Why ARE Green Party supporters so unquestioningly loyal to their leaders?

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Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture
Why ARE Green Party supporters so unquestioningly loyal to their leaders?

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

It's been years now of failure to elect anybody in Canada, or to have ANY real impact on the policies of any other party,  and yet a large bloc(no, not all, but enough)of GPC supporters are committed to staying with the same pro-corporate leadership on the same "free market" policies.  Why are they so committed, in practical political terms, to what clearly DOESN'T work?

How much more futility are they willing to put up with?

Stockholm

Actually, I have to say that it seems to me that Green Party supporters are NOT all that loyal. Its common knowledge that Elizabeth may is such an intensely abrasive person that vast numbers of people have quit the party directly as a result of her leadership. The list of people who have quit is so long and I leave it to veteran "green-watchers" like Ken to list them. The thing is that the very few people who are still "Green Party supporters" as opposed to being "ex-Green Party supporters" are mostly personal acolytes of EMay (God only knows why) and people who like being a big fish in a small pond.

Lachine Scot

Agreed. Not all of them are loyal, it's a generalization.  Some are loyal, some openly rebel against her, some leave the party, some just grin and bear her presence as a fact for the time being..

mimeguy

Don't confuse loyalty to the party with loyalty to individual leaders. 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I suppose another way to phrase it is...why isn't there a large-scale "Dump May" movement within the GPC?  It's not as if they'd have anything to lose by getting rid of her.  If nothing else, she cost them the feminist vote once and for all(at least as long as she stays on as leader)with her "frivolous choice" rant on abortion.

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

why isn't there a large-scale "Dump May" movement within the GPC?

You would think there would be a dump-May movement after the '08 election when she spent the last week of the campaign telling Canadians NOT to vote for her party unless they lived in Central Nova! But the thing to remember is that the GPC is NOTHING. You are talking about a phantom party that is just a name on a piece of paper and has just a couple of thousand members in the whole country - most of whom are May's immediate circle of friends and family. Who exactly is going to "dump" her?? The inmates have already taken over the asylum.

Lens Solution

Stockholm wrote:

Actually, I have to say that it seems to me that Green Party supporters are NOT all that loyal. Its common knowledge that Elizabeth may is such an intensely abrasive person that vast numbers of people have quit the party directly as a result of her leadership. The list of people who have quit is so long and I leave it to veteran "green-watchers" like Ken to list them. The thing is that the very few people who are still "Green Party supporters" as opposed to being "ex-Green Party supporters" are mostly personal acolytes of EMay (God only knows why) and people who like being a big fish in a small pond.

I think you are right.  Green supporters have shown they are not blindly loyal and will object when they have had enough.  Look at what happened in Guelph.  The former Green candidate got fed up with Elizabeth May's behavior and quit, and apparently the riding association didn't want her to run there either, despite the fact they got good results in the riding in the last election.

nicky

Polls have consitently shown that the Green vote is much less committed and more likely to switch than the vote for every other party.

I suspect that the Greens really shot their bolt in the last federal election. Despite sizable media attention and expectations they fell miserably flat. They will not get the same attention or enthusiasm next time and their vote may well dwindle down to the 2 or 3% level they have consistently been mired at in recent byelections.

Stockholm

You said it better than i could have!

D V

Hi, mimeguy, I remember you as one the better ones, and if something closer to your spirit prevailed, maybe I'd still be there. If you could share, (privately if you prefer, i am curious of course & still do watch, engaged in my own way), I'd like to know more about what's behind your departure as candidate.

As for the "dump-May" comments, there did seem indeed to be one such dumping effort not all that long ago. But the replacement came from a group i sometimes found repugnant, and would have quit had they become ascendant, had i not already let go.

Re "shooting their bolt" last time, it was precisely after that they should have retrenched with a riding-centric & spokesperson-diffuse approach (not just token) to build on what they'd attained. Instead the focus on one riding & person only is very bad for the party in the near & medium term. I don't expect fatal in the longer term though. If Eliz. somehow wins a seat, will media attention be more than already had?

