This wasn’t a hard decision to be honest, but its a solid choice. Bob needs to be the next MP for Nanaimo-Ladysmith and I am happy to cast my vote for him.
But now a word about some unsettling developments that I have learned in the recent past.
I get that the other parties, candidates and their supporters/volunteers also want to win, but there is a disturbing narrative coming from some folks who profess their support for the Green party’s candidate.
I can’t say that I know their candidate on any personal level and have no reason to think he’s not genuine in his beliefs and philosophy, and I honour that – even if I’m not going to vote for that. But for some of his supporters to undercut the NDP candidate because “he’s not from here” is a chilling new kind of bigotry that I never thought would come from folks supporting a party called Green.
A short trip into history regarding their leader, Elizabeth May, would tell a story of how she went from an adviser in the Mulroney PC party government to holding memberships in the Liberals and NDP before settling on the Green Party. Her story takes her to several places as candidate before deciding on Saanich/Gulf Islands. She was a candidate in Nova Scotia and Ontario first before moving to Vancouver Island.
But, Bob Chamberlin, a ‘parachute candidate’ (who has lived in Nanaimo before, but resided in North Vancouver just prior to announcing his candidacy) is deemed by certain activists as unsuitable to be MP.
It sure takes some white-settler chutzpah to deride a First Nation candidate that he’s somehow unsuitable for this job because he spent seven years away in various roles. Especially by fans of a party that portrays itself as a friend to first nations (the Greens).
Bob Chamberlin with his long background in First Nation’s reconciliation, fish and wildlife habitat is deemed by at least some local area green party folks that his physical residency in Nanaimo deems him disqualified as a potential MP; regardless of the recent history of their own party leader travelling the country for a winnable seat to campaign in.
The Green party’s growth in recent years has been largely at the expense of the other, more established parties. This is a fact they are proud to talk about at length. Whereas, Bob Chamberlin wasn’t overtly a partisan previously, but the moment he becomes candidate he’s under attack because “he’s not from here”. That’s a very unwelcoming stand to take when your whole movement is based on welcoming folks from elsewhere.
I’m going to assume that this narrative is held only by a very small group and not promoted or held as a belief by the central campaign. We live in a region that see folks come and go all the time, and whether you just arrived here or have been here for 40+ years, you should be made to feel welcome regardless.
And to those who play that “he’s not from here, we don’t want him” card, go fuck yourself. That’s not how progressive Canadians roll.