An editorial by Mel Rothenburger.
THE GREEN PARTY of Canada will have a new leader in another few days. Members began voting Saturday and the announcement of the winner is expected this weekend.
Whoever it is, it will matter little. The Greens are a spent force in Canadian politics, beset by internal scandals, a chronic lack of campaign funds and plummeting public support.
Even among the party’s membership, there’s little evident interest in the leadership “race.”
Not even the return of Elizabeth May to a post as co-leader will make any difference.
Aside from its organizational and personality troubles, fact is the Greens are no longer relevant on the federal scene.
The party has never been able to get past its reputation as a strictly environmental movement. That’s a problem when there are so many other issues in need of addressing.
Voters are reluctant to support a party they aren’t confident could handle the economy, pressing social issues, a failing healthcare system or international crises. That’s what the other political parties are for.
Maybe more importantly, the Greens are no longer unique even within the scope of their environmental priorities. Climate change is now recognized as a reality among all parties, and addressed in various degrees.
There was a time when a merger of the Greens and New Democrats seemed logical but there would be little point to that when the Liberals and even the Conservatives — the latter to some extent at least — have climate change on their own agendas.
Green parties — as opposed to the Green Party — have created a place for themselves in mainstream politics around the world but attention to issues of sustainability, green energy and pollution no longer depends on a dedicated Green Party. Those things are no longer even the exclusive purview of left versus right on the political spectrum.
Here at home, the Green Party still has some relevance at the provincial level, but federally it’s an unnecessary duplication.
I’m Mel Rothenburger, the Armchair Mayor.
Mel Rothenburger is a former mayor of Kamloops and a retired newspaper editor. He is a regular contributor to CFJC Today, publishes the ArmchairMayor.ca opinion website, and is a director on the Thompson-Nicola Regional District board. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.