 

 

 

2dawall

Is the Green party a real party? E May seems very friendly with certain Liberals and the person who led the party before her was a former Tory who was still close to the party and spoke much like he was still a member of it. The Green Party of Canada is a checkerboard for agents/speedbumpers from other parties.

She is not nearly as pro-freemarket as the previous leader but she is more ineffective.

Pope Teddywang Pope Teddywang's picture

I'm beginning to develop the idea that E. May is a professional spoiler candidate.

Last election she chose to help split the vote against Peter MacKay, one of the most corrupt people in government, who comes from a family well known to be up to it's nipples in Bear Head, Krupp-Thyssen, KH Schreiber etc.

This time around she is shoring up the vote-splitting in Saanich/Gulf Islands in favour of Gary Lunn.

 Opposing Lunn for the Liberals is Renee Heatherington, a climate scientist.

 Considering Lunn's squeaker victory over Briony Penn, engineered by a last-minute dirty-tricks campaign, I think it's worth considering.

Especially since Saanich/Gulf Islands is the home riding of Christy Clark's ventriloquist, Gwyn Morgan.
http://thetyee.ca/Opinion/2011/03/08/ClarksHardRightAdvisor/

This environmental flat-earther would hate to see a (l)iberal environmentalist representing the riding which contains his waterfront mansion, and is not above conspiring to prevent it.

See this:
http://thetyee.ca/News/2008/10/21/Lunn/

Lens Solution

Is there anyone here who lives in Saanich-Gulf Islands?  What are the feelings on the ground there among the public about Elizabeth May?  Does she have much credibility? 

I would assume her opponents are going to bring up the fact that this is the 3rd province she has now run for a seat in, something which is pretty unprecedented in Canada.  Candidates don't normally travel from one part of the country to another looking for a different province to run in every election.  She swore in 2008 after the last election that she would run in Nova Scotia again because it was her home, and yet here she is trying to parachute herself into a riding on the other side of the country.

KenS

Even not being there I know that May has enough credibility to be taken seriously and to be seen as a threat to Lunn.

Thats a pretty low bar when you are putting ALL of your eggs in the one basket.

What the GPC has given up for this one and only roll of the dice, you would think it should have better odds than maybe she could win, if everything falls the right way, and if ______, and if.....

mimeguy

Hi DV - Thank you for the kind words.  The reason for my resignation from running in TS was at the request of the new riding association executive.  However I'm not leaving the party and will still be working where I can.  I'm also not opposed to running elsewhere in Toronto but that would have to come at the request of an executive. 

Ken S. - Yes, Elizabeth May is a strong candidate and is taken seriously and it would be very foolish to do the opposite.  Whether this puts her in contention is another question and issue. 

The strategy of one riding / one candidate focus is a mistake in the opinion of many Greens but that's the strategy chosen and we'll either be successful or not.  I still don't see any indication that the liberals are able to return to their previous electoral strength under Ignatieff and I'm not sure Harper has what it takes any longer to take a strong majority.  So we haven't 'shot our bolt' yet. 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If she loses in SGI...will May FINALLY stand down as leader? 

I guess I just wish they'd choose somebody who'd stand up for the Green Party vision that people like Petra Kelly stood for.  That was a party that actually mattered.

KenS

Its worth noting the reaction on blogs when I started pointing out how much money was being burnt in May's endless Central Nova campaign, and the lengths gone to hide that.

There were a couple dissidents who accepted it right away. But most even of May's non-fans were at the very least skeptical- they doubted it could be THAT bad.

That isn't 'loyalty'. It is a healthy skepticism, plus a normal feeling that even people within your party you do not agree with wouldn't do something like that. [Or would they?]

KenS

mimeguy wrote:

The strategy of one riding / one candidate focus is a mistake in the opinion of many Greens but that's the strategy chosen and we'll either be successful or not. 

