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Living Platform

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


The Living Platform is a participatory democracy wiki that combines citizen input into a political platform. It is hosted and run in Canada, but is independent of any political party or movement. It works on issues at all scales from global simultaneous policy to trade bloc scale bioregional democracy and urban autonomy. Its main restriction is that it works presently only in English.

Green lobbyists' tool

As presently used, it is primarily a tool for lobbying various levels of government for "greener" policies:

  • a green tax shift to fund efficiency measures by taxing waste
  • support for vocational training in sustainable trades and green building technologies
  • full cost accounting and performance auditing of government using Genuine Progress Indicator or at least Net Domestic Product measures
  • meeting all international treaty obligations including the Social and Economic Right Convention
  • establishing favourable land trust and other habitat conservation measures

Origin as protest

Living Platform forked from the Green Party of Canada Living Platform in February 2005. It is now supported by the Wild Greens, Free U of T, Green Party of Ontario, Green Party of Nova Scotia, Province of Toronto Party, the Green Party of Canada's own Shadow Cabinet and Women's Caucus, and a few volunteers and former employees involved in the GPC effort. One of these claims to have been ordered to violate the open content (CC-by) under which the GPC-LP had gathered its materials, and had been fired for refusing to do so.

The fork was part of an ongoing resistance against current GPC Leader Jim Harris (politician), who had sought to tightly control policy and press releases, and to censor all debate about political party governance and the structure of the party itself. A major issue was Harris' reputedly persistent targeting of women to exclude from party decision making (thus the Women's Caucus support).

Despite its origin as a protest move, however, broad support for the new Living Platform convinced its supporters that it had a permanent place on the map.

Since most of the progenitors of the GPC-LP are now using the free LP exclusively, it is a matter for debate "which is the fork".

Living agenda

Prior to the collapse of deliberative democracy in the GPC, there had been a proposal by Party Fundraising Chair Kate Holloway to integrate all political party governance debate into the Living Agenda, which was adopted by the Party's process committee originally as a solution to a prior attempt by the GPC ERCT to shut down all debate about democracy and governance itself in the GPC wiki.

This mechanism for dealing with governance questions and bringing maximum expertise to bear on political party matters, is part of the open party mindset that the new free LP has adopted as its ideal. The slogan however is more conventional:

  • "this is what democracy looks like"

Reliable Shadow Cabinet tool

Some members of the GPC Shadow Cabinet, and others opposed to central control of any Green Party, are using the free LP as a forum to debate the recovery from the disastrous command and control ideology of Harris and others who are relatively new to the leadership of the Greens.

GPC Shadow Cabinet Chair Sharon Labchuk, widely seen as a potential Party Leader, strongly protested the firing of Pilling, and signalled her intent to use the new non-GPC Living Platform (since Pilling retained administrator status there and so could continue the Party's official process).

Also, the free Living Platform is committed, unlike the rump GPC LP, to keeping its URLs in a simple reliable format, e.g. the following naming conventions.

Possible role in Canadian federal election

In the next federal election, the free Living Platform will provide a base for independent candidates, or municipal governments, to reflect citizen policy requests outside any existing party structure. Some of these independents may in fact run as "real Greens" against "Jim Harris Greens".

If this occurs, a wiki-based political dispute will have escalated into a major split in a significant party in a developed nation - a significant escalation of wiki politics.

Ongoing role

Living Platform's primary goal long term is to provide support for Federation of Canadian Municipalities and Global Greens and Green Party of Ontario, Green Party of British Columbia, Green Party of Nova Scotia, and other English-speaking Green parties in Canada. Other parties are also welcome to use it, though, the primary terminology and editorial policy will be set mostly by Green activists.

It was used in February 2005 to prepare a submission to Canadian Finance Minister Ralph Goodale from the Civic Efficiency Group.

External links

Retrieved from ""