On Missing the BC NDP Provincial Executive

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So the election today was disappointing, getting only 140 votes for one of the 6 Vice-President positions. The “Unity Slate” swept everyone into power that they stood for election.

Great thanks go to all the people talking about the ideas I was running on, particularly the viral champions who were spreading word widely.

140 was almost half as many votes as I would have needed to beat the person who won the 6th spot. But at the same time 140 votes is a great deal higher than 37 or some number that reflects having made only a passing impact on the 600 or so delegates.

There are many things I could have done better on the campaign, from long-term network building beforehand, extensive volunteer recruitment for activism on the floor, to less reliance on a green online campaign since most delegates didn’t embrace that convention goal of virtual paperlessness. To a certain extent, my candidacy was an exploration into what kind of reception these ideas would receive at the governing body of the party: 20-something percent support.

One of many positives in the run was in shining a spotlight on some Think Forward BC NDP ideas about internal democracy, accountability, transparency, following our policies, engaging members and above all, putting the environment, Sustainable BC and embarking on a plan to avert climate breakdown into the forefront of the party’s priorities.

Many other candidates, delegates and speakers carried these messages beyond just me. And while the months that Think Forward BC NDP has been in existence cannot be the sole explanation for all these people talking about the issues, the dialogue process begun certainly has its place in helping facilitate these ideas.

Where to go from here? That is up to members of the party who want to see the party improve, walk its policy talk better, and more effectively engage members and the thousands of progressive people and groups in the province that make up the progressive social movement out for justice and a better world.

Currently the party is doing an adequate job of representing many people, but it could be doing such a better job of the being the electoral wing of this social movement. Internal and external engagement are critical.

So we’ll see where the new leadership will take the party. There is a batch of new senior staff to hire and a new tone to establish. There will be growing pains and sputtering starts, but people who sincerely wish for a vibrant, effective and solid rock of a political alternative will continue working to make sure the party keeps improving.

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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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One thought on “On Missing the BC NDP Provincial Executive”

  1. Stephen, You are of course entitled to your views. Thanks for giving me a place to express mine. However I am surprised by this column. I along with many others I spoke to were appalled at the way the powers that be manipulated the convention and essentialy subverted democracy. It is exactly this kind of behaviour which prevents the NDP from igniting the 52% of the electorate from voting. No one in the Party who understands how it is run and witnessed that display of arrogance and fundamental shutting out of sensible voices such as yours would ever support it. Heck there was not even a chance for you to say a few words to the delegates as a whole. Even if you ran for high school student council you would have at least had that.

    The Kennsington resolution to call for a leadership review every two years is another example of this type of underhanded dealing. It being gutted and subverted is another example of why people have left in droves and will not vote for us. To claim it was amalgameted with five others resolutions in the way they did was simply false. It was manipulated so that it would not come to pass.

    Having a working people’s party make decisions soley by those that can afford $450-$1,000 to attend is rediculous in of itself. I assume many of those people who could pay and were there were sponsored by organizations and do not represent the general membership.

    Time for OMOV on all issuues. It is my view that those that ran that convention just sowed the seeds for the loss of the next provincial election by freezing out those that want to help by including social movements. Carol, or no Carol, preventing the membership from making that decision is fundamentally undemocratic.

    The problem is the powers that be cannot control an expanded party that is controlled by OMOV, and there in lies the rub. Grow up people, if you want others to get excited you have to let them in, and it has to be meaninful. People see through the baloney. If you do not let them in they go and form their own party, and it may be pink, or black or green. Or they drop out and simply stop giving and they do not show up to help at election time.

    Haven help us based on what I witnessed first hand at the convention. Stephen you deserved to win and if the deck had not been stacked against you surely you would have. I say all candidates for elected office should have to declair 60 days before the election. They should all put forward their positions via the internet, they should all have access to campaign over the internet to all members in a fair and free fashion, form coalitions, formulate their agenda and advertise it to members in a fair and free vote. Then you would really have an ingited base that could not be stopped. I give you my personal guarantee we would win the next election that way. Enough waiting for the other side to fall on their sword. That is not the way you win or hold power once you get there. Anyone who wants to bring that about, write me at mgoodman@shaw.ca. Vencermos, Michael Goodman, Ruth and Henry Goodman Fund, New Westminster

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