The Straight Goods


You don’t want to miss GPC Convention 2012!

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on July 6, 2012
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So, I don’t write in my blog very often, but this past week I have had a travel experience that only happens a few times in lifetime. Well, in my lifetime. I’m not a world traveller.  I’ve only ever been out of the  Country once actually… Because of my commitments to the National Convention, this past week found me in beautiful Sidney By The Sea.  And the catch phrase does not lie.

This summer, plan to visit Sidney, BC.  The town is amazing and should be on your bucket list.  From the mature gardens to the bustling local shops on the main street, you will be entranced with the hospitality and warmth the site of Convention 2012 has to offer.

For those of you who have already made the commitment to go to Convention 2012, you have made a very wise choice, you will not be disappointed. For those of you who have not yet made the commitment, time is short now, we are less than 6 weeks from the opening ceremonies in the magnificent Mary Winspear Centre. Sure, there are all kinds of reasons not to go to Convention. Expenses, distance, summer, carbon footprint. But for every reason not to come, there are 10 that make a strong argument to drop whatever you are doing and head to BC for August 17-19!

The Mary Winspear Centre, a stone’s throw away from the Victoria airport, is a magnificent facility and is the perfect centre to host the Convention.  It is situated at the west end of Beacon Avenue, the main street, and it minutes walking distance from all of the hotels and local shops. The riding of SGI is a beautiful place and would be an awesome place to plan for some vacation time.

One of the highlights for me visiting the area was ‘Avatar Grove’.  It is about a 2 hour drive from the Sidney area, all along the coastline, with breathtaking views, and the trees are unbelievable!  They are hundreds of feet tall, hundreds of years old and take on a very spiritual aura.  If delegates wish, a local team could arrange for tours before or after the convention. I highly recommend this!

As for the Convention itself, there are many highlights including great guest speakers (Stéphane Dion, Bruce Hyer and Arthur Black), a showing of the internationally acclaimed film Surviving Progress (Presented by Ronald Wright), and a Gumboot Gala  evening featuring a taste of BC flavors, including an outdoor Sustainably Harvested Wild Salmon Bake!  The Young greens are also making plans to host several special events as well. Along with these exciting special events we will also be discussing motions developed by members and we will be presenting more training sessions than ever before!  To top it all off this is a great opportunity to mix, mingle and get to know Greens from across the country.  Building your network is just as important as expanding your knowledge, and this convention will be a great way to do just that.

I met with several groups of people who are working very hard to create a once in a lifetime experience for all of our delegates.  One of the very special workshops will be all about the SGI experience, and how a team of mostly non-politicos and environmentally conscious people came together to create winning conditions for our very first MP to get elected to the House of Commons. This is certainly very important information for all of our members who want to see more Greens elected in the next election.

The short story is that this Convention promises to be better than any other  ever in our history! Please take a minute to look at the website and you will see that this trip would be the best thing you can do with your summer!

Hope to see you in beautiful Sidney by The Sea!

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The Most Amazing Speech EVER! (Updated)

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on April 28, 2011

For those of you who didn’t watch the Rally in Saanich-Gulf-Islands last night, here is a little wee video that I found on YouTube!  It is amazing!  Elizabeth was ON FIRE!  I have heard her speak many many times, but she topped even herself here!  It is a small little video, but the audio is GREAT!

Full disclaimer:  I was watching on the live feed at www.greenparty.ca/live and I was so moved after this speech that I hit the DONATE NOW and gave my single largest donation to the party ever.

Watch, and tell me that you don’t get goose bumps on your goose bumps!

http://bit.ly/klG6tk

Here is a better quality video of ‘The Most Amazing Speech Ever!’ http://bit.ly/mx9UNl

Pass it around!

Also see these pictures: http://bit.ly/lzPoE3

Note: I am posting this mostly so that I will always have access to this video, and know where to find it.  It’s that good!

Leadership, Voting and other Green stuff!

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on July 18, 2010
Hello!

I sit and write today because it’s too hot to be outdoors! The temperature is a sweltering 35☼ in Stellarton, Nova Scotia. (I am from Newfoundland after all, I might melt today!)

So, there is lots going on with the Green Party these days. Some in the news, some not in the news. It’s sad that some of our party members choose to air their grievances in the media, but that’s it when you are grass-roots. I have to be careful of what I say here on this subject, I have, as all federal councillors have, signed a confidentiality agreement, and unlike some, I take it very seriously. I want nothing but the best for the party. Sure we have growing pains, all groups do in their development, but there’s no need to run to the press with it. We should, as a group, be concentrating on the things that will make us stronger. Not the things that will tear us apart.

There are a few who question the leadership of Elizabeth May. I am not one of them. Elizabeth works her butt off for this party, only to be chopped off at the knees by those who see another route for the party. Elizabeth is a well spoken, highly educated woman who wants nothing more than to see the party succeed. She is a well-respected citizen that the media respects. That, my friends, is something that money can not buy. (And for those who claim that you only have the best interest of the party at heart when you go public with your grievance, you are only doing us harm. Makes me wonder what side you are really on!)

