NDP purges Toronto Young New Democrats

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genstrike

I should add something to the discussion on entryism, and this is probably one of the worst kept secrets about groups like the IMT.

Now, this might only work for radicals and good actors, but pull a Trot entryist like an IMTer aside and talk to him about entryism.  Say that you think entryism is a crappy tactic for radicals, that the NDP can never be won to socialism, that the NDP isn't going to start or lead "the revolution", and that if there ever is a real revolution in this country, you can bet that the NDP will be on the side of the capitalists, and say that expending all our efforts to be bureaucratically stymied by a social democratic establishment is a waste of time, and radicals have better things to do with our time.

Then, you will see a change of tack.  Seeing that he's dealing with another radical and not a naive young NDPer who hasn't been repeatedly burned by The Party yet, the line will shift.  They don't really believe that they can "Win the NDP to Socialism" either*, that that is just their public face, the line they feed people in the NDP.  Obviously, if you're going to recruit from the NDP, "Win the NDP to Socialism" is a better slogan than "The NDP can never be won to socialism". 

So, why even bother with the entryism if even they realize that the NDP is bullshit?

Really, they want to be in the NDP so they can recruit from "the most advanced layers of the working class" who they claim are all in the NDP, or at least will all join the NDP en masse when the "level of struggle" increases (not sure who they think the "advanced layers of the working class" will struggle against when we have an NDP government, but whatevs).  Which makes me wonder if the ratio of self-hating middle class students is any different from any other Marxist group in Canada, but that is neither here nor there.  They feel the best way to recruit these people to radical politics is to run this slogan up the flagpole and prove by their failure that the NDP can never be won to socialism - then picking up the pieces of folks screwed over by the party brass, and going back in for another round of entryism.

Now, this also means that they need to have a bit of a personality cult around folks like Alan Woods and their leadership in order to keep this all in balance.  If they recruit too many people who actually believe their public line, then those people will be a risk to the trusted comrades in the leadership who know that that line is bullshit.  There would be nothing worse for the IMT than to have their national sections be taken over by those gullible, advanced layers of the working class found only in the NDP, who actually believe what they preach.  Then they will waste their time with honest efforts to "Win the NDP to Socialism"!

 

*in fact, the one time in Canadian history that the Trots even came close to winning a section of the NDP over (New Brunswick in the early 70s), they started actively sabotaging themselves to avoid success.  See here.

Doug

It is Ontario New Democratic Youth, not Ontario Random Socialist Youth. If the Toronto club really did have some other agenda besides contributing to and promoting the Ontario NDP then this action is entirely warranted.

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

Remember, also, that the battle to drive the Waffle out occurred in the same era when, to the party's eternal shame, David Lewis AND Tommy Douglas were working the floor of the NDP convention to stop the party electing a black woman, Rosemary Brown, as leader.

Fat lot of good that victory for the Caucasian phallocracy did, since all the party gained by electing the bland white guy instead was a trivial increase in votes from 15% to 20%.  There's no way the NDP would have done worse with Rosemary, since nobody who would even have thought of voting for the party would have insisted that its leader be white and male.  And as a result of that choice, people of color stayed away from the NDP for another generation.

Those were TWO chances the NDP had to matter, and both times, it chose to be irrelevant and meaningless instead.

I'm trying to understand your point here. Are you trying to claim that the ONLY reason why anyone might have thought Ed Broadbent would make a better leader for the NDP than Rosemary Brown was that they didn't want a black woman leading the party??? You don't think that maybe just maybe people were impressed with Broadbent's experience having been an MP for seven years and intellectual rigour as a political philosopher - and weren't sure about giving the national leadership of the party to someone whose only political experience at the time was to have served two years as a backbencher in the BC legislature?

jrootham

Cueball wrote:

jrootham wrote:

Having had a look at the Fightback web site, I think the question is whether they would be distinguishable from the CPC(ML) or some similar organization.

I am inclined to object to the ONDY action on democracy grounds, but I would certainly like some details from the other side before passing judgement.

 

If you are going to engage in sectarian leftist mudslinging at least learn something about the ideological foundations of the different factions. Fightback is a Trotskyiest organization. That fellow pictured at the top of the web site with the spectacles is Leon Trotsky. He pre-dates Stephen Lewis by two generations at least. Anyway, the CPC(M-L) is a Leninist organization that is an opponent of the Trotskyiest factions, such as Fightback.

 

OK, I sit corrected.

