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Unpublished Opinions

James OGrady's picture
Ottawa, Ontario
About the author

I am the founder of Unpublished Media Inc., a company I started in 2012. I am also a communications professional and community activist, living in Nepean, Ontario. And, I am a hockey goaltender, political hack and most importantly, an advocate for grassroots, participatory democracy at all levels of government.

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BDS policy violates Green Party values; Green Party should seek legal advice and conduct policy review

August 9, 2016

While right-wing talk radio shows and Jewish interest and lobby groups condemn the Green Party for adopting a BDS policy (Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions against Israel for their Palestinian policies), something they deem to be extremist, they have failed miserably to understand the foundation of Green Party policy and the fact that a BDS policy does not adhere to the Global Greens charter and six core values of all Green Parties around the world. Let me explain. 

The Green Party of Canada is a not a radical, extreme, left-wing party as some on the extreme right of the political spectrum would have you believe. Like most Green Parties around the world, the Green Party of Canada is a member of the Global Greens (, a big-tent, global movement of international Green Parties dedicated to achieving global sustainability, and through it, peace on earth. 

The six values that underpin all Green Party policy and to which all Green Party policy must adhere are: Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Participatory Democracy, Nonviolence, Sustainability and Respect for Diversity


Passing of BDS Policy at Green Party convention

This weekend the Green Party of Canada's members voted on and passed a policy calling for the Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions of Israel (BDS) for their policies hindering Palestinian attempts to achieve an independant state. Whatever you think of the Palestinians fight for independence and how it relates to Israel, it is important to understand that all Green Party policy must adhere to the Party's values, all six of them, not just one. If any policy violates these values, it is not considered to be "Green". 

Here in lies the problem with the passing of the BDS policy on the convention floor. While it may attempt to achieve 'Social Justice' for the Palestinians through Canadian foreign policy, it violates, in my opinion, the Green Party's values of "Respect for Diversity" (which applies to both human and non-human life on earth) and its value of "Non-violence". While BDS doesn't call for outright violence, "Boycotting, Divesting and Sanctioning" a nation for any reason can have the same effect as an overt violent act against that nation. Simply put, real Greens don't believe in any form of violence. 

Green Party should conduct policy review for compliance with core Values and Consitution

More importantly, because the Global Green Party movement's primary objective is to achieve Sustainability, no Green Party or its members should engage in actions, activities or policy that detract from achieving our sustainability objective. Any act that inflames social and cultural tensions like this BDS policy targeting Israel, can not be considered "Green". 

For this reason, I call on the Green Party of Canada to: 

  1. Seek legal advice to examine if this BDS policy violates the Party's core values and constitution; 
  2. Set up a independent committee to examine and evaluate all Green Party policy for compliance with its core values and consitution;
  3. Not confirm this BDS policy as "official" until the review process has been completed;
  4. Take decisive action once the review process is complete

If the Green Party of Canada conducts the review process I am recommending, I believe it will come to the same conclusion I have, that this BDS policy violates the Green Party's core values and can not become official party policy. 

For the record: The Green Party is not a socialist party like the NDP. It is an environmental party focused solely on achieving sustainability. It is neither left nor right on the traditional political spectrum, but rather outfront. 

A BDS policy condemning Israel would be a better fit with the NDP in Canada because the NDP is a social activist political party that promotes socialism, not sustainability. There is a big difference. Do some research and you'll discover why.