Latest polling numbers indicate that the Green Party is a failed experiment in Canadian politics. Support for the Green Party has been rapidly collapsing in recent months.
A Simon Fraser University sourced five poll average over the last two years showed a steady increase in support for Greens in 2009 and first half of 2010 with a summer peaks above 12% average support across the Country. (http://www.sfu.ca/~aheard/elections/polls.html)
Since then–in just 8 months–the Greens have lost half of their support, down from 12% to 6%, a loss of two years worth of gains according to the SFU data. Take a look at the graph in the link above, the trends are unmistakable, with August 2010 as the turning point… What happened in August?…
Nik Nanos of polling firm Nanos Research, a past consultant for the Greens, has support for Greens at just 3.2% and dropping fast. Now that the Green Party won’t be in the televised debates, it is hard to imagine anything but a crushing final defeat for Elizabeth May and the Greens. It is doubtful that the Greens could gain back the confidence of voters after another failure. The Party is over.
What Happened to the Greens in August 2010?
Anyone who knows metrics, looks at this study and wonders: How does a decade long steady upward trend in Green support, with no major corrections, suddenly collapse? Without warning?… or was there warning?… Here’s a blog written at the peak of support for the Green Party last year, titled, “The End of the Green Party?”
In July 2010, Elizabeth May thought she had everything in her favor, but insiders like myself, who actually understand what it takes to build a political party and win elections, could see that the Green Party was in serious trouble: membership levels were dropping, candidates were quiting, Federal Councilors were resigning, organizers were being laid off, and the Party had a new Executive Director disagreeing with the Leadership every few months. While the polls showed support increasing, the polls didn’t measure the level of morale of volunteers or the willingness of Greens to give more of their hard earned money for a losing cause. Elizabeth’s insult to democracy around the 2010 BGM leadership scandal was the last straw for many.
At the peak of the Green Party’s support last year, Elizabeth May sent a personal message to Greens asking them to effectively make Elizabeth May the “Leader for Life” as some called it, instead of renew the party through a leadership race. Undemocratically, the sponsor of the motion, rival Leadership contender, Sylvie Lemieux was denied a chance to address the membership with her own message or response–E May shut Sylvie out of the debate. In fact May has a history of silencing those that disagree with her.
Elizabeth’s message contained several self serving lies. After the first round of voting failed to settle the leadership contest issue, May told Greens, and the media, that the issue was decided, to trick rival supporters into not showing up to vote Elizabeth May out. Members were so disgusted, only 12% of the Party voted in favor of Elizabeth May’s Leadership, even though she implied 85% of the entire Party supported her in her press release. Many members had silently–and not so silently–quit over the issue.
The number of environmentalist that see the Green Party as doing more good than harm, is a limited number to begin with–just ask David Suzuki. Most of the Greens new supporters were people looking for a different style of politics. What they got was a different type of rhetoric that quickly sounded just like the old parties, with back-room dealings, power-plays, crushing of dissent, out of control egos, nepotism, incompetence, and lies to the public.
Greens are known for voting for their choice even when the outcome is negative–helping to elect Conservatives in many ridings–because, as Greens say, “Voting for the lesser of two evils is still voting for evil.” Now many see Elizabeth May and the Green Party as just another evil. In light of E May’s conduct, greens find it harder to justify supporting the Green Party.
Now, even those that remained Green supporters have lost much of their enthusiasm. In BC, where Green support is highest, only two dozen members showed up to the recent 2010 AGM of the Green Party of BC. The writing was on the wall.
After all the blood, sweat and tears I shed for the Greens, I am sad to see the end to what looked like such a promising opportunity for us all. So many of us put so much into this cause, only to see it stolen by the very conduct we joined the party to oppose.
I am also bitter, because the failure of the Greens was not inevitable. The success of the party was virtually certain until Elizabeth May came to power.