ETA:  I know who Trotsky is, what I don't have is motivation to keep all the silly little current organizations straight.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Not the ONLY reason, and not a reason for EVERY Broadbent supporter(some of them just thought the party HAD to have a bland, mundane leader), but a major one for some, and anyone who isn't a Tory should feel ashamed for even letting such a consideration come into their minds(just as the party should still feel ashamed for keeping Howard McCurdy off the founding National Executive of the NDP in 1961 out of fear that some people couldn't handle the NDP NOT having an all-white face).  Broadbent had been an MP, but, outside of the federal NDP caucus, had anyone actually HEARD of the guy?  Had he actually had any national influence as a "political philosopher"?  In 1988, when it mattered, Ed Broadbent refused to express ANY political philosophy at all and reduced the NDP message to nothing but defending the social welfare state-a message guaranteed NOT to move the party to a new level.

And was there anything about Broadbent, who was an adequate leader, that was worth LOSING the enthusiasm that Brown's supporters would have brought to the party?  Her backers showed genuine passion and were actual activists for social change.  Broadbent didn't want a radically different Canada and never fought for one.

I don't think anyone was ever actually a passionate Broadbent supporter, other than those at the far right of the party, the ones who(like neo-Tory Stephen Lewis), fought the Waffle and fought the idea that the NDP should actually stand for anything beyond making the status quo slightly more humane(unless said slight increases in humanity offended Bay Street).  Ed was all about bringing the bland.  He was safe.  And a five-point gain in thirteen years shows where safe gets you.

If he'd actually been able to lead the party into government or at least Official Opposition status by the time he left, it'd be one thing, but a five point swing over thirteen years really wasn't THAT impressive.  In the end, Broadbent wasn't worth it.  ANY NDP leader would have brought the party from 15% to 20%-that didn't involve any real gains at all.  That was just the default growth that the party would have seen from people casting protest votes against the old parties.

And I guess what bothers me is the image of past NDP leaders working the floor of the convention just to stop Rosemary Brown.  Why shouldn't left people feel deeply uncomfortable about that?

Lewis and Douglas should have done the honorable thing and stayed the hell out of it.  Especially David Lewis, who was solely responsible for the party's miserable 1974 showing and as such forfeited any right to try to influence the choice of his successor at all.

Broadbent was ok, but really, in the end, was he worth having Douglas AND Lewis both fighting to stop the party from choosing a leader who actually represented the NEW face of Canada?

The NDP is SUPPOSED to be the party that challenges the existing order and says "it doesn't HAVE to be this way-we can reshape life and make it better-we can recreate society on OUR terms".  When it doesn't do that, the NDP has NO reason to exist.  The Manitoba NDP government, a government that does nothing a Liberal or Tory government wouldn't have done, proves that.

 

 

jrootham

Having a party that wants to make the status quo just a little bit better is not a bad thing, but it is very weak tea.

 

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

And when the tea gets weak enough, it's just warm murky water with leaves in it.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Ken Burch wrote:

And it goes without saying that people who want balanced budgets can't care about poverty or the environment.  Roy Romanow's 1990's "NDP" government in Sask proves that.  That government did everything Devine would have done.

 

Crap like this makes it fairly difficult to take you seriously.

As feckless as the Romanow government often was, their approach to the deficit was significantly different than other governments in Canada, and resulted in a far more broadly based sharing of the pain.

But on the larger point, I can only assume that you believe the state should transfer wealth from the public purse to the wealthiest of the wealthy elites.  That is, after all, what a deficit budget is - the transfer of public wealth to transnational financial institutions.

And you accuse US of being on the side of the capitalists. Money mouth

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

If you put balancing budgets before everything else, you let the financial sector have a veto over what you can do in government.  Taken far enough, you let business outvote the people.

Ultimately, what the left has to do is to natiionalize the financial sector.  That is the only way to create enough space to allow left-of-centre governments to actually BE left-of-centre.

If you don't do that, you end up where Manitoba and Nova Scotia are today-NDP governments that checked all NDP principles at the door.

 

KenS

Nobody said "putting balancing budgets before all else". If you want to play false dualist straw persons- you also cant just wave away deficits as if they did not matter.

siamdave

Ken Burch wrote:

Not the ONLY reason, and not a reason for EVERY Broadbent supporter(some of them just thought the party HAD to have a bland, mundane leader), but a major one for some, and anyone who isn't a Tory should feel ashamed for even letting such a consideration come into their minds(just as the party should still feel ashamed for keeping Howard McCurdy off the founding National Executive of the NDP in 1961 out of fear that some people couldn't handle the NDP NOT having an all-white face).  Broadbent had been an MP, but, outside of the federal NDP caucus, had anyone actually HEARD of the guy?  Had he actually had any national influence as a "political philosopher"?  In 1988, when it mattered, Ed Broadbent refused to express ANY political philosophy at all and reduced the NDP message to nothing but defending the social welfare state-a message guaranteed NOT to move the party to a new level.

