I’m running for the Green Party of Canada Vice-President (English) position on the Federal Council. My intention for doing so is to strengthen our EDAs and help them build stronger connections with local communities. It is essential to help them for our party to be able to prosper.
The main issue for our members right now is regarding the new council deciding on whether or not to call a leadership review. Some people may be running on this one issue but I am not. Our new council will have to decide whether to have a leadership review or not. I want to know what they are going to do to help develop both the party and the EDAs.
Here are my 5 top priorities, in no particular order, if I am elected as your Vice-President (English):
- Leadership review:
On Tuesday, June 16, 2021 the current Federal Council denied the membership the opportunity to decide if Annamie Paul should remain leader of the party.
As someone who holds dear our six core values, one of which being participatory democracy, I find it very concerning that something that should be protected under such a value is not accessible to our membership.
With my belief on the matter being firm in maintaining what should be our membership’s right, one of the first things I intend to do is vote to hold a leadership review in order to properly come to a conclusion on this important issue.
We can not begin to heal as a party until a leadership review happens. It is integral to our continued success that we give our members a choice on what they choose to support. If Annamie Paul wins the confidence vote, then she will have the backing of the Party, and if she loses, then an interim leader that the party could rally behind would be chosen. This would most likely be one of the two sitting Green MP’s. There is no reason why we shouldn’t allow this.
In previous years, when a leadership review occurred, it was decided by the members who could make it to the convention/AGM. I would like to send the vote through email with the option to mail in a vote, so that all members have a chance for their voice to be heard in this important matter. It would be the same voting method that we use for the Federal Council, Young Greens Council, and the leadership race.
- Strengthen our EDAS
We can not hope to win more seats without giving our EDAs more support. As the CEO of Kingston and The Islands’ EDA, I have first hand experience of the little support that our EDAs get.
This is what I would like to see Federal Council do to support your local EDA:
- Setting up a Google doc or something similar that is easy to access to keep lots of different things organized.
These files would contain formats for fundraising, hosting events, succession plan, and anything else that EDAs need to function and to prepare for an election.
- Decreasing Nomination Procedures from head office
I’m all for the party having a diverse candidate selection, but the party has been going about this in completely the wrong way.
I would give EDAs the opportunity to join a diversity outreach workshop that would be offered throughout the year. These workshops would help EDAs reach out to diverse groups inside their community and how to maintain those connections outside of election seasons.
There’s no point in having outreach be mandatory when EDAs have a candidate lined up. It benefits the party to have candidates that run for more than one election.
Offering year-round training courses and video workshops are a better means to achieve our diversity goal and is a far better long-term strategy for maintaining open connections. This will help expand EDAs’ candidate search and grow their connections in their local community. We have to trust that EDAs know their communities well enough to manage this; it isn’t the responsibility of the party council to micromanage all of these tasks.
- EDA banks account
When people donate to local EDAs from the party website, they have to wait for the party to send it to them, which can take up to four months. It is simply not feasible to expect donations to come in at that rate during an election year. Ideally, donations should be sent directly to the EDAs’ bank account so there’s no waiting period.
3) Strengthen our future leadership race.
This would be done by implementing everything from the Leadership contest grassroots Members report.
The last leadership race, suffice to say, was not conducted in the most elegant fashion and I believe most of the candidates would agree.
I believe if we implement everything from these reports, our next leadership race will unify the party, as opposed to dividing it, and will make the process much more transparent and fair, which is key to a successful leadership race.
4) Increasing transparency
The membership is left in the dark far too often; members have only ever found out about important party decisions and operations at the very last minute, and this frustrates people immensely. Every decision made in council should be made known to the membership, hence why council meetings should be open to the membership to view and the minutes from every meeting should be sent out to the membership accordingly.
This is what my local executive does and it helps us stay transparent and holds us accountable.
We need a more transparent Federal Council if we want to actually hold them accountable for their actions.
5) Online voting for Policy
It’s the 21st century, digital interfacing is practically the standard for many businesses and operations across the globe. It’s not easy to make it to every convention, especially when it’s on the other side of the country. It only makes sense to allow members to vote for policies online.
There’s a few ways we can do this:
We can have it where members can hop on during discussions about policies and listen to people debate about them, followed by an online vote. Another option is to set up a discussion board that only members can access for a month that is on policies that members are trying to pass. After a month of debating, a ballot will be sent out to the membership via mail where they can vote on the policy. Then the results can be announced at the convention.
These will be my 5 key priorities if I am elected as the Vice-President (English).
I believe that we are fighting the good fight. I believe in our Green values. What I don’t know, at this point, is whether or not we’re prepared for the future. The next 7 generations need our hard work and advocacy, and the Green movement holds the best chance for success.
Let us start building positive energy in the Party so we can have a breakout election.
It’s time to get back to our grassroots!
We have a Climate Crisis to fight together.
Reach out anytime if you would like to discuss any of these ideas.