The Green Party’s poor performance in the federal election almost bankrupted the party and forced its extinction, according to an influential party member. The costs could also be political since members are already asking for the resignation of the leader, Annamie Paul.
With only 2.3% of the popular vote nationwide, the Greens will get a 50% reimbursement of their election expenses, a bonus only given to parties that exceed 2% of support. The three tenths of a point “saved the very existence of the party”, believes Daniel Green, former deputy leader and councilor of the Green Party of Canada for the Quebec countryside.
As for electoral districts, Elections Canada reimburses part of the expenses only to candidates who obtain 10% of the votes in their race. By finishing fourth, with 8.5% of the vote and only 3,672 votes, Annamie Paul will not be entitled to a reimbursement of 60% of her election expenses. It could cost the party around $ 70,000, which is already in financial trouble.
“Our goal was to secure 2% of the popular vote,” says Daniel Green. To achieve this, the party recruited “paper candidates”, who did not campaign, due to low recruitment. 100 constituencies, including twenty in Quebec, did not present any candidate.
Conflict with Quebec
“To be relevant at the federal level, you have to be relevant in Quebec,” says Daniel Green. A member of the party, he now wonders about the future of the leader.
The relationship has never been the most cordial between the members of the Quebec wing of the party – which has also presented its own platform – and the leader. Annamie Paul never set foot in Quebec during the campaign. The popular vote has declined by 75% in the province compared to the 2019 election.
“The chef has a responsibility. She could have tried to better understand Quebec. She could have spoken to the Quebec Greens so that they could explain to her how Quebec evolved while she was in Europe, ”communicates Daniel Green. The leader spent a few years on the Old Continent before returning to Canada in 2019. “We wanted to explain it, but we never had the opportunity to do so,” adds the former deputy leader of the party.
“The aggressiveness of the head towards the head of Bloc Quebecois, Yves-Francois Blanchet, and his positions, which are difficult to understand on Bill 96, have an impact in Quebec, ”thinks Luc Joli-Coeur, president of the Quebec wing. Annamie Paul’s leadership style, he says, was “non-unifying”.
In Toronto Center, the September 2020 appointment of Liberal candidate Marci Ien, a former CTV host, was a turning point for the riding represented until August 2020 by Finance Minister Bill Morneau.
“People have noticed the low presence in Bill Morneau’s neighborhood,” says Walied Khogali, a community activist. Despite a partial victory in 2020, the Liberals performed less well than usual, with 41% of the vote. But voters, continues Walied Khogali, have seen Marci Ien’s commitment since her election in October 2020 and rewarded her on Monday evening: 50.2% of voters supported her. “Marci Ien shows great leadership and empathy in the community,” said community activist Sureya Ibrahim at the start of the campaign.
Leadership mis en cause
After voters in Toronto Center, it will be up to Green Party members to assess their leader’s leadership at the end of November, at an annual meeting, if she has not resigned before as some predict. observers. “I wouldn’t be surprised if she resigned before the leadership review. I do not see how she can remain leader, slipped Mark Daye, a former candidate of the Green Party of Ontario.
“Unless she admits her faults and says she is ready to change, the best thing is if she leaves,” said Luc Joli-Coeur, Quebec activist, before the speech during which the chef did not address the issue of his leadership. “I hope she will make the difficult and courageous realization that her leadership style may not be the right way to be successful,” suggested Daniel Green.
This story is supported by the Local Journalism Initiative, funded by the Government of Canada.