Individually the events described by Dana Larson could be explained as mistakes or misunderstandings, but taken together they strongly suggests there was an organized effort to prevent him from expressing his views and to block the resolution from making it to the floor of the convention.
Even if you don't agree with the resolution, I think everyone would agree the democratic process should be followed. Even if you think the banning Dana from the convention was appropriate punishment for trying to help pay for delegate’s travel, I think everyone would agree that the decision to remove democratic rights shouldn't be made by an unelected staff member, but by an appropriate elected body of the party with an appeal process similar to the process for removing a candidate (Dana wasn’t removed as a candidate in the last election, he voluntarily resigned).
The most serious accusation is that the chair of the panel flagrantly violated the constitution and Robert's Rules of Order with the purpose of prevent the marijuana resolution from reaching the floor. She allowed the motion to raise the priority to pass, then waited for the room to fill with opponents and reopened the debate without any justification at all. The story is consistent with rumors from the previous convention that where an organized group of people moving from panel to panel to manipulate the results.
The idea that someone in a position of authority in the NDP would try to undermine a party member's ability to present their views or interfere with the democratic process because they disagreed with an idea or was afraid it would interfere with some grand electoral strategy is totally unacceptable and that anyone doing that should be removed from their position. The next step would probably be for the federal council to pass a resolution directing the party to lunch an independent investigation to answer these questions:
- What where the reason Dana Larson’s ad was rejected from the convention guide and what supporting documentation do they have? Why did it take so long from a reason to be given?
- Why where Dana messages removed from the convention Facebook page?
- Why did it take so long to inform him his group had a table at the convention? How many others where delayed?
- Who decided to revoke Dana Larson's delegate credentials? By what authority did they do that? Why didn't they do so earlier? Why did they prevent him from being an observer? Why did they offer to refund the money for his flight?
- Who disabled the public wall on the convention Facebook page and for what reason?
- Why did the chair reopen the debate on the resolution? Where they given an instruction on how to treat the resolution?
- Was there a group of people moving from panel to panel with a specific agenda? Who organized them?
There are additional questions the NDP should ask itself:
- What procedure should be put in place to revoke someone's delegate credentials?
- Should people who chair convention resolution panels, plenary sessions and other large meetings be required to have training and be familiar with the constitution?
This has been crossposted to by blog.