That Cuts It. Annamie Paul Has to Go or the Greens Are Finished.
There has been no end of speculation surrounding former Green MP Jenica Atwin's defection to the Liberal Party.
The scenario revealed by Michael Harris that, despite her claims of innocence, party leader Annamie Paul is squarely to blame.
Sources close to the situation told The Tyee that rookie leader Paul has rejected any analysis that concludes that she was responsible for Atwin’s decision to join the Liberals. Those sources say that Paul was convinced that Atwin was a threat to her leadership, and as the former parliamentary seatmate of former Liberal cabinet minister Jody Wilson-Raybould, had been whispering to the Grits for a long time about joining them.
Sources within the Green party told The Tyee that the grassroots of the party, especially younger voters, saw Atwin as the natural future leader of the party. As the sense grew that installing Paul as leader was a major mistake, Atwin was seen as the right choice as interim party leader.
One of the key issues that leader Paul has raised is that MP Atwin never gave her a chance to deal with the young MP’s issues before she decided to cross the floor. But The Tyee has learned that in a meeting on May 26, attended by several witnesses, Atwin tried desperately to get Paul to listen to her.
The New Brunswick MP asked for an active email that would work in her attempts to reach the leader. Multiple sources who were at that meeting have told The Tyee that Paul told Atwin that her email accounts received Atwin’s requests, but the leader chose not to answer them. Those same sources say that Atwin was in tears at the meeting.
But the alternative, according to sources close to the situation, would be to continue to support a leader who “has no friends” inside the party and has shown no interest in reaching out to other members of the party. On getting the job, Paul requested the pay rate of an elected MP and major funding for the Toronto riding in which she intends to run.
“No political party has ever been loving to a defecting MP. The lessons from David Emerson to Belinda Stronach and Eve Adams and so many others, is that the rejected party members turn on the turn-coat. ‘Don’t let the door hit you on your way out.’ I hope that by doing something with no precedent in politics, saying to an MP who defected to another party — ‘We love you, please come back’ — maybe she will,” May told The Tyee.