Elizabeth May’s cartoon double (that looks like Sarah Palin) was on my blog show tonight answering questions about the Green Party of Canada and her leadership. This is my first video effort and I’m only using the free online version of the software. It has limitations. Enjoy the video. Booya!
Am I the only one who thinks after the catastrophic failure of STV, and the exact same result as last election (except the Greens did worse)… that maybe the progressive movement in BC and Canada should… like… do something different?
In no other decade would Gordo have three-peated. Pretending that nothing is wrong is a recipe for failure.
Soooooo does anyone got any ideas? (Cause no one ever likes mine)
Then Blog it!
The list of politicians that I like is very short. There are more that I support, but these ones are the cream of the crop in my opinion, all for very different reasons. I hope these leaders will post the long version of their vision for politics in their blogs or the comment section.
Andrea Reimer The genius that thinks that MMP will pass next election must have a hell of a plan up her sleave…
Drina Read: I love you, Drina. What do we need to do as a society right now?
Garth Turner: One day I will be amoung a select crowd chanting your name before a leadership vote. So how do we get from here to sustainability?
Marc Emery: Any predictions before being shipped off to a US prison?
Matthew Good: Your blog rocks. Help us out. These politicians have been drinking their own Kool-Aid for years. Give it to us straight, wtf do we do?
Michael Wolfe: Fuck political parties–how do we get people like you elected?
8:00 – Polls close. I am cautiously optimistic about a victory for British Columbians in Vancouver-False Creek. My hope is for a victory by BC Green Deputy Leader Damian Kettlewell.
9:15 – My first reaction to CTV’s prediction of a Liberal majority is… disappointment. I wanted the NDP to win so that we could all be reminded of just how incompetent, dishonest, and beholden to special interests they really are. My facebook status: “Dan Mick is sad that so many wasted their vote on the Liberals and NDP thinking that either would fix the problems in BC, even though they have each had 8 years to do so, but have each failed”
9:25 Jim Fannon calls from Ontario to find out how the election is going–not well.
9:41 Early results show STV is losing badly with only 40% of the vote. Not a single riding has reached 60%. Fuck.
9:54 Carole James is making her speech. All I hear is bla bla bla, forestry, bla, bla, bla, seniors, bla, bla, bla, democracy (I’m fuming mad) bla, bla, bla…
10:07 The popular vote percentage flashes on the TV screen
Way to go BC…
10:16 STV support drops to 38%. Not much will cahnge from here…
10:18 Steve Kisby comments that the one good thing to come out of this election is that a carbon tax (what he calls a green tax) is electable. Good point. Looks like the NDP’s ax-the-tax platform got axed.
10:21 The party is already winding down. There is little to celebrate.
10:40 Gordon Campbell is making his speech about bla, bla, bla. He also mentioned bla, bla, bla, economy, bla, bla, jobs, bla, bla, bla.
Since when? Oh, you mean that if STV passes then there will be democracy? The NDP? You mean those lying bastards that made BC’s economy the worst in the country while they handed out millions of taxpayers dollars for “consulting” to the family members of Union bigwigs? That is not a choice…
On May 12, I am voting for change. I’m voting for honesty. I’m voting for the next generation. I’m voting for a government of the people and for the people.
I will not use my vote to tell the Liberals it is okay to sell the province to Americans for not-so-magic beans, or gut social programs today that will create expensive social problems tomorrow. I will not vote for poverty and crime and failed policies like prohibition.
I will not tell the NDP it is okay to lie about a carbon tax, STV, or the 1996 and 1997 budgets by giving them my support. I will not vote for fiascos like the Fast Ferries.
Voting for the Liberals or NDP validates their leadership and encourages more of the same. Tomorrow, British Columbians will have a choice to vote for a party that has lied, cheated, sold out our Province to special interests, and proven their total incompetance–or vote Green. Unfortunately, polls do not show a Green victory as likely, but I will not throw away my vote on the BC Liberals or NDP. I hope you won’t either.
The debate began with BC Green Party Leader Jane Sterk positioning the Greens as an alternative to the other parties that have screwed up BC for the last twenty years (or more). Then NDP Leader Carole James attacked Gordon Campbell by saying, “Bla, bla bla… seniors,” to which Campbell replied, “Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla… economy.”
Then Jane Sterk said that to solve a social problem like crime we need to look beyond jails and cops. Then Carole James attacked Gordon Campbell by saying, “Bla bla bla, cops, cops, cops,” to which Campbell replied, “Bla bla–jails–bla bla–cops–bla bla–gangs–bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla…”
The Green Party Leader spoke about the sensibility of a carbon tax, but one that is designed better than the Liberals plan, so that our behaviors will actually change. She also reminded the NDP that a cap-and-trade system will have costs that will also filter down to consumers just like a carbon tax, but that people in other countries will also get rich off of it. Then Carole James attacked Gordon Campbell by saying, “Bla, bla bla unions be afraid of the Liberals,” to which Campbell replied, “Bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla bla… small business be afraid of the NDP.”