And was there anything about Broadbent, who was an adequate leader, that was worth LOSING the enthusiasm that Brown's supporters would have brought to the party?  Her backers showed genuine passion and were actual activists for social change.  Broadbent didn't want a radically different Canada and never fought for one.

I don't think anyone was ever actually a passionate Broadbent supporter, other than those at the far right of the party, the ones who(like neo-Tory Stephen Lewis), fought the Waffle and fought the idea that the NDP should actually stand for anything beyond making the status quo slightly more humane(unless said slight increases in humanity offended Bay Street).  Ed was all about bringing the bland.  He was safe.  And a five-point gain in thirteen years shows where safe gets you.

If he'd actually been able to lead the party into government or at least Official Opposition status by the time he left, it'd be one thing, but a five point swing over thirteen years really wasn't THAT impressive.  In the end, Broadbent wasn't worth it.  ANY NDP leader would have brought the party from 15% to 20%-that didn't involve any real gains at all.  That was just the default growth that the party would have seen from people casting protest votes against the old parties.

And I guess what bothers me is the image of past NDP leaders working the floor of the convention just to stop Rosemary Brown.  Why shouldn't left people feel deeply uncomfortable about that?

Lewis and Douglas should have done the honorable thing and stayed the hell out of it.  Especially David Lewis, who was solely responsible for the party's miserable 1974 showing and as such forfeited any right to try to influence the choice of his successor at all.

Broadbent was ok, but really, in the end, was he worth having Douglas AND Lewis both fighting to stop the party from choosing a leader who actually represented the NEW face of Canada?

The NDP is SUPPOSED to be the party that challenges the existing order and says "it doesn't HAVE to be this way-we can reshape life and make it better-we can recreate society on OUR terms".  When it doesn't do that, the NDP has NO reason to exist.  The Manitoba NDP government, a government that does nothing a Liberal or Tory government wouldn't have done, proves that.

- all of this is quite interesting - is there anyone who can give the other side of the story about this? That is - why, from the other perspective, were Douglas and Lewis telling people not to go for Brown? (if indeed, of course, they were..)

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

Stockholm wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

And was there anything about Broadbent, who was an adequate leader, that was worth LOSING the enthusiasm that Brown's supporters would have brought to the party?  Her backers showed genuine passion and were actual activists for social change.  Broadbent didn't want a radically different Canada and never fought for one.

I guess that according to you the NDP learned from its mistake the next time it chose a leader in 1889 when it rejected a very experienced white male who had been premier of BC in favour of a neophyte woman from Yukon who had been in parliament for all of two years. Thanks to all the "enthusiasm" that Audrey McLaughlin's vast army supporters brought to the party and thanks to the incredible novelty of being the fist party to have a woman as leader in Canada - the NDP went on to win - drumroll please - 6.7% of the vote and 9 seats!

"Experience" isn't everything.  And no one really believes the 1993 result was Audrey's fault.  Dave Barrett would have done just as badly with TWO imploding provincial NDP governments in office(one in B.C.) and the leader of a major NDP-affliated union stabbing the party in the back with calls for "strategic voting".  Also, Audrey was NO Rosemary Brown and never inspired the level of passion that Rosemary did. Finally, Dave Barrett led the BCNDP to defeat in three out of four elections, and lost his OWN ridings in 1975(provincial)and 1993, which should never have happened if your assumptions about Barret's inherent superiority as leader were actually true.   

1993 would have been a wipeout with anti-woman, anti-left. anti-Quebec Dave Barrett as leader.

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

siamdave wrote:

Ken Burch wrote:

Not the ONLY reason, and not a reason for EVERY Broadbent supporter(some of them just thought the party HAD to have a bland, mundane leader), but a major one for some, and anyone who isn't a Tory should feel ashamed for even letting such a consideration come into their minds(just as the party should still feel ashamed for keeping Howard McCurdy off the founding National Executive of the NDP in 1961 out of fear that some people couldn't handle the NDP NOT having an all-white face).  Broadbent had been an MP, but, outside of the federal NDP caucus, had anyone actually HEARD of the guy?  Had he actually had any national influence as a "political philosopher"?  In 1988, when it mattered, Ed Broadbent refused to express ANY political philosophy at all and reduced the NDP message to nothing but defending the social welfare state-a message guaranteed NOT to move the party to a new level.

And was there anything about Broadbent, who was an adequate leader, that was worth LOSING the enthusiasm that Brown's supporters would have brought to the party?  Her backers showed genuine passion and were actual activists for social change.  Broadbent didn't want a radically different Canada and never fought for one.

I don't think anyone was ever actually a passionate Broadbent supporter, other than those at the far right of the party, the ones who(like neo-Tory Stephen Lewis), fought the Waffle and fought the idea that the NDP should actually stand for anything beyond making the status quo slightly more humane(unless said slight increases in humanity offended Bay Street).  Ed was all about bringing the bland.  He was safe.  And a five-point gain in thirteen years shows where safe gets you.

