Does Elizabeth May fundamentally agree or disagree?

One thing that we can all agree upon is that Elizabeth May talks too fast and this has got her into some trouble in the past surrounding her February 2007 comments on TVO’s The Agenda with Steve Paikin where she says “All the other politicians are scared to death to mention the word ‘tax’. And they think Canadians are stupid — and cannot — and I fundamentally agree with that assessment.”

As I mentioned in my interview on CBC, I was never of the mind that she had said “I” rather than “they” in the sentence where she says “they think Canadians are stupid”. What stunned me was the part where she said “and I fundamentally agree with that assessment”. I didn’t realize there was ambiguity over the pronoun until it was raised by other who saw my video and made comment over at Buckdog.

Now, as it has been confirmed, the audio was “they” but now May reveals that the real difference in interpretation was that she either meant “agree” or “disagree with that assessment”. In Steve Paikin’s Friday interview of May, the Green Party leader explains that she said “disagree”.

However, on Sunday’s CTV Question Period May has a different story that contradicts her explanation to Paikin. May said that she said “fundamentally agree with that assessment” in reference to another panelist who had made an observation that wasn’t recorded.

Most people that run for political office do it out of a love of service for their fellow Canadians. I do not doubt that May’s heart is in the right place. However, her reported off-hand comments after the panel discussion might reinforce for us another element of her thinking. She said “No I want [Hummer drivers] shot actually, jail is not good enough for them!” Of course, any reasonable person would understand that May was joking. However, some might interpret this as a streak of elitism in Ms. May. Some Canadians may get the impression that while she wishes to serve Canada, she likely thinks she knows what’s best for us.

Comments

comments

  • http://streetadvisorconsulting.blogspot.com markalanwhittle

    Some hear “I” and some here “they”, but either way the woman spends more time spinning her own comments than explaining what her party stands for, other than the ruination of the economy through a carbon tax. She even claims “the Green Shift” was her parties idea and not the Liberals leading me to believe she's a closet Liberal. Throughout the TVO video clip from 2007 she was speaking in the first person. Her explainations, after the fact, ring as hollow as a dug-out canoe. She's the architect of her own demise, just like Paul Martin was way back when. If you're goint to shoot from the lip it's better not to use blanks. Keep up the good work Stephen, your blog is always a good read.

  • WD Armstrong

    Well, one would hope that these same Canadians that Green Party Leader May views as stupid, are certainly not stupid enough to vote for her – I certainly prefer to think we are far too clever to fall for such elitist, head up her rectal cavity, elitist drivel. Seems to me a new T Shirt should be made “Too stupid to vote for May”. Certainly would reinforce her point – that Canadians are stupid if you don’t vote for her.

    And I can already read the moaning about this post…..snivel snivel whine whine….

  • WD Armstrong

    Well, one would hope that these same Canadians that Green Party Leader May views as stupid, are certainly not stupid enough to vote for her – I certainly prefer to think we are far too clever to fall for such elitist, head up her rectal cavity, elitist drivel. Seems to me a new T Shirt should be made “Too stupid to vote for May”. Certainly would reinforce her point – that Canadians are stupid if you don’t vote for her.

    And I can already read the moaning about this post…..snivel snivel whine whine….

  • http://buckdogpolitics.blogspot.com/ leftdog

    Meanwhile … the Green’s initial strategy to deal with this was to threaten to sue me! I gave Bennett fair warning by email that I would bite back if he didn’t pull in his fangs … he didn’t … so I blogged it … AND for a couple of days, May found out how potent the blogosphere is this election! I hope her idiotic damage control continues to bite her where she sits.

  • http://buckdogpolitics.blogspot.com/ leftdog

    Meanwhile … the Green’s initial strategy to deal with this was to threaten to sue me! I gave Bennett fair warning by email that I would bite back if he didn’t pull in his fangs … he didn’t … so I blogged it … AND for a couple of days, May found out how potent the blogosphere is this election! I hope her idiotic damage control continues to bite her where she sits.

