Editorial Cartoon by Graeme MacKay, The Hamilton Spectator – Friday July 16, 2021
Greens adopt a climate of cruelty in self-destructive attack on party leader
It is the sovereign purpose of the Green Party of Canada to save the world from planet-destroying global warming.
Its second purpose appears to be to badmouth Israel whenever an opportunity to do so presents itself.
It is really, really difficult to see how the second of these relates to the first. They are wildly dissimilar undertakings. For example, you may read hundreds and hundreds of books and articles about Israel and the Middle East and only rarely, if at all, come upon such phrases as carbon capture, biofuels, green new deal or tips on how to get the most out of your basement heater.
The topics or issues are, if you will forgive the phrase, a world apart, and yet within the Green party, the members’ stand on Israel apparently stimulates a passion surpassing even their horror of the planet’s imminent collapse.
Surely, I hear some mumbling, you exaggerate. Not at all. The recently elected leader of the Canadian greens, the accomplished Annamie Paul, has brought upon herself a great green fury. Not from any slackness on the global warming file. On global warming — the evils of oil companies, love of solar panels and giddiness over windmills — she is as green as the next planet saver, a veritable oak in the forest of green politics.
But on the matter of Israel, which as I’ve hinted has to be seen as desperately disconnected from any form of meteorological Armageddon, she had expressed a moderate view. In the most recent breakout of Middle East tension she called for “both sides to cease violence,” the burden of her position being that “Violence and confrontation will not bring resolution, only more suffering.”
That surely is an unexceptional statement. Indeed Ms. Paul’s words are intimately similar to the words and thoughts of the world’s most respected and venerated climate leader, Greta Thunberg. The gallant Ms. Thunberg spoke as the recent conflict raged: “I am not ‘against’ Israel or Palestine. Needless to say I’m against any form of violence or oppression from anyone or any part.”
But not on the side of the Canadian Green party, many of whose key figures and executives have been putting Annamie Paul through the political grinder, and being very public about it as well. They have relieved her of her staff. They are threatening an executive vote of non-confidence. Jenica Atwin, the only Green member ever elected in an Eastern climate (New Brunswick), took such offence from Paul’s moderate statement, that she is now gathered into the generous bosom of the Liberal party. Elizabeth May, who was originally a supporter of Ms. Paul, has been most uncharacteristically silent, as the new leader faces deep challenge and — check the Twitter feeds — some very harsh and frequent abuse.
In the most unkindest cut of all, Green party brass have moved to block the funding for their leader’s riding campaign. I have seen party leaders under siege and attack before. And these were real parties, by which I mean they had more than two or three seats in the House of Commons. In other words, the leadership was a real prize. But there is nothing in the memory to match the harshness and political cruelty directed to a leader who took over the position only nine months ago. And certainly nothing to match the grounds on which she is being attacked — the Middle East — which is, from any rational viewpoint, so utterly, almost infinitely unrelated to the one and central issue of every green party in the world: global warming.
The full-on public campaign against Annamie Paul coming from her own party’s supporters is as hot and heavy as any they have waged against Fort McMurray and the oilsands. And that’s a measurement that’s hard to meet.
But this little porch of a party that thinks it’s a mansion, is giving what it so likes to call “the old-line parties” a marvellous lesson in how to self-destruct with the most damage to your main issue, and how to drop below even a meagre two seats in Parliament once Prime Minister Justin Trudeau waves the election wand. It is also a first-class illustration of the old maxim, the smaller the prize, the messier the fight to own it. (Rex Murphy – The National Post)