UPDATE – August 4th, 2021 – 8:45 am – Since posting this blog, the video below seems to have been removed. Interesting turn of events, right? The post below still stands.
We’re getting closer to what appears to be an inevitable election in a couple of weeks, and just to be safe, all of the parties are getting ready to compete in it. Well, almost everyone it seems, as the drama within the Green Party continues apace. The last time I dipped my toe into the water of this story, it was to comment on the latest legal actions taken by the Greens against their own leader.
This story has been crazy and continues to get crazier as this goes along. Just last week the details of their latest federal council meeting became public over Twitter as it was happening. CBC reported part of those details, including that if an election were to be called in the next month, the Greens would have about $300,000 in the bank. $300,000 to run a national election campaign, that’s it, that’s all. That compares to the $1.9 million they had at the start of the 2019 election and $3 million when the writ dropped in 2015.
And if you thought that was bad enough, just like everything else that has happened with this story, you really haven’t seen nothing yet. Tonight, I had the following YouTube video brought to my attention on Twitter and folks, it’s quite something:
That is Sarah Gabrielle Baron, a Green member from Manitoulin Island. She states that she has no official title within the Greens and simply a member, concerned about what she’s seeing. The topic of the video? “Letting Greens know that some of us are generating an Emergency Motion that will be tabled at the Virtual General Meeting the weekend of August 21”, or at least that’s what the video description says. But really the title of the video cuts right to the chase much better; “Emergency Motion to remove Annamie Paul as the leader of the GPC.”
Yep, it looks like a group of members will be going to their General Meeting in late August (which Leader Annamie Paul has said will happen, election or not) to remove her. Baron uses variations on the word “dictator” more than a few times to describe Ms. Paul’s leadership, and really, she doesn’t back any punches. She appears to claim that Ms. Paul is determined to destroy the Green Party, an accusation that despite everything that’s going on in this story, seems totally over the top. It’s all quite the video.
Maybe most ironically of all Baron tries to answer the question of the bad timing of removing a leader either right before or during an election. As you can imagine that answer isn’t a very good one or realistic one, but it does fit will within this crazy story. It was an answer that admitted this isn’t a good time, yet never really makes the case that this move is justified. And then, as if to add the cherry on the top of this crap sundae, she pulled out one of the worst and oldest tropes that seems to come out when you seen internal party fighting like this; she pulled out the “true” member card.
She lamented that she worries that “true Greens” will get “fed up” and form their own party. This somehow backhandedly partially proving part of Ms. Paul’s thesis about the problems with the party, because somehow only some members are “true” members and others are to apparently be viewed as suspect. What exactly makes one a “true member” as opposed to something else? Well, that’s something that those who use this trope never seem to explain in any detail, which just adds to how odious it is to my senses.
Last time I checked the only thing anyone needed to be a “true member” of a party was to hold a valid membership in said party. There isn’t some special category that separates or elevates one member over the other. There isn’t something that makes one member more valid or real than another. That’s the whole idea of political parties; the person who just joined today is as important as the one whose been there for 40 years. If that wasn’t the case, what would the motivation for anyone new to join a political party or get involved with them? Who would want to do that just to be treated as second class or less than because of some arbitrary feeling of those who have been there longer? Amazingly, with that slip of the tongue, this video muddied the waters of this dispute that much more.
Watching that video tonight I couldn’t help but think of an old famous quote by Napoleon Bonaparte that feels so apropos for this moment; “Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake.” Yep, they are making a hell of a lot of mistakes, and they’re doing it so fast it’s not giving us any time to interrupt if we wanted to. And with this video and the news of an emergency motion coming in the new few weeks, it looks like even an election call won’t stop the Greens from fighting themselves.