  • Gabby in QC

    In the QP interview, Ms. May brings up a pet peeve of mine: the name some use to refer to Mr. Harper’s party. Ms. May believes the party should not be called the “Tory” party. I agree with her, but what she fails to mention is that it is the media that keeps referring to the Conservatives as “the Tories” or “the Tory” party.
    I realize it’s not a big deal – well, unless one pays attention to Ms. May – but the name is the CONSERVATIVE Party of Canada.

    As to Ms. May’s opinion of Canadians: during the QP interview she again said “… what people don’t understand …” is that Stephane Dion and she knew each other well and had worked together closely during the Montreal Climate Conference in 2005 during the middle of an election and people didn’t pay attention and they had worked out a plan to save the planet and then Stephen Harper spoiled it all by winning the election and now the planet is about to explode because of Stephen Harper and here she comes to save the day …. OK, I’m exaggerating, but sort of imitating Ms. May’s speech pattern.

    It seems there’s a lot “people don’t understand” and luckily we have Ms. May to explain it all to us ;-)

  • Gabby in QC

    In the QP interview, Ms. May brings up a pet peeve of mine: the name some use to refer to Mr. Harper’s party. Ms. May believes the party should not be called the “Tory” party. I agree with her, but what she fails to mention is that it is the media that keeps referring to the Conservatives as “the Tories” or “the Tory” party.
    I realize it’s not a big deal – well, unless one pays attention to Ms. May – but the name is the CONSERVATIVE Party of Canada.

    As to Ms. May’s opinion of Canadians: during the QP interview she again said “… what people don’t understand …” is that Stephane Dion and she knew each other well and had worked together closely during the Montreal Climate Conference in 2005 during the middle of an election and people didn’t pay attention and they had worked out a plan to save the planet and then Stephen Harper spoiled it all by winning the election and now the planet is about to explode because of Stephen Harper and here she comes to save the day …. OK, I’m exaggerating, but sort of imitating Ms. May’s speech pattern.

    It seems there’s a lot “people don’t understand” and luckily we have Ms. May to explain it all to us ;-)

  • conscience

    1. May is an ex-lobbyist/activist who hasn’t changed her stripes.
    2. She is putting her personal agenda (ABC) ahead of her party’s supporters, and has no intention of changing.
    3. A key plank in this personal agenda is to forge a strategic alliance with Dion/Liberals, no matter what the long-tem cost to the Green party will be.
    4. It is apparent she takes no responsibility for any of her actions or any of her staff’s … witness her avoidance of an apology for the pseudo-legal threats against a blogger who linked to a tape of her actual words on “Canadians are stupid”, and consistent attempts to weasel out of what she said. Weasel, good word to describe Ms. May.

    Ms. May is a real piece of work all right … somebody without ethics, with a hidden agenda, and without scruples. A fast-talking, cowardly, bully-pulpit without a shred of respect for ordinary Canadians. i.e., just another shallow, slimy elitist lobbyist trying to screw Canada.

  • conscience

    1. May is an ex-lobbyist/activist who hasn’t changed her stripes.
    2. She is putting her personal agenda (ABC) ahead of her party’s supporters, and has no intention of changing.
    3. A key plank in this personal agenda is to forge a strategic alliance with Dion/Liberals, no matter what the long-tem cost to the Green party will be.
    4. It is apparent she takes no responsibility for any of her actions or any of her staff’s … witness her avoidance of an apology for the pseudo-legal threats against a blogger who linked to a tape of her actual words on “Canadians are stupid”, and consistent attempts to weasel out of what she said. Weasel, good word to describe Ms. May.

    Ms. May is a real piece of work all right … somebody without ethics, with a hidden agenda, and without scruples. A fast-talking, cowardly, bully-pulpit without a shred of respect for ordinary Canadians. i.e., just another shallow, slimy elitist lobbyist trying to screw Canada.

  • Dee Sturber

    Never mind whether she thinks Hummer drivers should be shot or not. If we have to listen to any more of what people THINK she said or even what she THINKS, I guess we will all have to shoot OURSELVES.

