Monday, March 12, 2007

Okanagan-Shuswap - Green Party getting organized

Green Party gets prepared
Richard Rolke black press Mar 09 2007 SalmonArmObserver

The Green Party is preparing for the next federal election.

A riding association has been formed for Okanagan-Shuswap and a nomination meeting will be held this month.

“There’s a lot of anticipation about an upcoming election,” said David Jackson, an association director.

While the party has run candidates in previous elections, this is the first time the Greens have had a formal organization within the riding.

“It allows us to raise funds and to assist the candidate,” said Jackson. “We’re providing a local vehicle for people to get behind the party. People are looking for a focus and we’re trying to provide that.”

One of the party’s goals is to make the actual membership more reflective of the number of people who vote Green. Jackson couldn’t say how many members there are locally. With a federal election possible at any time, the Greens will hold a nomination meeting March 26 to select a candidate.

“We’re looking for a candidate right now,” said Jackson.“We have a few names and we’re also soliciting other names.”

The nomination meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Schubert Centre in Vernon. Both members and non-members are welcome to attend, but only those who have been party members for more than 60 days will be eligible to vote.

With a platform that ranges from the environment and the economy to housing and community services, Jackson is optimistic about the Greens’ chances locally.

He added that recent polls show the Greens tied with the NDP nationally.“We don’t have a history of financial stress which they create because of their social programs. But we have a very strong social platform.”