Thursday, July 30, 2015


Elizabeth May tells us that her idea of a grassroots movement is a finely manicured lawn carefully maintained to suit the aesthetic preferences of its owners:
May said she didn’t want to thwart local efforts towards co-operation with other parties, but that she thinks she, Liberal Party Leader Justin Trudeau and NDP Leader Thomas Mulcair should be the ones to discuss how grassroots co-operation should work.
To be clear, there were plenty of problems with the Kelowna red-green pact which May seems to have nixed: it didn't make a lick of sense in terms of either reciprocity (since the Liberals were offering nothing in return for a Green candidate's withdrawal) or anticipated outcomes (since the NDP is in a far better position than the Libs to challenge the Cons in the seat). And so it's entirely justifiable that the deal itself would come under scrutiny.

But it's one thing for May to highlight where a specific arrangement has gone awry, and quite another for her to say generally that the plebes should be quiet until party leaders have decided how their activity should be channelled. And if anybody harboured any illusions that the Greens saw their own grassroots activists as significant political agents rather than easily-controlled minions, May seems to have decisively shattered them.

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