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BC Election 2019 Category
Election 2019
Federal Politics

Please Advise! Who’s NOT Having a Leadership Race?

One for the Greens, maybe the Cons, and of course for the coming Alberta republic.

Steve Burgess 5 Nov 2019 | TheTyee.ca

Steve Burgess writes about politics and culture for The Tyee. Find his previous articles here.

[Editor’s note: Steve Burgess is an accredited spin doctor with a PhD in Centrifugal Rhetoric from the University of SASE, situated on the lovely campus of PO Box 7650, Cayman Islands. In this space he dispenses PR advice to the rich and famous, the troubled and well heeled, the wealthy and gullible.]

Dear Dr. Steve,

Elizabeth May is resigning as leader of the national Green party. Who do you think will replace her?


Green and Blue

Dear G&B,

May’s resignation is not exactly a surprise. Reports that she offered the leadership to Jody Wilson-Raybould before the election and recent remarks about her interest in the Speaker’s position do not suggest someone who has been desperately guarding her job. While embattled Conservative Leader Andrew Scheer girds for the coming fight like Hector defending the gates of Troy, May is out the door before they could even get around to building a big wooden horse. Bye bye, have a nice time besieging the castle, etc.

With Greta Thunberg otherwise occupied, the race for a new Green leader seems wide open. Maybe you could help with the search, G&B. If you have any neighbours who actually understand that they should take the chicken carcass out of its plastic container before putting it in the compost bin, give them a call. In Dr. Steve’s experience, such people are rare. The Green party needs them.

There is an interesting period of post-election flux beginning here. May steps down as leader, Scheer is in trouble and even Jagmeet Singh faces questions about the NDP’s severely reduced parliamentary presence. Pending the reform that will ultimately lead to a meme-based electoral system, Singh’s Twitter and Instagram success may not be enough to secure his position, although it is bound to get him a future spot on Dancing With the Stars.

The wild card here is Alberta. Once this unfortunate and unfairly battered province achieves glorious independence, everything will change. For one thing, there will be a whole new set of leadership races. All the federal parties will need new national leaders for the Independent Republic of the Albertan Territorial Empire (IRATE).

The NDP at least will have a viable Alberta national leader in Rachel Notley. But finding a sucker to take the role of Alberta national Liberal leader will be tougher. Being the national leader of the Alberta Liberals will be comparable to being the liberal representative on a Fox News panel, or Curly from the Three Stooges — your job will be to take punches and fall down in an amusing way.

The Alberta National Green Party will likely be led by an actor selected by Jason Kenney for his/her resemblance to Michael Moore or Jane Fonda. For that matter, Kenney will run every election in the Republic of Alberta using the techniques he pioneered in winning the provincial Conservative leadership. The difference will be that instead of court cases and potential jail time for those involved in Alberta electoral shenanigans, participants can expect ambassadorships. The choicest plums will include ambassador to Whistler or a posting to the Alberta Consulate in Palm Springs.

Kenney himself may face challenges to his throne from the likes of Nigel Farage, who could perhaps drive a bus around Alberta promising to abolish electricity. But Kenney is likely to crush his enemies both within Alberta and without. Key to his ambitions for the newly founded IRATE will be territorial expansion. An organization called the Frontier Centre for Public Policy has helpfully proposed new Alberta and Saskatchewan boundaries that offer tidewater ports to both provinces.

Like Russia’s Peter the Great who battled Sweden to gain an ocean port, Emperor Kenney will conquer a swath of northern B.C. that will include Prince Rupert. Prince Rupert locals, tempted by the prospect of a warmer climate and the chance to bid for the Calgary Stampede (now with salmon roping!), will welcome Albertans as liberators. British Columbians, after offering up a bonus package including Victoria and getting no interest, will shrug it off.

The new Alberta republic will face issues, of course. With Rebel Media as the only approved broadcaster, will people ever get an accurate weather forecast? And with a league consisting of two teams, will the Oilers still manage to miss the playoffs?

But pardon me, G&B. You were asking about the leadership of the federal Green party in the wake of Elizabeth May’s departure. The Greens will want someone with political experience, someone who is used to electoral setbacks, and of course someone seeking new opportunities. Dr. Steve’s advice: Hold off a few months. Andrew Scheer is likely to become available.  [Tyee]

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