Success in Calgary

Elizabeth's KeynoteThe Calgary convention got off to a great start. Elizabeth May received a spontaneous standing ovation even before we enjoyed a very moving First Nations Welcoming Ceremony. Then after Elizabeth's keynote address, our president Ken Melamed introduced our Federal Council noting what an honour it is to lead such a dedicated team. He then introduced the deputy leaders before officially opening the meeting. Paul Manly and Jo-Ann Roberts reported on their incredible work to achieve consensus around a new resolution and Dimitri Lascaris spoke eloquently in support of the new resolution, acknowledging that "the compromise resolution does not endorse the BDS movement" and "that this was ultimately the right thing to do." From there it was still a procedural grind as we all familiarized ourselves with the process of Green Rules again. But we stuck with it and by the end of the day, the new resolution to update our policy on Israel and Palestine had been passed with overwhelming support.

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The Unity Tour

Click here to find the Discussion PapersThe Unity Tour was an amazing experience. Ten events, from Qualicum Beach on Vancouver Island to Fredericton New Brunswick, brought people together to unpack some very important issues and share their stories and passions. The entire tour was made possible through the generosity of members who donated Aeroplan points for travel and cash to cover ground transportation. Greens opened their hearts and welcomed me into their homes with loving care. It was a joy to sit at so many kitchen tables and hear their stories. I was inspired again and again by the warmth and dedication to a vision of a future that is more inclusive and more engaging than what we have grown to expect from politics. It was clear that Green values transcend cultural, geographic and even political boundaries.

The events themselves were respectful, engaging, and sometimes very emotional. People really care about our party and want it to succeed. It brings hope into their lives and joy into their world just knowing that they are part of a family that stretches across this land. In addition to the discussion papers on the Who We Are page which were handed out at each event, we explored three themes: Responsibility, Consensus and Leadership. You might have read about them in previous "Good Sunday Morning" missives but I'd like to summarize them here.

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Consensus Resolution

There has been much discussion about the proposed resolution recently developed by members of Shadow Cabinet. It repeals and replaces the contentious policy passed without adequate debate or consensus during an acrimonious session at last summer's convention. Both Elizabeth May and Dimitri Lascaris have endorsed this new resolution and everyone is hoping we can put this behind us by adopting the new motion at the SGM in Calgary.

Here is a synopsis of how they differ:

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Greens learn from each other

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Learning from our New Zealand cousins

Sometimes it's good to listen to an outside perspective. James Shaw spoke at our Green Party convention last August and as co-leader of the NZ Greens he inspired many of us with the opportunities that lie beyond Electoral Reform. 

As Proportional Representation moves us from the winner-take-all of majoritarian oppositional governance to consensus based governance it's wise to learn from our cousins in other parts of the world that have made the transition. Here is some constructive feedback from the leader of the Green Party of New Zealand.

Please support our Leader and council as they guide us through this evolution by letting them know you care.

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Our history on the Israel/Palestine conflict

In the discussion around the contentious motion that was passed at Convention last August we often forget that the Green Party has a long standing history of constructive support for the Palestinians and for peace in the middle east. The important distinction is that in the past our policies tended to reflect our values and principles and not specific tactics. This is a complex issue. So for the record, here is the text of what has been on our books for some time.

5.11 The Israel – Palestine Conflict

Vision Green: "It should be clear that continued support and use of military or insurgency strategies will not bring about an end to the conflict. The cycle of violence, loss of life, and desecration of human rights must come to an end.

The Green Party of Canada believes that any effort aimed only at one side in this conflict will not end the violent responses that exacerbate human suffering. Canada’s role in the Middle East should be to reduce tensions, find working solutions, and uphold international humanitarian law, not to take sides in this chronic conflict. We must work towards a mutually acceptable compromise that will achieve a lasting peace between, and among, the Israelis and Palestinians."

You can read the full text by clicking on the above link. It seems that the resolution passed in Ottawa last summer stands in direct contradiction to this policy.

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Preserve Consensus Based Decision Making

If you are a member of the Green Party of Canada, it's time to vote NO on G16-C008.

Members will be receiving an email soon from our online voting system (gpc@simplyvoting.com). Between October 7 and 31, all members in good standing have the opportunity to review and ratify all amendments to our constitution made at our August 2016 Convention.
www.greenparty.ca/en/convention-2016/voting/resolutions/ratify

pressconfernence.jpgSo keep a look out for that email – all of the instructions for voting (including your ballot password) will be included.

G16-C008 is a resolution that will change our Constitution to
enshrine Robert's Rules of Order as our decision-making process.

It may look routine, but it could not be more important that you vote NO. Here is why.

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Winner-take-all voting does not belong in the Green Party

In early October, you will be receiving important information by email.  In addition to more details on the Special Meeting of members (December 3-4 in Calgary), you will be asked to vote on line about a change to our Constitution.

Please watch for this online vote and please vote!

It may look routine, but it could not be more important that you vote NO to accepting a change to our Constitution to enshrine Robert’s Rules of Order as our decision-making process.

If you were among the one percent of our membership in the Ottawa Convention in August, you will know that there was a vote at the beginning of the meeting. I spoke in opposition to using Robert’s Rules of Order for the weekend. But I was talked into giving it a try. Never again!

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The Role of Shadow Cabinet Members

Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands):

Thanks to those who have sent letters and notes of support.  It is clearly not a happy day when former candidates, whom I have selected to be part of the leader’s Shadow Cabinet, make decisions that remove themselves from that group.

With recent publicity about resolutions from the August convention and the unfortunate decision to eliminate our usual consensus process, feelings have been running high in some quarters. I have confidence in consensus decision making. I had communicated to Dimitri, Lisa and Colin that I needed their help in seeking consensus. I also explained how critical it is that I can rely on them.  It is clear to everyone (or nearly everyone) in the Green Party of Canada that I need to devote all my energies to the process of electoral reform. As a member of the Special Parliamentary Committee on Electoral Reform, I am fully engaged in that challenging project – one with the potential to deliver the single greatest democratic reform since universal suffrage.

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Elizabeth stays on as Leader

(OTTAWA) Elizabeth May, Leader of the Green Party of Canada (MP, Saanich-Gulf Islands), appeared at a press conference and released the following statement regarding her leadership decision:

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What I would have said...

Elizabeth May

As you can very well imagine, I have received hundreds of emails from constituents, members and Canadians since my party's Convention on Sunday.  The emails span nearly every conceivable angle on the party's new position on BDS.

I did not have enough time at Convention to express my position on this highly charged issue. However, one of my replies - in this case to a member who is concerned that I oppose the new policy - really encapsulates what I would have said on Sunday.

I hope every member takes a few minutes to read this, and consider our next steps as a party in the coming days.

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