If he'd actually been able to lead the party into government or at least Official Opposition status by the time he left, it'd be one thing, but a five point swing over thirteen years really wasn't THAT impressive.  In the end, Broadbent wasn't worth it.  ANY NDP leader would have brought the party from 15% to 20%-that didn't involve any real gains at all.  That was just the default growth that the party would have seen from people casting protest votes against the old parties.

And I guess what bothers me is the image of past NDP leaders working the floor of the convention just to stop Rosemary Brown.  Why shouldn't left people feel deeply uncomfortable about that?

Lewis and Douglas should have done the honorable thing and stayed the hell out of it.  Especially David Lewis, who was solely responsible for the party's miserable 1974 showing and as such forfeited any right to try to influence the choice of his successor at all.

Broadbent was ok, but really, in the end, was he worth having Douglas AND Lewis both fighting to stop the party from choosing a leader who actually represented the NEW face of Canada?

The NDP is SUPPOSED to be the party that challenges the existing order and says "it doesn't HAVE to be this way-we can reshape life and make it better-we can recreate society on OUR terms".  When it doesn't do that, the NDP has NO reason to exist.  The Manitoba NDP government, a government that does nothing a Liberal or Tory government wouldn't have done, proves that.

- all of this is quite interesting - is there anyone who can give the other side of the story about this? That is - why, from the other perspective, were Douglas and Lewis telling people not to go for Brown? (if indeed, of course, they were..)

Rosemary Brown's own biography, BEING BROWN, documents the disgraceful role Lewis and Douglas(men who once SUPPORTED social change)played at the '75 convention.

KenS

Can my memory be trusted?

I was not even peripheral to the NDP then. I was still in BC and just knew I liked Rosemary. Who the hell is Ed Broadbent?

Even with that tilt, I dont remember anything like an anybody but her push. David Lewis definitely didnt like radicals, no surprise there. What else would you expect from him? Tommy didnt have that antipathy.

People have all sorts of reasons to choose one leadership candidate over another. In my experience, even if you were very close in with a particular leadership campaign... as few as two years later, if the same candidate does not run again, you will see even the closest to each other people in the previos campaign, divide in who they support for the next campaign.

Take any identifiable bloc or faction or even just a clique, and maybe most will go to one leadership camp... but never all or close to it. There are a lot of natural reasons for that.

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

And was there anything about Broadbent, who was an adequate leader, that was worth LOSING the enthusiasm that Brown's supporters would have brought to the party?  Her backers showed genuine passion and were actual activists for social change.  Broadbent didn't want a radically different Canada and never fought for one.

I guess that according to you the NDP learned from its mistake the next time it chose a leader in 1989 when it rejected a very experienced white male who had been premier of BC in favour of a neophyte woman from Yukon who had been in parliament for all of two years. Thanks to all the "enthusiasm" that Audrey McLaughlin's vast army supporters brought to the party and thanks to the incredible novelty of being the fist party to have a woman as leader in Canada - the NDP went on to win - drumroll please - 6.7% of the vote and 9 seats!

Stockholm

I was too young to pay much attention to the 1975 NDP leadership race, but from what I've read in accounts of that race it seems that Broadbent was very much the "establishmen pick" and the party elders wanted him as opposed to either of the other white males running (ie: Lorne Nystrom or John Harney) because they saw him as very capable and experienced - and given that he went on to become the most popular NDP leader ever - I think they were vindicated. Broadbent at the time had been acting as interim leader in the house for a year, had already run in 1971 - where he was seen as the leftwing candidate who first coined the phrase Waffle, he spoke passable French while Brown spoke none whatsoever. From what I've read - the only reason Rosemary Brown even did as well as she did was BECAUSE she was a black woman and a lot of middle class radical chic types in the party liked the IDEA of having a black woman as leader - though many of her own supporters were troubled by how her campaign consisted mostly of trite platitudes. If a white guy from vancouver who had served two years as a backbencher in the BC legislature had run for the federal NDP leadership with the exact same talking points that Rosemary Brown had - that person would have been a distant fourth and would not have been taken seriously at all. 

Stockholm

Ken Burch wrote:

Rosemary Brown's own biography, BEING BROWN, documents the disgraceful role Lewis and Douglas(men who once SUPPORTED social change)played at the '75 convention.

In other words, she says - either you had to support her leadership bid or else you must be opposed to social change of any kind. Talk about ideological blackmail. Does that mean that if I vote for Joe Pantalone instead of Geotrge Smitherman - i must be a homophobe who doesn't want Toronto to have a gay mayor??