    She may be the smartest politician to come down the pike since Danny Williams, but I don’t want to listen to either one of them any more. Isn’t there such a thing as FREE LISTENING???? Do we HAVE to listen to these
    people non stop for the next couple of months. CNN is bad enough, but to have all our Canadian TV trying to
    make sense of what they say is more than I can bear.

  • Dee Sturber

    Never mind whether she thinks Hummer drivers should be shot or not. If we have to listen to any more of what people THINK she said or even what she THINKS, I guess we will all have to shoot OURSELVES.

    She may be the smartest politician to come down the pike since Danny Williams, but I don’t want to listen to either one of them any more. Isn’t there such a thing as FREE LISTENING???? Do we HAVE to listen to these
    people non stop for the next couple of months. CNN is bad enough, but to have all our Canadian TV trying to
    make sense of what they say is more than I can bear.

  • Casual observer

    Bravo to Stephen Taylor – excellent summary of the very important issue. Canadians need to know at any time, but especially during an election, what a party leader is about. From this very important story, we are getting at least a glimpse of what May is about. May has obviously attempted to sweep this under the carpet, hoping it will go away, but this election is way, way too important, to let that happen. I’m quite surprised that the other opposition parties have not been more vocal about this issue – maybe they will later.

  • Casual observer

    Bravo to Stephen Taylor – excellent summary of the very important issue. Canadians need to know at any time, but especially during an election, what a party leader is about. From this very important story, we are getting at least a glimpse of what May is about. May has obviously attempted to sweep this under the carpet, hoping it will go away, but this election is way, way too important, to let that happen. I’m quite surprised that the other opposition parties have not been more vocal about this issue – maybe they will later.

  • RM

    Stephen,
    all leftist like May are elitist, this is nothing new. Elitist spend their time telling us how we should live our lives and their way is best. Global warming is only the latest in a long history of attempts to control the ignorant masses. As the weather slips backing into a cold cycle in the coming years, May and her ilk will tell us that its man's carbon emmissions that are causing global cooling.

  • Durward

    I think May is the stupid one, how else do you explain her continued push for punative taxes for a de-bunked theory.
    After ten yrs of Global cooling you would think she would catch on but nope it’s all about CO2.
    May is an fool.

  • Durward

    I think May is the stupid one, how else do you explain her continued push for punative taxes for a de-bunked theory.
    After ten yrs of Global cooling you would think she would catch on but nope it’s all about CO2.
    May is an fool.

  • Laura

    Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

  • Laura

    Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

  • Caz

    Blah blah blah..hogwash! We aren’t stupid and I know what I heard and so do most Canadians who have a brain.

  • Caz

    Blah blah blah..hogwash! We aren’t stupid and I know what I heard and so do most Canadians who have a brain.

  • Soccermom

    It's plain as day that she said “agree”. But I think she has too many competing thoughts going on in that noggin of hers and her sentences are always interjected with other angles and conversations. She needs to clean that up to avoid another brouhaha.

    I'm more upset about the Hummer comment. That craziness is what turns people off of the Greens.

    She also lost credibility yesterday when she suddenly announced that she is pro-choice. I thought she always maintained she was pro-life? Get some heat from the feminists? Desperate for their vote? Change your fundamental values, it always works!!! See Catholic Paul Martin.

  • batb

    HOLD ON A MINUTE!

    Stephen, have you scrutinized Ormiston’s piece on this? It’s full of inacurracies.

    She alleges that “it all started on a Conservative blogger’s Web site. Stephen Taylor posted audio of Elizabeth May speaking last year.” No mention that it was actually the NDP Buckdog Blog which first RE-posted the audio clip which was ALREADY on YouTube and that this Web site was threatened with a lawsuit if it did not take the clip down. No mention that your posting the clip was IN RESPONSE to the threatened lawsuit of another blogger.

