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Green Party Reverses Candidate Expulsion Following Grassroots Outrage

As the Green Party’s leadership vote commences today, a recent turn of events has Green supporters reeling after the attempted expulsion of leadership candidate Meryam Haddad.

The Big Picture: Following a successful appeal and two days of outrage from the online community, Haddad has been reinstated as a candidate for the leadership of the Green party.

  • After the controversy of a temporary expulsion days before voting went viral, will the outburst of support and press push Haddad, a self-defined Montreal based eco-socialist, to greater success in the contest?

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Following a taxing 48-hours, Haddad’s reinstatement allows her supporters to breathe a sigh of relief. The whirlwind of events started after receiving an email on Wednesday from Leadership Contest Authority (LCA) saying that Haddad would be expelled from the leadership contest.

The LCA argued that she had violated the Green party’s “Member Code of Conduct” by using  “inappropriate endorsements and comments.”

  • Email transcripts released by Haddad showed that tweets which she had made early this week supporting the BC Ecosocialist Party over the BC Greens in the upcoming provincial election were to blame for her expulsion with the LCA stating:

“The LCA has recently become aware of Twitter posts in which you publicly criticize elected members of the Green Party of British Columbia and endorse a political rival. We find that you have discredited and intentionally damaged the interests of the Green Party of Canada”

  • Haddad later denounced the Ecosocialist party leader, Stuart Parker, following the unearthing of transphobic remarks. 

A social media reckoning ensued: Volunteers called for supporters to email Green party officials.  Articles were published speculating the timing of her expulsion and even criticizing the Green party for losing the youth vote. The hashtag #IStandWithMeryam was used more than 10 thousand times, trending on Canadian twitter while Haddad appealed her expulsion.

Haddad was given 48 hours to appeal her expulsion. In emails released on her Twitter, she argued that the Green Party was engaging in a double standard.

She brought up the fact that former party leader Elizabeth May has committed a similar act in the 2019 federal election when she campaigned for Jodie Wilson-Raybould (running as an independent) over Green candidate Louise Boutin of the same riding. Her question to the LCA was: why did these rules apply to some and not others?

The concern was not explained by Green party officials who reinstated Haddad’s campaign. In a statement, interim leader Jo-Ann Roberts stated:

“The Green Party is proud to have attracted a slate of contestants with diverse opinions from across the political spectrum. Participatory democracy is one of our core values, and that means giving priority to our members’ right to decide.”

Haddad thanked her grassroots supporters in a video message minutes after the announcement. Additionally, she posted screenshots of every piece of communication the LCA had with her in order to be “fully transparent for the GPC members and voters.

In Haddad’s video that she shared in English and French with closed captioning subtitles on her social media platforms, she stressed that the appeal was a team effort. Speaking to her camera, she said:

“It’s because of you; it’s because of every single email and calls that you did for me. To be able to stay in this contest.”

  • The video currently has more than 19k views on Twitter alone.

 The results of the leadership vote will be announced on Oct. 3, 2020.

The Bottom Line: In a last-minute turn of events, the sudden expulsion and reinstatement of progressive Green party leadership candidate has brought the party under scrutiny and may lead to surprising contest results with this increased attention on Haddad.