Monday, 23 August 2010

Green Party Convention 2010

I attended the Green Party Convention - virtually.

It was an interesting in watching a fairly young party from this end of things. My son-in-law, Nepean-Carleton Green Party candidate Jean-Luc Cooke - AKA 'Papa', left us in Muskoka on Friday, while we helped looked after kids and had some fun watching the action live.

A combination of blogging, texting, and live feeds, let us read other's opinions on the whole event, while we discussed the issues. Some of the messages were fair-minded, others trite and not so politically savvy. Greens are developing a more rich identity, while preparing for the next election.

It was an interesting couple of days with Greens applying modern day technology to the conference.

Having attended my fair share of AGMs, the live feed was interesting. I think it transparent of the party to do this in such a public forum. I found it greatly interesting, having participated in my share of meetings, executive meetings, councils and elections in my working career.

It is a healthy process to examine policy and revise beliefs.
Some comments were just plain silly! Every party has those folks. It is a matter of education in the rules of the floor. Harnessing passion, while following protocol and moving forward in a limited time. Certainly, the workshops at the Conference would have been helpful to newbies! Many experienced political animals represented the party well, contributing to the discussion and the process.

Jack Lock, on his blog, said,  "The Green Party’s unconventional convention this weekend is fraught with procedural abnormalities."

The Green Party is trying to sort out new policy and procedures of the new millennium. Progress is being made as experienced members educate the newbies. Time will tell.

Here is the tweet I sent re: one Deputy Leader:

Jennifer Jilksjennjilks Georges Laraques: moving speech, sans notes #GPC#cdnpoli  

What a wonderful, bilingual addition to the party! Eloquent, well-spoken, and passionate, many agree.

#GPC Deputy Leader George Laraque addressing the crowd at Toronto 2010 convention. [via Twitter]
Here are some of the tweets I read:

#GPC National Convention closes with members engaged, active and ready to elect Greens. #TO2010 #gpo

RT @kady: agreed! so much more fun than being there! RT@ottguy: The Sun's @laura_payton does deserve lots of credit for cvrge of the#gpc convntion

Laura Payton, journalist, was tweeting the whole time.

RT @stephen_taylor: RT @kady: agreed! so much more fun than being there! RT @ottguy: Sun's @laura_payton does deserve lots of credit for cvrge of the #gpc conv [via Twitter]

Agreed! RT @ottguy: The Sun's @laura_payton does deserve lots of credit for coverage of the #gpc convention this weekend. #cdnpoli [via Twitter]
Jean-Luc Cooke - candidate: Nepean-Carleton

@stephen_young the #cpc, #lpc, even the fringe #ndp haven't ever considered anything that outlandish; just #gpc. At least they voted it down [via Twitter]

Amazing that the spotlight has shone so brightly on them, highlighted by Elizabeth May's performance in the debate lo these many years ago - well done.

"'A star is born' in Elizabeth May: pollster - The Globe and Mail"

Stephen Taylor: Debate leaves Harper ahead, May strengthened, Dion ...

3 Oct 2008 ... Elizabeth May surprised last night as she was the most sober of the ..... a "passionate performance"?

Jean-Luc Cooke in Nepean-Carleton
She gave a lot of credibility to the Canada's Greens, having gone into the debate with pretty low expectations for her performance. She truly has highlighted Greens in Canada. 

Elizabeth May garnered much difficult discussion and debate during the last election, as well. It was when she chose to side with the Liberals, and endorsed strategic voting to keep the conservatives out. 

We attended her whistle stop in Parry Sound back in Sept., 2008. This was a powerful moment in my mind. She leapt off of the train and spoke in heart-fel manner to those who had waited for hours for this historic moment. But all is not perfect in the party.

Elizabeth May making a point
"The support amongst the membership of the Green party is strong for Elizabeth, but there's also some interest to see us go to a leadership race," Streicker told Yukon radio station CHON."

As one person wrote: "She's also sold her soul to Stephane Dion, something with her LONGTERM party faithful are VERY upset with."

All parties have internal politics, as many of us know. Political animals are...well, political at all levels, both internally and externally.

Blogger Jack Locke, who tried unsuccessfully to become the Green candidate in a Montreal riding two years ago, accused the party of misrepresenting the pre-convention voteaccording to Yahoo News. Everyone has a hidden agenda, methinks.

With Australia increasing their Green vote by 3.7% at the time of the GPC, momentum is beginning around the world. They phoned into the conference during a live feed. This, too, was a terrific part of the conference. 

After many years working with students in the area of developing environmentally-friendly curriculum, I am heartened by the response the next generation has created in the world. At least, those who are educated are responding in this fashion. We must spread the word no matter your political preferences, and protect the world around us.

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