I hope that you are sincerely enjoying the summer months. Weather in Ottawa has been great, but certainly we wonder at times if it is ‘too good’. Like many Greens and Canadian citizens alike, I too often feel like a pawn in a much bigger game where oil is king, we are its subjects, and the consequences of burning 95 million barrels a day are ignored for short term gain. We want to see this oil dependence, and many other unsustainable and unjust aspects of our society eliminated. We in the Green Party are at the cusp of being that force of change.
But our governance in the party needs some development. We are led internally by a highly competent group of staff, Federal Council, and Shadow Cabinet, topped off by a dynamic and highly respected Leader. Elizabeth May’s constituents are the only ones in Canada who will truly be getting local representation. I know that we can increase that number of privileged Canadians even before the next general election by gathering together our volunteer and financial resources again to elect excellent Green candidates in the right by-elections.
As a candidate I have been extremely proud to bring forth to the public what the grass roots, Shadow Cabinet and Leaders settled on for our platform. As a party, we need to expend the same amount of thought and effort put into that platform towards capacity building and inclusive governance of the party.
Do you feel that you have a basic understanding of how the party is in fact governed? Do you feel connected with your local riding association? Does your riding association feel connected to other riding associations in your region of the country or to its representative on Federal Council? Do you feel that you have individual talents that can strengthen the Green Party of Canada? How would you go about offering them?
In order for the GP to develop fully, these are questions that need to be answered.
If there is one overriding key, it is empowering local riding associations to bring the message of what the Green Party is all about to their local communities. Electing 12 MPs for official party status will become infinitely more possible if we find ways to enjoy constant interaction, riding by riding and region by region, with the public and the local media in-between elections. This interaction can be in support of national campaigns or as a result of grass roots activity supported and vetted by Shadow Cabinet.
The road to seeing Green values embedded permanently in public policy is a long one. Each member, local riding association, and region must take this challenge on. We will all be buoyed by knowing that our voice is now being heard in Parliament.
But most importantly, what are your thoughts on how we can build a stronger organization? Four years will pass by very quickly.
You can use the website members area for discussion or contact me through (www.markmackenzie.ca). Feel free to call me directly at 613-852-2371. Thank you for taking the time to consider these questions.
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