    The CBC site then plays the clip that Buckdog first posted and after it, Ormiston says, “‘Hard to hear. Let’s ask Stephen Taylor WHAT HE WAS UP TO [my emphasis].” Again, no mention of Buckdog’s having FIRST aired the clip or questioning of what he might have been up to: This is, according to Ormiston’s spin, clearly a problem generated by Conservatives.

    Then Ormiston says, “Posted to YouTube, the video went viral and got picked up by an NDP blogger. The Green Party called foul and threatened to sue…” but that “there was an apology,” which makes it sound as though the Greens apologized to you–no mention that the apology was to Buckdog only.

    You see the progression here? First YOU posted the video and THEN Buckdog picked it up from your Web site. Ms. Ormiston has it exactly backwards, but that doesn’t seem to bother her as she gallops forward to her next observation: “You decide, it’s a matter of interpretation and the kind of political tricks that feed the internet.”

    She ends her commentary with “And that’s Web Words for now.”

    How about “And that’s WEASEL WORDS for now”?

    Sadly, this kind of misrepresentation is why I avoid the CBC. I have come to expect this kind of twisted reporting. As a professional journalist, Susan Ormiston had the opportunity of accurately reporting what actually happened and why the Green Party is in the pickle it’s in. Instead, she decided to spin the story to make Conservative bloggers the villains. ‘No mention, of course, that Stephen Taylor is still awaiting an apology from John Bennett who alleged that Stephen had doctored the tape.

  • batb

    HOLD ON A MINUTE!

    Stephen, have you scrutinized Ormiston’s piece on this? It’s full of inacurracies.

    She alleges that “it all started on a Conservative blogger’s Web site. Stephen Taylor posted audio of Elizabeth May speaking last year.” No mention that it was actually the NDP Buckdog Blog which first RE-posted the audio clip which was ALREADY on YouTube and that this Web site was threatened with a lawsuit if it did not take the clip down. No mention that your posting the clip was IN RESPONSE to the threatened lawsuit of another blogger.

    The CBC site then plays the clip that Buckdog first posted and after it, Ormiston says, “‘Hard to hear. Let’s ask Stephen Taylor WHAT HE WAS UP TO [my emphasis].” Again, no mention of Buckdog’s having FIRST aired the clip or questioning of what he might have been up to: This is, according to Ormiston’s spin, clearly a problem generated by Conservatives.

    Then Ormiston says, “Posted to YouTube, the video went viral and got picked up by an NDP blogger. The Green Party called foul and threatened to sue…” but that “there was an apology,” which makes it sound as though the Greens apologized to you–no mention that the apology was to Buckdog only.

    You see the progression here? First YOU posted the video and THEN Buckdog picked it up from your Web site. Ms. Ormiston has it exactly backwards, but that doesn’t seem to bother her as she gallops forward to her next observation: “You decide, it’s a matter of interpretation and the kind of political tricks that feed the internet.”

    She ends her commentary with “And that’s Web Words for now.”

    How about “And that’s WEASEL WORDS for now”?

    Sadly, this kind of misrepresentation is why I avoid the CBC. I have come to expect this kind of twisted reporting. As a professional journalist, Susan Ormiston had the opportunity of accurately reporting what actually happened and why the Green Party is in the pickle it’s in. Instead, she decided to spin the story to make Conservative bloggers the villains. ‘No mention, of course, that Stephen Taylor is still awaiting an apology from John Bennett who alleged that Stephen had doctored the tape.

  • Bubba Brown

    It isn’t “funny” how it sounds it is typical of the green “elitist” point of view we will tax you and you will just have to accept it, “we are saving the planet” Another twit who wants us to drink the “kool-aid” She just “outed” herself and all the “I didn’t say that’s in the world are going to make any difference>

  • Bubba Brown

    It isn’t “funny” how it sounds it is typical of the green “elitist” point of view we will tax you and you will just have to accept it, “we are saving the planet” Another twit who wants us to drink the “kool-aid” She just “outed” herself and all the “I didn’t say that’s in the world are going to make any difference>

  • TB

    Canadians are stupid?