So onto the BGM. Voting is on. I am not allowed, by my confidentiality agreement and a resolution passed, to endorse any candidate who is running for Council this year, but I urge you to really think about who is going to be a councillor who will have the best interests of the party at heart, at all times. We need to have a cooperative Council in order to move forward. Yes, we do look for consensus in everything we do in the Green Party, in order for that to happen we have to have people who are WILLING to compromise. Please look at the bios that can be found on-line at the candidates page on the Green Party of Canada Website.

As for the Resolutions, I can tell you how I am going to vote on some very key resolutions that can change the course of the Party. It is completely up to you how you vote, I’m not trying to tell you how to vote, I’m simply telling you how I am voting. It is a very long process that requires much thought and consideration. Again I urge you to think about the future of the party when you vote, and above all, I URGE YOU TO VOTE in this round of Council elections and Resolutions.

Here are some of the motions that I feel are critical:

I voted NO on G10-c01. Council restructuring – This resolution removes the right for Leader to Vote on Council business. I see the leaders vote as an important one. The leader is after all – The Leader. It’s only one vote on Council, the same as any other vote. The Leader should have that right.

I voted NO on G10-c12. Leadership Motion – Allows for a one time only extension of the leaders term and only up to 8 weeks after a federal election. This does not allow enough time to get the ‘house’ in order after a tornado!

I did vote YES on G10-c29. This motion provides for a Leadership Review after any federal election. When you look for this motion online you will see that I have actually endorsed this motion as a member of Federal Council. In order to change the existing constitutional mandatory leadership race we MUST pass this motion. This really in not a big deal, it will simply put into place a system that would allow the membership to speak after EVERY election about the support for the Leader. It will also allow for a more flexible timeline on when a Leadership race is more politically practical.

I voted YES on G10-c30. This motion provides a procedure to appoint an Interim Party Leader to ensure compliance with Elections Canada laws.

I voted YES on G10-d02. Vote to Support Elizabeth as Leader of the Party right now, outright approval. If you vote for this motion you are in fact stating that you, as a member, are satisfied with the Leadership. I have also sponsored this resolution. (Incidentally, look at the first 3 names of sponsors: Frank de Jong, Ralph Benmergui, Adriane Carr. By all insider gossip these are three leadership hopefuls for the future.)

I voted NO on G10-d11. This motion calls for an immediate leadership race, only to defer if there is a Federal Election called in the midst of said race. As a member who fully supports the leadership of Elizabeth I vote NO to this resolution. Also, it would look silly, and politically naive, to hold a leadership race ahead of ANY federal election. This motion, if passed, would hurt our party publicly and politically.

I voted YES on G10-d14. This motion is simply about having the EDA’s in contact with the federal party on a regular basis. It’s a healthy way to remain in contact with the roots of the party.

Please, vote. Vote now. If you have not received your e-ballot please contact webadmin@greenparty.ca . Every vote counts and I want you to be counted!

So there you have it, The Straight Goods, again.

Merger talk and the Green Party

Posted in Green Party by Marlene Wells on June 9, 2010

When I was studying Political Science in university, some 20 years ago, the first course was called Canadian Polity 1100. In it we learned about the ideology of the PCs, the Liberals, the NDP, the very new Reform Party gaining momentum… We also learned of other fringe parties that tended to develop and fizzle as they were more like interest groups. I remember it well, as one of my ‘duties” on the Memorial University of Newfoundland Student Union (CSU) was to ratify campus groups. It was the first year that there was a new political group created on campus for many years, and I was the VP responsible for them. I thought then, this is one of those fringe groups, they will fizzle, one issue, etc…

Well, here I am 20 years later, part of the Federal Council for that party! Boy were my profs wrong! And I guess, so was I. ( I’m big enough to admit it! I was at the time the niece of the Liberal Premier of the Province.)

I remember learning all the ideologies of the various parties, committing those to memory in order to regurgitate on an exam. I bet that is an exercise in futility now, if it is even required! The base beliefs of the current 3 big parties is so convoluted and responsive to the politics of the day that no one stands for anything anymore. Except to disagree with the other side! It’s part of the reason the electorate has no desire to participate and voter turn out continues to fall.

Not so long ago the Canadian Alliance/Reform party ate the Progressive Conservatives whole, after Peter MacKay served them up on a platter. Now they are one party, one ideology, undistinguishable from one another. There’s two ideologies committed to memory for not.

Will Iggy or Jack do the same for their parties? It remains to be seen. The political media types who are pouring over any scrap of information trying to turn it into a merger are frothing for more sound bites. Spin doctors are swirling the facts trying to develop some palatable story to feed to the media. In the end it will all mean the two will have to come to some common ground, combine their ideologies, and fold into one another. Again, 2 more ideologies committed to memory for not.

This political climate has provided a unique opportunity for the Green Party of Canada to stand up and do what is right. Offer to voters what they believe in. Not to offer some mangled version of ideology that might be hashed out amongst a hungry group seeking power, for power’s sake. To continue to grow as a party must never mean compromise of principles. Ideologically, it’s what Greens believe in.

It’s time. Vote Green.