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My complaint to Elections Canada

By Stuart Hertzog
September 5th, 2009

Is the Green Party acting illegally in Saanich-Gulf Islands?

Commissioner of Canada Elections
c/o Elections Canada
257 Slater Street
Ottawa, Ontario K1A 0M6
Telephone: (800) 463-6868
Fax: (800) 663-4908
Toll-free Fax: (888) 524-1444
E-mail: commissionersoffice@elections.ca

September 3rd, 2009

Dear Commissioner,

Complaint about the Green Party of Canada concerning the current Nomination Contest in Saanich-Gulf Islands

I am complaining about the actions of the Green Party of Canada in the current nomination contest for the candidacy of the Green Party in Saanich Gulf-Islands.

My complaint concerns two main issues:

  • A transfer of funds from the Green Party to a nomination candidate; and
  • Unequal access to EDA resources between the two candidates.

I believe that the Green Party may have acted and could still be acting illegally in these matters, and ask you to investigate my complaint without delay. I am basing this complaint on information I have received from EDA and my rival’s campaign manager, and from the published minutes of the Federal Council of the Green Party of Canada.

Transfer of funds to a Nomination Candidate

Two days ago I was confirmed by the Campaign Committee of the Green party of Canada as a nomination candidate in this EDA. The other nomination candidate confirmed at the same time is Elizabeth May, the Leader of the Green Party of Canada.

Previously, the Federal Council of the Green Party had decided that it would make getting the party’s leader elected as the main goal of its upcoming election campaign. It created a ‘Get Elizabeth May Elected’ fund and encouraged all Green Party EDAs to contribute up to $1,000 each, to be used solely for this purpose.

I understand that Federal Council also put $50,000 of the party’s money into this fund, and that another $12,000 was contributed by some party EDAs. Meanwhile, the party commissioned polling that pointed to Saanich-Gulf Islands as the riding with the highest ratio of voters who would consider voting ‘Green’ in the upcoming election.

The Council then persuaded Ms. May to run in this riding, to which she apparently has agreed. Council then transferred then $62,000 to the Saanich-Gulf Islands EDA into two accounts: one at the Sidney, BC branch of Coast Capital Savings Credit Union; the other at the Ganges, Saltspring Island branch of Island Savings Credit Union.

These funds were transferred to the EDA on two conditions:

  • That the EDA choose Elizabeth May as its candidate in the coming election, and
  • That her campaign manager Mr. John Fryer have complete control of these funds.

Once it became apparent that this would be a contested election, Ms. May submitted the required application to the party’s Campaign Committee to become a nomination candidate of this EDA. Thus as of September 1st, both Ms. May and I are nomination candidates, and have equal rights and obligations under the Elections Act.

However, once Ms. May became accepted as a nomination candidate, she still had at her disposal all of these funds to use in her nomination campaign. These funds are being used to rent a storefront office at #101–2417 Beacon Avenue in Sidney, buy office equipment and furniture, and whatever else her campaign manager, who has control on the use of the funds, requires for her to win the nomination contest.

I believe that this transfer of funds to her as a nomination candidate is illegal under section 404.3(1) of the Elections Act, as indicated on in paragraph 52, page 9 of Elections Canada’s Information Sheet 5, Transfers Between Affiliated Political entities.

Unequal access to Party and EDA resources

According to the party’s own rules, within 24 hours of receiving notice of authorisation by the party’s Campaign Committee, the EDA is supposed to supply a list of members to each nomination candidate. I have not received such a list at this time.

Moreover, the Elizabeth May campaign team has direct access to the party’s central CiviCRM database, which enables it to enter new members and correct member information as it is received. This software also allows the Elizabeth May campaign team to quickly and easily send out emails to EDA members, and receive ‘bounces.’

I have no such direct access at this time, and am severely handicapped by not being able to contact members. I submit that a service of the Party—access to the CiviCRM database—has not been offered equally to all nomination contestants.

An example of how this has handicapped my campaign was an email sent out to 1,100 Green Party members by the central office of the Green Party on August 13, 2009.

This email invited all Green Party members to meet Elizabeth May to persuade her to run in Saanich-Gulf Islands. Although I had already signaled my intention to stand as a nomination candidate, I was not invited to attend. In fact, I was not even sent this email. I went to the meeting after being informed of it by another member, and had to request to be allowed to speak. The time I was allowed was but a fraction of my opponent’s.

Finally, the resources of the EDA office are dedicated to the Elizabeth May campaign by virtue of being paid for by the Party from a fund dedicated to Ms. May’s election, and by being under the direct control of her Mr. John Fryer, her campaign manager, who also manages campaign volunteers brought in by the Party from other parts of the country.

I submit that in these and other ways, the resources of the Party and the EDA are not being equally available to myself at this time, and ask you to investigate my concerns.

Stuart Hertzog

Nomination Candidate,
Saanich-Gulf Islands Green Party EDA


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66 Responses

  1. Green Assassin Brigade Says:

    Every member in good standing who has created a profile on the GPC main page has CiviCMR access(for all the good it does, lousy piece of shit software)

    You probably have the access, learn to use it (which is a challenge in of itself). Even if you don’t have personal access, if you have anyone supporting you in any EDA they can pull the records for you as often as you want. This aspect of the complaint is bogus.

