Last month, provincial New Democrat legislator Harry Lali said his party - in an effort to move to the middle ground of the political spectrum - has been "neglecting our left." But members of the left aren't neglecting the New Democrats. On Tuesday, Fightback editorial board member Mike Palecek and former Vancouver city councillor Tim Louis will be speaking at a public meeting organized to "take back" the party.
"What we're trying to do is pull together all the left-leaning people in the party and give ourselves a collective voice. So, within that left group that we're pulling together, I'm on the far left of even that group. So I would be in favour of nationalizing some of the key industries and really try to take public control over our province instead of having the big corporations run it," explained Mr. Palecek, in an interview on Public Eye Radio.
"But, at this point, we're trying to pull this group together on a sort of list of demands we can all agree on as a first step in the direction of taking our party back and having sort of real working class control over the party. The NDP is supposed to be the party of labour - the party of the ordinary person. So we'd like to get that voice established back within the party. And this meeting on Tuesday is really just the first step."
"We'll be having meetings around the province," the former New Democrat youth co-chair continued. "We'll be doing a meeting in Victoria in a couple months that's just coming together. We're already lining up some speakers for that. But the idea behind these public meetings is to come up with some sort of organizations, some sort of body that can carry this forward. We've got four years until the next election. That's a long time. We've got a lot of work to do. And, as I mentioned before, I think the party's going to be doing a lot of soul searching and this is good opportunity for us to put our voice out into that."
The following is a complete copy of the notice for that meeting.
Notice of Public Meeting
To discuss the future of the BC NDP.
The BC NDP offered little to go out and vote for in the last election. As a result, voters stayed home and Gordon Campbell and the Liberals took power. Again.
Where was the voice of BC's working and marginalized people? Where was the party that represented our interests? As we begin another four years of cuts and service reductions, it's time for our voice to be heard.
It's time to take back the party!
Tuesday, July 7 * 7:00-9:00pm
YWCA Hotel (733 Beatty St.)
Local activist, former COPE councilor
Recording Secretary, CUPW Local 846 (Vancouver), Fightback editorial board member
Your voice matters!
Let's build a party that represents us!
firstname.lastname@example.org * 604-251-6067