The former mayor of Sidney used what many would consider a pejorative slang with a female connotation against federal Green party leader and long-time local MP Elizabeth May during a social media exchange that rehashed the last federal and municipal elections.
Steve Price, who was mayor of Sidney from 2015 and 2018, used the term “karma’s a b****” in a tweet aimed at May in which he was commenting on one of her tweets. In her tweet, May wrote that “NDP MPs losing in Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan must wonder why [NDP leader Jagmeet] Singh threw everything at a dishonest campaign on Vancouver Island.”
“That’s exactly what local Green Party campaign organizers did during the last Sidney civic election to elect a green slate, glad to see it was used on you as well, karma’s a b****,” wrote Price in response to an exchange between May and New Democrat Alistair MacGregor, who retained his seat of Cowichan-Malahat-Langford in arguing May experienced the very thing that happened in the 2018 municipal election.
He said later in an interview that the comment was neither meant as a personal slur against nor as an attack against female politicians in general.
“That had nothing to do with what I was talking about,” he said. “I was talking basically about the abuse of political power during an election. Like I say, she is a good friend of mine. It was no slur against her whatsoever.” Speaking to reporters last week, May had complained about the treatment of female politicians both in the digital and analog world.
Price said later that he used the term “karma’s a b****” to describe the phenomenon of experiencing the very same thing inflicted upon others. Price pointed out that he later praised May’s apparent interest in becoming the Speaker of the House of Commons.
This virtual exchange between May on one hand and Price and MacGregor on the other marks a continuation of a larger debate over the causes of the Greens’ performance during the last federal election, during which they elected three MPs, but failed to make a larger breakthrough.
With her initial tweet that sparked Price’s tweet, May repeated earlier complaints about the New Democratic campaign on Vancouver Island, where the Greens were hoping to make a number of seats from the New Democrats. But the Greens ultimately failed to pick up the ridings of Victoria and Esquimalt-Saanich-Sooke.
Speaking to reporters on the night of the federal election held Oct. 21, she accused the New Democrats of having launched “concentrated campaigns of disinformation” aimed only at Vancouver Island seats.
“We really learned some things,” she said later. “We didn’t think that smears and attacks would be sufficient to erode the leads we had. So we were wrong and we didn’t respond in kind. We basically didn’t respond at all. We assumed that voters would be as outraged as we were.”
But Price’s tweet also drew attention to the 2018 municipal election during which he lost the mayor’s vote by almost three thousand votes to current McNeil-Smith.
When asked on the record whether he was a victim of “Green Party campaign organizers” to elect what he called “a green slate,” Price declined comment.
Requests for comments from May, who did not respond to Price’s tweet, have so far gone unanswered and the Peninsula News Review will update this story accordingly.
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