  2. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Dear Green Assassin Brigade (are you available for hire?),

    I think you are wrong. The Green party quite correctly keeps close guard on its membership lists and a member has to have a very specific reason for wanting access. He or she has to sign an undertaking not to use them for anything but that specific reason, before access is granted.

    I don’t have access at this time but the Elizabeth May campaign does, so this aspect of my complaint is very pertinent. It’s up to the Commissioner to decide whether the Party’s allocation of money and resources conforms to the Act, or is illegal.

  3. Mark Taylor Says:

    You have to request access to the civiCRM and need to have reason to access it (i.e. EDA executive). Further, your access is limited to your riding only. Though, as a confirmed nomination candidate in SGI, one would think you SHOULD have access to the membership for SGI.

  4. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Right on, Mark! My point exactly.

  5. John Ogilvie Says:

    You cannot fault the party for not including you in an email sent out Aug 13 if you did not enter the nomination race until Aug 22. Going forward, of course, there has to be fairness.

    It has only been two days since your application was accepted. There are always honest delays. If you don’t get the membership list Real Soon Now, it becomes suspicious. There have been issues about insider misuse of civicrm in the past.

    These interviews seem to be the GPC HQ response:


    The key points:

    1) WAS money transferred to SGI EDA? This would be legal, actually, since it is being held “in trust” for EM if she runs there. But Fryer says it hasn’t happened.

    2) if so, has any of that money been spent in support of EM’s campaign for the nomination. This would be illegal, I suspect.

  6. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    John, as I am a member, I should have received these emails anyway. So either something is seriously wrong with Green party administrative practices, or there is a covert effort to undermine my campaign.

    Second, there has been considerable delay in supplying me with member information, to the point of handicapping my campaign. The EDA’s nomination window closed at 9a.m. on Saturday, August 29th, and the August, 2009 Nomination Procedures of the Campaign Committee states clearly that there would be one day of processing, after which an announcement would be made as to who is a nomination candidate.

    The EDA was then supposed to to supply me with a list of members within 24 hours, which meant that I should have received it without having to ask for it, by 9a.m. on August 31st. I only received a list after asking for it many times, at 10p.m. on Friday, September 5th — over 4 1/2 days late in a 19 day campaign. This list was lacking complete information, and I am still waiting for a complete listing of member information.

    Almost a quarter of my campaign time has been used up by ‘honest’ delays, while Elizabeth May’s team has had full access to the CiviCRM even before the nomination declaration, something I still don’t have.

    Is that fair? Or equal access to EDA and Party resources? I don’t think so.

    And third, on the money transfer, I am simply passing on the consistent information given to me separately by both Mr. Fryer and the EDA financial agent. So Mr. Fryer must be playing fast and loose with the truth either with me, with the financial agent, or with the media, as he is now contradicting his own statement of events.

    How can I believe that no money has been spent on Ms. May’s nomination campaign? Everything before she became a nomination candidate is relevant to her nomination campaign, which still has access to these funds, and from which money has already been spent, despite Mr. Fryers protestations to the contrary.

    I am quite disgusted with the way in which I have been handicapped by the Party’s actions, which is why I took my complaint to the Commissioner.

  7. Mark Taylor Says:

    Just in case you were expecting a fair race, a reminder for you:


  8. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Thanks, Mark. I’m sure I’m not the first grassroots party activist to be run down by what has now become the Elizabeth May Election Machine. For some reason, it used to be called the Green Party of Canada.

  9. Saskboy Says:

    It’s not admirable, but politics seems impossibly so. This complaint isn’t exactly doing to do either side any favours.

  10. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Well, at least it’s an equal distribution of a resource.

  11. Dave Bagler Says:

    Wow, this time we actually have a really solid chance at winning a race with much honest analysis showing that Elizabeth could really make a breakthrough.

    Stuart you clearly care more about yourself than this party. You are clearly using this to pump up your name because you are only hurting the party at this point.

    You are the sideshow that distracts us from doing the real work of electing our first MP. Every complaint and insult you throw at the GPC and Elizabeth May will be repeated during the election by our opponents (other parties and the media).

    There are many of us that want the GPC to be in the position to influence the direction taken by our country and we work hard towards this goal. You’re hurting our chances of success. You’re needlessly standing the way.

  12. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    I beg to differ, Dave. First, there’s only an outside chance of Elizabeth May winning in this riding, so it’s not the “really solid chance” that you think it is.

    And if I cared only for myself I wouldn’t bother to stand in the path of the Elizabeth May Election Machine and incur the wrath of those members who see getting someone elected as a Green as the only object of the exercise.

    I’m doing this because I care about the state of democracy in Canada and in the Green Party. The goal is not just about getting one person elected. It’s about getting many Green MPs elected who really understand and live by the fundamental principles of Green politics, and who were chosen by a candidate selection process that was both participatory and democratic — not by ‘top-down’ fiat from a central party committee that has been stacked with supporters of a candidate who also sits on that committee.

    The Green Party is supposed to offer a different kind of politics: an eco-centric, bioregional, participatory democracy that allows everyone affected by an issue to have a say in deciding that issue, and which recognises the needs of other species. Green politics puts the needs of people and living creatures before the selfish greed of rich, multinational, corporate executives and shareholders, who are busily arranging things so they can exploit the poor and indigenous peoples, scoop up resources irresponsibly, and eliminate living species, all for private gain.