George Victor

Stockholm wrote:

I was too young to pay much attention to the 1975 NDP leadership race, but from what I've read in accounts of that race it seems that Broadbent was very much the "establishmen pick" and the party elders wanted him as opposed to either of the other white males running (ie: Lorne Nystrom or John Harney) because they saw him as very capable and experienced - and given that he went on to become the most popular NDP leader ever - I think they were vindicated. Broadbent at the time had been acting as interim leader in the house for a year, had already run in 1971 - where he was seen as the leftwing candidate who first coined the phrase Waffle, he spoke passable French while Brown spoke none whatsoever. From what I've read - the only reason Rosemary Brown even did as well as she did was BECAUSE she was a black woman and a lot of middle class radical chic types in the party liked the IDEA of having a black woman as leader - though many of her own supporters were troubled by how her campaign consisted mostly of trite platitudes. If a white guy from vancouver who had served two years as a backbencher in the BC legislature had run for the federal NDP leadership with the exact same talking points that Rosemary Brown had - that person would have been a distant fourth and would not have been taken seriously at all. 

 

Unfortunately, I was NOT "too young to pay much attention to the 1975 leadership race," Stock, but you have described the situation quite well.

Through the 1970s, the women's movement was building momentum and such outcomes seemed only to confirm suspicions in feminist ranks that it was a male-done-deal.  By the end of the decade, Liberal and NDP women were ready to join forces to advance on Ottawa when the constitution was repatriated, and it was no surprise in feminist households when several  women crowded into two vehicles and drove from Vancouver to Ottawa, chaining themselves to their seats in the gallery of the House.  

Attempts to single out Tommy as a bad ass actor in some anti-black, anti-woman plot only shows the extent to which ignorance feeds on itself and leads to hysterical conclusions. Those titillated by such thoughts can come down off the chandeliers.  One can only hope his daughter, Shirley, does not read such puerile crap and die laughing. Tommy was interested in social change benefitting those without a pot to pee in...period.

bagkitty bagkitty's picture

Back to the OP - my remarks are intended to address the question in principal, not the particulars of the case.

That having been said, having experienced first-hand how disruptive entryism can be (my touchstone being the WCP and CPC(M-L) disruptions of campus based anti-Apartheid/divestment campaigns in the 1980s) I have no problem at all with a periodic de-lousing. I don't believe in pre-emptively banning anyone/group, but nor would I support the argument that any group should be forced to play host to what are essentially parasites (and there is a clear distiniction, in my mind at least, between parasites and symbiotes).

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

George Victor wrote:

Tommy was interested in social change benefitting those without a pot to pee in...period.

 

Regardless of whether they'd have used the pot to sit or stand.

Unionist

Or smoke.

Malcolm Malcolm's picture

Unionist wrote:

Or smoke.

 

Laughing

Ken Burch Ken Burch's picture

I don't deny that Tommy was great on social justice issues for most of his life. 

It was just this moment that was disturbing.  Past leaders of a party aren't supposed to intervene like that in a leadership convention.

KenS

You mean, they arent supposed to participate?

Out of several leadership races I can think of in the last while,  there was one ex-leader participant. But I have no idea about the norm 35 years ago.

Caissa

I was involved with the anti-apartheid movement when the IS were purged Autumn 1985. I was an IS fellow traveller in those days. A lot of people were surprised to find me still present in the meeting after they had voted to expel the IS members. I see this is the battles on the Left that go back to the days of David Lewis and the fear of real change in society. Is there really a parliamentary party out ther in which the Left can put its trust?

Cueball Cueball's picture

Yeah hey! Now there is a strategy. Just refuse to be purged, Going on meeting and doing whatever you were doing before and see if anyting happens.

Caissa

I wasn't a member of the IS; that's the point, Cueball.

George Victor

Caissa: " I see this is the battles on the Left that go back to the days of David Lewis and the fear of real change in society. Is there really a parliamentary party out ther in which the Left can put its trust?"

 

David Lewis was speaking on behalf of an organized labour that came to demand fiscal responsibility...like, making sure that hard work resulted in social gains for themselves...maybe even a pension at the end of the assembly line. Who knew that the Globalized world just around the corner would toss those workers' aspirations into the trash?

 

Some people still don't understand that working people will not participate in the big idiological crap shoot so favoured by those who have it made in the shade. (And those battles go back - much, much farther back - than David Lewis.)

Cueball Cueball's picture

Caissa wrote:

I wasn't a member of the IS; that's the point, Cueball.

Who cares, everyone thought you were and still did not kick you out.

Caissa

The motion, Cueball, was to expell members of the IS.

The important part was the university agreed to divest from companies doing business in SA before the school year was over.