It is not just the strong emphasis on May as the best shot for winning a seat. Even people who do not like that agree that May is the best prospect fpr winning a seat, and that the realities of FPTP make for some tough choices about getting that seat.

But even accepting that, it is another matter to completely hollow out the rest of the party while May and the bubble around here goes hither and yon burning up resources in the heedless matter that is anything but a responsible approach to focusing on the consensus choice to focus on May winning.

The normal tradeoff would be an "adult discussion" where the party agrees that there is a need to concentrate on the Leader winning a seat, and the Leader goes about it in the most expeditious and efficient manner. May has all along the way done the opposite of that.

Snert Snert's picture

What I wonder about GPC members and supporters is how they maintain all that false optimism.

"I'm a driver, I'm a winner; things are going to change, I can feel it!"

Stockholm

I'm not sure that there is all that much "false optimism" in fact I've noticed that a lot of the Green supporters who used to ham it up in babble seem to have slinked away in the past year and a half as EMay's antics have been more and more of an embarrassment.

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

I guess I just wish they'd choose somebody who'd stand up for the Green Party vision that people like Petra Kelly stood for.  That was a party that actually mattered.

fyi: http://greenparty.ca/node/2824

pcml

Well some of you should look at this

 

http://shavluk.com/?page_id=86

 

elley mays days are numbered I would say

 

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I'm not sure that that link actually hurts her.  The candidate she removed(a person who was banned from this forum, IIRC) sounds like a person ANY non self-destructive political party WOULD remove as a candidate.  What he said about 9/11 was shameful and bigoted.

Lens Solution

The problems May has had with the Guelph riding association and its candidates probably say more about her leadership.

pcml

Well he is now running against her in SGI BC and has an Appeal in the BC Supreme Court that will render her a non eligable candidate

Obviously I am going to help and so are many

Yes Shavluk was banned here after going Green and leaving the NDP

It still doesnt silence those that see the real truth

The Greens have dropped to 4,000 members from 12,000 and 1,500 of those were signed up by Shavluk and now are working to remove E May

By the way Shavluk is a BC NDP member and will be at the leadership meeting 

Interested Observer Interested Observer's picture

pcml wrote:

Well he is now running against her in SGI BC and has an Appeal in the BC Supreme Court that will render her a non eligable candidate

Obviously I am going to help and so are many

Yes Shavluk was banned here after going Green and leaving the NDP

It still doesnt silence those that see the real truth

The Greens have dropped to 4,000 members from 12,000 and 1,500 of those were signed up by Shavluk and now are working to remove E May

By the way Shavluk is a BC NDP member and will be at the leadership meeting 

Is that you Shavluk? Wink

Snert Snert's picture

LOL!

 

Do you, by any chance, know this "Shavluk" fellow?

 

Quote:
Obviously I am going to help

 

How could you not?

 

Brian White

What a stupid thread.    "You are right".  "Hey man,  you are righter than me".  Some of the most cravenly "loyal to their leaders" people on babble have posted here.  Why not ask yourselves the same question?   Remember stockholm defending Carole James AFTER her political death?

Send the dissidents to the gilotine!  But  marm?  (stockholms word)  thats 1/3 of the party!

It would be nice if the greens or ndp were relevent partys federally.  But so far they are BOTH just spoiler partys for the federal Liberals. 

Sealed Correct?

Lachine Scot

I agree-- I think, no matter if we dislike the Greens for whatever reason, that we should be wary of reproducing the same attitude that Liberal and Conservative parties have towards all leftists -- "Ahh, they're jokes, they'll never change anything, why don't they just give up, etc.."

Pope Teddywang Pope Teddywang's picture

I live here, and my family has lived here for my several generations.

Hence my familiarity with the situation locally.

mimeguy

Ken Burch - "If she loses in SGI...will May FINALLY stand down as leader? I guess I just wish they'd choose somebody who'd stand up for the Green Party vision that people like Petra Kelly stood for.  That was a party that actually mattered.

