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Annamie Paul has won the Leadership race for the Green Party of Canada and will be replacing Elizabeth May as leader of the Party. Paul is the first black woman to become a Federal Party leader.
May announced she was stepping down as leader last year, leading to a call for a new leader. May was Canada's longest-serving active leader of a party with seats in either the House or a provincial legislature.
Membership doubled since the 2019 Federal Election, leading to 35,000 party members and a list of 8 candidates to choose from. Meryam Haddad, Courtney Howard, Amita Kuttner, Dimitri Lascaris, David Merner, Glen Murray, Annamie Paul, and Andrew West.
69 percent of members voted in the leadership election.
For this race, there were no public polls to determine the front-runner. The best guess was estimated base don donations. In this sense, the two front-runners were human rights lawyer Paul and Montreal-based lawyer Lascaris.
SURROUNDED BY CONTROVERSY
This was seen as a deeply controversial Leadership race, often spiraling out of control. Missing ballots, donations, and last-minute rule changes, all led to harsh criticisms. There were also disqualifications and subsequent re-qualifications.
In the case of Murray, the party was forced to openly admit it held funds from his campaign. In the Green Leadership, donations are given to the central party, which takes 25 percent and then delegates appropriately. In Murray's case, he simply never received the nearly $10,000 owed to him. He says this hurt his campaign.
He furthermore revealed that members were not receiving their electronic ballot. 99 percent of members opted to vote electronically. He and another candidate, Meryam Haddad have raised issue around their supporters never receiving a ballot. The party said they were looking into it.
Haddad is also controversial as she was disqualified from the race after endorsing the B.C. Eco-Socialist Party over the B.C. Green Party. The was then subsequently re-qualified.
Haddad states she is also upset with the party unilaterally changing its own rules, and allowing now lapsed members to vote in the election.
Lascaris’ candidacy was initially rejected by the party’s vetting committee in late May due to “public statements on a number of issues”. These issues are specifically criticized for being anti-Semitic in nature. In a 2018 tweet, Lascaris suggested two Liberal MP's are more devoted to Israel merely because they are Jewish. Lascaris narrowly lost.
THE GREEN FUTURE
In the 2019 federal election, the party elected a record three MPs to the House of Commons while gathering 6.55 per cent of the vote. Annamie Paul will now introduce herself to Canadians and seek to grow the their vote share.