I Wish I Could Feel Upset


When your party holds just three seats in the House of Commons you don't need a leader who sows dissension among the party rank and file.

Green Party leader Annamie Paul has allowed the issue of Israel and Palestine to fracture the party and cause Green MP Jenica Atwin to cross the floor to the Liberals.

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."

The Greens are no longer a party in any meaningful sense. They're more a sentiment and muddled at that. Two offshore MPs, both from the left coast.  An arrogant leader from Toronto who hasn't managed to win a seat in the House of Commons.

Israel has been a problem for the Greens. Former leader, Elizabeth May, threatened to quit when party members came out solidly in favour of the Palestinians. That wound never healed. Then Annamie Paul took the reins with her senior advisor,  Noah Zatzman, who tore that wound wide open again.

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.

Zatzman has been given the boot but the damage is done. It's said that Elizabeth May chose her successor. I wonder what she was thinking.

Is the Green Party a fine idea that simply failed to launch? To me it does feel like that. It doesn't appear that the GPC has much of a future under the lackluster Annamie Paul and it's not clear that the party has the stamina to keep going as it waits for new leadership to revive it.  I wish I could feel upset.


  1. Yes, it's a complete fandango. I haven't got the first clue who Anamie Paul really is, and she's hardly been out there pushing Green issues. She might as well be a T.O. municipal councillor for all the nothing she's done, without having the slightest shred of national exposure except when it's bad. Completely and utterly useless in every sense. Rather like the NDP under Singh who moralize endlessly yet have dolts like Notley and Horgan provincially, neoliberal anti-environmentalists to the core, muddying any social democrat waters the Party claims to have. And no leadership nationally to give 'em a kick up the ass. Singh? Pfft. The very definition of a lightweight.

    The Greens have been sucker-punched by the Israeli right wing crowd and the empty but brutally real anti-anti-semitism BS they spout. Corbyn in the UK was outed as an anti-semite for showing interest in Palestinian issues, no more. Apparently in Canada we also have to be Israelis first, and there's none but cowering pols acquiescing to their horseshite. Are we all supposed to look the other way and say Israel is a wonderful place when it is the epitome of apartheid? Apparently so. Well, f*ck that. I'm not swearing notional allegiance to a foreign power under any circumstances.

    So, nobody to vote for in the upcoming election whatsoever. About sums up the cruddy state of the country at present. No leadership, crap politics, a pandemic to fight, constant revelations at what an arsehole country we've been in the past anyway, crazy racist Quebec insisting they're not, Ford using the notwithstanding clause to gerrymander Ontario provincial votes, and Trudeau off gallivanting in Cornwall, where the brains of the Western world wonder why China's got its back up. We're all supposed to be rah rah US worshipping dudes, supporting a paranoid country attempting to rule the world and willing to trash anyone who doesn't kowtow. The US itself is a dung heap of wasted resources used up for greed, much as it has taught the rest of the world to do. Or else. Not much hope for anyone really.

    Good thing I'm old. If I were a lot younger, I'd go insane. Or as most Canadians do, avoid thinking about the total mess we're in, rudderless and without sovereign vision, a third rate sack of spuds sprouting eyelets and turning mouldy in the dark.

    1. The last leader I can recall who had some vision was Paul Martin. The Kelowna Accord was a major step in our relations with First Nations. Martin was also a champion of RTP, Responsibility to Protect. His government legalized same sex marriage under the Civil Marriage Act. Pretty significant stuff for a guy with a minority government.

  2. Having at one time or another voted for the Greens, the Libs and the NDP (never for the Con artists) I fully endorse Bills comments. I too thank that I will not longer have to view the political nonsense both here and world wide, our kids could be in for hell re political choices!

    1. Well, Rural, we do seem to have reached a consensus. On election night, 2015, I really thought we were on the cusp of some form of progressive restoration. First Nations reconciliation, electoral reform, 'follow the science' climate policy, social licence, etc. Then we watched as, one by one, most of these promises were abandoned.

      A politically well-connected friend suggested that politics has lost its allure to the 'best and brightest.' I think he's right.

  3. Bill's comments are spot-on, Mound, and clearly attest to the sad state of our democracy. Here in Ontario, the same dearth of real choice prevails. I see no reason for any optimism whatsoever.

    1. It's telling, Lorne, how political disaffection has spread through our generation. There was a time when seniors were generally engaged even if it was to always turn out to vote for the home team.

      Have we become the "none of the above" generation? Has the offering become so meager?

      When Ipsos or Angus Reid come knocking I used to identify myself as a Green Party supporter, federally and provincially. Some months back I changed that to "undecided/independent."

      I wonder if the pandemic has played a role in turning us jaundiced and grumpy?

      There have been moments when I've wondered if Justin had more substance before he jumped into politics, some fire in his belly, if he might not have been a better politician. A west side Vancouver drama teacher is a pretty thin CV. His old man was battling Duplessis and manning picket lines with Marchand at that point. The son was the father stripped of all the challenge, courage and substance.

      Jesus wept.

  4. The effect of critical-comment-on-Israel in Canadian politics, on the speaker here,
    is inversely proportional to the effect it has on the situation in the middle east.

    I've joined/worked for the Libs and the NDP over the years depending on the current leadership, policies etc. Never found party politics very meaningful ... party members 'lick stamps and make cold calls' rather than shape policy. I even joined the Greens last year as I thought Dimitri Lacertids was worth supporting.

    "The Greens are no longer a party in any meaningful sense. "

    Hindsight being 20/20, I'd proffer that the Canadian Greens never were more than an ill-conceived lobby group, further muddying our hopeless political system and about as effective as the Council of Canadians.

    The Green party became a Lizzie-May cult. May exposed her savvy political skills by her suicide run against Peter McKay. She should have resigned then or been booted. Her most useful contribution to our public discourse was getting under Harper's skin during a debate when she provoked him into using (our taught-in-Geography-class moniker) "tar sands" for that bitumen disaster in Northern Alberta. May's political savvy drove her to anoint a cipher as her successor. (Or was it May's fetishism with Zionism?)

    Atwin's defection to the Libs rather than NDP speaks volumes about the pressure of political expediency. It also reflects poorly on the Greens in general.

    Unlike the previous posters, I'll likely have no trouble voting NDP this time around.

    Minority parliaments (especially when the NDP are steering the gov't) work best for Canada. (63-68, 72-74, now). Imagine the pandemic response with a Lib (or god-forbid) a CON majority? On pandemic response, the environment, Mideast and many other issues the federal NDP have better policies and positions.

    Like much of the world, Canada has a political and economic system that has some functional elements of democracy. Voting is one of those elements and I will give Mr. Singh and the NDP my support next time around and pray for a minority.

    1. "May's political savvy drove her to anoint a cipher as her successor. (Or was it May's fetishism with Zionism?)" That does sum it up, NPoV.

      Don't get too carried away with the NDP. Remember how Paul Manly became a Green. Popular as he is, he wasn't allowed to stand for the NDP because of his Israel/Palestine position. There's your "functional element of democracy."

      Good comment. Thanks.

    2. re Manly et al. I never supported the NDP during the Layton/Mulcair boondoggle years

      "Don't get too carried away with the NDP"

      not a chance - proudly politically promiscuous


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