 

There are many hard working people within the party who could have been given the opportunity to be much better known than they are. This is another weakness of the party in general and most people know I have that opinion. Yes there are people known within their own ridings and those who have popped up here and there. Being quoted in a press release is not enough. Shadow cabinet members are rarely seen or heard from except in isolated situations and/or only within their immediate surroundings. This needs to change. Strong candidates who become known in the media and help build the image of the party should never be viewed as competition but the emphasis on only having the leader and and to a lesser extent, deputy leaders as the sole image of the party is a recipe for disaster.

Whether Elizabeth steps down or not is her choice and her right and now that her leadership has been endorsed until after the next election she doesn't have to consider it. The task is to make the strategy work.

 

West Coast Greeny

Interested Observer wrote:

pcml wrote:

Well he is now running against her in SGI BC and has an Appeal in the BC Supreme Court that will render her a non eligable candidate

Obviously I am going to help and so are many

Yes Shavluk was banned here after going Green and leaving the NDP

It still doesnt silence those that see the real truth

The Greens have dropped to 4,000 members from 12,000 and 1,500 of those were signed up by Shavluk and now are working to remove E May

By the way Shavluk is a BC NDP member and will be at the leadership meeting 

Is that you Shavluk? Wink

AAHHHH!!!! *runs*

West Coast Greeny

May led one election and managed to increase the Green vote from 4.5 to 7%. There's not really much reason to ditch her. An election is in all probability 2 months away. I'll wait to see how she does.

pcml

The last time the federal Marijuana Party ran they had 65,000 votes while the Greens themselves only recieved 100,000

Those people then  voted NDP in 2006 and then because of Laytons cowardly moves in Quebec City they voted Green in 2008

This time it looks like a  liberal vote as the NDP wont risk speaking for them

 

I can assure you their presence in the Greens will be greatly missed

And elley may will be then cast aside as garbage by this move by them I say

A quarter million votes by some estimations

One election is nothing in our group

 

elley may must be gone before the Greens ever get any help from us this next time

And you can pretend I am who ever you like it changes nothing as our group has its own internal boards

 

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

The last time the federal Marijuana Party ran they had 65,000 votes while the Greens themselves only recieved 100,000

 

That wasn't the last time, that was in 2000.

 

Four years later, the GPC jumped to 582,000 votes, while the MPC vote got slashed in half, at 33,000.

 

In 2006, the GPC saw a modest increase, to 665,000 votes, while the MPC circled the drain with only 9,000.

 

And in 2008, the real "last time" the MPC ran, the GPC picked up 941,000 votes, and the MPC a pathetic 2,300, behind such fringe parties as CPC, CPC-ML, Christian Heritage, the Libertarian Party, and even "Independent/No Affiliation".

 

Evidently the one-trick pony that we call the Marijuana Party is running out of momentum.

 

Who knew that Canadians would demand a party platform consisting of something other than legalizing pot? Isn't getting baked enough for people anymore??

JKR

This jungle resembles Canadian politics:

The Problems with First Past the Post Voting Explained

 

NDP - tiger

Consevatives - Gorilla

Liberals - Leaopard

Old PC Party - Monkey

Green Party - Turtle

contrarianna

Pope Teddywang wrote:

I'm beginning to develop the idea that E. May is a professional spoiler candidate.

Last election she chose to help split the vote against Peter MacKay, one of the most corrupt people in government, who comes from a family well known to be up to it's nipples in Bear Head, Krupp-Thyssen, KH Schreiber etc.

This time around she is shoring up the vote-splitting in Saanich/Gulf Islands in favour of Gary Lunn.

 Opposing Lunn for the Liberals is Renee Heatherington, a climate scientist.

 Considering Lunn's squeaker victory over Briony Penn, engineered by a last-minute dirty-tricks campaign, I think it's worth considering.

....

Your designation of May as the spoiler hardly holds water since May declared her candidency first, with the NDP candidate the weak latecomer "spoiler" (if you want to think in those terms-- thinking which Layton declared "undemocratic" )The NDP candidate didn't score 2/3rds the votes of May.

