Stephen Rees's blog

Thoughts about the relationships between transport and the urban area it serves

Adriane Carr at the Green Party of BC AGM

with 10 comments

Burnaby May 8, 2011

This is not exactly live blogging – I am not a good enough typist for that. But these are my notes from the keynote speech Adriane Carr made this morning. I will also try to get up a similar account of what Elizabeth May says later.

Mother’s Day is a day to think about mother earth

I want to celebrate that we have elected first Green Party MP in Canada. Phenomenal victory – raising the issues and we act with integrity and raise issues that other parties don’t raise – capture the imagination of voters “You are so nice… but I didn’t vote for you.”

Bitter sweet – Harper majority runs chills through me – hopefully he’ll be tempered. Fast tracking crime bills, making us a war mongering nation, taking away the only fair thing we have vote directed subsidy – social agenda he says he will not pursue. The clock has already been turned back.

Elizabeth has her work cut out – but she has a party and people who are bright and committed – for civic as well as provincial and federal levels.

There will be an election in BC sooner rather than later.

Why the tides turned? There would have been an entirely different outcome if she had been allowed in the tv debate. They knew she would raise issues that would make them uncomfortable. Climate change, the economy – no other party leader questioned our path – they did not say that Canada of all the developed countries least amount in the direction the rest of the world is going of fossil fuels and onto renewables, less waste, local productivity, local resilience, not just global trade. You will be the only one talking about that too

They just talk about who will control the economy and how the wealth is spread. We are the only party that works with nature not against

We need to be very clear about how we as Greens are different from the other parties. An election is about choice. Differences between parties is crucial. Could go a whole hour on that.

I want to identify the green failings of the Glen Clark NDP – Adrian Dix was his backroom boy. Who created the war in the woods – fish farms could expand and move to wherever they want

social issues – closure of Riverview Hospital – problems of the DTES exacerbated.

What pushed me over the brink was my work with the WCWC in the Elaho Valley. The Squamish mill shut down. The NDP negotiated a “jobs in the woods” deal which included raw log exports and much expanded logging. A peaceful nonviolent protest on a road into the valley lead to violence from loggers. I went to the Premier and pleaded for moratorium to discuss a better deal. Ujjal Dosanjh said he understood the frustration of the loggers. By that he condoned violence. Not on Liberal or one NDP MLA said that was wrong.

In the last federal election the voters were confused. They did not feel the need for it. The Liberals made the main plank the Conservative government being in contempt of parliament. The problem was the Liberals had not acted much better when in power. And that was not just the sponsorship scandal. The conservative attack ads created the feeling that Ignatieff was “not there for view”. We should ban attack ads. The driving force was not really liking either of these parties: they did not believe Liberals, they did not like the Conservatives. The only other party getting attention at the debate was the NDP. If Elizabeth had been there – the public did not have a chance to hear what we stand for – had she been there it would have been a green and orange surge. It cost us votes across the country. The decrease in vote hit us hard.

In terms of your strategy – work hard to get Jane into debate – they could not invited the conservatives and not Jane. We had made the assumption that Elizabeth would get in – hard to make up for lack of coverage

Advice

Three things for Mother’s Day. MOM – Money, Organisation and Motivation

Money

Really important to run a campaign enough money. GPBC is debt free. The other parties count on their members. Members donate – I will help fund raise – will do several events. MoU sharing of names and info. Identified voters. A lot of people voted for Elizabeth – not GPC.

Determine your strategy and spend pre-writ. We would never have won SGI without that. Our number one goal was electing our leader. The resources of the party moved there first. We ran nearly a full slate 303/308 – increase our vote (did not accomplish that) target to win 6 ridings. It is worth concentrating. We had an on the ground campaign – out in the community – intensively present. That had impact. Every had to buy into that.

During the writ spend sensibly. Canvassing the most important thing. Spring by election in Vancouver Quadra – trained up canvassers to identify the vote – tested out techniques. Divide riding up to where we could the best. Did tests two SEG areas – door to door canvassing alone can achieve 10% increase in vote. UBC and Kits – not just 14% overall – got 25% – best parts of the riding to focus on. They are going to try and get your best votes.

