I am also running to be voting representative
at the Democrats Abroad global conventions
by Eric Jackson
It used to be that as chair or vice chair of a country committee, one got a vote at the global organization’s general meetings. I have been each of those things for a term, which means four years of such gatherings, all attended online for my part. Plus, under another chair I also attended some events with a proxy vote. I know the serious work, and also the games.
I’m not an organization climber, nor someone who uses Democrats Abroad to self-promote. I’m not so afraid of losing popularity if I point out something that’s amiss, nor am I so hyper-sensitive that I can’t and don’t work with somebody who has different ideas that mine to accomplish something worthy that we agree upon. The Democratic Party, were it in another country, would be several different parties that would need to come together to negotiate electoral coalitions. Were Canada to have a US-style two-party system their equivalent to the Democrats would be the Liberals + the New Democrats + some factions of Quebec nationalists. In Panama there is all this speculation about who will run with whom to win the next elections, given that no party commands even a third of the voters’ loyalty.
A vote at the global meetings is best used to unite the factions into a functional, winning organization. That’s how I used mine as chair and vice chair, and how I’d use it as voting representative under the new rules that give DA Panama three of those instead of just two.
What’s coming up this time, and what’s important to me?
The officers will be up for election.
Global chair Candice Kerestan will likely seek a second two-year term. I’d vote for that. No perfection worthy of beatification, but she has done well enough.
Global counsel Orlando Vidal says that “other duties” are calling him away, so he won’t run again. I’m happy with that. We need a legal team, not just practicing lawyers, to fend off the rising tide of state laws trying to suppress the votes of US citizens living overseas. The legal team, headed by the practicing lawyer who becomes global counsel, should retain a specialized election law firm in the United States, probably located in Washington DC.
We need to have better press relations, both at the global and Panama level.
What special perspective would I bring to bear in the global organization? Among other things, as a low-level volunteer, a guy who works under others as part of the Democrats Abroad Global Seniors Caucus communications team.
Sending out Earth Day greetings, recognizing the major holidays of the major religions, trying to maintain the interest of different factions of the Democratic Party, looking for, reading and passing on things of interest to senior voters – not the sorts of things through which one gets rich or climbs up to the DNC, but part of doing the job.
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