Think Forward BC NDP
August 20, 2009 draft, version 5
Endorsed by the Vancouver-Kensington Constituency Association
Today, the BC NDP has an opportunity to be more assertive in building a more effective, functional and relevant party for our members and our communities, ensuring representation at all levels of the party, including MLAs and candidates, reflects the full diversity of the province we live in. As the Liberal government’s policies increasingly harm the majority of British Columbians, we must transform our desire for internal improvement into a strategy for meaningful change for the people of BC, starting now. This process must be democratic and transparent to party members and the public at large.
1. We must enhance democracy inside the party:
– Progressive politics is about accountability and transparency throughout the party to build trust and commitment between members and the elements of the party: constituencies (executives, MLAs, candidates, members, non-members), the provincial party (convention, party policies defined by convention, provincial council, the provincial executive, the table officers, staff), and caucus (leader, MLAs, staff).
– The Goal: more regular communication needs to take place from caucus and the executive to provincial councils, constituencies and members to increase transparency and accountability.
2. We must follow and implement party values:
– All elements of the party need to be grounded in party policies developed by convention. Lower voter turnout and our base not showing up to volunteer reflect our actions drifting away from our beliefs.
– The Goal: all constituency, caucus and provincial office activities must reflect and advance party beliefs and goals endorsed by convention, which must be available to party members.
3. We must empower members and non-members:
– We must build and fund an organization in the party (a) to educate current and new members and non-members about who we are and what we believe, (b) to consult members more and increase their role in decision-making, and (c) to develop their capacity to be more involved in pursuing social, economic and political justice in the community, province and country. Treating members like donors who merely allow “professionals” to do the work of democracy is bad for democracy.
– The Goal: we must strengthen the role of constituencies to create a political movement that people want to belong to because it respects, values and includes them.
4. We must improve our relationship with labour and other groups:
– The NDP has a long tradition of pursuing progressive goals with union members and working people. Confronting oppression, discrimination, economic turmoil, energy crises and climate change requires unions, workers and the party to actively cooperate, along with other progressive organizations.
– The Goal: we must fix and improve the party’s relationship with labour and working people, and expand our cooperation with other progressive organizations.
5. We must build a social movement within the party:
– The NDP represents the needs, interests, aspirations and values of most British Columbians. The party needs to be the vehicle that pursues gender, race, class, social, economic and political justice, not just at the next election but every day.
– The Goal: we must develop our members’ strengths and capacities to make a difference in our communities and show all citizens that the NDP is the party to promote people’s interests.