Dear B.C. NDP,
I say this with the utmost respect, as a lifelong NDP supporter and as someone who is passionate about politics and about the need for a change in our beautiful and diverse province; Please, please, please get your s**t together.
Not only for your lifelong supporters but for all those out there who need and want a change in this province, for those former NDP supporters who have jumped ship as this party swayed between left, center left and center, for those who long for the days of Tommy Douglas or Jack Layton, and for those who aren't involved in politics because they don't feel any party is worth supporting or because they simply don't believe change is possible.
The NDP are the best shot we have at getting Christy Clark out and turning B.C. into the inclusive, robust and prosperous province we all know it can be, but that's not to say it will be easy.
Just as Canada couldn't take another four years of Stephen Harper, B.C. certainly cannot handle another four years of Clark. I shudder to think of what our education and health care system will look like with another term of devastating cuts at the hands of the B.C. Liberals. I'm also sure our poverty rates can only get worse with no plan to address the issue. To me it's quite apparent that the NDP are the best shot we have at getting Clark out and turning B.C. into the inclusive, robust and prosperous province we all know it can be, but that's not to say it will be easy.
Please learn from the mistakes of the NDP's devastating federal loss and the last provincial election here in B.C. Although I might not be a high-profile political insider I will offer you what I feel are important points to your average supporter that need to be seriously considered in this election:
Don't focus on the negative. Yes, a large majority felt the pressing need to unseat Harper, but it is quite clear that a campaign run on "Real Change" was much more effective than "STOP Harper." When you have a group of citizens living for years under a negative, and what some might even call oppressive, government like Harper or Clark it's important to inspire people and show them that change is possible. Help us see the positivity of the future, not just the negatives of the present.
Step out of the opposition seat. As opposition, both federally and provincially, NDP have been exceptional. Myself and many others truly appreciated the party bringing attention to numerous issues and trying to keep the ruling government somewhat honest or accountable. However while you continue your current role as opposition you also must be able to speak like the leaders you hope to become. Don't get stuck in just critiquing what the other guy is doing wrong, we need to hear what you would do differently.
Please get your s**t together, listen to the people, build a strong platform and be the leaders this province so desperately needs.
Get back to your grassroots because this trying-to-please-everyone-centre-left-to-centre movement is only causing you to lose your long-time supporters. Know and accept that you will not be able to please everyone and that it's way more important to stay true to your roots and gain support with the core values that the NDP has been known for, instead of trying to split down the middle and losing support on both sides.
The B.C. legislature. (Photo: CP)
Listen to the citizens of B.C. There are so many groups screaming at the top of their lungs right now for someone to listen and to step up. Our health care and education system is in shambles, our poverty rates are out of control, our cost of living has sky rocketed and disability and social assistance rates have been frozen for years. Listen, talk to and watch the concerns of these groups and build your platform around these important issues, so when people look at your ideas not only can they relate but they will get excited about the change you represent.
I have seen far too many supporters jump ship lately and the party that we know and love is fading into this mishmash of right and left policies, glazed over by a negative opposition tunnel vision that is getting us nowhere, fast.
So please get your s**t together, listen to the people, build a strong platform and be the leaders this province so desperately needs.
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