It was 2012 and Harper was still in power when a small story that slipped by most media outlets caught my attention. It was around the time I was researching the China file and May had caught a second treaty tabled the same day as the contentious Canada China FIPA, that held serious implications for the sale of Canadian uranium to China.
I liked that she had caught something few else had, and something that could have serious implications in times of international conflict. I also liked that over the years, she has stood firm in her ideals and said exactly whats on her mind. In an era where so many media outlets completely dropped any pretense of unbiased coverage, she has had to fight to be taken seriously, to be heard and as a party leader, to even be allowed to participate in debates.
The federal Greens profile has risen dramatically in recent years, in no small part due to the dedicated and unwavering efforts of May herself to refuse to play into the same old political boys club mantra of do whatever it takes to win. She has held other parties to their environmental failures. And with climate change rightly a big issue, Greens stood a chance to grow in the coming election despite a rift in the party over oil.
Just what the actual F*ck Elizabeth? After years of saying and demonstrating that she and the federal Greens wanted to see politics done differently, they take on a ” mediocre white guy to advise her political strategy.” ( from the link above) And not just any mediocre white guy, but the mediocre white guy who puts as much toxic into twitter as the hate he so boldly fights. Case in point, he just made Liz May look like fool, in likely trying to diss Trudeau.
And he retweeted this:
Urban Dictionary has a few definitions for the word dick used in the context Kinsella has, but I rather like this one best: “Someone that is constantly acting like an asshole when unnecessary“. Which really sums up this tweet. The only dick in these tweets is Kinsella.
I don’t know what happened to the Elizabeth May who has always held her own pitted against seasoned politicians in Ottawa and schooled them as well. The one who has gone through tough elections and performed in such stellar fashion that it inspired many. That Elizabeth May didn’t need protection from anyone. And I am going to go back to another older post in which I quoted from a Martyn Brown column after her performance in the Macleans debate in the last election:
May has also proved that her participation stands to change the entire tenor and content of any debate that might take place—and decidedly for the better.
Set aside that, as the only woman in the field, she alone stands to temper her competitors’ macho tussle of ideas and insults with some much-needed gender balance and a unique perspective.
Why the Globe is prepared to discount that imperative is as mystifying as it is glaringly inexcusable.
The larger benefit of May’s involvement is the option for change and democratic representation that her party stands to offer Canadians. It is an option that will be aided by her participation in the debates and that will be unconscionably suppressed if she is excluded.
Whatever the practical challenges may be in translating the Green party’s ideas into action and its often-lofty positions into workable policies, May’s views are important for another less obvious reason.
They remind us all that idealism still matters in politics.
Her positions are grounded in unyielding beliefs and values of what is right and what is wrong. They are often anything but “political” in the typical partisan sense, insofar as they tend to marginalize her own voter support base, as they also transcend party lines and their associated ideologies.
The trouble with being on the cusp of power—as the NDP now is, in lockstep with the Liberals and Conservatives—is that the power game becomes the only thing that really matters.
Ideals get thrown out the window when push comes to shove in the battle to play it safe with positions that always have the polls as their main object of focus.
The parties and their leaders all tend to speak in code to their prospective supporters by saying enough to win them over and by saying nothing that is not open to constructive interpretation in wooing any target audience.
This is the real value of May’s involvement. She is inclined to say exactly what she means, as if it really matters.
And some of what she says speaks directly to voters like me, who long to hear politicians stake their claim in ideals that are more concerned with right and wrong than with the narrow confines of their orthodox ideologies….”
And that’s the heart of what was drawing my vote to the Greens for the coming election, combined with a deep concern over climate change. I do have an issue with continuing oil and have expressed it loudly to the dismay of Greens I know on island. The Greens plan is, for the most part, a good one that could use a few tweaks, but its a start. I am beyond disgusted with Trudeau, who I voted for in the last election, to get rid of Harper. I will never vote for the Conservatives, period. And Singh has yet to show the kind of leadership I think we need in Canada.
The Kinsella thing though? Nothing about him jives with doing politics differently, as his own tweet confirms. He thinks people who want to do politics differently are dicks.Not just any dicks either, but the biggest ones. And the reaction from many Greens to those vehemently opposed to his hire has been disappointingly similar to the partisan politics played by other parties as well. ” Don’t post your beefs online, let the party know.” ” Oh if Kinsella makes you leave I wonder how dedicated those Green votes really were?”
Full stop and time for self reflection. You can’t say you do politics differently, then defend this kind of move while negating your own voters. I’m not a Green member either…I still believe and hope for independents…and this is why.
People who don’t like Kinsella and wont vote for a party who hires him, aren’t Liberal or NDP trolls. And we certainly aren’t all dicks. We are progressive, concerned citizens who are tired of hacks, flacks, and toxic partisan political games that these people make their money perfecting. It’s those tactics behind the cynicism that keeps nearly half of Canadians from being engaged or even voting and I can’t vote for anyone who thinks hiring this guy is a good idea.
As my headline quote states, the road to power is paved with hypocrisy and casualties….and the Greens stand to lose more than their credibility on the side the road over this move…they stand to lose everything they’ve worked hard to gain.
* Feel free to comment, but keep it clean and factual. Kinsella is a lawyer.