    Along with a lot of other Greens, I don’t like the way the Green party has been drifting towards imitating other political parties. I think Elizabeth May is totally complicit in this process. She has been busily turning the Green Party into her personal election machine at the expense of all the other candidates and the party’s grass roots. I think the federal council’s strategy of making the sole priority of this next election getting Elizabeth May elected is short-sighted, misguided, and wrong. It is going to backfire against both her and the entire Green Party of Canada.

    We cannot offer an alternative if we play by the same oppressive and disempowering rules as the other political parties. We won’t get environmental protection, ecological justice, or a sustainable society until we throw the old, authoritarian, ‘top-down’ hierarchical system right out of the house and change the political system into an eco-centric, bioregional, participatory democracy. If the Green Party doesn’t understand that, it’s not a Green Party, but a group of naive, light green, conservative environmentalists who do not grasp the first thing about power politics.

    Sorry to burst your toy balloon, David, but this isn’t a kiddies birthday party. We are engaged in a desperate struggle for the survival of life on Earth as we know it. If you are angry with me for pointing out that dangling the prospect of getting Elizabeth May elected before members of the Saanich-Gulf Islands EDA is just like offering a child an empty, painted dolly — too bad. Wake up and smell the pollution! And isn’t that a whiff of cordite behind the smiling faces of the 2010 Olympic security police?

  13. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Re “If the Green Party doesn’t understand that, it’s not a Green Party, but a group of naive, light green, conservative environmentalists who do not grasp the first thing about power politics.”

    Case closed. Unfortunately, it is the Dave Bagler’s of our world who have gulped down the Maytriarchate’s green Kool-Aid, hook, line and sinker, so to speak. It may not be in the best of taste to paraphrase Joe Stalin, but the notion of “useful idiots” does come to mind.

    The more that the “Realos” dig in with their narrow, redundant and liberal environmentalism, the more can the rising Fundis push away, identify and position themselves accordingly. Elizabeth May is our greatest asset! As a rule, when political foes beg for more rope, I do not have the slightest twinge of conscience in offering it.

  14. John Ogilvie Says:

    Dave, you started a facebook group and invited tons of Greens to join it, to ask Stuart to step down.

    After two weeks, there are only thirteen members of this group.


    This might suggest that there are many Greens, especially veteran Greens, who are grateful to Stuart for standing up.

    However, Stuart, since you have made your point dramatically, it might make sense to be gracious in victory and now stand down.

    What’s changed? Well, since you announced your candidacy Ignatieff went off his meds. It looks like we will have an unexpected and totally unnecessary election in about nine weeks.

    Having made your points about the GPC, stand aside and let Elizabeth have a good clean run at SGI.

    If she wins, we have a Green MP.

    If she loses, you have given her an excuse.

  15. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    John, re “Having made your points about the GPC, stand aside and let Elizabeth have a good clean run at SGI.”

    Of the many points being raised by Stuart with this bid (some closer to the surface of observation than others), is not one of the more important ones that a “good clean run” is an impossibility? Your claim and request strikes me as a contradiction.

    Asking Stuart to stand down now, IMO, would sacrifice significant returns, both internal and external, yet to be achieved. I have full confidence that Stuart will follow through right up to the vote of the SGI EDA members. Why in God’s name allow an adversary to crawl away unharmed, to freely offer another day to fight again?

    This is a fight. It is not a self-congratulatory round of hugs and affirmations. The Maytriarchate must not only get hurt on this one, but more importantly, it must be seen to have gotten hurt.

    This goes way beyond a few harmless and peripheral “points about the GPC.” It is the cusp. It is the jumping off place.

  16. John Ogilvie Says:

    Sebastian, it’s always good to hear your comments, because it makes *me* seem reasonable 🙂

    Unless someone has evidence to the contrary, it looks like GPC was just making appropriate preparations in SGI for EM to run. Good.

    A nomination contest was unanticipated, and does force the EDA to hold off on these preparations until after the nomination meeting. They should be squeaky clean on this matter. Giving Stuart the membership lists immediately would be a good step.

    With that said, Elizabeth *will* win the nomination contest, because she is frankly a much stronger candidate for SGI. Period.

    But the EDA will have lost several weeks of campaign prep time leading up to a likely vote in mid-November.

    The points about the need for reform within GPC have been made, and dramatically. Dragging it through to the nomination vote is unnecessary and will pointlessly delay EM’s campaign.

  17. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Good morning, John. Re “…it’s always good to hear your comments, because it makes *me* seem reasonable.”

    Thank you for the lovely compliment! Hey, if no one ever went over the top how would we know what’s on the on the other side? 🙂

    Look, this is big! And by “big” I do not refer to only Stuart’s initiative.

    But first of all when you state, “Dragging it through to the nomination vote is unnecessary and will pointlessly delay EM’s campaign,” is a matter of perspective. From where I sit (assuming Ms. May wins the nomination), there is nothing wrong whatsoever in stalling her campaign. The objective is to do as much damage as possible to detract from her support. When, not if, she goes down to defeat yet one more time as a parachute candidate, she will have used up what little remains of her political credibility and capital. This likely outcome, coupled with a possible fielding of significantly less than 308 candidates (due to blowback boycott by candidates from last year’s betrayal) does irreparable damage to both May and the GPC. As said, your concerns are a matter of perspective. I do not, of course, purport to speak on behalf of Stuart; such is how I see it.

