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Archive for May 8th, 2011

Elizabeth May at the Green Party AGM

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LIVE BLOG Burnaby May 8, 2011  12:21pm

Started her day in Halifax – most of her time was in media interviews – where were they during the election?

We have to break down the notion that we are different parties federally, provincially and locally. Carolyn Lucas made the breakthrough in the UK in a fpp system. We cheer for the Green Movement all around the world. We undermine our effectiveness – bottom up grass roots movement to use the energies of a bunch of really bright people. I will help you in a BC provincial elections.

What helped in Saanich Gulf Islands – some things only Jane can do – we did run a national campaign it was air brushed out of the media. Most sophisticated tv ads – rely on social media – young people – start early. We do not know when the provincial election will be. If it was not for the HST …

Face to face contact is really important – the number one thing is that they get to know you and the platform, and policies that are different to themparties. House parties – meet and greets. Average Canadian does not want anything to do with a political party – and who can blame them. “I don’t like politics – I don’t want to get involved” – not what they want to do. Resources and investment should go into friendships not party political stuff.

Waving at people at busy intersections – make eye contact. Doesn’t sound like us does it? It got me at least one vote.

I am sure we can run a campaign on our social networks – Canada needs Greens. We are not likely to see an election until November 2015.  In that time we can make such a huge difference that next time we get twelve MPs and offical party status. Most of the actions of politicians have very short horizons. We need to get as many MPs as possible to be educated about rising greenhouse gas emissions – and Canada is the worst performer – we lag behind Ethiopia – and China – Brazil – where Greens do so well – 19m Green voters. Issues that the other parties ignore. Parties chose to ignore that for their own selfish interests. Use the seat we have to infiltrate – to change the minds all through the House fo Commons. We don’t have tome to wait until we have a Green majority

All Canadians will say thank you – whether they voted Green or not. Sea change in the House and not be solely at the mercy of the party system. The virtue of staying on message means that they are not thinking. We can make a dramatic change in the House.

It was not close in SGI

Take the energy and momentum – BC is the strongest home of Greens and green values. This is where we make our next breakthrough.

Q & A

Petra Kelly German Greens – we are the anti-party party.

Everybody has some good ideas

My concern about the getting rid of taxpayer support for political parties – they get a much more generous tax deal than charities. Why are they focussing on voter support. Because they want to get rid of the other provisions that got rid of corporate and labor donations – the per vote was put in for Charter reasons. $28m is not a big deal. $5m for the Grey Cup celbrations, war of 1812 celebrations bicentennial. There was more of that in the Conservative platform on that than on climate change. Per vote is cheap at stopping corporate influence.

My ten year old grandson wrote his own message to the CBC website: “I know that Elizabeth May is the Leader of the Green Party of Canada not an independent. I am ten years old Mr Mansbridge, and I know that, why don’t you?”

People my age feel very guilty that we did not leave the planet a better place than we found it.

Severin Suzuki (13 year old)  speech at the UN on you tube

Elizabeth May MP

Elizabeth May MP talking to the media after the AGM - my photo

Written by Stephen Rees

May 8, 2011 at 12:19 pm

Posted in Green Party, politics

Adriane Carr at the Green Party of BC AGM

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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


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


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.


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.


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.


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