Wednesday, January 26, 2005


Underbelly News


Hi All!

I must congratulate the Coalition of Progressive Electors for recommending some badly needed reform to their organization. In particular, the criteria for membership states "upon reasonable request that membership fees may be waived".

This is important since a number of Vancouver voters may not have the necessary funds to purchase a membership at the prescribed fee, however, it seems that COPE is willing to entertain this membership subsidy as adopted policy. Kudos to them!

On another front, COPE has followed the lead of the NPA and listed executive board officers on their website.. This goes a long way to ensure transparency and accountability. Again kudos to COPE on this progressive move.

On the issue of membership fees it seems COPE is farther ahead than NPA. The Non Partisan Association has fees of $25.00 and this might be out of the reach for a number of voters who desire to be members or take out membership in the NPA. Perhaps at this weekend's NPA community forum, the NPA membership and board will entertain the idea of waiving fees for those needing membership subsidies. I'd hate to see seniors on fixed income, people with disabilities, students or the poor not able to participate in an electoral organization because they lack the necessary funds for membership.

On another front it was great to see COPE updating their website. When it had a number of paid staff, the website was sorely lacking. It was quite simply outdated. Now that the paid staff have departed COPE, the volunteers have kicked in and are making badly needed improvements. Thank You COPE!

Jamie Lee Hamilton