POLITICS
09/11/2020 16:52 EDT | Updated 09/11/2020 20:28 EDT

Green Party Leadership Race Contender: Annamie Paul

We sent each of the candidates this 23-question questionnaire.

Rebecca Zisser/Handout

1. Full name:
Annamie Paul

2. Date of birth:
Nov. 3, 1972

3. Marital status? Children?
Married. Two children.

4. Would you describe yourself as religious? If so, what religion/denomination do you subscribe to?
I am Jewish. Judaism is a civilisation, not simply a religion. There are Jews that run the spectrum, from atheist to orthodox, while still identifying as Jews.

5. Why do you think you’re best placed to be the next Green Party leader?
I believe that you match a leader to the times that the country and party find themeselves. In that respect, I am well-suited to represent the Green Party at this phase in the life of the party because: 

A) The Green Party of Canada struggles with diversity and this is a barrier to greater political success for us. As the founder of the first organisation in Canada that was focused on the issue of political underrepresentation, I have extensive professional and academic experience in creating the conditions for political organisations and insitutions to diversify and attract diverse talent to organisations and institutions.

B) We are in a time of global challenges: the pandemic, the climate emergency and the future work. I have extensive international experience, as a former diplomat and director and innovator in the NGO world, and understand how to work collaboratively within multilaterals, the global Green movement and with civil society to tackle those challenges.

C) The challenges we face are unprecedented and will require unprecedented solutions, and therefore innovation. As someone who has created two socially innovative orgnisations, in Canada and abroad, and thanks to my training in public and international affairs at Princeton, I am very comfortable generating and nurturing innovative ideas.

D) We need greater diversity at our highest levels of political leadership, such diversity is almost entirely absent. Electing me is a chance to change and is an intentional signal by our members that this is a priority for our party and the country. 

6. What top two problems do you believe the party current faces? And how do you plan to try to overcome them?
The party struggles with diversity. We ran the least diverse slate of candidates in the last election. We need to adopt internal policies and adjust our structures in order to attract more diversity in our membership, governance and candidates. I would make that a priority and would actively scout and recruit that talent and support federal council policies that facilitate that.

The mainstream media largely ignores the Green Party. This is an incredible barrier to our growth and ability to connect with the public. I expect that the historical nature of my election would help to open those channels to some extent. 

The party struggles with diversity. We ran the least diverse slate of candidates in the last election.

7.  Why do you think the party failed to win more seats in the last election
Strategic voting.

8. What would be your policy priorities if you become the leader?
Our policy priorities are set by our members. Our members are concerned about how Canada can emerge more resilient from the pandemic, by completing our social safety net, addressing systemic discrimination and by accelerating our transition towards a green economy. That is just, sustainable and recognises the finite resources of our planet. 

9. What public policy issue do you feel is undercovered and deserving of more political and public attention?

  • The climate emergency
  • The opioid epidemic
  • Generational economic disparities
  • Indigenous self-determination and sovereignty
  • The need for democratic renewal through electoral reform
  • The closing of our borders to asylum seekers

10. What makes you happy?
Declined to answer.

11. Tea or coffee? Beer or wine?
Declined to answer.

12. Favourite thing to do?
Declined to answer.

13. What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Declined to answer.

14. What is an invaluable lesson you’ve learned during this leadership campaign or your time in politics?
There is tremendous power in collective action. When I see what our team of volunteers has been able to accomplish together, even in the midst of a pandemic, I am encouraged by what we can accomplish together on greater challenges like the climate emergency and completing our social safety net. I have also learned that there is still a great deal of racism, sexism and anti-semitism in politics, much of it unchecked. Social media is an unfortunate enabler of this hate. 

15. What is your most marked characteristic?
Declined to answer.

16. What is your greatest fear?
Declined to answer.

17. What is your greatest extravagance?
Declined to answer.

18. Who is a politician from another political party that you respect?
I admire all the Black women that have run for political office (whether successful or not) and on whose shoulders I stand. 

19. Which living person do you most admire?
Declined to answer.

20. What is the trait you most deplore in yourself? In others?
Declined to answer.

21. What is your greatest regret?
Declined to answer.

22. On what occasions do you lie?
Declined to answer.

23. Which superpower do you wish you had?
Declined to answer.

Click on the profile pictures to read their answers.