BC NDP Convention Opening: Building Relationships

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Convention starts in 8 hours.

During these next hours, I will be at the Bayshore speaking to people about how to mobilize their vision for the party.

I have some ideas I’ve been working through since 8:35 pm on May 12, 2009. Then the Think Forward BC NDP dialogue sprouted from Vancouver-Kensington’s planning to help frame suggestions for reinvigorating the party.

Today our convention starts. This is day one of delegates being able to talk.

Where are we?

How did we get here?

What is working?

What isn’t working?

How do we change to survive and flourish?

And through all this, our dialogue is the process by which we build, or rebuild, relationships with each other and with all the various elements of the party and caucus.

There are rifts that burden us and weaken our synergy. They keep us from having a cohesive, bold vision. They keep us from engaging with the broader progressive social movement in BC consisting of thousands of individuals and groups working to make the bad man stop.

But in the end, regardless of what resolutions we pass or what party processes we improve, we need to stand up at the end of convention, look back and say to each other that we’ve improved the social fabric of our party.

We need to re-engage with each other and include new voices…may of which come from long time members whose ideas haven’t been heard.

We need to talk to all our progressive friends who seem like they should belong to the party, but don’t. We need to actually talk about why that is and include what we learn in our conversations about party reform.

If we truly wish to represent the majority of British Columbians who share our values, we need to engage them. Doing that through the progressive social movement that already exists, though it always needs development, is the way to go.

We can be insular, or we can engage with the people we say to represent.

This process starts with us at convention and it needs to continue on Sunday afternoon until we win the next election.

I’m running for Vice-President of the party to ensure that we guide the party to that new place of meaningful engagement. If you want to come along with me, support my goals by talking to others about how you too can facilitate their vision for the party. Then give me your vote so we can get the party moving.

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Stephen Elliott-Buckley

Post-partisan eco-socialist. at Politics, Re-Spun
Stephen Elliott-Buckley is a husband, father, professor, speaker, consultant, former suburban Vancouver high school English and Social Studies teacher who changed careers because the BC Liberal Party has been working hard to ruin public education. He has various English and Political Science degrees and has been writing political, social and economic editorials since November 2002. Stephen is in Twitter, Miro and iTunes, and the email thing, and at his website, dgiVista.org.

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