Elizabeth May Is To Be Commended For Defending Nycole Turmel From Political Gamesmanship
"First, she wants everyone to stop beating up on Nycole Turmel.
The interim NDP leader was eviscerated by the media and other political leaders this week after revelations that she used to be a card-carrying member of the separatist Bloc Québécois.
“I know Nycole Turmel and I have always been impressed by her,” Ms. May said. “I think people are overreacting, and I think that they should drop the issue now. I support her as a choice. It doesn’t speak well of people in other parties to have jumped on this and find ways to beat up on her and the NDP at this point.”
Jack Layton, the NDP leader, pushed for Ms. Turmel to be interim leader while he is battling a new cancer. He expects to be back to work when the House resumes in September.
Ms. May suggests if politicians are sincere in their wishes for Mr. Layton to get well, they must get over this fixation with Ms. Turmel’s political past.
“The Bloc Québécois has been a valid, legal parliamentary party. The exaggeration of what it means to be a member of the Bloc will insult Quebeckers,” she said.
Like other leaders (Stephen Harper has been a young Liberal in high school, a Reformer, a Canadian Alliance member and a Progressive Conservative; Bob Rae was an NDPer), Ms. May has had past allegiances with other parties.
She once took out a membership in the NDP and admits to joining the Liberal Party briefly to support a friend in a nomination meeting.
For 17 years, however, she remained politically neutral in her position as executive director of the Sierra Club of Canada. And despite her political attachment now, she’s again having to play non-partisan politics with a new project she has taken on this summer."
Globe & Mail