There were competing visions for the hearts and minds of workers, George Victor. I'm not sure how much either of them reflected where the workers were as much as tried to mould them, Communists and democratic socialists alike.

aka Mycroft

KenS wrote:

You mean, they arent supposed to participate?

Out of several leadership races I can think of in the last while, there was one ex-leader participant. But I have no idea about the norm 35 years ago.

Guess Ed Broadbent didn't know that as he endorsed Jack Layton's leadership candidacy in 2003. The custom is usually that an outgoing leader doesn't endorse their immediate successor but often they will support someone tacitly. I don't know if David Lewis openly endorsed Broadbent or did so quietly. If it was the latter it wouldn't be terribly unusual.

While Stephen Lewis may have remained quiet in the convention that chose his immediate successor (though I believe he was known to be supporting Deans) he helped recruit Bob Rae to succeed Michael Cassidy and endorsed him as I recall.

 

Nicko

Quote:
Subject: Statement Regarding the De-Chartering of the Toronto Young New Democrats

As with any organization, the Ontario New Democratic Youth (ONDY) has rules for how it conducts business, both internally and with its sisters and brothers throughout Ontario. In ONDY's case, this includes rules that each youth club must follow before becoming an officially-supported 'chartered' club. Chief among these is a respect for - and adherence to - the policies and ideals of the Party. It would be hard for ONDY to support a group which is not explicitly New Democratic in mandate and action, and though we encourage youth to seek out and engage with a range of progressive causes, our mission is to grow and support Ontario New Democratic Party (ONDP)-related efforts first and foremost.

Recently, it was brought to our attention that the Toronto Young New Democrats (TYND) - a regional youth club representing the Greater Toronto Area - were not upholding this very basic principle. Though chartered with ONDY at a previous date, the TYND began supporting and promoting causes that were not those of Ontario's New Democrats. Normally this would not be an issue, as clubs are indeed encouraged to work with their progressive partners in achieving the social change we all seek to bring to Ontario. However, it was suggested to us that the TYND was engaged with the political organization Fightback, which promotes many principles that stand at a stark contrast to our ONDP values. Not only that, evidence was brought to us that confirms the TYND's public promotion of Fightback above the ideas of the ONDP, in such as way as to come into direct, public conflict with their own sisters and brothers in the Party. Despite receiving multiple warnings from the ONDY Executive in the past year, TYND has continually refused to amend its practices.

The ONDY Executive, after taking extensive exercises in fact-finding and verification of the evidence brought to us, called a meeting of the entire Executive in order to discuss the charges against TYND. The TYND Co-Chairs, both members of the ONDY Executive, were openly invited to attend and were given fair notification of the charge against the club, with specific reference to the constitutional article in question. In this matter, TYND's public promotion of a cause that stands against the ONDP were against Article XIV, Section 1(a) of the ONDY Constitution, which calls for the de-chartering of clubs which are engaged in "Intentionally misrepresenting the policies, program, or principles of the NDP or the ONDY."

As is common in sensitive meetings of organization's executives, the hearing of evidence and discussion was conducted 'In Camera' to allow all persons to voice their opinions without concern for public ridicule - a free, open exchange of ideas and concerns was encouraged at all times. The TYND Co-Chairs were also encouraged to voice their opinions and join the debate, however they refused to do so and left well before the end of the meeting. It should be noted that the de-chartering action (the vote) was conducted in public and recorded in the public minutes, and the final vote was in favour and met the required two thirds majority of Executive members present at the vote. This count did not, unfortunately, include the voices of the TYND Co-Chairs, who left before the vote.

In order to maintain the maximum transparency possible, the resolution which calls for the de-chartering of the TYND was explicitly written to outline the cause and reasoning behind the constitutional violation, thereby serving as an official, public record of the issues at question. As with any resolution, the merit and purpose was debated in full and was subject to amendment and/or full rejection. To that effect, the TYND
Co-Chairs had full capacity to speak to and amend the resolution as they saw fit. This is indeed why ONDY chose to conduct this via a resolution - in no way was the outcome of the meeting pre-determined before the meeting was held, as the resolution could have been rejected and a cooperative plan of actionbetween ONDY and TYND could have been proposed and followed.

It is with this that ONDY maintains that all relevant procedures were followed. Not only were the TYND Co-Chairs given the full details of the charges against the club, but they were allowed full participation in the meeting and would have had a vote on the matter if they chose to exercise that right. In this way, the meeting was not in any way a trial or tribunal - it was a discussion of the merits of the evidence brought against TYND, with de-chartering being only one of many possible outcomes. ONDY is regretful that the TYND sees this process as illegitimate, but it should be noted that all relevant procedures were followed, and that the TYND Co-Chairs - are representatives of the TYND - were given full rights to participate in the meeting.

