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Bigger than Spring

bigger_than_spring2This weekend’s ONDP convention marked many firsts for the party.  We test-drove our new “One-Member-One-Vote” election system, we elected our first female leader, and we had our first foray into the blogging world and the Twitterverse.

Political parties try to maintain control over their message, making it difficult to explore mediums that thrive on unmoderated real-time expression and conversation.  I want to personally thank and congratulate the party for trying these new forums.

The results surpassed all our expectations!  Our blog was viewed 5,000 times, over 800 people watched the live-feed and almost 1,000 ‘tweets’ were sent about the convention!  In fact, on Saturday, the Ontario NDP race was one of the top ten trending twitter topics in the world!  We were even bigger than ‘spring’.


Photo Credit: Justin Stayshyn

I want to thank a few people who participated in bringing the convention to the world through the web.  Justin Stayshyn was our back-end developer and Chief Tweeter (follow Justin here: @unionst).  Read Justin’s analysis here.  Steve Paiken was tweeting live from the convention floor (photo at right), and shot some great video of the race as it unfolded.  Ian Capstick helped spread the word and Michal Hay was the top #ndprace tweeter.

An interesting twist was the multi-partisanship of the Twitterverse at the convention.  All parties were represented as Liberal John Laforet blogged from the floor (and even shot a great interview assessing the political role of electronic media), conservative David Artemiw was tweeting insightfuly from the floor, and even Green Party activist Chris Tindal was participating in the discussion.  Chris wrote this comment on one of our blog posts: “Are you trying to make me wish I was there? If so, success.”

And the voting begins….

There are over 20,000 NDP members in Ontario. Every single member gets to vote in this leadership race. Polls have opened here in Hamilton, and people are lining up at computer terminals to vote. Others are voting from home, by phone or online. Many members have also voted in advance.

First ballot results are expected to be announced at 4:30pm.


Prue’s 30 minutes – “Results We’ve Never Had Before”

s_prueEach candidate has a 30 minute slot to put on a ‘show’ for the convention delegates.

Watch live: http://convention.ondp.ca/live

Prue’s show is starting with a highly produced video. It focused on Michael’s roots growing up in Regent Park, his experience as Mayor of East York, and his commitment to reaching out and engaging with the community.

“We know from polling that 70% of Ontarians share our values. Yet, at election time only 15% support us at the polls”
“We need a leader that has leadership experience, an economic plan and the ability to attract support from a broad range of people”
“Bailouts must be contingent on three things: 1) Shares in the company 2) Seats on the Board of Directors 3) A role for unions in their continued fight for safety and job security”
“We need a Buy Ontario policy”
“We can have a green economy”
“We can and must end the plight of our First Nations community”
“I am the only candidate who has experience running a government”
“I will modernise and revitalise our party”

Sign Wars!


Closing Remarks – Peter Tabuns

tabunsI want to work with you in renewing the Ontario NDP.   By being ready to offer solutions to the problems we face in this new century.  The key to our revenue challenges in to build a party that people want to give to.  The core economic challenge is a core environmental one.  If we don’t create a green industry, then we will lose jobs to imports.  Hands-off government doesn’t work.