There is still a lot of “hurt and confusion” amongst Green party supporters over the NDP’s decision last year to pay for leaflets and radio ads attacking the party, says federal leader Annamie Paul.

This sore spot could hinder efforts by some British Columbians who are urging the BC Greens and the BC NDP to play nice with each other during the provincial election.

The activist group One Time Alliance BC says it wants to boost both Green and NDP seats by cracking down on instances where vote-splitting ends up hurting one or the other party.

The alliance is proposing that Greens and New Democrats do not “vigorously contest the election of their counterpart” in provincial ridings where either party’s candidate is more likely to win if the other does not.

Asked about her thoughts on this Wednesday, Paul, who is running in the Toronto Centre federal byelection scheduled for Oct. 26, said she had previously met with the One Time Alliance and told them that she suspected Green party members were split on the idea of such a partnership.

“In the case of British Columbia, there is still a lot of hurt and confusion about the NDP’s decision to use American-style attack ads and literature during the 2019 (federal) race,” said Paul.

“The Green party is a relatively young party; we have lots and lots of former NDP members, we have lots who are very sympathetic to the NDP, and who have lots of friends in the NDP. So there’s still a lot of hurt and confusion about the decisions they made.”

One leaflet last election said the Green party has “good ideas on the environment” but “shares many Conservative values,” according to a report in HuffPost. The leaflet had a chart comparing Green, Conservative and NDP positions and said the Greens do not oppose cutting services and would not always defend abortion rights.

The Greens put out a blistering press release quoting members accusing the NDP of promoting “lies and misrepresentations” and engaging in “mudslinging” that was “cynical and desperate.”

“Let's be clear: The Green party has always supported family social services, will always support a woman's right to choose, and has proposed an increase in funding for abortion services,” it said.

Paul said she felt the issue was still a “challenge that we would need to overcome” if the Greens were to work hand-in-hand with the NDP.

Greens still feel “hurt and confusion” over NDP attacks last election, says leader @AnnamiePaul, a sore spot that could hinder efforts in B.C. to get the parties to play nice during the provincial election campaign. #cdnpoli

She also pointed to the Green party constitution, which requires the party to field and endorse candidates in every riding.

“It’s always great when Green party members come together, to talk about these things, to think about what direction we want to head in, and this is definitely going to be one of those topics. It’s very clear,” she said. “So I’m looking forward to being part of that conversation.”

The One Time Alliance’s main proposal is for the next federal election and would involve an NDP-Green collaboration in at least 100 ridings across the country, where both parties would refrain from running candidates against each other. The objective is to achieve a critical mass of MPs from both parties, who would then advocate for electoral reform.

The alliance says the Greens and the NDP are cannibalizing each other's support; the two parties had a combined share of 22.4 per cent of the vote in 2019, it said, but were rewarded with only 27 seats, or eight per cent, of the 338 in the House of Commons.

“No one is calling for a merger of the two parties. What we would like to see is maximum voter choice for voters under a proportional representation voting system. However, we can't get there with business as usual,” states the alliance’s website.

Paul said that as someone who is newer to the party than some longtime members, it was clear to her that the Greens and the NDP were not interchangeable. She accused the NDP of holding weak positions in Toronto Centre, a riding she also ran in during the 2019 election. Paul came fourth in that race, with the NDP's Brian Chang coming in second.

“When I was in debate talking about things like a guaranteed livable income, when I was in debate talking about a safe supply and decriminalizing illicit drugs, I was there on my own talking about those things — the NDP was not talking about those things,” she said.

“I believe that the pandemic, I believe the climate emergency, these things are major differences between us and the NDP (and) are becoming clearer and clearer to people in Canada, and we’re not where we were even a year ago,” said Paul.

“When it comes to the next election, I think it’s going to be a very clear choice and differentiation between our two parties.”

Carl Meyer / Local Journalism Initiative / Canada’s National Observer

I am incredibly sad to see the power rivalry between these two parties. Focus on the commonalities please.
Allies get the issue heard. What good is a weak and always incrementalist left wing version of the cons and libs ? youth want issues focussed on and solutions proposed.
Paul is May's corporate choice. Ask about her husband's links with the coup leaders in Bolivia.
Ask about her links to Israeli religious fascists. Ive got no time for her because of her policies.
Oh and "stand down in the riding so she can walk into parliament unchallenged? "
Dont remember that being done for Singh . As well, the Libs have Marcie Ennis(sp) who is also a black woman and quite progressive on social justice issues.

yes it was done for Singh.

An awful lot of innuendo there. You want to come right out and say what you've got to say?

Yes indeed it was done for Singh. Somebody has a short memory.

Terrific reporting by Carl Meyer that accurately depicts what the One Time Alliance is about. While Annamie May points to some of the challenges that have to be resolved, it appears she is open to discuss this at the next Green Party Convention. Let us take her up on that. What she said: “It’s always great when Green party members come together, to talk about these things, to think about what direction we want to head in, and this is definitely going to be one of those topics. It’s very clear,” she said. “So I’m looking forward to being part of that conversation.”

