Hayley Easto runs for GPO President

This page hosts Hayley Easto's Living Campaign for GPO President.

The page is open to edits from interested Greens, Canadians, anonymous trolls, or anyone else. I am very interested in how people feel I can best be GPO President. However, please note that this page will be under my close supervision and I reserve the right to refactor by editing the page as I see fit. If you see my screen name heasto in the top right corner (under "pages that link here"), I have personally approved the content of the page.

For my CV and more about me, please see User:Hayley_Easto. You can contact me at hayley.easto at greenparty.on.ca or 416-538-3110.

Our Strengths

The Green Party of Ontario's greatest strength is its commitment to grassroots and decentralized action. Each Green I have met has a lot to offer. This party is teeming with quality volunteers: passionate, experienced, intelligent and capable people. It is our responsibility to ensure this potential is combined into teams that make our policies into law, however that happens.

This depends on strong communities around those teams, not only GPO CAs but also bioregional and watershed groups, communities of common interest like policy committees, women, youth, people of colour and of faith.

It also depends on an ethical central party to play a supportive and co-ordination role, to engage and connect Greens from across Ontario, and to provide good examples of just how a "hub" is to be organized so as not to get in the way of the people doing the real work. We do not wish to mimic the failed centralization of the Green Party of Canada and its reliance on outsiders. There is no need to.

In the past year, we have enjoyed great success with our policy committees, political advocacy, bioregional and CA work. I would like to build on this and make sure that every Green's potential is engaged to its maximum. We will be united behind policy and process that will carry us to power no later than October 2007. This is my major agenda: we shall make history by democratic renewal of Ontario starting with the democratic structuring of the GPO.

What I offer the GPO

My experience matches the needs of the GPO in three ways:

  • I have roots in the environmental movement. During my Environmental Studies at U of T, I studied the role of nature in urban communities, worked on rooftop garden projects, and participated in environmental activism. Since then I have worked with environmental organizations on three continents, and every day I continue to build my understanding of how environmental issues affect Canadians, and what opportunities are available to do good.

  • I have worked as an organizer, adminisrator, project manager, and Board chair in a diversity of organizations. I understand the importance of good administration, an effective decision-making structure, and an atmosphere of trust and integrity. I would like to put my skills to work for the GPO, and particularly the Executive Council, because I believe I can make a difference.

  • I have also studied social justice, feminism, and labour, in the context of the the global economy. I believe this experience can be particularly valuable to the GPO in its journey to making sure the key values of social justice and feminism are reflected throughout the organization.

My Goals for the GPO

The Living Agenda - raising the bar for ethics and accountability.

I beleive that the one important mission of the Green Party is to be an example of a more ethical, just and transparent kind of politics. It is the right of every Green to know what GPO Council is doing on its behalf, to raise arguments or alternatives, provide evidence or question it, and become fully informed participants in their party.

Greens have pioneered a new approach to achieve this called the Living Agenda, which:

  • enables decisionmaking that is open and transparent
  • automatically creates a written record to enable accountability
  • speeds decisionmaking, and avoids needless confusion and poor communication
  • permits even anonymous trolls to correct my spelling

If I am elected President, Council meeting agendas will be prepared ahead of time and available for members' input. There will be no last-minute changes of agenda to sneak by questionable items that are not well considered.

It is the responsibility of any party committed to participatory democracy and decentralization to make its management and administrative decisions under the full scrutiny of its members.

This is how Ontario must work in future: it begins with us.

Increasing women’s representation in all areas of GPO

We need more women in all Green Parties. One of our key values is Gender Equity (a.k.a. feminism, gender balance, etc), yet there is nowhere in the GPO where it exists. I will continue to work for a party that women will want to contribute to.

Social Justice in the Green Party

While we understand that difference is at the root of social injustice, we are unable to appreciate its value in the environmental degradation that concerns us all, or in the functioning and administration of our party. Increasing women's representation in the Green Party is one small step on the path to social justice.

