GPC Leadership Platform

The Leader of the Green Party of Canada (GPC) is the face of the party, our spokesperson. The GPC leader represents what the membership wants and has developed into policy. The leader has some influence on the direction the party takes, but their vote is a single vote. The same as every member of the GPC.

Introduction


My platform is more about my process of leadership and not a list of things that I promise I will do. Campaign promises make little sense in light of the role of the GPC leader.

Listening


As a trained Transformational Wellness Coach, my strongest skill is listening. Listening to hear and not simply to answer. In the 2019 Federal campaign, I represented the electoral district of West Nova. This is a vast rural riding with a low population density. There are challenges to reaching all constituents in this district. The concerns of the constituents are far ranging and include: Climate Crisis, unemployment, poverty, fishing, tourism, farming, education, healthcare, child care, and much more.

The CBC interviewed me and asked, "What are you telling people on the doorstep? I answered, "We are not telling people anything. We will be working for them. We need them to tell us what they need from the Green Party of Canada and their government." We ran a Listening Campaign in West Nova. We listened to thousands of residents, asking them what their top concerns were. As a result, we have a much better understanding of the needs of this community. In fact, we will be continuing a listening campaign between election cycles.

If we want to know something ... we must truly listen!

Empathy


I have always tried to put myself in the shoes of others, to help understand their world view. I learned early on that my TRUTH was a result of my experiences and knowledge to that point in time. What I consider to be fact at one moment in time, could change ... if new compelling evidence-based data is presented. Working through the cognitive dissonance, to find the truth, is a lifelong journey.

The fact that I have lived my life at different ends of the Canadian spectrum has given me first-hand experience to draw upon.

I have lived and worked in British Columbia, Alberta, Manitoba, Ontario and Nova Scotia. Across Canada, from coast to coast. What I have learned is that, every community is different and yet has many similarities. Across Canada, people want the same things: rewarding employment making a comfortable living, a warm and welcoming home, fresh drinking water, fresh air to breathe, nutritious tasty food, good health, good education and strong vibrant communities. We may differ on the priorities or the method of getting there, but we want basically the same things.

In order to learn what people want and to be able to empathize with them, we must first listen to them.

Consensus


We all want pretty much the same core things and yet you would not know it by listening to the news. Personal self interest, tightly held beliefs, hidden agendas, & cognitive biases, muddy the waters.

What I have learned from my Master's research into Growing and Maintaining Highly Effective Teams is that we all need to be heard and we need to feel safe. We are happiest when we can align our personal goals to the larger main goal of a group. That is why Vision statements are so important. It is a way of clearly defining and stating the goals of the group. When people can align their personal goals with the group goal they feel much more at ease and work with the group to attain those shared goals.

Once we have a shared goal, we can work toward consensus. Consensus is achieved when all the personal needs & concerns have been addressed. There are many processes to achieve consensus, but they all include: listening and empathy.

Action


Once you have a goal and have achieved consensus, it is time to take action. This is your Mission and now is the time to create a Mission Statement. A statement of the steps you will take as an organization to achieve your vision; your shared goal.

A group is much more effective if everyone knows what is expected from them, and has a clearly defined job. The organizational structures and processes must be in place to facilitate this action. A good leader delegates and surrounds themselves with a team that complements their skills.

Top down leadership hoards the power and control in the hands of a few. It can be quicker to make decisions and isn't as messy as achieving consensus. However, Top-down leadership ignores all the experiences and knowledge of the many people who have valuable skills and knowledge to contribute.

Bottom up or grassroots leadership harnesses the resources of the entire group. Delegation and internal communication structures that support the sharing of ideas are powerful tools. When the membership are empowered and supported, the organization is much more vital and robust.

By employing organizational structures such as working groups and think tanks, we can better utilize the biggest resource available to us ... our people.

In order to confidently take action, we must have a clearly defined mission, a plan built upon a vision that is much larger than ourselves. We must reach consensus, by learning what people truly want, empathizing with them, and always listening.




Doing Politics Differently ...

Green Core Values:


Core values are the bedrock upon which we build our vision of the world.

  1. Integrity
  2. Honesty
  3. Authenticity

Six Global Green Core Principles:


Principles are like the soil that forms upon the bedrock. The soil must be nurtured and cared for in order for it to nurture all that grows within it.

  1. Ecological Wisdom
  2. Social Justice
  3. Respect for Diversity
  4. Sustainability
  5. Participatory Democracy
  6. Non-violence

Policies:


Policies grow within the soil of principles. Policies are reflective of the influences of a moment in time. They are adapted and updated to remain relevant.
In the Green Party, the members craft the policy.

Platform:


The Platform, is a subset of the policies that are served in planks during an election. The Green Platform is specific to a point in time, but it is robust because it is built from the solid foundation of policies, principles and guided by core Green values.

Process:


In this way, Green policies are the best crafted solution available at a point in time. By following Green Rules of Order and working to a consensus, Green solutions are more robust for having been challenged and refined through the process. Green Party members feel heard and have an active engaged place in the Green Party of Canada.