    The guerilla initiative and spark that Stuart has ignited on the West Coast is matched and complimented somewhat by my own here on the East Coast. Should some bright and eager reporter ever twig on a theme of “GPC Flanked by Cascadia and Novacadia Uprisings” do you not think that such a hypothetical story would have legs extraordinaire?

    Like I claim, this is big, and stands to leave a dent that no amount of feel-good bondo can erase. When the dust has settled, going back will no longer be an option. You watch. Keep your ears close to the rail.

  18. Grant Says:

    I hope that whatever happens is in the best interest of the Green Party and ultimately Canada.

  19. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Absolutely — thanks, Grant.

  20. Chris KN Says:

    I read this with great interest, as a former member of the Green Party who left the party (in part) due to what I saw as EM’s top-down approach to GPC internal structure. I hit my breaking point with the GPC with the new rules the party put in place for electing local candidates, which I viewed as being highly undemocratic.

    I don’t know if any of your complaints are true or not, but my experience with the GPC had been one of constant frustration due to how unorganized party officials were and how loose they played with democratic rules. Because of their extreme lack of organization, I don’t think it’s out of the question that they simply don’t have the ability to meet their own deadlines when it comes to getting you a member list.

    As an anecdote to this fact, I recall having a conversation with the EDA organizer for the area in which I live over the phone. Fifteen minutes into our conversation, she admitted that she didn’t know where, geographically, my city was located and was trying to find it on a map. Keep in mind that I live in the largest city in Northern Ontario (a major part of her territory and, I think, the only one in the region with a functioning EDA) and that this conversation took place almost a week after this person (with a direct link to EM) was given the job to organize the region.

    This is the party you are dealing with. I gave up thinking that they were bad people. They are just out of their depth. The result is that EM and her people get very defensive and have built walls around themselves. They view every criticism as an attack.

    Best of luck with your election. I congratulate you in standing up for yourself and democracy.

  21. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Thanks for your encouragement, Chris. I’ve been hearing from quite a few other people who also quit the Green Party out of frustration with its anti-democratic, centralist tendencies. I too stepped away for a few years for the same reason from the BC Green Party after running as a candidate while Adriane Carr was leader. Now, Adriane has joined with Elizabeth in turning the Green Party of Canada into the Elect Elizabeth May machine — the opposite of grassroots participatory democracy.

  22. Steve V Says:

    Man, talk about a guy who can’t see the forest for the trees. Enjoy the crusade, as you hobble your own leader, while Lunn LAUGHS his ass off at your idiocy.

    People like you are dangerous and oblivious for that matter. Seriously.

  23. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Really, seriously.

  24. Steve V Says:

    Really. You’re too busy being all self righteous to realize.

  25. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Gosh! I hadn’t realised. Thanks for pointing it out to me, Steve.

    One point: the ‘leader’ of a Green Party is leader in name only. She or he is only supposed to be a spokesperson, not a petty dictator. Participatory democracy means empowering people, not putting up a ‘leader’ who then becomes the only important player. That’s how other parties work.

    Empowering a ‘leader’ means disempowering the grassroots membership, which is why the Green Party is so weak at the EDA level. It’s top-heavy, without a base of support — that’s why it doesn’t get its candidates elected.

  26. Steve V Says:

    “Gosh! I hadn’t realised. Thanks for pointing it out to me, Steve.”

    No problem, just trying to see if you might “come to” so to speak, or are you to drunk with misplaced purity.

    Call a spade a spade man, get off the horse and get behind a decent lady that shares your wants on the environment. Get past the political correctness of it all and see it in totality. For cripes sake.

  27. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Steve, my stand isn’t just about environmental protection. I’m standing because I believe that we won’t get environmental protection, achieve social justice, or even tackle adaptation to global warming until we have an ecocentric, participatory, democratic system that responds to the needs of people and other living species. The Green Party should be a model of this.

    I find Elizabeth May’s conventional, ‘top-down’ politics to be exactly the same as the elitist, manipulative, and authoritarian style practiced by all the other political parties. While Elizabeth and I may agree on specific environmental issues, I am not convinced that she understands and practices participatory democracy, which empowers people to have a direct say in decisions that impact their life. This is my challenge to her.

    Your attempt to drag my position down to a simplistic level isn’t going to work. instead, I ask you to read and consider the material on this site, and if you want to continue this discussion, come back with something substantial that will enable us to discuss politics and political philosophy. I’m not interested in a discussion that descends to interpersonal slurs.

  28. Dan Says:

    Stuart, the strange thing that is missing on all of these posts and your comments is why YOU wish to represent the members of the Green Party in Saanich-Gulf Islands in the upcoming election and how you intend to put together a campaign.

    In all your comments so far, you have made statements regarding participatory democracy and bio-regional representation, yet your candidacy seems to have very little with regional needs or how you would represent the community, and entirely about how the Green Party operates internally and your own opinion of Elizabeth May.

    If you had a genuine interest in running in this riding, had been preparing your candidacy and campaign before hand, and really had the best interests of your local EDA at stake, then perhaps my opinion would be different, but from all I can gather is that your candidacy is an attempt to undermine the leader without doing so via the internal party’s democratic mechanisms.

    Next year, we have a mandatory leadership contest (not a phony delegate review process enjoyed by other party leaders), which is the proper place to challenge a leader and the direction of the party.

