That didn't last long. The Green Party has severed its ties to Warren Kinsella. Susan Delacourt reports that:
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May has wound down a controversial working relationship with former Liberal strategist Warren Kinsella, saying, “He’s finished whatever work he was doing with us.”
The limited-run arrangement, which seems to have involved Kinsella setting up a quick-response unit for the Greens, had drawn huge criticism inside and outside Green Party ranks.
At issue was whether May could be serious about elevating the tone of politics while simultaneously throwing in her lot with a pundit/strategist more famous for burning bridges than building them — or, as Kinsella himself boasts in the biography on his blog, who “can be useful in a stick-swinging, bench-clearing brawl.”
May has a reputation as a truth teller. Kinsella is known as a bridge burner. The two reputations were at odds:
Is that the end of it then? Perhaps, with regard to that particular campaign operative, but May is going to be asked again and again in the coming election how much she is willing to compromise her principles for practical politics. That’s really what this controversy was about.
It’s an age-old story in politics, in Canada and beyond: the closer you get to power or influence, the more you have to play the game, no matter how much you insist you won’t. Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, he of the sunny ways and promises of sweeping electoral reform in 2015, is going to face a lot of similar questions as he campaigns for re-election.
She said to me this week that she remains sure she won’t be drawn into the dark side, that she won’t run attack ads or even fall back into the rote habit of repeating talking points.
She reminded me that to “tell the truth all the time” was her first promise on taking up the Green leadership 13 years ago.
“That’s still my goal. I’ve not changed,” she said. But she admits that telling the truth can sometimes make things awkward for her team, especially when listeners or her rivals add their own spin to her replies. It’s happening a lot more now in 2019 than it did in any of the previous three elections in which she’s run as leader.
So there you have it. Will Elizabeth be corrupted by our political system? Stay tuned.
Image: The Hill Times