Carole James finished off by attacking Gordon Campbell by saying, “Bla, bla bla,” to which Campbell replied, “I know you are but what am I? Bla bla bla… economy.” Then I yelled at the TV, “You fucking lying sleezballs have had your chance to deliver on all the promises you have broken! Shut up already!”
If STV fails, this is also going to be the transcript of the 2014 debate, except that Gordon Campbell will be replaced by Surrey Mayor Diane Watts, Carole James will be replaced by Dawn Black and the Greens will have a Leader that you have actually heard of, unless the whole thing is cancelled because of poor ratings.
Dr. Ron Paul, in his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, caused a stir by raising 20 million dollars in the last quarter of 2007 (More than any other Republican), set the record for the most money raised in a single day by any Republican Presidential candidate in history, and the most money from internet donations in a day by any candidate ever. And he did it with only 7% support among Republicans.
How could this happen? Seriously… how?
Ron Paul became a hero to many for having the wisdom and courage to oppose the so-called “Patriot Act” and the Iraq War. I first began reading about Ron Paul on the libertarian website Anti-war.com many years ago.
Ron Paul has won over millions of Americans and people around the world by applying consistent values and philosophy that remind real patriots what American was founder on–and for.
His voting record has set him apart from other member of congress proving his commitment to honest small government. His often lonely battle against clandestine special interest groups is an inspiration to those that struggle for freedom.
The Republican Party in in disarray after losing the House, the Senate, and the White House to the Democrats. They would be wise to come back in 2012 with Ron Paul as the Republican nominee to challenge Barack Obama.
Paul’s long and distinguished service to both his community and the country show us all that the keys to political success are integrity and honesty. So why are people like Ron Paul so rare in politics?
Stephen Harper and Dalton McGuinty have reached an agreement to add 21 federal seats to Ontario. With hope of the Conservative Party gaining ground in Quebec gone, it appears the next election will be fought over these new ridings.
Frequent boundary changes across the country at federal and provincial levels of government are another great reminder of why political parties need to have regional organizing strategies and associations. Like this one.
What about B.C.? Will our seat count keep up with our population growth?
A few years ago, a man named Howard Dean, ran for the Presidential Nomination of the Democratic Party (USA) and raised more money than any Democrat in history. His visionary Campaign Manager, Joe Trippi, has held seminars for the Green Party, where we given the tools to take advantage of the biggest breakthrough in political campaigning… ever. While the unknown Howard Dean lost the nomination, the campaigned was mimicked by Barack Obama years later.
The ideas of Joe Trippi and Barack Obama is not to put a conventional campaign on the internet. It is a paradigm shift from centralized leadership driven campaigns to a much more efficient, effective and engaging de-centralized campaign that uses the power of social networking. After all, politics and political organizing is social networking.
Compare your own social network on and off the internet and most will realize that they can communicate to far more people–far more effectively by using e-mail and internet based tools. It is especially vital for the GPC given that we do not have any existing networking framework such as churches or unions to use.
We have seen the power of social networks that spread “organically” and exhibit characteristics that are the envy of all centralized groups, such as exponential growth and spontaneous management. The best ideas spread like wildfire, and nepotism is virtually non-existent. People get motivated, excited or even obsessed, by seeing their ideas adopted in a democratic fashion by a political party that actually listens and responds–which is what we all want from politicians.
Under this new system the central party only need to create the framework for the network, offer assistance to users and communicate messages to the network and the network does the rest, as proved in recent US politics. And even people without internet access can still contribute to the group because of the systematic inclusive internal culture that overtakes the campaign.
For the Green Party of Canada to succeed in campaigning we must also be able to raise money. To succeed like Barack Obama and Howard Dean, the GPC must receive hundreds of thousands of $10-$100 donations. Impossible you say?
For the GPC central party to raise one million dollars in one month is impossible. Yet, a virtually unknown Republican Candidate named Ron Paul, used the strategy pioneered by Joe Trippi to raise 20 million dollars in the last quarter of 2007 (More than any other Republican), set the record for the most money raised in a single day by any Republican Presidential candidate in history, and the most money from internet donations in a day by any candidate ever. And the best news for the Green Party is, Ron Paul had only 7% support (among Republicans).
What if we could raise more money than any political party in Canada? We can… Greens across the country learned how to do this two years ago. So what is GPC Director of Organizing Sharon Labchuk waiting for? and why are Greens waiting for her? There is a site started by concerned Greens like yourselves that are working on grassroots organizing. Lets prove to the Central Party that this works. Join here.
I keep hearing from Sharon’s friends, most of whom also have no political experience and have never been part of a winning campaign team, that she is good at her job, though they never site any proof. Let’s assume that Sharon is good at political organizing, despite the mountain of evidence to the contrary. Regardless, one organizer will not win the Green Party–or any Party–even a single seat.
Given the tremendous disadvantage that Greens face as the fifth major political party in the country, most Green Party Members need to become organizers. One hundred volunteers putting in just two hours a week are better than five full-time paid staff. We have all heard “If everyone signed up just one member we would double membership”–except for Sharon Labchuk–as she has made no effort within the last two years to make any attempt at a Trippi/Obama strategy.