    If you want to see the leader act in a different way, why not commit yourself now to putting your name forward.

    The other thing that seems clear to me is that the former candidate, most of the EDA association, and most of the Green members that I know in the area, not only support, but actively solicited Elizabeth running in that riding. This is hardly against decentralized participatory democracy.

    As for the party, I want, as you do, a vibrant party focussed in participatory democracy.


    From my experiences as a candidate in the last general election, I had many voters come up to me on the street and specifically question Elizabeth May’s choice of riding last time. I tried to explain she felt CN was where her family was, but many asked why she didn’t run in BC.

    I even remember specifically an older lady visiting Kerrisdale from Saltspring who usually voted Conservative said the same thing, but thats obviously not an accurate sample.

    Having the leader run in a riding in an area with low historic Green support hurt myself and other candidates across the country. Having the Party leader project an aspect of winnability is a benefit to all the Green Party supporters who wonder the value of their vote.


    I don’t expect you to resign, but is it possible that if you insist on this charade (I think it is amounting to that), that you do not go out of your way to try and create some unnecessary scandal (which this post and its complaint appears to do) that will detract from the success of candidates across the country.

    Is it possible that you can keep your candidacy based on something positive rather than a ideological grudge with your competing candidate?

    Can you not talk about the virtues of participatory democracy without going into blatant criticism of your opponent?

    I think that is fair enough to ask. Don’t try to create discord locally.

    Play your nomination contest with respect, so that the winner of the contest, whoever she may be, gets the full support of everyone coming out of the contest.

    However, also reach into your own definition or participatory democracy. If the local members endorse May, will you support her?

  29. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Dan, are you dancing as fast as you can?

    BTW, re “I had many voters come up to me on the street and specifically question Elizabeth May’s choice of riding last time. I tried to explain she felt CN was where her family was.”

    Is this what you and the other naive federal candidates were fed last year? Liz May’s family happens to be on Cape Breton, not in mainland Central Nova. Such obvious pulling on liberal heart strings. Fool you once, shame on Liz May; fool you twice, shame on… I suppose that the back room, non-aggression pact cut with Dion had nothing to do with the decision to run in Central Nova?

    A fictitious 32% “Green” support in Central Nova amounted to electoral rape. A mere eight months later during the recent provincial election, the average Green return for the five provincial ridings that roughly constitute Central Nova, came in at a whopping 1.75%. A severe crash back to reality.

  30. Dan Says:

    Wow Sebastian, you really are a troll as of late on Green Party blogs with a chip on his shoulder. Are you upset because the Greens won’t endorse your provincial secessionist nonsense or because your leadership petition has maxed out at 5 signatures?

    At least Stuart has been consistent in basing his actions on what he believes are Green principles, even if his tactics in this case leave much to be desired.

    The Green Party of Canada has a mandatory leadership contest every four years, we have council elections every year, and policy conventions every 2 years.

    Use those to set the direction of the party.

  31. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Dan, why am I and not others a “troll?” Because I don’t tow the party line? Believe it or not, my commentary is very “Green,” but one would have to be Green to appreciate that. Same re “chip on shoulder.” Is it always necessary to preface Green political commentary with a hug?

    Re “Use those to set the direction of the party.”

    Why would I do that? I have never been a GPC member on a matter of principle, that being that the GPC is a pretender. I have been a member of provincial Green parties only. If the core, the foundation of political philosophy is gutted then it stands to reason that all else is false.

    The single, greatest detriment to introducing Green politics is the Green Party of Canada. Re GPC Council elections, policy conventions, why would I have any desire whatsoever to apply a band-aid to a patient that is already comatose?

  32. Dan Says:

    No, I’m calling you a troll because you post on numerous blogs comments that are purely inflammatory and rarely have anything to do with substance of the article.

  33. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Nonsense, Dan. If you (or anyone else) gets “inflamed” or upset about my commentary, how is this my problem? And I furthermore disagree that my commentary has little to do with the “substance.” Just because you don’t agree with how my commentary fits into the “substance” is beside the point.

    The notion of “substance” is open to interpretation. My ongoing argument is that the GPC has little to nothing to do with the “substance” of Green politics. Again, if you have been conned and the realization of such may be bubbling to the surface, how is your discomfort around this my problem.

    Now if you’ll excuse me I have about a half a cord to split before the sun goes down. The revolution is equally comfortable for me beneath my fingernails as it is between my ears. Toodles!

  34. Dan Says:

    Calling your callous comments commentary would be overly complementary.

  35. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    OK — Sebastian, Dan — enough! It’s getting too personal between you two. I appreciate the conviction of your debate, and thank you for using greenpolitics.ca as a discussion forum, but I must rule that this is the end of your argument with each other. I will remove any comment from either of you that I find offensive, and I’d appreciate if you could spare me from having to do this.

  36. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Thanks for the comment on consistency, Dan. however I must point out it was an unwise strategic decision of federal Council followed by the unfair manipulation of the process by the party’s Campaign Committee that lead me to stand in the first place. It quickly became apparent to me that there was not going to be anything other than a dismissive attitude to any appeal I might make to the party about process. This left me with no alternative than to appeal to the Commissioner of Elections Canada. The deck was stacked against fair democratic process and was going to stay that way.

  37. Dan Says:

    You have gotten the lists, correct?

    The rest of your complaint (transfers..etc) is involving activities that were in the works long before you announced your candidacy. Until the writ is dropped, only the EDA board can access any funds in the account.