ONDY's mandate is clear - as the Executive, we have the duty to seek out and engage youth, bringing to them the values and ideas of the Ontario's New Democrats. We do this through a variety of methods, offering training sessions and activist days, hosting open councils and conventions, and linking youth
directly back to the main Party's events and activities. ONDY's job is to bring youth into the Party, through educating them on our policy, and exciting them about being part of a bigger movement. On university and college campuses, in electoral district associations, and in cities and towns across the province, youth have joined up into clubs to promote the New Democratic cause, meet like-minded persons, and have fun. It is ONDY's task to connect with these youth, offering them the organizational and material support they need to keep the dream alive in their areas of influence. For these youth clubs, ONDY is a conduit through which they can access the resources of the ONDP, and reach a new level of engagement
they might not otherwise be able to find.

ONDY will continue to engage with the many successful youth clubs across Ontario, helping them in any way we can. However, we cannot offer support to those clubs who refuse to operate as a New Democratic club. When in a public position, the opinions, values, and ideals of a club's leaders cannot
interfere with the promotion of the ONDP.

It is an unfortunate reality that the TYND Co-Chairs were not willing to participate in a discussion with the ONDY Executive that may have borne a compromise on this matter. ONDY remains willing to work with the TYND in the future, and looks forward to the time when they once again wish to promote the
New Democratic cause as their primary programme. This willingness is clearly stated in the resolution, and its subsequent adoption commits this and future ONDY Executives to this openness. Though the TYND currently stands as de-charted, ONDY is willing at any time to re-open the debate and discuss with the TYND Co-Chairs ways in which the TYND can bring its conduct back in line with the aims of New Democratic youth club.

In solidarity,

Elizabeth Kessler
Co-Chair, Ontario New Democratic Youth

Robin Wing
Co-Chair, Ontario New Democratic Youth

Stephen Yardy
Communications Director, Ontario New Democratic Youth

Shaun Banke
Clubs Coordinator, Ontario New Democratic Youth

 

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

So is the ONDY Executive intending to kick everyone out who publicly promotes "causes that [are] not those of Ontario's New Democrats"?

Like supporters of the BDS campaign against Israeli apartheid? Or opponents of public funding for separate schools? Or 9/11 "truthers"?

Or is this just an old-fashioned anti-communist witch hunt?

Fidel

They'd have to give Chomsky the toss if he was Canadian, because he's not for BDS either.

And pro-US toadying in Ottawa since 9/11 has been an all Liberal and Tory affair, or IOW's, the government and the official support party in phony opposition working hand in glove together as usual. Those two parties have their heads shoved so far up Uncle Sam's derriere they have to have air pumped to them.

 

KenS

If simply anti-communist witch hunt is what it was about, plenty of others would be kicked out... including some who have more potential as opposition within the party.

The NDP could hardly explicitly say in the formal criteria given "we're kicking these people out because they are entryists."

Stockholm

I think the "entryists" should realize that the NDP is too big to be taken over by a small coterie of Torotsyists. But there is another party that is ripe for the plucking - the Green Party. The Greens have so few members and are so disorganized that a small band of International Socialists could probably stage a hostile takeover in no time at all - and then they would be Elizabeth May's "problem"!!

KenS

Taking over an organization is not the sole goal of entryism. And in the case of the NDP, its obvious even to people that operate differently, that takeover is not going to happen.

For the organizations that practice it, entryism is win-win.

Because they operate on perpetual turnover except for the people at the top, entryist organizations rely on new recruits to keep going. And their rhetoric is always going to impress a few people. So they always get some recruits.

Its about the jorurney, not the destination.

George Victor

Stockholm wrote:

I think the "entryists" should realize that the NDP is too big to be taken over by a small coterie of Torotsyists. But there is another party that is ripe for the plucking - the Green Party. The Greens have so few members and are so disorganized that a small band of International Socialists could probably stage a hostile takeover in no time at all - and then they would be Elizabeth May's "problem"!!

 

The Libertarians in charge would have them for breakfast.Laughing

Bookish Agrarian

The claims about Rosemary Brown's views on the leadership race didn't ring true to me.  So I went back and re-read my copy of Being Brown.  The claims around Brown do not match her stated views.  In fact they are a complete mischaracterization.

Lachine Scot

Stockholm wrote:

I think the "entryists" should realize that the NDP is too big to be taken over by a small coterie of Torotsyists. But there is another party that is ripe for the plucking - the Green Party. The Greens have so few members and are so disorganized that a small band of International Socialists could probably stage a hostile takeover in no time at all - and then they would be Elizabeth May's "problem"!!

