Open letter: the next steps

To registered members and supporters of CPPC

Dear Friends,

Welcome to CPPC, your active participation in the movement for democratic renewal is essential if the people are to prevail.

The imminent general election adds urgency to mobilizing every person to come forward to assert our right to have the say in how our country is run.  Our plan is that the people should contest this election with their own candidates, selected by the people in each constituency.

Such selection of candidates is a local responsibility, based on finding those amongst us who have distinguished themselves in service to the community or who have otherwise proven themselves worthy of such high responsibility.

Potential candidates should be asked to allow their names to be put before publically organised selection conventions in each constituency and a number of candidates then selected for the actual election and ballot.

The People’s Convention should contest ALL seats in ALL constituencies.

People in each constituency need to make their local Peoples Convention their own.  Searching for candidates in an open and democratic way and engaging with the people in as broad a manner as possible will assist this.

CPPC belongs to all the electors, based around the over-riding principle of establishing democratic decision making and exercising responsibility in the running of the affairs of state.

It is essential that we refuse to be divided on the basis of this or that policy. We select candidates on the basis of their democratic record. We do not have to agree with every position that they personally hold.

If candidates are prepared to agree to be instructed by constituency mandates then that is sufficient.  Just as we do not agree with the established parties foisting their list of policies on us at election time, we also refuse to be bound by individual representative’s views.

The policy of CPPC is that the people are the ones who decide the policy in democratic discussion and decision making in the constituency. The selection of candidates and decision on policy, budgets and treaties are two separate exercises. We should give no one a blank cheque but of course we are influenced by the progressive stance of honest persons whom we invite to allow their name to go forward for selection.

At present there are a few tasks that we need to focus on:

  • We need to build the CPPC ‘formal’ membership, so that we can register the name for use on ballot papers.  In order to assist this we suggest that you go to your own family and friends and ask them, if they agree on the question of democracy, to register online.  If required, you can download the registration form (.PDF) from our website and complete it manually – posting completed forms back.
  • Get a stock of our leaflets (we can post them to you), anything from a few dozen to as many as you like, and pass them around to people you know.  Some people distribute them on the streets or in colleges or work places, just do whatever you are comfortable with.
  • Talk to your friends and neighbours about the problems in the country and see how they feel on the question of democracy and who should be deciding policy in our state – they may also agree to register in order to assist.
  • If everyone who registers can get five or more others to do likewise, we will soon have sufficient to register CPPC as a political party.

I am trying to coordinate activity for CPPC and bring together any advice or ideas that might help.  As soon as there are any number of people in any constituency we think work should begin to popularise the ideas and quickly aim at organising an initial public meeting to launch CPPC in that constituency. We would like to help with this and we may be able to do joint advertising etc.

If there are others in your area who have taken a pro-democracy stand we should make common cause with them, without trying to ‘take over’.  Try to emphasise the necessity for people being the decision makers themselves, not just followers of someone else’s policy.  A lot of otherwise progressive organisations have kept to the formula, perhaps inadvertently, of promoting policies on every issue under the sun and seeking support on that basis.

If other groups are open to discussion we will do our best to come to their meetings to explain the CPPC approach.  The most important feature of CPPC is that it includes everyone, allows everyone to participate and make the decisions. CPPC is not in conflict or in competition with anyone else. We only want to create the conditions for universal democratic participation which puts the people at the centre of decision making. This is the basis for the Peoples Convention.

Finally, please keep a thought on the question of candidate selection, we will need to come to that fairly soon, depending on when the election is called.  In the meantime, please do everything possible to invite people to register online or via the paper form – we need to register the name.

We look forward to hearing from you,

Is mise,

Diarmaid Ó Cadhla

Coordinator, CPPC.

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