Elizabeth May, BC's Crazy Cat Lady
There's been several reasons to think of Elizabeth May as unhinged, but a lot fewer reasons to deem her worthy of holding public office. Most of her crazy antics have happened while she has been in public office, representing the people of Saanich–Gulf Islands in British Columbia. What that actually says about the people of Saanich–Gulf Islands is hard to pinpoint, but the fact that May tried in other ridings before winning in Saanich–Gulf suggests that the people there saw something in her that voters in Cape Breton Highlands, London North Centre and Central Nova didn't. Since winning her first seat in 2011, May has continued to build her reputation as BC's crazy cat lady.
Just last December, Elizabeth May filed a petition to the House Of Commons claiming that the 9/11 terrorist attacks of 2001 were the result of an inside job orchestrated by the US government. In an attempt to make her presentation of the petition seem less crazy, May tried to say that she didn't necessarily subscribe to such conspiracy theories. In her efforts to appear less crazy, May actually made herself look crazy and misinformed about the duties of an MP.
“All MPs are required to present petitions submitted to them. Does not convey support. I don't agree with petition.” – Elizabeth May, December 4, 2014, on Twitter
Unfortunately, Elizabeth May didn't know what she was talking about. Or she was trying to make up her own rules in order to make her presentation of the petition seem mandatory – which it wasn't. May could have been trying to make it look like her duty rather than her endorsement – which is what it actually, probably was.
“As outsiders are not permitted to address the House directly, petitions must be presented by Members. Therefore, groups and individuals with petitions for the House must enlist the aid of Members to have their petitions certified and presented. Members are not bound to present petitions and cannot be compelled to do so.” – House Of Commons Procedure And Practice
What makes May's presentation even more odd is that the petition wasn't even given to her by people in her Saanich–Gulf Islands riding. So then why would petitioners from “Ontario and particularly in the Ottawa area” give their petition to the leader of a fringe, left-wing party with one seat in British Columbia? Because she was the only member of the House willing to entertain their ludicrous conspiracy theories.
“Mr. Speaker, I rise to present a petition, from petitioners in Alberta, British Columbia, Ontario and particularly in the Ottawa area, calling on the government of Canada to conduct a parliamentary review into the events that occurred in the United States on September 11.” – Elizabeth May
Whether Elizabeth May was trying to be deceptive or whether she has a poor understanding of House practices, neither explanation makes her look worthy of holding public office. Canadians aren't interested in pedalling anti-American conspiracy theories or having MPs that don't understand their own, basic parliamentary duties.
Canada's Cancer Conspiracy
On the Green Party's website there is reference to what the party calls a “cancer epidemic”. To make this even more ominous, the party states that “no one is willing to speak it out loud.” You can see it for yourself here. They then go on to say that chemicals and components in our food and water are causing it. It sounds like pretty scary stuff, especially if no one is willing to talk about it. It actually sounds a lot like a conspiracy theory on behalf of the Green Party – the party that once called itself the only pro-science party in parliament.
The problem with the Green Party's claim of an epidemic is that it contradicts what the Canadian Cancer Society attributes to cancer rates in Canada. According to the organization's statistics, Canada's rise in cancer rates has to do with a growing and aging population. According to most cancer researchers, “Over the next 20 years, a growing and aging population could mean a 60% increase in the number of new cancer cases.” You can read about that here. Most Canadian cancer statistics have shown no rapid or unexplained growth in cancer rates.
It's An Elected Dictatorship
When Monica Pohlmann of the Globe & Mail asked Elizabeth May what keeps her up at night, her answer was something about elected dictators and people choosing not to vote. May told Pohlmann that Canada is only a democracy in theory and that because most Canadians aren't forced to vote, the country is actually an “elected dictatorship”.
Dictators being elected by people who may or may not choose to vote seems like somewhat of an oxymoron. The term “elected dictator” doesn't even make much sense, but it's exactly what May said.
“We are a democracy only in theory. In practice, we're an elected dictatorship... Unless we change the system, the next elected dictator could be Trudeau or Mulcair, and we might like the decisions better, but it's still not a democracy.” – Elizabeth May, Globe & Mail, November 21, 2014
Elizabeth May continues by saying that democracies and citizens should be able to choose what they do and that government is supposed to make all of their collective wishes come true. May could be referring to referendums, or direct democracy, or who knows. We can't really tell what May is trying to say, because in the same interview she also blames the internet for spreading misinformation and bigotry.
“The internet has opened up the possibility for massive amounts of misinformation masquerading as information. Social media has amplified the voices of the intolerant, the racists, the misogynists, the homophobic... Today the polite Canadian is disappearing. Conversations are no longer allowed.”
Despite the internet being the most free and democratic platform in human history, May doesn't like it because it gives everyone a voice – including people she doesn't like. But then she also thinks Canadians aren't allowed to have conversations. Which is it?
If you're confused by Elizabeth May, don't worry. You're not alone. It's very possible that Elizabeth May might be confused by Elizabeth May. In the same interview, she accused Stephen Harper of working in the interests of Texas oil. Because based on his record, that makes absolute sense. Only in May's mind.
May's history in public life gives us more than enough evidence to conclude that she has no idea what she's talking about...ever.