Taken With A Green Of Salt

Elizabeth May steps down as party leader 

Alisha Samnani // Opinions Editor 

One of the most well-known names in Canadian politics has not resigned, but has stepped down from her position as leader. This hardly comes as a surprise—she has been dropping hints left, right and center over the past couple years. 

Three elected MP’s is an increase of 300 per cent, more than the Greens had before Elizabeth May became the leader. However, it also falls short of the projected number from the Green Party at the beginning of this campaign. 

While the Greens received over a million votes during the 2019 federal election, their portion of the popular vote fell short of the 6.8 per cent the party got during the 2008 election. 

During her time as leader, the party never seemed short of scandal. Whether citizens questioned the party’s position on abortion or debated the ability of the Greens to maintain the integrity of Canada as a whole, May’s campaign trail was paved with a multitude of controversies. In 2019, the Green Party faced political attacks on par with their mainstream rivals. The intensity of these attacks may have cost the party some of their seats, but it may have provided the party’s new leader with a learning opportunity. 

With a strong foothold in Canadian politics pre-established, a green party under a new leader would be harder to count out. The Prince Edward Island legislature includes eight Green MLAs, which is enough to construct the Official Opposition. The balance of power is held by three Green MLAs in British Columbia, plus three Green MLAs in New Brunswick and an additional Green MPP in Ontario. These positions provide a strong foundation for a party looking to blossom into a force to be reckoned with. 

The issues addressed by the Greens are only becoming more important over time, and allow the party to interlock themselves within the formation of Canadian public policy. 

May brought the Greens much farther than they previously were. She did so loudly, and with great gusto. Now the challenge is to find a new leader who can push them even further. 

Possible Green Party members who are looking to throw their hats in the leadership ring include Alex Tyrrell, who has been leading the Green Party of Quebec for six years. 

Whomever this leader turns out to be, they will still have May’s 13 years of experience to ease them into their new position. May will still be representing the Saanich-Gulf Islands as their member of Parliament. 

One thing is for certain – it’s time for the Green Party to refresh their image. A new leader just might help them do that. 

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