I guess I haven’t really made any updates here about the Vancouver Secular Party since mid-August, so I thought I should fill you in on how that project’s going.
First off, we changed the name. While Secular Party is a great name to rally atheists, non-religious, and Katie-Christians ;-), it is a very single-issue name, even more so then the Green Party, and they’re still having trouble appearing as more than environmentalists. So we switched to Reason Vancouver.
Our emphasis is now on an open, empirical, secular approach to politics. We reject ideological dogmas of the left and right, and instead choose to focus on policy that is evidenced-based and rational.
Together with the founding members from those discussions in August, we have formed a non-profit society in BC, registered domain names and have opened a PayPal account to start accepting donations and memberships.
I presented on this project at Vancouver SkeptiCamp 2010-II to a warm reception. The most critical point came as to how do we define our priorities and values without an ideology.
After some thinking, I realized that the direction comes (at least in part) from listening to what the people want. Far too many politicians and political parties have become self-serving: just look at the recent US elections.
As part of this consultation and democratic listening, we established a policy wiki, where anyone can edit our policy and suggest directions for the party to go. Our only request (beyond registering, although its not necessary yet) is that all policy actions are referenced by evidence. We even incorporated the infamous (citation needed) tags from Wikipedia.
We have a Facebook Fan Page, Twitter account, YouTube and Flickr account (although the later two lack any content yet). Our logo is almost ready and we’re planning a policy conference in February (potentially formatted after SkeptiCamp – specifically see CiviCamp Calgary to which new mayor Naheed Nenshi was a part of).
Finally, with premier Gordon Campbell’s surprise resignation today, we launched the page for Reason BC for anyone in the province who wants to champion Reason’s flag at the provincial level. It will be much more difficult to win provincially, although if Campbell also steps down as an MLA, there will be a by-election in my own riding.
So things are getting exciting on this coast.