David Chernushenko quits the Canadian Green Party, citing the exact same points I did

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

That's exactly why I wanted him to be the leader of the party instead of Elizabeth May. I wrote on the day of the election that:

I really like the Green Party, but I'm not much of a fan of May's leadership. She's a bit too risky (challenging Peter McKay for a seat when she could have gone for a seat she could have actually won instead) and doesn't make as good a case for the party as she could, always seeming to portray it as a party you might want to vote for, but hey, Liberal's pretty good too so vote for them if you want. I don't see much of a future in a party that is willing to throw away votes that easily. Let's not forget that votes = party funding in Canada, and there's no guarantee that Green Party support is going to go up again next election. For all we know there could be a split vote, the Conservatives will gain in seats and those that voted for the Green Party will think: 1) Voting for the Green Party = more Conservatives, and 2) The Green Party leader believes that a vote for the Liberals is just about as good, so why not vote for them next time?

So I'm hoping for just a small increase in the vote for the Greens, enough to bring them more funding but no seats in order to bring about questions about May's leadership, and perhaps next time there could actually be a leader that will have the party's long-term prospects in mind.

Edit: So far the Greens have increased their vote from 4% to 6% (though they've usually done best in Alberta and the West so that'll probably go up a bit) and May has lost her bid for the seat to Peter McKay, coming in second. Had she gone for a safer seat she could have been in Parliament this time.
Well, it turns out that David Chernushenko has quit the party, citing the exact same reasons I gave above.
David Chernushenko, who lost his bid for the leadership of the party to Ms. May in March 2006, said he quit the party because of Ms. May's "autocratic approach" and references that she made during the election campaign that suggested Green supporters should vote for other parties to keep the Conservatives out of power.

"There's only one clear message that any political party must give and that's 'vote for our candidates,' " said Mr. Chernushenko.


Mr. Chernushenko believes comments made by Ms. May confused voters and demoralized Green candidates.

Ms. May was quoted in the Globe and Mail and Maclean's suggesting that defeating the Conservatives was her primary concern, a statement some have interpreted as support for strategic voting.

"Either you consider yourself a serious political party, or you're not," said Mr. Chernushenko yesterday. "If you want to run an 'Anything-But-Conservative' movement, do that. But don't do both."


Mr. Chernushenko said he was frustrated when he spoke to party supporters and had to justify Ms. May's statements and her decisions, including the controversial choice to run against Peter MacKay in Central Nova, a riding the Conservative heavyweight has held since 1997. Mr. MacKay won 46.6 per cent of the vote in Central Nova with Ms. May in second with 32.2 per cent.

That's exactly right. He also made the point in an editorial before the election that I wrote about above that in Canada votes = money, $1.83 per vote to be exact. This means that the simple anti-Harper campaign that May ran last election resulted in the loss of somewhere from a few thousand to a few hundred thousand dollars in yearly funding for the party, from those that wanted to vote Green but were given the impression that voting Liberal could be just about as good. It's a pity the party lost him.


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