Ontario NDP accused of violating party constitution

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aka Mycroft
Ontario NDP accused of violating party constitution

Quote:
Ontario NDP acting like a Rogue State

Joey Schwartz and Michael Laxer
ndpdemocracynow@gmail.com

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Ontario NDP acting like a rogue state
(March 18, 2010) - Why does the party have a constitution, if it doesn't follow it? Is it a gimmick? A show constitution? The current Ontario New Democratic Party provincial executive has, seemingly, unilaterally, extended their term of office by an extra year, without any compelling constitutional reason.

This is significant, because it is a group of people that must face re-election every two years. This group controls the policy and major decision-making machinery in-between the party's conventions. Conventions are the party's highest authority, similar to the House of Commons and the Supreme Court all wound-up-in-one. This is essentially proroguing convention for a year, for no evident reason.

The democracy issue is paramount, because the rules for ratification exist to prevent the party from acting by imperial fiat. The process being used to ratify this decision seems to be arranged happen-stance, because there has never been a vote carried out via email. The Provincial Council, is being urged to ratify the executive's decision by this Friday morning, without any clear means of counting the vote, or allowing for free debate. Dissenting views have not been circulated and the process for counting appears to be highly flawed.

If the ONDP needs to hold a convention in an opposite year of the federal party, then they should move it up to 2010, and not unilaterally give the executive an extra year of power. A November 2010 convention would be almost two years from the previous one. Why are the executive and the provincial office acting in such an undemocratic manner?

 

Geoff OB

If the party succeeds in proroguing Convention, they should hold elections by mail-in ballot to ensure that the legal term of office for elected officials is maintained.  Also, since they're bending the rules anyway, resolutions from riding associations should be debated and voted on at all Provincial Councils leading up to whenever the convention is held.

KenS

This is a lot less than clear. Some questions:

Most NDP sections have biennial Conventions. Is that the case with the ONDP, and when was the last one?

There is normally a lot of slack and variation. For example, even without elections or election scares getting in the way- a Convention in September 2008 might routinely be followed by one in February 2011. