The New Democratic Party must see itself as part of a movement for social change that works both inside and outside Parliament. Many social movements share the goals of a left political party. Their work sustains and clarifies the need for political voice and action.
We seek concrete suggestions for establishing, improving and strengthening relationships with our social partners, in a manner that preserves the integrity of purpose of each, but furthers common goals. The renewal process must mark the launch of full-scale discussions continuing well beyond the Party’s convention.
Discussions with our social partners at this Federal Council meeting signal this desire to do things differently. But this is just one step. Many riding association meetings have also invited social partners and non-members of the Party to discuss the renewal process. The results indicate that this has been a promising start to initiating a campaign to review and reformulate the Party’s relationships with social movements. The success of such a campaign will depend on the will of Convention, Party members, and those with whom we seek to work.
To give direction to such a campaign, we recommend that the Party:
- Encourage and support a series of high profile Revitalizing Democracy Forums to be held in as many communities and regions as possible across the country, with active participation of social movements in the development, implementation and evaluation. This campaign should last approximately 12 months and culminate in a national event.
- Commit to both parliamentary and extra-parliamentary action and year-round activism, as well as electoral preparation.
- Develop new processes for policy development that involve working closely with our social partners.
- Highlight expertise both inside and outside the Party by organizing public meetings and round tables on policy and social issues.
- Commit to the preparation and support of candidates who are activists in social movements.