Building our Party to Form Government in 2015

Fighter. Builder. Leader.

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

At Issue
This past year has been an incredible turning point for our Party: • Official Opposition status for the first time in our history, • Highest number of NDP MPs ever elected, • Youngest MPs ever elected, • Most women ever elected to official opposition, • Best NDP electoral percentages ever garnered in Quebec, • First or second place in 224 ridings while reaching the 10% support rebate threshold in 306 of 308 ridings. Yes, we have made history. Now, it’s time to form government. Effectively building on these important successes will require more than slogans. We need a serious plan and focused leadership.

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peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

The Peggy Nash Plan
1. No riding left behind
The NDP achieved its greatest electoral victory because Jack Layton believed we could win everywhere. No caps on growth were allowed. Our next leader must continue building our Party with similar conviction. While focusing energy on strategically-targeted areas, we must never stop supporting all our members and striving to win in less likely places. To ensure no riding is left behind, the NDP under my leadership will: a. Target a minimum of 85 priority growth seats. The House of Commons is set to grow to 338 MPs in the 2015 election. That means 170 seats will be needed to secure a majority. The NDP currently holds 101 seats, so an additional 85 seats would give us a workable 16-seat majority. To achieve this, we need a focused and well-resourced strategy in place. I have the skills and experience to lead that. b. Recruit dynamic candidates and ensure support for ridings across Canada. I will oversee the establishment of an experienced and credible team right across the country. Because each election is an opportunity to make inroads where there may have been none, it is crucial to nurture our next generation of priority growth ridings. We cannot afford to fail at this. c. Hold onto the Quebec 58. Most of our new Quebec MPs were elected with only a few active riding associations and organizers. Now, we must allocate resources to help them deliver the most effective representation to their constituents. And that representation must be properly communicated. With the dedication of a fully-bilingual leader who can visit Quebec and connect with voters, we will build on our victory there. I am committed to translating our growth in electoral support from Quebeckers into long-term Party support. Outside of Quebec, we must also implement a strategic plan to support and retain all our incumbent MPs across the country.

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peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

2. Support for riding associations
Fundraising, membership recruitment, community outreach, and election readiness all become more achievable when local riding associations are strong. Grassroots volunteers within our Party are the engine behind our success. We must evaluate and improve the ways in which the tireless year-round work of riding associations is supported by the national office. To ensure meaningful support for riding associations, the NDP under my leadership will: a. Prioritize training and support for newly-elected riding association executives; b. Provide regular incentive programs from the national office to encourage fundraising and membership recruitment at the riding association level; c. Develop innovative outreach tools for riding associations and Party activists to engage prospective supporters in their community; d. Secure regular and cost-effective access to regional phone banks for membership and fundraising drives.

3. Training campaign staff and volunteers
Our Party to date never had to defend this many seats and an equivalent number of target ridings. At this exciting point in our history, we now have 101 incumbent seats to retain and many more to target. Waging winning campaigns in all those ridings in 2015 will require many more trained staff and volunteers. Under my leadership, the NDP will: a. Invest the resources necessary to identify our next generation of campaign managers and senior campaign staff. b. Provide regular opportunities for campaigning and outreach training during federal by-elections, as well as during provincial, territorial and municipal elections. c. Conduct regional training schools to supplement the experience gained on the campaign trail and share knowledge amongst Party activists.

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peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

4. Innovation in community outreach
Elections are usually fewer than 40 days in length, but the grassroots outreach that will determine our success starts the day after each election and doesn’t stop until the next one. Our Party employs many tried and true methods of community outreach, but this is an ever-evolving field. We now have a golden opportunity to not only expand the size of our base operations, but to improve the way we reach out to our local communities, engage with loyal and prospective voters, and lead. To pursue community outreach in innovative ways, the NDP under my leadership will: a. Establish permanent regional offices and staff to enable full-time organizing work between elections. b. Expand the frequency of caucus tour visits to increase the Party’s visibility in various regions. c. Use the diversity and size of our current caucus to engage with new Canadians and communities that may not have voted NDP in the past. d. Create longer-term outreach strategies based on the new majority government election timeframe. e. Expand the use of technological innovations in outreach and campaigning by: • Developing the data and infrastructure to integrate text-message techniques; • Developing the in-house capacity to host telephone town-halls to reduce the cost and enable more frequent use; • Extend the NDP phone/tablet app to Android, Blackberry, and emerging platforms; • Explore the use of new online tools being used by parties in other jurisdictions; • Explore new outreach models to train organizers, such as those proposed by progressive campaigning expert Marshall Ganz and other civil society groups. f. Continue and expand the cooperation between the Party and our partners in the labour movement, student movement and civil society groups across Canada.

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peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

5. Matching the Conservatives dollar for dollar
I want to bring an end to the dominance of Conservative Party fundraising. They are phasing out the per-vote subsidy to political parties, thus robbing us of millions of dollars in funding. And they have embraced the concept of astronomical advertising spending between elections. Winning on the ground also means matching the Conservatives in local elections. We’ve done a great job of closing the gap at the federal level – now we have to close the fundraising gap at the riding association level. The NDP must be ready to take on the Harper Conservatives in 2015, but the battle starts on March 25th – the day after our leadership race is decided. To make sure we can challenge the Conservatives dollars for dollar, the NDP within the first six months of my leadership will: a. Collaborate with national Party staff on a multi-year plan to grow our fundraising capacity. This plan will be tied to clear benchmarks that will allow us to match the Conservatives in the number of overall donors and yearly totals.

6. Cooperation with provincial & territorial NDP sections
The NDP is fortunate to have such a close working relationship with our provincial counterparts. But there is always room for improvement. I am committed to building these relationships into stronger, more effective partnerships in order to lead the NDP to new heights. To improve cooperation with provincial/territorial sections, our Party, under my leadership, will: a. Seek opportunities to enhance cooperation on staff and volunteer training initiatives. b. Develop more effective methods for sharing organizational best practices. c. Implement new systems to streamline the bi-directional sharing of information.

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peggynash.ca

Fighter. Builder. Leader.
Peggy Nash Campaign for the Leadership of the New Democratic Party

7. Engaging youth and raising voter participation
A staggering 40% of Canadians did not participate in the last federal election. Voter turn-out is lowest amongst youth. To form government in 2015, our Party must inspire people who have been put off by the divisive politics of the Harper Conservatives and demonstrate that their votes can, in fact, lead to change. To increase voter participation, particularly among youth, the NDP under my leadership will: a. Invest in the outreach necessary to determine the primary reason why so many people are not voting and the issues they want to be engaged on. b. Employ innovative models of organizing and technology to reach young people as an integrated component of all Party organizing activity. c. Campaign on exciting ideas like proportional representation to inspire hope that the democratic process in Canada can be improved and that there is a reason to participate in the process.

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