The Green Party and its leader Elizabeth May find themselves in a particularly awkward situation right now. After the passing of a controversial resolution, despite constant opposition by May, she is not left with much room to maneuver. Fortunately, she has some time off to think about whether or not she should resign from the leadership of the party.
It’s a pretty unexpected situation, a fact that May accepted as well. Her party expressed support for an extremely controversial resolution which called for sanctions against Israel. Boycott, Divestment, and Sanctions (BDS) were the three measures against Israel that the Green Party called for. And May had openly campaigned to oppose all three at the Green Party’s convention in Ottawa, last week. After the party went against her position, it raises several questions about her legitimacy as a leader.
“I never imagined…that I would be taking my week off to consider whether I should step down right away or not,” she told The Globe and Mail in an interview. “I have to consider all options. To do that, I need sleep. I need to be with my family. I need a week off.”
The Bonser method
While May rests, sleeps, and mulls over her upcoming decision, many people are struggling to understand how such a situation could arise in the first place. The Green Party was the only federal party in the country to support the BDS resolution. But how did that come to be?
The reason for such an outcome is the Bonser Method. It’s a specialized color-coded process of voting that is used to decide the priority of the resolution before the convention. And it was the first time in the party’s history that this method was used. May is openly critical of the move away from consensus-based decision making towards the method.