the breakthrough event

this is where i spent most of last weekend, which may be a contributing factor in why i have shot back up to a half pack a day this week. i can't get over the irony of the title of the meeting when in fact, many of us saw how much is still broken down in terms of organizational strategy vis-a-vis quebec. those of us involved in the building of this social-democratic project in quebec can't help but feel beleaguered by the ups and downs of federal/provincial party relations. on the one hand, we genuinely believe the willingness of jack layton to place quebec high on the priority list. on the other hand, it remains unclear (despite thousands of memos, meetings, handshakes, brainstorms) what exactly that means. so to witness an occassion wherein a coupla hundred candidates and organizers are assembled under one roof but no obvious attempt was made to maximize an opportunity to raise internal consciousness about the quebec priority, let alone name one, was pretty frustrating. nonetheless, it was very important to have that number of quebec candidates there to feel a part of the larger party, to meet and hear from leaders and strategists, and to really convey a strong presence. and ed sure was inspiring, as always. check out our peeps who did a candidate's tour through the hill on monday.

the thing is, a lot of resources - human and financial - were expended for that gathering. and there were good aspects of it. but since my single-minded focus on building the party in quebec now dictates my perceptions of everything to do with the ndp, i can't pick between feeling uneasy or angry about how we once again failed to strategically acknowledge the question of quebec in our party. some would say that the nature of this gathering would not have been the place for it. which fuels my point. until such time as we, as a party, have consistent internal adherence to a clearly defined approach to quebec as a priority, to which resistance will absolutely not be tolerated, then every single gathering, of every kind, is the right place to insert that discussion... somehow. that's all i'm saying.

as an aside, speaking of human energies expended -- at one point, i ran into a guy who was hired earlier this year into a junior job at the federal party office and who i've had occasion to meet all of twice. upon seeing me in the corridor, he hugged me as if he was a drowning victim and i was some sort of floatation device. irrelevant, but telling. the staff were all just drained.

hang on - someone's at the door.

okay, finally one of the candidates for my own ward has bothered to drop by. despite the brylcreem and leather jacket, he came across quite well. except that he didn't have any interest whatsoever in discussing actual issues. i was the victim of a drop and run. though when i told him of my involvement with a campaign in the neighbouring ward, he seemed too curious to know who it is i think my guy has to beat. i answered, ALL OF THEM.


Blogger WesinCalgary said...

The NDP should not waste one cent in La Belle Province. The Bloc has enough of a left wing slant to attract progressive voters while federalist moderates will obviously vote for the Liberals. Who is actually left over to vote NDP in Quebec? Left leaning federalists who wish to cast a protest ballot? The NDP needs to concentrate on winnable ridings in Ontario, BC and Manitoba, while not splitting protest votes cast for the Green party in Alberta. If American politics has taught us anything it's that the old 'there is no real difference between the two main parties' is utter bull shit. Ask anyone who voted for Nader in 2000. Before the Progresive Conservative party was hijacked by the old Reform gang the NDP could run on it's own platform without fear of jeopordizing social programs or increased military calusion with the US. However since the only right-wing party has Stephen "Firewall" Harper as the leader I think progresive minded people need to consider a grand strategy that might require working within the Liberal party to halt it's shift to the right.
Great blog!

2:50 a.m.  

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