The federal Greens are hoping a former NHL tough guy will boost the party’s profile and help it to score big in the next election.
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May named Georges Laraque as a deputy leader of the party on Saturday.
The 260-pound former Montreal Canadien will focus on promoting the link between physical health and the environment.
Laraque only just joined the Green Party six months ago, which makes his ascendency to the number two slot almost embarrassing and woefully transparent. There is some value for the Green Party, having a former Hab on the ticket will give needed exposure in Quebec. However, that rationale is quite narrow, because the move also cements the message that the Green Party lacks a professional demanor. For any upstart party, piercing the credibility barrier is job one, this move does nothing in that regard, if anything a step backwards. Again, nothing against Laraque, but his former role in the NHL was that of a goon, low on skill. Quite a feat, from bruiser to the Green Party deputy LEADER in a few months. People already question May as a legitimate alternative, having Laraque by her side- I fail to see the ultimate political upside.
The Greens are at a bit of a crossroads at the moment, part curiousity, part serious alternative. It isn’t exactly encouraging, that the Greens choose to artifically elevate a complete novice to such a position of perceived importance and power. The perception isn’t one of a sophisticated party offering a true alternative, but more a "not ready for prime time" quirky sideshow.