Iggy's Liberals, and soon the NDP, will offer "spoiler" candidates in Saanich-Gulf Islands--with my guess  being  Lunn will win and May 2nd.

Nevertheless, I'll probably be voting for May as the most likely to unseat the wretched Lunn, I voted for Penn last election for the same reason.

pcml

No sorry I meant before the Greens went "National"

GreenJoan Russow111----104,4020.81%+0.38%    MarijuanaMarc-Boris St-Maurice73*--*66,2580.52%

And

I mean the real Marijuana party and certainly not the ""Radical Marijuana Party"" as its  been for a while

Contrary to how it looks the mass of the Marijuana Party went NDP and I can show you where and when

Now we can argue semantics and you can laugh at me only after the next election !

We shall see sonny

Your put downs are telling though thanks

pcml

It wont let me edit strangely

 but we also kicked but votes per number of candidates

 

After this election we were NDP

Lens Solution

contrarianna wrote:

Pope Teddywang wrote:

I'm beginning to develop the idea that E. May is a professional spoiler candidate.

Last election she chose to help split the vote against Peter MacKay, one of the most corrupt people in government, who comes from a family well known to be up to it's nipples in Bear Head, Krupp-Thyssen, KH Schreiber etc.

This time around she is shoring up the vote-splitting in Saanich/Gulf Islands in favour of Gary Lunn.

 Opposing Lunn for the Liberals is Renee Heatherington, a climate scientist.

 Considering Lunn's squeaker victory over Briony Penn, engineered by a last-minute dirty-tricks campaign, I think it's worth considering.

....

Your designation of May as the spoiler hardly holds water since May declared her candidency first, with the NDP candidate the weak latecomer "spoiler" (if you want to think in those terms-- thinking which Layton declared "undemocratic" )The NDP candidate didn't score 2/3rds the votes of May.

Iggy's Liberals, and soon the NDP, will offer "spoiler" candidates in Saanich-Gulf Islands--with my guess  being  Lunn will win and May 2nd.

Nevertheless, I'll probably be voting for May as the most likely to unseat the wretched Lunn, I voted for Penn last election for the same reason.

May is a spolier - she shouldn't even be running in Saanich - Gulf Islands.  As she herself said constantly in 2008, Nova Scotia is her home, and that is where she should be running.  She swore on election night in 2008 that she would run in Central Nova again, and then less than a year later she parachuted herself over to British Columbia.

The reason she is a spoiler is because wherever she shows up it prevents parties like the NDP from winning the seat.

Snert Snert's picture

Quote:

The reason she is a spoiler is because wherever she shows up it prevents parties like the NDP from winning the seat.

 

The Greens too, evidently.

KenS

That snarky comment is not far off the mark.

Give ANY other Leader 3 elections, with HALF of what May has spent so far; he or she would despite the uphill battle with FPTP which is assumed, either be in the House already, or in a position to probably win this time.

While May is only in a position that if she gets lucky she could possibly win. Despite all that money, the hollowing out of the rest of the party except her personal campaign, and the public profile assets she had but another Leader would not have.

Krago

A big "What if?":  What if the government falls on March 25 with an election called for May 9, and the much-feared nuclear meltdown in Japan occurs at about the same time?  If the main issue in the election is nuclear safety, wouldn't that be an issue that would play directly to the strengths of the Green Party (Warren Kinsella notwithstanding)?

Snert Snert's picture

One might expect that if a nuclear accident were to occupy the electorate's imagination then all of the parties would have a response to it, and that that response would include homilies about safety and testing and exploring new ways and all of that.  Why would the Cons or the Libs or the NDP sit that one out? 

Krago

It's not so much what the party's say as how much credibility they would have saying it.  Liberal, Tory and NDP provincial governments have all been pro-nuclear, so if the public mood suddenly goes sour on nukes, the Green Party could become a surprisingly big parking lot for votes.

