For someone claiming to be an expert on international conflict resolution, I haven’t found any evidence yet that the leadership style of Annamie Paul is about dialogue and resolution of conflicting views. All I have seen so far is confusing representations of party policy, and a lot of silence in response to member concerns.
Annamie Paul is a very capable person and from what I understand was looking around for a political opportunity before joining the party.
Prior to her leadership, Annamie Paul acted as foreign affairs critic for the Green Party of Canada so her experience with the party was known. Her stance on the racist coup by a far-right political party in Bolivia against the first indigenous leader of that country was very concerning to members who are involved in international social justice. I never really understood that stance. It turned out to be on the wrong side of history but didn’t seem to hinder her support from the party leadership at the time. I never could wrap my head around that.
There are unresolved internal politics of the party, namely those between eco-capitalists and eco-socialists. I think a lot of where we are right now is due to this unresolved issue.
The current crisis revolves around the leader’s misrepresentation of the membership-developed policy regarding Israel and Palestine in her two official statements, made while the eviction of Palestinians from East Jerusalem and the bombing of Gaza was being carried out by the state of Israel. Subsequent to these inadequate statements, the Green Party Caucus members issued their own statements in clear support of the Palestinians. A senior advisor to the leader, Noah Zatzman, made public his view that these two MPs were antisemitic and should be replaced. Following these attacks and unsubstantiated smears, there was nothing but silence from Annamie Paul to repudiate these statements from her senior advisor. The silence speaks volumes. It is my opinion that the real problem of antisemitism and racism is being weaponized to suppress democratic action within the party.
In a party where members have been connecting the dots between the environmental crisis, the social crisis, and the economic system that we’re all caught up in, the internal political conflict appears to be handled in a top down manner, where the party leader has disproportionate decision-making powers over the much more numerous membership. It looks like we’ve acted in a way similar to a corporate board of managers rather than a grassroots party.
The good news is that we’re a party with a good constitution that includes the six core values of the Global Greens. These values are social values, and in my opinion can guide us through building a more resilient and democratic party.