Why Elizabeth May should resign, and why it’s okay for one to say so
As a millennial—a term I don’t really use, but will in this case for practical purposes—and as a member of the Canadian Green Party, I have the allegedly harsh opinion that Elizabeth May should resign as soon as possible. It appears that my extreme opinion has garnered critiques saying that I am being rude, per say, or that one should not resort to blatant calls for resignation.
The obvious reason why one can call for May’s resignation is that those who oppose such meanness are expressing their opinions, and so, one in the first place has the right to express their opinions. But, for the sake of conviction, I believe that the facts alone point to a grim conclusion where the liberties of Canadians in favour of the BDS movement are on the verge of being infringed upon.
Let us first consider the factual evidence as published by Huffington Post and Ricochet. First, from Woodley’s article: “In an online vote prior to the convention, 58.5 per cent of Greens supported the BDS resolution. At the convention itself, the BDS resolution passed overwhelmingly on the floor. In an imperfect internal survey launched by the Green Party after the convention — with May threatening to resign over the BDS resolution — only 44 per cent of members recommended repealing the resolution. So, in fact, none of these polls support May’s recent assertion that the ‘vast majority’ of Greens are with her on this issue.”
As per the rules and constitution of the Green Party, the mildest possible BDS motion was democratically passed. There was an outcry that rules were to blame for this, for who could ever offer consequences for Israel while it violates human rights and builds illegal settlements? It was in fact Elizabeth May who supported these rules, however, and she would never have criticized the rules had the motion failed. Some opponents also claim that a majority of the members did not take part in the vote(s), and therefore the outcome is some fluke. Oddly enough, this is how all motions for the party are passed—with a majority of members not participating.
May has also publically declared (directly to me on Twitter, for example) that a “majority of members want the motion reconsidered.” This is factually false. Under 20% of the members even responded to the survey May ordered be sent requesting the motion be reconsidered. One of the recently fired Shadow Cabinet members of the Green Party, Dimitri Lascaris, outlines Elizabeth May’s disingenuous and anti-democratic actions thus far during her post-convention strategy:
“Promptly after the BDS resolution’s adoption at the Green Party of Canada convention in Ottawa, our leader and only Parliamentarian, Elizabeth May, threatened in national media to resign over it. Immediately following that threat, the party sent members an online survey. […] There are many deficiencies in this survey, including that less than 20 per cent of the party’s members responded to it. Perhaps its greatest flaw, however, is that it was disseminated immediately following May’s threat of resignation, which almost certainly meant that many of those who responded by expressing opposition to the BDS resolution were acting out of fear that the party was about to lose its leader, and were not expressing genuine opposition to the concept of BDS. Despite all of this, 56 per cent of the respondents did not say that they wanted the BDS policy to be repealed. If anything, this is a powerful indication of the degree to which the grassroots of the Green Party of Canada support the limited use of BDS to bring an end to Israel’s interminable and unconscionable occupation.”
May has so far resisted the natural democratic will of the GPC. Prominent Israel Lobby groups, meanwhile, brag in media publications that they have succeeded in persuading May to sack certain important members of the party. May has also outright lied that a majority of members voted to review the BDS motion, when less than twenty percent of members even replied to the survey, and in fact a majority of those who did respond did not even state they wanted the policy repealed. May has even threatened to resign from her position over the BDS policy. If May’s actions are anything to be judged by, surely she should indeed resign, and if her leadership is to be at all salvageable, her December meeting will be cancelled immediately and the Green Party will move forward defending the motions its members have democratically passed.