Ontario politics has been getting interesting recently with the election of Andrea Horwath as new NDP leader and the resignation of John Tory as PC leader. And, below the surface, the Green Party of Ontario is preparing to exceed expectations and make its mark in the next provincial election in 2011. Insiders should take note and get involved. (Outsiders can feel free to continue to ignore us, but I don’t advise it.)
This coming May long weekend, GPO members including myself will meet in Toronto for the 2009 AGM. The agenda [pdf, new window] includes a number of policy and constitutional matters, but one of the most significant pieces of business is to elect a new provincial executive (PE). This is the team that will oversee the planning and preparations required for a breakthrough in 2011. In case you’re interested, here’s how I’ll be voting for the key positions.
President: Bill Hewitt
I’m excited to be supporting Bill Hewitt for president. In addition to believing that he has a solid plan, I also think he has the ability to work well with others and build a strong team. To be frank, that’s something that’s been sorely missing on the PE as a whole for some time, and it’s one of the most crucial ingredients for success going forward.
Secretary: Robert Schmidt
Robert Schmidt has been serving as interim secretary since January, and I think he’s the best person to continue in that role. I share and am impressed by his nerdy infatuation with parliamentary rules of order.
I’m also encouraged to see that Caroline Law will be acclaimed as the Toronto Region Female rep, as will Jason Hammond as the Horseshoe Region Male rep. (Well, I’m not encouraged that they’re running uncontested, but I’ve worked with both of them closely and they’ll make excellent PE members.)
Now, if you’ve made it this far, here’s a juicy not very well known fact: the Green Party of Ontario may very well have a new leader before 2011. What we know for sure is that there will be a leadership race (the PE waived a leadership review vote in favour of a leadership contest at the request of current leader Frank de Jong), and the rumour is that Frank is leaning towards not seeking reelection.
Frank has been an excellent leader for the GPO, but he’s also the longest serving Green leader in Canada and—get this—the only leader the provincial party has ever had,Â so the renewal that comes with a leadership race would be good for the party. And with the NDP moving left and the PC party moving right very very wrong, there’s an exciting opportunity for Greens to pickup more support and build on the remarkable Green result in the last provincial election. I dare say this is even the most likely prospect for an electoral breakthrough anywhere in the country (and I have specific reasons why, but I’ll save that for another day).
So, if your answer to the question “who do you know in the GPO” is “pretty much no one,” you might want to work on that.