Sunday, November 02, 2008

Strong openings

NDP Left posts the opening statements from the candidates at the first debates in Ontario NDP leadership race. And while there's plenty of good material, Andrea Horwath's opening looks particularly interesting in picking up on exactly the part of the Obama message which I'm hoping to see imitated by the NDP federally and provincially:
(W)hen I think about what we need in this province I think about what I’ve learned because after university I spent most of my career as an organizer. I organized the Days of Action in Hamilton, I’ve organized co-op housing in Welland and that’s what I believe we need in this party - we need organizers.
Of course, in Obama's case that organizing ability and focus beneath the surface has always been matched by a candidate who's been able to offer a persona and vision which has inspired a remarkable number of people to become part of the organizing effort. And the NDP has some work to do on those areas as well - though to a point I wonder whether a party should actually have an easier time of that than would an individual candidate.

That said, it's essential for leaders on the provincial and national levels to recognize the need to put organizing at the forefront of what the party seeks to do. So kudos to Horwath for making that her focus - and hopefully whoever wins the leadership in Ontario (along with holding similar roles across the country) will take the message to heart.

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