Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sidney Green (August 1, 1929-) is a politician in Manitoba, Canada. He twice ran for the leadership of the New Democratic Party of Manitoba, served in the cabinet of Premier Edward Schreyer, and later formed the Progressive Party of Manitoba.
Green was born into a Jewish family in the mostly working-class north end of Winnipeg, Manitoba. He graduated from the University of Manitoba's Law School, and subsequently worked as a labour lawyer. While a student, Green articled with Joseph Zuken, then a Communist school trustee and later an alderman. Despite having some radical tendencies in his early years, Green never became involved with the Communist Party.
On the advice of Stephen Lewis and Lloyd Stinson, Green joined the New Democratic Party of Canada in the early 1960s. He was the party's federal candidate for Winnipeg South in the 1962 election, placing a distant third in a riding that was acknowledged as unwinnable for the party. Shortly thereafter, Green was elected to the municipal council of Winnipeg for a north-end riding, defeating Communist candidate William Kardash and John J. Thomas of the pro-business Metro Election Committee . Green was re-elected in 1964.
In 1966, Green was elected to the Manitoba legislature for the north-end Winnipeg riding of Inkster. Ironically, he had initially lost the party's nomination to Howard Mitchell , 61 votes to 3; Mitchell withdrew before the election, however, and Green was able to take his place. In the general election, Green finished well ahead of his three opponents, who included Communist Party leader William Ross.
During this period, the provincial New Democratic Party was led by Russell Paulley, an old-style labourite who was not especially popular with his caucus. Along with others in the party, Green believed that the NDP needed to elect a new leader if it was to become a serious challenger for government in the next election. He attempted to convince federal MP Edward Schreyer to replace Paulley in 1968, though this plan came to nothing at the time. On September 3, 1968, Green announced that he would seek the party's leadership himself. He claimed, probably correctly, that he was not challenging Paulley on ideological grounds, but his challenge was nevertheless interpreted by many as being endorsed by the party's radical left.
One month later, the remainder of the provincial NDP caucus (aside from Ben Hanuschak, who backed Green) announced that they would support Paulley in the leadership challenge, with the understanding that he would stand down in favour of Edward Schreyer the following year. With this unusual endorsement, Paulley was able to defeat Green by 213 votes to 168 at a delegated convention.
Green was the first Jewish-Canadian politician to make a serious bid for the leadership of a major party, and he later claimed that his efforts opened the door for future leadership bids by Dave Barrett and David Lewis. His campaign was not supported by most other prominent Jewish New Democrats in the Winnipeg area, however. In fact, Green later accused Saul Cherniack, Saul Miller and David Orlikow of promoting "Jewish fueled anti-semitism" (to use Green's exact words) in suggesting that a Jewish lawyer would be unelectable in rural Manitoba. Green's relations with Cherniack, Miller and Orlikow deteriorated during the 1968 campaign, and remained very poor thereafter.
Green was easily re-elected in Inkster in 1969, and held a number of portfolios in Schreyer's government. He was Minister of Health and Social Services from July 15, 1969 to December 18, 1969, Minister of Mines and Natural Resources from December 18, 1969 to March 3, 1972 (the position was renamed Minister of Mines, Resources and Environmental Management in 1971) and Minister responsible for Urban Affairs from September 9, 1971 to March 3, 1972.
On March 3, 1972, Green resigned from cabinet because of a disagreement with Edward Schreyer over funding to denominational schools (Schreyer supported limited funding, Green opposed any funding). The issue was subsequently resolved, and Green rejoined cabinet on July 21, 1972, returning to the portfolio of Mines, Resources and Environmental Management. He became Minister responsible for the Manitoba Development Corporation on February 16, 1973, and remained in this position until the Schreyer government was defeated in 1977.
During his time in government, Green was involved in the government's controversial negotiations over the proposed flooding of South Indian Lake . He also publicly opposed an attempt by Russell Paulley (by then Labour Minister) to impose 'back-to-work' legislation on striking transit workers in Winnipeg, in 1976.
After the Schreyer government was defeated in the 1977 election, Green became disillusioned with the direction of the provincial New Democratic Party. He believed that the party was becoming dominated by "the trade union movement and militant feminists" (his words), and opposed its plans to introduce anti-scab legislation if re-elected. (Despite his roots as a labour lawyer, Green was against what he called "special privileges" for unionized labour).
After Schreyer was appointed Governor General of Canada in 1979, Green stood for the party's interim leadership, but he was defeated by Howard Pawley in a vote of caucus members. At least five of the seven MLAs who supported Green left the NDP during the 1980s.
Green himself left the New Democratic Party on December 4, 1979, citing the proposed anti-scab legislation as his reason. He sat as an independent MLA until March 3, 1981, when he became one of the founding members of the Progressive Party of Manitoba. Green was recognized as the party's leader; MLAs Hanuschak and Bud Boyce were also part of the new party.
The Progressive Party was initially regarded as socialist, and supported traditional leftist causes such as full employment and increased profits taxation on resource industries. The party was also influenced by the radical (though not extreme) right, opposing "special status" designations for minority groups.
The Progressives hoped to run a full slate of candidates in the 1981 election, but were unsuccessful. All of the party's candidates were defeated. Green, who had been re-elected easily in 1973 and 1977, placed a poor third in Inkster, receiving only 783 votes against 6283 for Don Scott of the NDP.
Green continued as leader of the Progressive Party. In 1984, he contested a by-election in the Winnipeg riding of Fort Garry, but finished fourth with 1035 votes (Liberal leader Sharon Carstairs was also a candidate). He ran in Wolseley (another Winnipeg riding) in 1986, this time receiving 347 votes.
The Progressive Party regained some notoriety in the 1988 election by convincing former Premier Douglas Campbell (a veteran of the province's original Progressive Party) to speak at a fundraising event. This did not help the party's electoral fortunes, however; all of its candidates were again defeated, and Green (running in Kildonan) received only 445 votes.
Green's political philosophy appears to have become more strongly influenced by the radical right during the 1980s. In a 1990 advertisement, the Progressive Party argued in support of balanced budgets, and rejected any state sanctioning of "distinct status" for minority groups such as aboriginals and homosexuals.
In addition to leading the Progressive Party, Green also continued his law practice throughout the 1980s. He published his memoirs, entitled "Rise and Fall of a Political Animal", in 2003.
The contents of this article is licensed from www.wikipedia.org under the GNU Free Documentation License. Click here to see the transparent copy and copyright details