In fact, Sharon and the current Leadership has done the exact opposite of the Joe Trippi strategy. Adriane Carr once proudly displayed to me 1970’s NDP campaign material as if it was a break-though for the GPC. It should be no wonder how years of federal funding, a new Leader, increased media coverage and inclusion in the televised leaders debate only improved the election result by 2.3% from 2006-2008.
One of the reasons that the GPC is using an outdated organizing and campaigning strategy is that many in the current leadership are motivated by power and control more than results.
The criticisms of Joe Trippi’s strategy are mostly an example of outdated theories. To counter this, every Green should automatically ignore anyone who concludes that less engagement, involvement, and ideas somehow equals more members, money, votes or seats. It can’t–it won’t–and it never has (at least not in any democracy).
In conclusion, Sharon Labchuk owes it to the Greens that pay her salary to tell the grassroots why she, despite never coming close to electing anyone, thinks she knows more than Barack Obama and the most successful organizers in US politics.
Canadians vote on policies through local representatives–not governments. The 44% of Canadians that voted for the NDP and Liberal policies have more support than the 36% that voted for George Bush’s failed ideas. Period.
This is not a case of 5,205,334 vs. 75 making back-room deals. It is in fact 6,149,000 Canadians vs 5,208,000, or 7,528,000 vs. 5,208,000 if we include voters for the Bloc as well. In total, 8,466,000 Canadians voted against neo-conservative ideology just two months ago. Get the numbers straight.
There is also a tremendous amount of anti-Quebec language coming from Conservatives. First they say that the Bloc (and therefore all its supporters) are un-Canadian, then they say that this deal was put together exclusively by a Quebec conspiracy. And they wonder why some Quebecers want to separate from Canada… Harpercons, if you don’t like the Bloc–why don’t you beat them in the next election, instead of sleeping with biker chicks? = O
And why do you Alberta Reformers and northern Republicans call yourself “Tories” anyways? Tories are supposed to protect our parliamentary democracy, our constitution, and federalism–not destroy them.
Elizabeth May takes credit for doubling poll support since taking over all aspects of the Green Parties operation, but the 6.8% result of the 2008 election is especially disappointing considering that the GPC received 4.3% the first time a full slate was run in 2004, without being in the televised Leaders debate. The question begs to be asked: what would the result have been with a more popular Liberal Leader to run against?
Elizabeth must bear responsibility for bypassing any democratic process and surrounding herself with people who’s only record of success was helping with Elizabeth’s Leadership campaign.
Accountability is the fundamental concept of democracy. It ensures fairness, and quality. The very leadership structure of the GPC is completely unaccountable to the members that are the Green Party of Canada, for the next two years, when there will be a mandatory Leadership contest. All Greens should keep this in mind when they speak of our electoral system being “undemocratic”, or other parties as being “hypocritical”.
The GPC, has appointed Deputy Leaders, no automatic leadership review after an election, there are no performance review procedures, no mandatory benchmarks of success, and no tracking of benchmarks beyond the often disappointing financial figures presented to the Federal Council. Ultimately, the Federal Council’s capitulation to the desires of E. may mean that every employee of the Green Party is appointed by–or approved by one person–Elizabeth May.
Monitoring and reporting of key indicators is rarely undertaken, because very few indicators point to successes. In their place are arbitrarily and deceptive statistical analysis, such as Jim Harris claiming that the number of votes received per dollars spent is the most “efficient” of the federal parties. This ignores the fact that the dollars spent per seats won is 0% “efficient” and the worst of all parties, and it does not include in the analysis that almost all of the increase in popular vote for the GPC could be protest votes that do not in any way indicate success of the Green Party.
This theory is supported by the loss of 2000 members since Elizabeth May took over. Most members would be surprised and outraged to learn membership figures were down 20% from two years ago. This is our fundraising and volunteer base that we depend on during elections. An accountable system would have discovered this and demanded a plan of action form the Executive Director and Director of Organizing, and then monitored progress of the plan and made changes to strategies or staff as required. The result would be a sizable increase in our election success.
In the past, when members have attempted to analyze metrics and to bring these issues forth, they have been shunned, banned, block, restricted, excluded from paid and volunteer roles, and spoken of dishonestly by the oligarchy that inevitably festers in all unaccountable systems.
The success of the Green movement and the implementation of the Green Party platform is more important than any individual friendships, or individual’s ego or job security. As Greens, the victory we seek does not belong to us–it belongs to our earth, our country, and our children. It is for them that I call for the resignation of Director of Organizing Sharon Labchuk.
UPDATE: (Monday, Dec 1 10am pacific) It has taken almost two days for the first vote to keep Sharon to come in. I have attempted to e-mail every candidate, organizer, council member and staff member about this blog. The result is 21-1 in favor of dumping Sharon Labchuk at this time. While this result is not scientific by any means, surely if Sharon had the confidence of members, then it would not have taken over 150 hits on this post to find the first person willing to vote to keep her. The verdict is in and Sharon is out.
UPDATE (Monday, Dec 1 1:20pm pacific) I wonder if supporters (if there is more than two) of Sharon would leave a comment and a name and tell us why they support her?
UPDATE (December 2) Former Leader, Chair of the Federal Campaign Committee, and National Campaign Chair Jim Harris resigns