Wednesday, July 30, 2008

How We'll Make this "Our" Election in May 2009

A rant from comment's on Bill Tieleman's blog

There is a lot that we can do leading up to and at election time.

There is a BIG problem with the NDP. Namely, they don't even seem to know what the hell they stand for at this point. There are great and smart people and very hard working MLA's and others in the party. However, their executive leadership run their caucas not unlike the Liberals, inner circle Silverback bullies. It's old & tired and the world has changed. Get over it and transform, or your party is dead.

There really is no mistaking the swing of the NDP either. Here is an excellent video interview with John Shields and and Bryan Evans that discusses the neo-liberalism of the state and how the NDP have also lost their edge (and voter support) due to their swing to the neo-liberal side. As they state, the left has a fractured (and I would say poorly defined, or non-existent) agenda that fails to offer an alternative to the clear cut agenda and platform of the right (the Liberals). Unless of course the real objective is to lose the next election? Then this will be a successful strategy.

So, what to do? Here are some suggestions:

The leadership of the NDP wise up and stop muzzling the smartest and most effective among you. MLA's, speak up. I know there is pressure to stay quiet, voters will respect you more if you stand up and speak out on the crap going on.

Parties and Candidates: Start to define your platform & what your MLA's have done to earn their keep since they've been in. Tell the people what you stand for. They will not vote for you if you keep silent about why you offer an alternative. There is a provincial election in 9 months, where the hell are you all? A few organizers from the BC Fed & the unions are not going to win this election.

Campbell has no problem taking credit and getting photo ops all over the place. It's called "impression management" the left has to get better at it. Use the internet. There are brilliant multi-media artists on the left, start creating political art and sending it around BC.

The left has to start using the web more. If the mainstream media won't let you in, you can appeal to the populace through the Internet. Some blogs are literally read by thousands of people. And blogging is one way to get around Bill 42. Why don't the NDP MLA's have blogs? Newsletters are fine, but inadequate in this day & age. You aren't just fighting for your riding, you must fight for your whole party. And this goes triple for independents, and greens. An effective media campaign could make you a household name in your community.

For citizens: get involved in politics, fundraise, join a party, nominate someone who is a real leader. Which means they have an actual record of service and action on behalf of a broad base of constituents (ie. not just real estate developers, or business owners, corporations, or union buddies etc.).

Citizen journalists: blog away about your MLA's. Don't slander, or libel them, just give people a clear idea about where they've stood, how they've voted and what they've done, or not done to support _all_ of their constituents.

It is tiresome to continue reading about splitting the vote. One of the reasons we're in this mess is because of the partisan and polarized political climate (sorry for the alliteration). I don't care if you're an independent, a green, NDP, or Liberal. What voters _should_ care about most is whether the candidate in their riding has a history of service in the riding, a credible, history of ethical conduct and action. No more bloody career politicians. That's one of the reasons why it's become such a dishonourable profession.

Finally, we must get a more diverse of people interested in voting, young people, older people, people of colour, GLBT. People are uninterested in continuing to vote for rich, white middle aged men and the obedient and quiet women who are allowed in the door in both parties.

The left needs to get the word out and tell everyone the grocery list of how the Liberals have harmed us all, for generations to come. That's why we started our blog in the first place. Most citizens get their media from CanWest and they believe what they are told.

Let's call this the "Commonsense election." Because that's what this is. It's a return to politics "by the people, for the people." All I know is, if you have vermin in your house, you exterminate them because they are disease ridden and bring sickness to your home and your family. That's what we're doing, only on a bit of a different scale. And for all of those vermin who've been living off the spoils of our House, you are history in the next election, better get yourself some work lined up, because your name will be mud if you've done harm to the people.

Find out here how your MLA has voted on issues of importance to your riding and make sure your friends and neighbours get this information too:

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