I believe in hiring youth in last week.

Call the people, make sure they vote

There were candidates who did not show up – and this is working for Clark now. If elections were won on being best people we would have a majority govt.

Organisation

GPC had a plan – we have to be a team. Congenial working together. Get behind the plan – it will be hard to get consensus as other places did not get the resources. Greens are really fair and equitable, so buying in to that was not easy. Many ridings sent cheques and sent people. Real sense of joint purpose.

Things we could do to prepare candidates – I love your web site – having good policy in pocket of every candidates. Download the templates, joint printing – you inspired us – anything you can do to get

platform out – getting Green Books into voters hands. Morning email to all candidates on what is happening today – tweets and hashtags. Candidates loved and campaign managers work load reduce. Social media critical as we do not get ms media

We borrowed nationally – we borrowed Target to Win from UK. Poll by poll results really critical. Will help you determine priorities. Only 8 got over 10% – four in BC. Victoria, SGI, Vancouver Centre, Okanagan Shuswap,

Strategy – working across levels – agreement should make it very clear – GPBC can be training ground for GPC. Desire to have something – training for us will be free. Fall election local in BC municipalities – GO FOR IT. Raise your profile.

Motivation

I get very frustrated when I see that the GP has the hardest time in holding on to their 55% are the only ones who always vote Green. The vote strategically – all fear based, all based on highly inaccurate. Polls are really inaccurate these. They don’t do proper random samples. On line – skewed samples – do not allow the don’t know category exist. The numbers that well meaning strategically based votes is flawed. The option called green is left out. Rally our own voters away from strategically voting. There is no other party that deals with limits to growth, local economies, real social justice, peace not war

The others are tinkering with a plan that has gone awry. We have the solution and vision – so they must vote green.

What keeps me going – I want to win – I want to be elected – but I want to effect change – I want sustainability and healthy, I love this planet, I want a future for our children. Brutal as it is to keep losing by being involved is the right way to spend my time.

I stand as a very proud green.

Q&A

Fear based politics – none of us are afraid of winning. They don’t want a Conservative majority or a Christy willing to give up the integrity of their own vote. The NDP vote went up but we still got a Conservative majority. We will never get better politics until we get rid of strategic voting – ban polls, ban attack ads – see Eu – bans all ads! It is beyond your control – you cannot determine how everyone else votes

We do have the resources to put $30k into very riding

Reasonable goal – building election – get someone elected – and more next time. Engage with those people who voted and grow that number.

Youth vote

EM won with 46% of the vote and a 75% turnout. Who were the people who would have stayed home. We have not yet seen results from Elections Canada – will give us votes by age. 9 youth coordinators across the Canada. We need to make it fun.

Challenge the idea that Cons/BC Libs are good econ managers

We can champion the idea of a smart economy – Green economy does not work – sustainable does – champion of an economy is smarter

Written by Stephen Rees

May 8, 2011 at 10:14 am

Posted in Green Party, politics

10 Responses

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  1. My elderly mom has been disgusted with the mainstream political parties for a long time, but until this year always held her nose and voted for the lesser of two evils (only two parties have a realistic chance in her riding). This year she decided she could no longer do that. She voted Green. I’m so proud of her. Happy Mothers’ Day!

    David

    May 8, 2011 at 3:49 pm

  2. My mother voted for Stephen Harper only because “he’s a Christian.”

    After a long, long, long pause, I decided to wish her a Happy Mother’s Day anyway.

    MB

    May 10, 2011 at 9:38 am

  3. The Economist (a magazine that has never looked to me to have a mild Socialist flavour), is less than complimentary about Canadians federal politicians in its previous issue (the one with the Statue of Liberty on the cover)…

    “But there are some serious blots on Mr Harper’s record. He is a dinosaur on climate change…. Even some Albertan oil bosses favour greener rules… But the biggest worry about Mr Harper is his contempt for the rules of Canadian democracy….He has also got rid of watchdogs whom his government found too independent and generally tried to hand over as little information as possible to the public.