    Can’t say that I disagree.

    Talk about mountain out of mole hill. Don’t we have time to actually discuss issues instead of contribute trivialities like this?

  • TB

    Canadians are stupid?

    Can’t say that I disagree.

    Talk about mountain out of mole hill. Don’t we have time to actually discuss issues instead of contribute trivialities like this?

  • W Daykin

    I am not surprised.

  • W Daykin

    I am not surprised.

  • W Daykin

    I am not surprised.
    Hardly newsworthy.

  • W Daykin

    I am not surprised.
    Hardly newsworthy.

  • Liz J

    She needs to heed an old adage that went something like “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.
    It’s clear what she said, maybe she should move on to say she was caught up in the conversation and jumped in at the wrong time with the wrong words. It’s a fast tongue going giddy up before the brain is hooked to it.

    Not a bit of doubt about her projection she knows what’s best for us like the rest of the Leftist horde.

  • Liz J

    She needs to heed an old adage that went something like “Oh, what a tangled web we weave when first we practice to deceive”.
    It’s clear what she said, maybe she should move on to say she was caught up in the conversation and jumped in at the wrong time with the wrong words. It’s a fast tongue going giddy up before the brain is hooked to it.

    Not a bit of doubt about her projection she knows what’s best for us like the rest of the Leftist horde.

  • rob konduros

    All young conservatives are goofs.

  • rob konduros

    All young conservatives are goofs.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca stephentaylor

    Sorry batb, Ormiston had it right. I first posted the Youtube clip under my Youtube username “stimpyloveseggs” on September 10th and blogged about it the same day around 7pm. Leftdog saw the clip posted on my site, followed through the the YouTube video and copy/pasted the embed code of the video I made on his own blog. Leftdog's site was probably the site that came to the attention of John Bennett (the Green d.comm) and Bennett threatened to sue Leftdog.

    So, I made the video and posted it first on my blog. The Buckdog site re-posted it after seeing it here.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca stephentaylor

    The timeline Ormiston describes is completely accurate.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca stephentaylor

    Perhaps you should read more books and less DailyKos.

  • http://www.stephentaylor.ca stephentaylor

    Here's a good Western Standard post on this:
    http://westernstandard.blogs.com/shotgun/2008/0

  • Bam Bam

    I’ll stand by “racist” and “evil” as correct descriptors of a government or party that wants to keep dumping greenhouse gas in the atmosphere free, even encourage it with diesel tax cuts and assurances that transport and housing will never bear the true costs of the atmospheric harm they do. The people being killed by climate change effects like Hurricane Katrina or Ike are generally of a different race. Telling lies to keep power to keep advantaging a very narrow sector of white suburban and rural oil industry workers in Alberta as even people on fixed incomes in Alberta are squeezed by the bubble’s pressure on housing, food and service prices. It doesn’t seem to me as if “evil” is enough of a word to describe people who are grossly over-priveleged and use lies and frauds to increase priveleges to the point where others are not only being slaughtered but driven into civil conflicts over water and food. That’s exactly what Alberta does to the rest of the planet. It’s an evil place. That’s all there is to it.

    This election would be better framed as a regional battle between those who want Canada to remain a moral superpower and those who want it to join the very lowest and most selfish rank of nations that act as refuges for a corrupt minority that externalizes harms they do on the rest of the world.

    If the latter, then, no Canada. The Bloc will be right. And it will be time to seriously look at whether the US could use a few more blue states on the Atlantic.

  • Bam Bam

    I’ll stand by “racist” and “evil” as correct descriptors of a government or party that wants to keep dumping greenhouse gas in the atmosphere free, even encourage it with diesel tax cuts and assurances that transport and housing will never bear the true costs of the atmospheric harm they do. The people being killed by climate change effects like Hurricane Katrina or Ike are generally of a different race. Telling lies to keep power to keep advantaging a very narrow sector of white suburban and rural oil industry workers in Alberta as even people on fixed incomes in Alberta are squeezed by the bubble’s pressure on housing, food and service prices. It doesn’t seem to me as if “evil” is enough of a word to describe people who are grossly over-priveleged and use lies and frauds to increase priveleges to the point where others are not only being slaughtered but driven into civil conflicts over water and food. That’s exactly what Alberta does to the rest of the planet. It’s an evil place. That’s all there is to it.