    At the very least, if you are in this because you want the party to succeed, (unlike Ronin) please don’t push a negative narrative. Either maintain a role as a critic from outside, or if you wish to participate then respect your opponent.

    The Green Party may advance further with a different direction, but we have to work together to achieve this.

  38. Dan Says:

    Furthermore Sebastian, your statement:

    “The objective is to do as much damage as possible to detract from her support. ”

    Is perhaps one of the most vitriolic and petty political statements I have ever heard.

  39. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Re “Is perhaps one of the most vitriolic and petty political statements I have ever heard.”

    I can only imagine that you live inside a bubble. Enjoy it while it lasts.

  40. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Easy, fellows. It’s getting too personal. And please, Dan, can you nest your comments by using the Reply link on the comment headline, or the Reply to: pulldown below your comment? Thanks!

  41. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    As written above, this comment thread between you two is now ended.

  42. Eco Central Says:

    Two cents worth: Fight on you jerks. Besides Elizabeth will be much stronger if she has to beat someone in her own party to get the nomination. I am not a Green Party member. The party is about an issue and has an undefined political root. In talking to some of the people at one of your meetings I soon realized the problem.

    There are parties that are for the people and by the people. There are parties that are for the corporations by the corporations and then there are parties that are a mixture or the two. The greens appear to be made up of the latter. There are those who are very right wing, mixed in with those who are very left wing and those who are anywhere in between. Given all that…Yes the Green Party has a long way to go before it has a political identity. The green issue however is important. It will define this generation for better or worse.

    The Greens need a voice in Parliament. The most important thing the greens can do right now is to realize that and get someone elected and you Stuart, whether right or wrong do not stand a chance. Realize what others in your party already know and beat Gary Lund in the election….focus, focus, focus. Stop running around like chickens with their heads cut off.

  43. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Eco Central, why would you assume that Stuart is NOT focused?

  44. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Eco, you are right about the Green Party being a mixture of political philosophies. Every political party includes a slice of the political pie, but at this time Canadian Green parties are way unbalanced towards the right end of the spectrum, as most left-leaning Greens and believers in grassroots democracy have left in disgust.

    Unfortunately, the refugees now in the Green party from the disbanded Reform party, and the dispossessed Red Tories, apparently haven’t studied Green politics, which is fundamentally different from the old-style, ‘top-down,’ hierarchical politics practised by other political parties.

    I believe that Green politics is the first political philosophy to tackle the relationship between human beings and the natural environment from which we have emerged. This is how it differs from both left-wing socialism, social democracy, and free enterprise capitalism.

    I believe that the Green Party won’t achieve its true political potential until it returns to and practices its philosophical roots, especially regarding participatory or grassroots democracy. This is why I’m running against Elizabeth May, and why I don’t accept that the most important thing for the Green Party is to get ‘someone elected’ to Canada’s dysfunctional parliament.

  45. Eco Central Says:

    First of all you should clean up your parties dirty laundry between elections. Making it a campaign issue is the most stupid move you can make. The election isn’t going to wait for you to get the party to follow your way of thinking. Win the election first. Making the party perfect to your way of thinking will take much longer than you have time for now. Face reality. It’s time to charge the windmills, not regroup.

  46. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Charge the windmills –I know all about that one. But what use to win a battle but lose the war? I see this as the beginning of a long internal campaign that ideally should take place, as you rightly point out, preferably between elections. But politics has its own logic and timetable. Although you may think it a stupid move (my standing on principle to defend democracy or parachuting Elizabeth May into Saanich-Gulf Islands?), the party’s actions impelled me to respond at this time and in this way.

  47. Eco Central Says:

    Ok Stuart, now that you have the media’s attention why don’t you tell us about the Green Party policies and agenda if elected.

  48. Saskboy Says:

    Stuart, where do you suggest your party leader run so the GPC has a leader in Parliament after the next election, hopefully with you in Ottawa too?

  49. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    I always thought that Ms. May’s primary mistake was to run in Central Nova and not stand in London again. I think she’d have been elected in London on a second try. Leaving that aside, I’d go for Guelph, which is high on Green support and much closer to Ottawa and her home in Nova Scotia.

  50. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    When the “My-heart-is-in-SGI” story hit a couple of weeks ago, it was reported that she was house hunting in SGI. I guess the political prop purchased in Central Nova during the run-up to last year’s election has served its purpose. If I am not mistaken, Ms. May’s family still resides in Cape Breton. She, on the other hand (prior to last year’s quick in-out) had been a resident of Ottawa since gradutating from law school. That hardly translates into “her home in Nova Scotia.”

    The PR residue left over from Ms. May’s waltz through Central Nova will take a couple of years, maybe, for Greens to clean up here in Nova Scotia. That’s the upside. The downside for the local GPNS is that the Green political brand is toast. It will be interesting to see how many federal candidates will stand not only in Nova Scotia, but in The Maritimes as a whole.

    The locals know they’ve been had. The mood for things Green is not pleasant.

  51. Andrew Loveridge Says:

    I never had a problem with your candidacy as long as you were running an honourable campaign. Now you are engaging in sleazoid Nixonian tactics which would tend to undermine the party itself. Please in future just campaign on your own merits.

