A New, Democratic Party
Our party has always been strongest when it has had a robust grassroots. It grew out of meetings in church basements, in union halls, and in community centres. Other parties can count on advertising budgets and PR firms. New Democrats have no shortcuts: we are a movement and party centred on organizing people.
In recent years, New Democrats have felt this connective spark fade. Our party leadership has lost touch with its grassroots, and frustrated party activists are leaving. When’s the last time the party asked for your ideas, instead of treating you like an ATM?
Charlie knows that we can’t win without democracy in the party, and dialogue between the party leadership and membership. We need to give members their party back, put organizers on the ground, and grow the party in every community. We must remain up to date and competitive with data and the techniques of modern campaigning, but always remember that our job is to fundamentally change Canadian politics.
What Charlie will do
A party that fights for every community
New Democrats need to be given the tools to organize their communities. Charlie will make sure that the party and the ridings are speaking to each other regularly, that each province has organizers on the ground, and that ridings are communicating with each other through regional councils. This is also true in areas with new Canadians or unique communities. It is important that we not only reach out to these communities, but build relationships.
A party driven by members
We need to put members back in the driver’s seat of our party. As leader, Charlie will work with the party membership to create permanent, deliberative, and democratically elected policy development bodies modelled on citizens’ assemblies to drive party policy priorities. Charlie will ensure that these bodies are gender balanced and have members from equity-seeking groups.
Leadership that listens
The leader and caucus can’t get too comfortable in Ottawa. As leader, Charlie would commit to frequent issues-based tours to different parts of the country with MPs, to listen to New Democrats and voters about their priorities and concerns.
Fundraising to Win
It takes money to win elections. During the last election, we proved we can raise money centrally, now we need to ensure that our ridings can do the same. Charlie will work more closely with our riding associations, providing tools and training to help them with fundraising.
A party for Quebecers
There is no path to Canada’s first NDP government that does not run through Quebec. Charlie will ensure that we have strong Quebec organizers and the resources needed to build a winning team. We will also ensure that our platform is reflective of the unique nature Quebec and ensure that has policies that address this reality as put forward in the Sherbrooke Declaration.
A party working for reconciliation
Reconciliation with Indigenous peoples needs to be central to our work as a party and movement. That’s why Charlie will push for permanent structures in the party so that Indigenous voices are always heard, for a ‘partnership lens’ for policy to ensure that we are always acting as good partners to Canada’s Indigenous peoples, and for organizing in Indigenous communities.
The politics of right-wing hatred and the cynicism of the centre are rising forces in politics today. The only antidote is a strong, optimistic left-wing political movement that will fight unapologetically to improve the lives of Canadians and deliver on their promises in government. Canadians need a party they know has their back.