The press briefing given on Monday by the head of Green Party of Canada, Annamie Paul, to announce his resignation is a reflection of his short reign marked by inexperience, self-pity, paranoia and this stubborn refusal to take even a tiny part of the blame.
The leader spoke of her pain and “the worst time of her life”, as she had done before the election campaign in July when she faced a sling within her party over accusations of anti-Semitism that his close advisor Noah Zatzman launched against two of the three elected Green Party, Jenica Atwin, turned to the Liberals, and Paul Manly, who bit the dust on September 20 in British Columbia.
As several commentators have pointed out, Annamie Paul, as is customary, should have resigned the same evening after losing her bet to be elected in Toronto Center. Although she focused her campaign in this single constituency, she came fourth with a meager 8.6% of the vote. The chief complained of having received, on polling day, an email from the PVC Federal Council informing her that her leadership would be reviewed. However, it should not be a surprise for her: it is written in the statutes of the party.
While the climate crisis is an issue that increasingly preoccupies the population, the environmentalist party could realistically hope to score better than in 2019. It is rather to his crumbling that we attended. Of the three Green MPs, only two remain with one of them, Mike Morrice, in Kitchener Center, won by default somehow, with Liberal and frontrunner candidate Raj Saini having to step down campaign because of allegations of sexual misconduct.
The PVC received only 2.3% of the vote nationwide, a third of the percentage it obtained in 2019. In Quebec, the slide was even more severe: its starvation 1.5% compares at 4.45% in 2019.
During the race for the chiefdom of worms, less than a year ago, Annamie Paul had won the snatch after eight rounds of voting. Deprived of political sense, the bilingual lawyer did not show the leadership qualities that would have allowed her to recreate the unity of the party after this tight race. On the contrary, the new chief was blamed for putting aside all those who had not been fully acquired by her.
Annamie Paul demonstrated that it is not enough to speak French to understand Quebec or to want to understand it. Of the 23 members of his shadow cabinet, only two were from Quebec. She was critical not only of the State Secularism Act, but also of Bill 96 to strengthen the French language in Quebec. If she had been elected to the House of Commons, she said, she would not have voted for the motion of the Bloc Quebecois on the right of the National Assembly to modify the Constitution of Quebec to include therein that it forms a nation. In terms of political strategy, this is hardly clever, since the Bloc occasionally agreed to cede its right to speak in the chamber to green deputies.
The former boss Elizabeth May asserted that the party has “a great deal of soul-searching to do.” It’s the least we can say. We can believe that this disparate party, which brings together environmentalists who believe in the market economy, anti-capitalists, anti-nuclear activists and now animalists, must be reconstituted. Otherwise his crumbs may be swallowed up by the New Democratic Party.