Workshop to equip candidates and workers
There’s a buzz: Islanders are talking about about an early May election. That would leave just a few weeks from now till the dropping of the writ. And the people of NDP PEI plan to be ready.
A good sign of that: the Campaign Readiness workshop held on Saturday, February 2nd, for nominated and potential candidates and active volunteers from ridings across the Island.
Following introduction by party President and Deputy Leader Leah-Jane Hayward, Joe Byrne spoke about the warm welcome and encouragement he has been experiencing as he makes the rounds in District 12 (Charlottetown – Victoria Park) over the past few weeks. At the door and in the stores, people have been eager to talk about the minimum wage, health care, climate change and child care, for example.
The principal leader of the workshop was Jamie Masse. He is (apart from being the proud new father of twins!) the Executive Director of Nova Scotia’s New Democratic Party. Jamie’s lead-in exercise was to ask participants why they are New Democrats, and why they want to work for success in the coming election. It was inspirational to hear the words which echoed as the responses made their way around the room: doing what’s right, social democracy, collective action, justice, fairness, community, care and conscience, diversity and inclusion.
Jamie outlined the typical tasks for a campaign, plus tips for effectiveness. The key message: what works, and what’s important for electors, is knocking on doors: it’s listening and talking about the things that matter most in people’s lives.
Susan MacVittie, Chair of the party’s Women’s Committee, spoke about the imperative of engaging — as both voters and candidates— women and also the diversity of other people who have historically been marginalized by the political system.
Dr. Herb Dickieson, the former NDP MLA and current candidate (District 25, O’Leary – Inverness), gave a spirited description of what a Member can accomplish in the Legislature.
Becka Viau, who is Director of Operations for the Leader’s campaign, added tips about practical preparations for the coming weeks, with particular emphasis on recruiting and valuing volunteers in a host of capacities.
Joe Byrne wrapped up the three-hour workshop, expressing the collective sense of eagerness to get cracking.