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So you thought Adriane Carr was wonderful?

By Stuart Hertzog
July 28th, 2007

But her insistence on getting own her way didn’t impress insiders

Adriane CarrThe BC Green party doesn’t have a good track record when it comes to choosing a leader. Although she handled the provincial media fairly well and performed successfully in the televised leadership debate, in my opinion former leader Adriane Carr’s reign was a disaster for the Green party.

Rather than developing the party by empowering the membership by giving them voice and vote in important decisions, Carr started the current process of centralizing power in provincial council, and taking critical discussions out of view of the membership, in camera and unminuted, behind closed doors.

As a result, many members slowly lost interest in becoming involved in Green party politics. Slowly, constituency associations withered down to two or three active members plus an out-of-date mailing list. Paid-up BC Greens grew too used to sitting on their hands between elections.

As one former provincial council member expressed it: “When it came to trying to do something about the BC Green party, there was no ‘there’ there.”

Poor political decisions

I’m of the view that Carr put her own ambitions to be the first Green MLA to sit in the BC legislature far ahead of spreading party resources equitably or helping other Green candidates. She unilaterally made poor political decisions that even provincial council would first hear about through the media. Then she would browbeat council for hours until it gave her whatever she wanted.

Eventually, councillors got fed up with her imperious ways and comprehensive expense claims. Faced with the prospect of being uncere­moniously dumped after a disastrous foray into Surrey-Green Timbers, Carr negotiated a deal over the head of incumbent federal deputy leader Andrew Lewis to become Elizabeth May’s #2, and resigned last November.

Not finished yet?

Not that Carr is finished with provincial Green politics – far from it. As federal candidate in Vancouver-Centre, Carr retains a foothold and influence in the BC Greens. She could make another bid for provincial leadership after she fails to be elected in Vancouver; she only has to wait until the next BC Green party leadership review, scheduled midway in the provincial election cycle.

If you thought you’d heard the last of Ms. Carr’s patronizing political lectures, you’re wrong. Adriane Carr has a lust for power that only prima donna politicians such as – well, for example, Hedy Fry – could understand.


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