"Without environmental justice there is no social justice, and without social justice there is no environmental justice."
— from the Global Green Charter

Serious environmental damage comes from bizarre arrangements of local and global economies. Resources are unevenly distributed, and manipulated according to counterproductive incentive systems which ignore natural borders, reward pollution, and discourage innovation.

The environment is not the only loser: history is riddled with identifiable groups of people who have been left out the benefits of "civilization." These relations have become so ingrained in our institutions that they do not require people to drive them any more.

(In other words, there don't need to be sexists for there to be sexism; racism doesn't require anybody to be racist.)

Our party must examine the reasons why we currently show a shocking lack of diversity, and to openly pursue ways to improve it. We deserve a Green Party that is representative of the community it intends to serve - the people of Ontario.

I think it's fair to say that environmental problems are complex enough that the more diverse participation from as many people as possible, the better. We cannot save the environment on our own. We must reach out to everyone that shares it - locally or globally - and work with them.

This requires flexibility and open-mindedness. We need to acknowledge that if we value gender equity (or any other kind of equity), and we can see for ourselves that it's not working, then we must take active steps to resolve the problem.

Along with the GP Women's Caucus, I am bringing a resolution to the 2005 AGM to implement gender balanced council Co-Chairs in the GPO. For some of the reasons why, please see the GPO Council male and female co-chairs page.

No solution is perfect, but many solutions are better than the status quo. We must not fear change if it will bring improvement. We must do, first, within the Green Party of Ontario, what we want the Government of Ontario to do in 2007.

Questions for the President

''To ask a question, please click "edit" in the top or bottom left-hand corner of your screen (beside the blue "view" button) - there is no need to log in or register! In the Edit window, insert your question(s) below. I will respond as soon as possible. If you would like to speak to me directly, please don't hesitate to call me at 416-538-3110.

__Please note that I have not written these questions. I have made all of my contributions to this page while logged in as heasto. Please check the History to see what I have personally contributed. If you have any questions please don't hesitate to call me; my contact information appears at the top of this page. --Hayley''

Add your question here -->

On Personal Integrity

Question: Hayley, the constitution of the GPO states...
6.23.11 President
That persons qualified to be elected to this position shall be members in good standing of the GPO who have been so for at least two years.
It is my understanding that you have not in fact been a member for two years (correct me if I am wrong). Will you abide by the constitution of the GPO and withdraw from the president race knowing that it is constitutionally wrong?

Question: Hayley, a lot of people toss around words like accountability, integrity, conflict of interest etc., but we've seen times when tempers run high. All that goes out the window and people start persuing vendettas, spreading rumors, etc, and ultimately the bad chases out the good. How do we create a party that rewards high integrity?

Hayley's Answer:

It's too easy to focus on difference. As a species we're not very good find at finding productive ways to talk about the things we all agree with.

We have a great deal in common (and especially Greens), and I feel we don't emphasize that enough. So much of our individual potential is lost through disagreements and negativity. The problem is, what we have in common is usually lost in the commotion.

I have noticed a pattern in many meetings I have been in. Someone spends five minutes saying wise and relevant things that everyone pretty much agrees with. Someone else has one objection to one point that s/he has said - and soon the rest of the five minute talk is largely forgotten, in the debate that ensues about the details.

This frustrates me. One reason is because it comes so naturally to people. I've done it, I've listened to a lecture and dwelled on the two things that I found disagreeable, while minimizing the significance of the rest. It's all too easy.

And this is where a wiki comes in. If these discussions take place in a written form, they are automatically preserved.

If I think back to a verbal discussion I had last week, I will focus on the two or three points that were most relevant to me at the time.

However, if I look at the written record of a conversation I had last week (i.e., a wiki page), I can see all the points you made. I can see the agreeable ones as well as the disagreeable ones. We can, together, work on the agreeable ones, and deal with the disagreeable ones in a more cool-headed and constructive way.

This way, things get done. Not only that, but participants are able to build a relationship together, and fruitfully work out their differences.

When verbal conversations and periodic in-person meetings do take place, most of the preliminary work of ironing out major differences and making sure everyone's needs are met, will have taken place already. This creates an atmosphere of trust - trust not necessarily in each other, but in each other's ability to work well together.

