP Maria Mourani was expelled from the party and sat as an independent. One year later she announced she would run for the NDP. But until the writ was dropped, she continued to sit as an independent for the remaining nine months of her term.

Ken Burch

cco wrote:
The NDP's had multiple party leaders (all of them "respectable moderates" the party elected to get the approval of the pundit class) cross the floor to other parties, including Ujjal Dosanjh, Dominic Cardy, Bob Rae, and probably soon Tom Mulcair. For me, though, the all-time winner for weirdest floor crosser is this guy who represented my riding, elected as a member of the anglo-supremacist and ironically-named Equality Party, who crossed the floor to the PQ.

I've read about him.  I suppose that's what you'd have to expect when a professional "boulevardier" goes into politics.  Somebody probably told him the PQ had better hors d'oeuvres or stronger drinks or something.

Ken Burch

Mighty Middle wrote:

In the 2013 Bloc MP Maria Mourani was expelled from the party and sat as an independent. One year later she announced she would run for the NDP. But until the writ was dropped, she continued to sit as an independent for the remaining nine months of her term.

We're all aware of the NDP's floor-crossing policy.  Still, it would be perfectly easy to arrange for Manly to stand down and be the NDP candidate in a by-election in his current riding.  The Greens might not even dare to stand a candidate against him this time.

No decent reason for the Mulcair crowd to try and block that...or for anyone in the party to keep listening to them if Mulcair does formally go Con, as he is clearly certain to do in the next couple of years.

Mighty Middle

Conservatives are now accusing Jenica Atwin of Anti-Semitism

jerrym

Mighty Middle wrote:

Conservatives are now accusing Jenica Atwin of Anti-Semitism

This will work well with a large part of their base which is anti-Muslim,but it works against them in expanding their voters as a growing percentage of the population is viewing the Palestinians favourably in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, and even more so among the young where the Cons have little support. When this is combined with their tepid approach to climate change, the Cons are going to find it increasingly hard to compete in the long run (although one should always keep in mind John Maynard Keynes saying that in the long run we are all dead).

Mighty Middle

Watching the political shows - Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is being evicerated by political pundits. Saying everything for her not being forceful, not showing leadership, being directionless

She is getting torn apart by every pundit - except one

Former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is still giving Annamie Paul high marks, praising her leadership. That she will be a force to be reckoned with. He said this just yesterday. In fact the only two leaders Mulcair has praise for is Annamie Paul and Erin O'Toole.

melovesproles

I think Emerson was the grossest one. I get that floor-crossing is a betrayal of those who elected you but I think Atwin has more of a leg to stand on since she was being attacked by the party leadership. Also, what is the point of hanging with a bunch of losers if they are even worse than the winners. I don't think wanting to keep her job is a huge knock against her and in this case her leaders were literally attacking her character.

Also no surprise that Mulclair think Paul is handling this wonderfully, she is literally following his playbook, which pretty much destroyed the NDPs momentum for possibly a generation or more. 

josh

Mighty Middle wrote:

Watching the political shows - Green Party Leader Annamie Paul is being evicerated by political pundits. Saying everything for her not being forceful, not showing leadership, being directionless

She is getting torn apart by every pundit - except one

Former NDP Leader Tom Mulcair is still giving Annamie Paul high marks, praising her leadership. That she will be a force to be reckoned with. He said this just yesterday. In fact the only two leaders Mulcair has praise for is Annamie Paul and Erin O'Toole.

Of course.  He sucked the life out of the NDP, so he's impressed by the job she is doing.

blairz blairz's picture

This is a shitshow, irony abounds. I think it's amazing that the issue of Palestinian rights has been weaponized in every party but not actually advanced in any meaningful way for Palestinians. Listening to Annamie Paul on Power and Politics was pretty depressing. I don't really see anything particularly encouraging from either the Liberals or the NDP.

laine lowe laine lowe's picture

Totally agree, Blairz. As for Mulcair, he certainly has been showing his true colours since his ouster. What a damn waste of time it was to have him as the leader of the NDP.

nicky
Mighty Middle

From Tyee

Sources close to the situation told The Tyee that rookie leader Paul has rejected any analysis that concludes that she was responsible for Atwin’s decision to join the Liberals. Those sources say that Paul was convinced that Atwin was a threat to her leadership, and as the former parliamentary seatmate of former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, had been whispering to the Grits for a long time about joining them.

Sources within the Green Party told The Tyee that the grassroots of the party, especially younger voters, saw Atwin as the natural future leader of the party. As the sense grew that installing Paul as Leader was a major mistake, Atwin was seen as the right choice as interim party leader.

https://thetyee.ca/News/2021/06/14/Green-Implosion-Remaining-MPs-Ask-Jen...