  52. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Andrew, care to clarify what exactly constitutes a “sleazoid Nixonian” tactic? Also, do you not think it at all possible that the conduct of Liz May herself and the GPC itself have not “undermined” the party in the eyes of the electorate?

    As a likely GPC member, your concerns are understandable. It seems to me that there has been a discernable sense of panic in the May camp since before the official announcement was made that she would let her name stand in SGI. This may very well be the last kick at the can to garner some degree of legitimacy, not only for Ms. May’s political ambitions, but for the GPC itself.

    There furthermore seems to be a degree of desperation and nothing, absolutely nothing, materializes from a place of desperation.

  53. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    So you think that my complaining to Elections Canada about unfair tactics by the Green Party that may also be illegal is sleazy? I think you have the boot on the wrong foot, Mr. Loveridge. It’s the Elizabeth May Green Party that’s practising “sleazoid tactics.” These include:

    — Dumping $62,000 into the EDA on the basis that it selects Elizabeth May as the candidate and the money is used only for her campaign;

    — Not offering me the same access to the party’s online membership database and email system as the Elizabeth May campaign to the point of hamstringing my ability to communicate with members in time;

    — The party’s federal Campaign Committee, on which May and her campaign manager sit, constantly changing the nomination procedures to reduce the window for nomination candidates to sign up new members to the point that it’s impossible to do this in time for a nomination election;

    — The same committee trying to get EDAs to adopt a constitution that transfers control of candidate selection to this central committee;

    — Elizabeth May pretending to the media that she hadn’t made up her mind to run in this riding when she already had submitted her nomination papers and was subsequently accepted as a nomination candidate; and finally

    — The party misrepresenting the truth to Elections Canada that it hadn’t spent any money on her nomination campaign when in fact money had already been and was continuing to be spent.

    In my opinion, these tactics are not just sleazoid, but also completely at variance with the party’s stated principle of participatory democracy. And if you believe that I should have used the party’s internal complaint process, I must tell you that in light of what has happened I do have not much confidence in achieving fair process through that. Finally, according to the Canada Elections Act, I must report what I believe is illegal activity within ten days of it happening, so I had to act accordingly.

  54. Eco Central Says:

    You have gone to the Commissioner of Canada Elections. That takes things out of the public domain. The decision is his, not yours or ours. You have chosen your path and yet have also chosen to try your case in the court of public appeal. That is unfair and sleazy when the case is before the Commissioner.

    If I was to give money to a party for use by a particular candidate and it was used for someone to run against my candidate I would be suing the party. That would be illegal use of funds

    Above I gave you the opportunity to choose door number one where you could tell us all why you are the greener candidate(the high ground). You chose instead to persue door number two which was a personal attack against your opponent. I am sure you get it. Just like Harper spending his money attacking Michael Ignatieff.

    It seems you are more interested in engaging in dirty politics than you are about the green agenda. We are looking for a green leader and you have just shown us all that you are not the one. Your conversation is totally focused on Elizabeth May.

    It is still not to late to change the path you are on. Maybe you can start by telling me(a voter in Saanich) just how you plan to take one BTU of fossil fuel off the table and replace it with two BTU’s of green energy?

  55. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Eco Central, I’m puzzled by your logic. You say that taking my complaint to the Commissioner of Elections Canada takes it out of the public domain, then immediately say that I’ve chosen to try my case in the court of public appeal. But don’t both of these put it into the public domain?

    And if someone gives money to an EDA thinking that it’s going to the local candidate, then the EDA gives money to the Elizabeth May campaign, is that not what you would describe as an illegal use of funds? I guess a direct transfer that would be hard to prove, so I’m not even going there.

    I’m not making a personal attack against Elizabeth May, I’m standing up for proper democratic and legal process both in Canada and in the Green Party. I have nothing against Elizabeth as a human being, it’s the decision of the party’s federal Council to make getting the leader elected as its goal in this election and the tactics it has used that I think is unwise, misguided, underhanded, and wrong.

    So just who is engaging in dirty politics? I’ve been subject to abuse of most of even their own rules by the party to the point of possible illegality, yet you accuse me of dirty politics? You have it backwards, Mr. Central: the dirty politics is coming from the party’s Campaign Committee on which Ms. May and her Campaign Manager sit, and is being directed against me.

    It’s a shame that you don’t use your real name when slinging your illogical and unfounded allegations against me. Perhaps your intention is to prove Guilt by Accusation? Come clean, Eco Central. Who are you?

  56. Eco Central Says:

    No Stuart you don’t get to trash me on your blog or get at me on back roads. If you want to talk to me privately, you have my email address in your database.

    You don’t seem to get it and I have already spent too much time on you.

  57. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Sorry that you found our debate so unrewarding. Thank you for your time.

  58. Ard Van Leeuwen Says:

    Stuart, judging from all the comments on your last two blog posts it doesn’t look like you’re building much support for what you are trying to do.

    Sebastian Ronin, perhaps your most ardent blog supporter, has proposed that local Greens in Nova Scotia not let their names stand as federal election candidates for the Green Party of Canada. The Truro Daily News published his thoughts in an article entitled “Provincial Green Party Leadership Candidate Proposes Boycott of Fielding GPC Federal Election Candidates” (http://trurodaily.com/index.cfm?sid=286725&sc=721 ).

    Do you support Sebastian’s boycott proposal? Do you want the support of someone who is using his status as a Green Party of Nova Scotia provincial leadership candidate to try and damage the GPC regardless of any outcome of your nomination contest?

