Saturday, August 9, 2014

Presidents are not free to misrepresent their organizations

The following is a letter to the editor of the Ottawa Sun. I should note here that I have no vested interest in nor connection to the party in question, and that any sentiments here would apply to all political parties.

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Re: Green Party shows its true colours

Eric Duhaime does your readers no favours by presenting such a skewed take on the Green Party's reaction to their President's recent comments vis–à–vis the Israel-Palestine conflict. He would have us believe that the party is exhibiting an aversion to democracy, as well as its central pillar, freedom of speech, and that this points to the evil incarnate of...socialism! (Cue sinister music.)

Nowhere does he mention that when Paul Estrin is speaking in his capacity as President of the Green Party, his audience could reasonably assume he is representing his party's policies, as democratically arrived at via regular policy conventions. If Mr. Estrin is uncomfortable with his membership's policies on the Middle East or any other issue, then he should indeed take his leadership skills elsewhere, rather than misrepresent his organization.

What we really have here is a political party doing what it needs to do to control its message on behalf of its card-carrying members in order to uphold their democratic will.

Lastly, socialism itself isn't predicated on stifling expression or curtailing democracy - all political ideologies are susceptible to being corrupted by factions jockeying for power. Just because Josef Stalin twisted communism into a brutal form of left wing authoritarianism doesn't mean all schools of thought under the "socialism" umbrella are inherently prone to the same evils.

Your readers deserve more even-handed analysis, and less bumper sticker politics built on lies of omission.

James Deagle
Ottawa, ON