    For these reasons The Economist, like many Canadians, would be relieved if there were a better alternative to Mr Harper. But there is not…

    Red frog

    May 10, 2011 at 11:12 pm

  4. There is a better alternative to Harper and the Bloc, and they have a majority in the popular vote too.

    Unfortunately, they are fragmented into separate parties who are loath to discuss even a simple agreement to not run more than one centre-left candidate where their vote was previously split, and to define where their many policy proposals overlap, let alone to discuss a full merger.

    It doesn’t take a nuclear physicist to see that the NDP, Liberals and Greens share a large proportion of the electorate with similar voter intentions.

    MB

    May 11, 2011 at 9:08 am

  5. Of course, with only one member the Greens have to work with other parties. But that does not mean we should enter into electoral pacts either. Left – right is far too simplistic a framework and of course we should have a better voting system. The Green Party is the only one that questions the notion of economic growth – which, of course, is impossible on a finite planet. We have already passed the carrying capacity of our planet (William Rees) and in order to accommodate the aspirations of developing countries we need to reduce our ecological footprint. No other party even acknowledges that let alone puts it first. Please read the 10 Principles on the Green Party of BC web page. Neither the NDP or the federal Liberals adhere to those.

    Stephen Rees

    May 11, 2011 at 9:19 am

  6. Agreed re: the quality Green Party principles, and the fact that the NDP + Libs do not espouse an identical set of principles.

    However, I do not think that anybody who voted for these parties in the recent election would agree that back-to-back Harper governments would be a good thing for anything. I believe that pure, simple arithmetic will dictate a Harper government of some kind in every election should the non-Harper vote remain split.

    Would the “no-pact” rule apply if the Greens were offered a chance to participate in a coalition government someday? They’d be fools not to, in my opinion.

    MB

    May 11, 2011 at 3:05 pm

  7. Further, I believe the voters are very precise in their intentions. It is clear that 58% of the vote did not want a Harper government of any kind, and that one party does not annunciate a vision that the majority agrees with.

    It is very clearly reflected in the minority governments we’ve had lately that the people want concensus, negotiation and compromise. Instead we’ve gotten division, strategy (over principle) and myopia. Harper has an accidental majority by dint of the parliamentary structure, not by the will of the people. He was not given a clear majority electoral mandate, but the system allows him to grab one.

    The Greens, NDP and Liberals will probably find they agree on more things than they disagree on, but they’re not talking to each other so no one really knows where the compromise and concensus would occur. If the non-Harper + Bloc seats were determined from proportional representation, then a coaltion between the Greens, Liberals and NDP would have had a 26 seat majority.

    I just hope it doesn’t take a generation of Conservative governments before the politicians finally get what the people have been telling them in every election so far this century.

    MB

    May 11, 2011 at 3:19 pm

  8. My last comment on this: Canada, given the hard evidence, is not on balance a conservative country.

    MB

    May 12, 2011 at 9:35 am

  9. There is nothing wrong about being conservative…I liked and respected Joe Clark…it is the Harper Conservatives that are scary, especially because of their ignorance about the world outside Canada.

    Harper was interviewed on French language CBC just before the election and when he started his set rant against a coalition the interviewer told him something like “with due respect, Mr. Prime minister, most democracies in the Western World have coalition governments and it works just fine” his look was priceless…as if he was thinking “memo to self: cut the CBC budget NOW”.

    What I like about many other countries is that if the government lose a vote of confidence there isn’t a general election. Those are only done at fixed dates and that’s it.
    So the head of state (President, King or Queen..) ask either the prime minister to form a new government, perhaps with another coalition, OR ask someone else to become prime minister, also with a coalition. There are also other options…

    Of course it is easier when there are enough parties outside extreme right and extreme left that appeal to the average voter (i.e moderate right, center right, center, center left, moderate left—the later now including Socialists, Greens etc.)

    How can we manage with only 4 parties when even Luxembourg and Andorra have at least 8? (the later country even has 2 heads of state)

    Red frog

    May 12, 2011 at 11:17 am

  10. If I was Stephen Harper, I’d offer the position of Environment minister to Elizabeth May. There’s no rule against having a minister who doesn’t sit in the the government caucus, afaik.

    David

    May 13, 2011 at 8:25 pm


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