Snert Snert's picture

I suppose that's possible.  But the other parties could, I would think, deflate that in a hurry by asking the Greens for their immediate back up plan.  It's easy enough to say "Nukes are dangerous and we should shut them all down!", but how to make up the hydro shortfall, which we would need the instant we flip the switch on Darlington, isn't such an easy question.  Blather about investigating biomass isn't going to cut it, and the Greens would hamstring their own credibility if they suggest coal.

Krago

Who says you need to have a credible alternative ready?  Look at the debate a few years ago about the proposal to ship Toronto' s garbage up to the Adams Mine.  What alternatives were proposed by the mine's opponents?  Shipping it down the 401 to Michigan?  Building an incinerator?  The only realistic proposal offered was for everyone to click their heels three times and wish it away!

Luckily, the Green Lane Dump purchase came along just in time.  Now hundreds of trucks drive the 401 each day to dump Toronto's garbage right beside First Nations territories and only a few kilometres from the Great Lakes.  And nobody says a word.

KenS

Krago is right that a credible alternative is not required for the Greens to cash in on such an if. Not in the least.

But even at the level of 'branding' the Greens, and even less Elizabeth May in SGI, hav not branded themsleves in a manner that would capitalize on a catastrophe.

The word 'Green' alone is not enough to get substantial vote shift tipping point for something like this.

The branding has been 'not them' [not any of them], better, more integrity (sic), and those kinds of very generic and nebulous things. The little exposure that EMay has, thats where she puts her eggs, not stuff like climate change even though it is still by far the biggest environmental concern.

Snert Snert's picture

Fair enough.  I don't want to overestimate the electorate.  ;)

D V

KenS wrote:

Krago is right that a credible alternative is not required for the Greens to cash in on such an if. Not in the least.

But even at the level of 'branding' the Greens, and even less Elizabeth May in SGI, hav not branded themsleves in a manner that would capitalize on a catastrophe.

The word 'Green' alone is not enough to get substantial vote shift tipping point for something like this.

The branding has been 'not them' [not any of them], better, more integrity (sic), and those kinds of very generic and nebulous things. The little exposure that EMay has, thats where she puts her eggs, not stuff like climate change even though it is still by far the biggest environmental concern.

GPC has erred very much in the top-heavy approach. The leader for understandable reasons has surrounded herself with people unlikely to challenge her. It remains to be seen if the organization can be salvaged in a beneficial way after whatever happens in SGI. I was the only one I saw when I was active among them, harping on how so much more & better & different they could have done WITHOUT such a $ focus.In a way. If the Cons. manage to eliminate the vote subsidy, it could be a good thing, towards reconstructing the movement-party connexion. But anglo-Canada tends to be so politically out of it, very much incl. "Greens", one wonders if it would be worth it. i have always felt that provincial focus should be where it is at for greens, but I am in woeful Ontario, where I found even less grasp of what real fundamental dissent could/should look like.

But the brand abides as it is, and my feelings a few years ago that in a few election cycles, barring upheaval (eg Quebec gone, and even then perhaps), the vague "left" stemming from the NDP and the vague "right" stemming from the Greens could rise to play central political roles; that could still come to pass, but Greens would have to overcome not only their internal upset after goings on since I quit them 1&1/2 years ago, they'd have to figure out (I had & have suggetsions, of course, but I guess it might mean a new party altogether) how not to try to be like a combo of the Australian Democrats for populism & the Greens for "movement" orientation.

One major quibble, however, with KenS's comment, which is why i am moved to post really: Climate volatility is not "still by far the biggest environmental concern". The Greens have to learn to extricate themselves from technocratic-oligarchical piggybacking on that aspect of their cause, for one thing. And that overall issue is superceded by what actually afforded Euro Green types an unexpected big boost in elections not long ago, electromagnetic pollution endangering everything with cells in its body. Addled brains cannot deal effectively with effects of climate volatility, nor anything else.

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