    This election would be better framed as a regional battle between those who want Canada to remain a moral superpower and those who want it to join the very lowest and most selfish rank of nations that act as refuges for a corrupt minority that externalizes harms they do on the rest of the world.

    If the latter, then, no Canada. The Bloc will be right. And it will be time to seriously look at whether the US could use a few more blue states on the Atlantic.

  • http://djxtreme-seashell.blogspot.com/ SeanMcAllister

    The clip very clearly has her saying “I” think…not “they” think…

  • http://djxtreme-seashell.blogspot.com/ SeanMcAllister

    The clip very clearly has her saying “I” think…not “they” think…

  • Soccermom

    Apparently Bam Bam is quite afraid we are not taking his green religion seriously enough.

  • http://www.genx40.com Alan

    I would have suggested more sunlight but the same principle applies. Yikes.

  • http://www.bluelikeyou.com/ Joanne TB

    Glad you picked up on this.

    So now we have three different explanations for the 'stupid' remark, when you count the one that her spokesman gave on MDL as well.

    Mmm…. I think this could be a good question to send into Steve Paikin for the Leadership Debate.

    “What do you hear Elizabeth May saying in this clip?”. Of course, since Stephane Dion says he has a hearing problem, that likely wouldn't work.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Elizabeth May may (or may not) be a person with nothing but the best of intentions for the earth in mind, but
    I find her ideas half baked and think she has been inconsistent in her ideas.

    I think her campaign platform is a house of cards. It might be attractive to the crusading environmentalists who are salivating at the idea of joining a Kyoto-like gravy train and young students who have been infulenced by an education system which grades students based on a competition as to who can be further left. But it lacks any clear substance or cohesion and is only a small component of what is necessary for an effective national administration.

    For this reason, I think May has illustrated she is clearly in over her head. I can’t see what value a Green MP would bring to Ottawa.

  • Beer and Popcorn

    Elizabeth May may (or may not) be a person with nothing but the best of intentions for the earth in mind, but
    I find her ideas half baked and think she has been inconsistent in her ideas.

    I think her campaign platform is a house of cards. It might be attractive to the crusading environmentalists who are salivating at the idea of joining a Kyoto-like gravy train and young students who have been infulenced by an education system which grades students based on a competition as to who can be further left. But it lacks any clear substance or cohesion and is only a small component of what is necessary for an effective national administration.

    For this reason, I think May has illustrated she is clearly in over her head. I can’t see what value a Green MP would bring to Ottawa.

  • Elusive 1

    Yeah Right:

    Now it becomes perfectly clear to us stupid Canucks…

    Elizabeth May talks fast. So when she was DISSING Canadians she BLEW PAST the DIS part of AGREE. Thus what us STUPID Canadians heard was DIS- AGREE without the DIS. By Golly we should all GROW a new set of EARS. Then we could hear CORRECTLY when someone of SUPERIOR Intelligence BLOVIATES quickly. This solution would definitely give us a better understanding of how and why we are getting GREEN SHAFTED.

    WOW, STUPID ME, I feel much better now!!

  • Elusive 1

    Yeah Right:

    Now it becomes perfectly clear to us stupid Canucks…

    Elizabeth May talks fast. So when she was DISSING Canadians she BLEW PAST the DIS part of AGREE. Thus what us STUPID Canadians heard was DIS- AGREE without the DIS. By Golly we should all GROW a new set of EARS. Then we could hear CORRECTLY when someone of SUPERIOR Intelligence BLOVIATES quickly. This solution would definitely give us a better understanding of how and why we are getting GREEN SHAFTED.

    WOW, STUPID ME, I feel much better now!!