In a surprise announcement Sept. 23, Stormont County organic processor Tom Manley revealed he has severed ties with the Green Party of Canada and is turning to the Liberal Party.
Manley's ties to the Green Party ran deep. Not only was he the party's deputy leader and agricultural critic, he has run under the Green banner in both federal and provincial elections.
In 2004, Manley took on Jim Harris, who remains Green leader, for the party's top job.
Flanked by stalwarts of the Stormont-Dundas-South Glengarry Liberal Party, Manley said he'll seek the Liberal nomination in the next federal election.
Over the past few years, Manley said several attempts were made to bring him back to the Liberal fold.
Lately, however, he started to listen, determined to forge ahead with his agenda for agricultural and environmental sustainability.
"There's a sense of urgency here and, within the Green Party, it'll take too long to achieve results. Besides, people make political parties, parties don't make people."
The lust for power will make a man sell his principles to the highest bidder. The Liberals never let themselves be outbid for a defector, whether it's with promises of a seat in cabinet or an unopposed parliamentary nomination.
Whether the Liberals actually come through with their promises is irrelevant to the party. Manley's desire for a platform plank about a sustainable agriculture policy will likely be met, but nothing will actually be done about it. Who actually reads the Red Book after the election?
Nonetheless, the Green Party will be shaken up with the loss of its number two man heading into an election. It might have been poised to overtake the NDP as the new party of the left in Canada, once enough NDPers upset with the radicals and Jack Layton's sellout to the Liberals crossed over. It also had an attraction for some Red Tories who couldn't bring themselves to support either of the three parties, as well as many independent-minded protest voters. It could have split off more left votes to allow Tories to come up the middle in close ridings.
Now the Greens face the prospect of being bled dry by the Liberals, all to satisfy one man's ambitions.
Source: Ottawa Sun