Haha! Now there's a proposal a lot of us can get behind :)

George Victor

"The claims about Rosemary Brown's views on the leadership race didn't ring true to me.  So I went back and re-read my copy of Being Brown.  The claims around Brown do not match her stated views.  In fact they are a complete mischaracterization."

 

 

Thanks, BA.  I don't have a copy, and only hoped that was the case. 

 

So that this:

"And I guess what bothers me is the image of past NDP leaders working the floor of the convention just to stop Rosemary Brown.  Why shouldn't left people feel deeply uncomfortable about that?

Lewis and Douglas should have done the honorable thing and stayed the hell out of it.  Especially David Lewis, who was solely responsible for the party's miserable 1974 showing and as such forfeited any right to try to influence the choice of his successor at all."

 

...can be treated as the creative, slanderous bullshit that we suspected.

 

Geoff OB

The 70's called.  They want their Trotsktist tendencies back.

aka Mycroft

The likelihood of "winning" the NDP to socialism is slim to none so I think groups like Fightback are either deluding themselves or lying to people by telling them that.

However, while the NDP itself is not ripe to be "taken over" even in a revolutionary situation, ONDY and other youth groups in the NDP are tempting targets simply because the NDP does such a poor job of recruiting youth or giving them resources or any real role. Participation in the NDYs is generally so low that a dedicated and well organized group of 50 people could quite easily take over a provincial youth wing. How long the NDP would let them have control is another issue entirely. I fully expect that were Fighback or another group succeed in taking over ONDY and were open enough about their politics the NDP executive would shut down the youth wing fairly quickly. In fact, the NDP has done just that several times.

Of course, if the NDP were serious about activist politics and tried to play a role in the broader movement rather than seeing politics in purely parliamentary and electoral terms and if ONDY were given significant resources to organize and was therefore attractive to large numbers of serious young activists a small group like Fightback would just be another voice in a large chorus and would not wield very much influence or be able to engineer a takeover. The fact that the NDP feels it's necessary to essentially expel Fightback is not a sign of Fightback's strength or the NDP's strength but entirely a product of the NDP's weakness - just in the way that David Orchard's ability to wield a lot of influence in the federal PC party in its last months, so much so that he was able to play kingmaker and, given time, may have been able to take over the party, was more a sign of the PC Party's weakness than anything else.

 

veronika desnic

What do you expect from such a ones like the NDP.They have been on the board of TCHC and have cared less

if people suffer and die.They did this with the Waffle back in the day mycroft and please correct me if Im wrong

They are not new or democratic just an old tired out party.The youth will find their way that I have every confidence

Polunatic2

Quote:
Of course, if the NDP were serious about activist politics and tried to play a role in the broader movement rather than seeing politics in purely parliamentary and electoral terms 

While I've agree with this for a long time, and still do, as I mentioned above, a quick look at the Fightback website showed an aloofness to electoral politics altogether. It's strange to read absolutely nothing about the civic election on their website. It's even stranger to read a critique of proportional representation in favor of the undemocratic status quo with the caveat that a more radical platform will win elections. It just doesn't look like a "fit" to me. 

aka Mycroft

Just on the PR issue - if PR were a central NDP principle does that mean that the Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Nova Scotia and BC NDP should be expelled from the party for not bringing it in when they were (or while they still are) in government?

M. Spector M. Spector's picture

Polunatic2 wrote:

It's strange to read absolutely nothing about the civic election on their website.

Please provide us with a link to the civic election coverage on the Ontario NDP website. 

KenS

aka Mycroft wrote:

f the NDP were serious about activist politics and ...... was therefore attractive to large numbers of serious young activists a small group like Fightback would just be another voice in a large chorus and would not wield very much influence or be able to engineer a takeover. 

I agree with your main point that the small size of ONDPY chapters, or even the whole provincial outfit, makes them a ripe target; and what that impliess.

But I've more than once seen entryist groups tie up organizations with well over 100 activists. The tactics shift somewhat. But even a large and diverse organization can quilckly come to the choice of either be continuously paralyzed in making decisions, or bite the bullet and expell the obstructionists.

remind remind's picture

Bookish Agrarian wrote:
The claims about Rosemary Brown's views on the leadership race didn't ring true to me.  So I went back and re-read my copy of Being Brown.  The claims around Brown do not match her stated views.  In fact they are a complete mischaracterization.

Thank you BA, debunking "whispers in the ear" is always welcome.

George Victor

M. Spector wrote:

Polunatic2 wrote:

It's strange to read absolutely nothing about the civic election on their website.

Please provide us with a link to the civic election coverage on the Ontario NDP website. 

 

I believe the NDP is going to have to find its feet again in civic politics, the politics of the individual, and feel again the fear out there, while exploring social and economic solutions for a world that is suddenly more wanting...in everything, except the chatter of revolution.

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