  59. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    You are quite right, Ard. It’s certainly been very difficult to build much support for myself or my position in the too-brief campaign period allowed by the party’s Campaign Committee, especially as I’ve been so severely handicapped by the inequality of of funds and access to party resources provided to me compared to those available to Ms May’s campaign.

    But one has to start somewhere, and parachuting the leader of the Green Party into Saanich Gulf-Islands to me summarises all that is wrong with democracy in Canada and in the Green Party. So I decided to take a stand at this time. Obviously, I’m coming from behind as Ms. May already has a high profile in Canada and therefore in this riding.

    Anyone can comment on this blog as long as the comments are on topic and are not profane or unnecessarily ad hominem. Sebastian has made his opinions known here, as have many Elizabeth May supporters, who have sometimes try at excessive length to prove me wrong. I don’t know the situation in Nova Scotia as I don’t live there and have never even visited, so I wouldn’t care to comment on Mr. Ronin’s position other than to say he seems to be very serious in his motivations for suggesting that tactic.

    I’m not cognisant of the after-effects of Ms. May’s unsuccessful candidacy in Central Nova, so for me to comment would be equivalent to Ms. May coming here ever so briefly and putting forward solutions to BC social and political problems. She may want to offer her comments as an outsider and a newcomer, but they will strictly be seen and valued only as such.

  60. Ard Van Leeuwen Says:

    You don’t have to be “cognizant of the after-effects of Ms. May’s unsuccessful candidacy in Central Nova” in order to comment on Ronin’s boycott proposal.

    You just have to read his quote which says that “The core Green principles of decentralization and bioregionalism need to be re-introduced to Nova Scotia Greens,” said Mr. Ronin. “Both principles have been purged from Green politics by the federal GPC, for obvious reasons. Withdrawing candidate support for the GPC would be a concrete step towards this end.”

    I think you should want comment given that Sebastian and you are both battling on behalf of the core Green principles of decentralization, him to the point of calling for a GPC candidate boycott and you to the point of challenging the GPC leader in a candidate nomination contest.

    Before we talk further can we agree that Ronin’s decentralization supporting boycott tactic is wrong and not part of your proposed solution? If it was your own attempt at GPC candidacy wouldn’t make sense.

  61. Stuart Hertzog Says:

    Ard, I really think you should correspond with Sebastian if you want to find out exactly why he chose that route. I’ve given you my response and I don’t want to comment further. I have other things to attend to right now.

  62. Sebastian Ronin Says:

    Ard, Stuart’s campaign is Stuart’s campaign; my campaign is my campaign. There are philosophical and political points at which we converge, and yet at others we do not. The prime example of the latter is that Stuart believes enough in the GPC to be a member and to attempt his politicking through that medium. I, on the other hand, have considered the GPC to be a Green impostor and a betrayal since its inception.

    I have never been shy about this stance. To my understanding, it goes to the core of what constitutes “Green” politics. The core principles of decentralization and bioregionalism are either honoured, and acted upon, or they are not. If the political premise, i.e. the foundation, is false, then it stands to reason that the political action, i.e. the structure, will be false.

    If what is understood to be “Green” is the liberal pap that has been and is squeezed into the public psyche via the vehicle of the GPC, then it may very well be time to go “beyond Green”…”post-Green.” I have stated as much in my Leadership Platform for the GPNS.

    It is an ongoing and, IMO, a delusional blind-spot for “contemporary” and federalist Greens to think that they hold a monopoly on eco-politics. Somewhere in this blog I have offered the perception that, due to historical decree, Fundi is about to become the new Realo. I mean it…and I own it. How popular it is, or how many Greens outside of Nova Scotia agree with me or not at this particular time, is secondary and moot.

    If you wish, in order to appreciate (though likely not agree with) the full scope of my stance, you may wish to check out my Platform:


  63. Don Says:

    Stuart; I appreciate that you are running. Good for you. However I have heard so little from you as to why you are running and what your vision is. I want to know that you can capture hearts and minds and focus them on the fantastic heap of problems that we are accumulating and will bequeath to our kids.

    I want to see Candidates who inspire support, can speak eloquently and directly AND illustrate their ability to get things done. A Green MP is a goal worth fighting for. The Candidate who takes that torch has got to be able to show that a Green party MP is

    1) Be capable of working within the system today to change it into the system we want tomorrow. Criticizing a system typically will not change it. You have to force it to evolve. If the

    2) Be capable of inspiring support.

    Whatever the details of what has gone on in the run-up, focussing on the negative drags the negative along with you. Rise above it and show that you are higher than ‘bickering’. If you want to show yourself as a leader – do it by inspiring, not by dragging down. Anyone can break something. Constructing something of value is an art.

    Just my 0.02.


  64. Green Party Digest: SGI, Hertzog Complaint, a Deputy Leader and the Missed Election « Kersten’s Kolumn Says:

    […] has been a lot said about Hertzog and his filing of complaints to Elections Canada as a result of what he perceives to be an unfair nomination contest. While it’s natural that […]

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  66. By-Election Called: Is the Green Party of Canada Ready? : Canadian Election 2008 Says:

    […] commitment to running in SGI by picking up and moving to the West coast. It appears that  $62,000 has been commited to pre-writ spending, and the canvas is already in full swing. The die is pretty well cast, and […]

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