First, on the nuts and bolts: Co-operation like that on a country-wide basis would mostly hurt the Greens, because there are only a very few ridings where they have a chance and the NDP don't, whereas there are quite a lot of ridings where the reverse is true. So what's in it for them? If I were the Greens, I wouldn't go for it.
And perhaps I'd pretend it was for some less selfish reason. Like being "hurt" that the NDP treated last election like it was an election and ran against the parties that they were running against. But back in the real world, that's what you do in elections.

On the broader prospects for co-operation, well, first of all both parties really, really want proportional representation, so at least they can co-operate on that. I want it too, both on principle and because it might give me a chance to ditch both of them and vote for some ecosocialists.

In general, we always have this feeling that the NDP and Greens should get along. But there are a few reasons it hasn't happened much, some just historical happens-to-be-the-case. Historically, Elizabeth May always seems to have liked the Liberals more than the NDP. This may be partly because under first-past-the-post there's this bitterness of a civil war as the two compete for some of the same voter base and uneasily realize that the other's mere existence costs them seats.
But ideologically the two aren't as close as they sometimes seem (or should be). On one hand, while I personally think the NDP, and any sensible left-of-centre political formation, should be quite green, within the party there are other pressures; it's a worker-oriented party and a lot of unions, and party leadership, haven't got the message that petroleum ain't gonna save their jobs. So you see stuff like John Horgan backing Liquid Natural Gas to the hilt (really, WTF John?).
On the other hand, while I personally think the Greens, and any sensible ecologically conscious political formation, ought to be left wing, because capitalism is an eternal growth machine and corporations make a bunch of their profit from environmental externalities and the corporate polluters obviously don't WANT to pay, within the party there are other pressures. Some Greens are Conservatives with composters, or at least Liberals with composters, and a whole lot just haven't thought the issues through and are under the frankly indefensible impression that environmental issues are independent of left/right issues and so they're happy to take the easy way out and pretend you can do status quo only greener. "Neither left nor right, but forward!" and all that rubbish. They are wrong and if they come to power with that mindset they will fail to do much of any use for the environment or to stop global warming. The Greens are actually an uneasy merger of two quite distinct ideological groups--a rightwing-to-centrist formation that wants the profit machine to keep rolling but with LED lightbulbs, of which I am basically contemptuous, and a fairly radical, at least implicitly left-wing bunch who want major change of some sort; I like those people although I find they are often a bit fuzzy about what they want to actually do instead. Still, I think there ARE positive radical solutions for them to tap into even if some of the radicals aren't aware of their existence. How much I like the Green party overall depends on who's in ascendance at the moment. One thing I noticed lately is that the Greens in BC never stopped Horgan from pushing LNG or a couple of other significantly not-very-environmentally-friendly things he did, but they DID quietly block some significant action to help build social housing. So, what do business Greens really care about?

So there are some semi-fundamental divides between the two parties and it's going to take some significant internal change in both before they can be on the same page enough for that much co-operation.

One thing for sure is that neither party is going to make much progress in the next federal election under a business-as-usual model. Setting their differences aside on a one-time basis would allow the two parties to seize the balance of power, bring in electoral reform and move the agenda forward on the existential issue of climate change. We cannot afford to wait around until climate change becomes irrevesible and we're running out of time. It's time for these two parties to rise above partisan considerations.

I would add that the Toronto Centre riding is an important opportunity for the two parties to ask. The NDP is not going to win that seat anyway and but coud win a lot of good will from the Greens, opening the door to an agreement on cooperation going forward. The Greens may or may not be able to win the seat but they do need a strong showing. They should make a deal with the NDP that they will pull out of a winnable riding somewhere else in exchange for a leader's courtesy arrangement in Toronto Centre. Toronto Danforth would be a great example of a riding that would suit that purpose.

Honestly, we need better leadership than this from the NDP and the Greens. Never mind the internal chicaneries. Let's get serrious and get this done!

Yes. The Green Party NEVER put down the NDP. Sadly & shockingly, Singh decided to do that in the last Fed election debate.

Could we get real? The Green party often puts down the NDP. And that's not a bad thing--the Green party SHOULD put down the NDP. And the NDP SHOULD put down the Green party. Both because they are in electoral competition and that's what you do, and because neither party lives up to each other's ideological standards (or, sometimes, to their own). If the NDP has not-so-green policies, the Greens should call them out. If the Greens have not-so-common-folk-friendly policies, the NDP should call them out. Failing to do so would not be good, it would be bad.

It’s a shame but the NDP have shown their true colours, they are just moderate Conservatives.
I did join the Green Party for several reasons, one being that I respected Elizabeth May smart, committed who brought the GP from the ashes to being a real political contender. I really believe a woman Prime Minister could be our saving grace.
But Ms. May blew it In the last election by being alarmist, and not willing to be flexible when it comes to the environment. You cannot run a country on one issue and hope the rest comes together. I totally agree that there is no time to waste when it comes to making huge changes in order to stop greenhouse gases but these changes take a bit of time (whether we have it or not.). Without Ms. May the Green Party is fluttering in the wind along with all her hard work over the years. This saddens me greatly.