The Green Party of Ontario, which was anticipating a leadership race culminating in a convention November 13 to 15, 2009, has just announced that at the close of nominations Mike Schreiner is the only candidate to become the next leader of the Green Party of Ontario. According to the party’s processes, he will still face a secret ballot vote against “none of the above.” (Just to be clear, he will kick NOTA’s butt.)
News reports had indicated that Mark MacKenzie was also going to contest the leadership. At this time I don’t know if he intentionally withdrew or failed to be properly nominated in time.
I will not pretend that I’m not disappointed there won’t be a contest. There are some negatives that will come out of this, specifically A) potential public perception, for anyone paying attention, that more people didn’t want the job and B) failed opportunity to gain media attention, sign up new members, etc. Leadership contests are good for parties, and this one would have been good for the provincial Greens.
However, as everyone in Ontario will soon learn, Mike Schreiner will make an excellent leader, and I’m very excited about the coming years and the 2011 election. That’s all for now, more to come later, I’m sure.
ps. To preempt predictable comments from some frustrated and vocal party members, yes, a big reason why there weren’t any other candidates is because of the party’s requirement that leadership contestants must be members of the party for at least 6 months. No, that’s not due to a conspiracy, it’s a decision that party members have made and recently reaffirmed. And no, I actually don’t like that rule. There will be some members who will propose (as they have in the past) that that rule should be changed for future contests, and I would agree. I think 6 months is too long, but it’s also the rule that was already in place for this contest, and the rules were rightly followed.