By inviting Greens across Ontario to fully participate in the process, I hope to build a party of high integrity. I will rely on the other Councillors and on Greens across Ontario to help make it real.

On Vocal minorities.

Question: Hayley, we all know, especially in leadership roles it is hard to keep everyone happy. How do you keep an organization moving forward and reduce conflict when a vocal minority is in heated opposition?

Hayley's Answer:

This is a period of rapid growth in the GPO. We are polling at 10% and we're getting more attention than ever. It's inevitable that people will have different visions and ideas for the future.

I invite everyone to trust one another's good intentions with respect to the GPO. Every Green is bringing their best to the party. We must approach each other as colleagues, as leaders and as students, to appreciate and learn from all that each Green has to offer. There is room in the party for all.

Together, we can find productive ways to work out our differences, respect each other, and build a party with integrity.

On the Role of the President

Question: Hayley, how do you define the role of the President?

Hayley's Answer:

I define the role of President as essentially akin to the role of a meeting chair.

Every meeting needs a strong chair. The most significant role for a President to play is facilitator. The GPO deserves a well-functioning Council, and this demands a President who can effectively:

  • engage Councillors to bring out the best of their potential
  • build an environment where disputes can be resolved in productive ways, within Council and among Greens
  • facilitate meetings, follows up on action items, ensures Council functions are available for any interested Green

On the GPO Constitution

Question: Hayley, how do you see the next GPO constitution having to change to allow the GPO to take the balance of power in October 2007? Specifically, do you support or oppose Bill Hulet's omnibus resolution?

Hayley's Answer:

I have looked for Bill Hulet’s omnibus GPO resolution and have been unable to find it, so I will not be able to comment until then. Can you provide a link?

In general, I am in favour of constitutional reform, provided that the process is open and accessible to all. A constitution is a vital document in an organization such as this, and we must ensure that it truly reflects our beliefs about how a party should be run.

It presents a unique challenge that gets more pressing by the day. The GPO constitution, as written, is the backbone of the party. It has brought us to where we are today, and provides important guidance and authority to all that we do. However, at the same time as I have a deep respect for the way it is as written, I also understand that in order to remain relevant, we must change with the changing times.

It is a difficult balance to strike, but I believe we can do this. We're a pretty capable bunch.

It is a task we must not take lightly, and each change must be weighed on its own merits. Each member deserves to participate in the process of constitutional reform if they choose, and true participation goes far beyond voting for a resolution at an AGM.

We can engage in a collaborative process, and every interested Green can participate. Only in this way can we have the constitution that we deserve.

On GPO Operations

Question: Hayley, the GPO office is closing at least for now. Do you think that decentralized GPO bioregional operations centres should replace a single office? How can GPO Living Agenda and GPO Living Platform and telework gear like cordless headset phones help us do more with less? Do we need a GPO candidate portal to make it easy to find policy answers and get or offer campaign help? Basically, are we going to be ready to win an election in 2007?

Hayley's Answer:

I have no knowledge of this plan to close the GPO Office, could you provide details? Your suggestions about decentralization of operations are intriguing, and I agree that the GPO should move towards less Toronto-centric operations that enable full participation regardless of one's geographical location in Ontario. Such a change would naturally only take place in full consultation with GPO members.

On Wikis

Question: Wikis are neat technology.

To provide for their care and feeding requires a near full time senior communications and technology person. To keep up with them can be a full time job with a high speed internet connection, and a deep understanding of how to use the technology. Please reconcile this to the concept that only about 6 people in the party actually have all of the pre-requistes to deal with a wiki.
(I have more computers, network bandwidth and understanding than any in the party, but I do not have the time, so training me won't help.)

Hayley's Answer:

A wiki is a tool, not a panacea. It will not replace Council's work, simply relocate it into a space that is more accessible and more manageable. Any process we would undertake using a wiki would still require active participation from Councillors and members. If we were to confront a limitation from the wiki (such as, as you suggest, insufficient care and feeding resources) we would work together to find a way to ensure that it can continue to fulfil our needs most effectively.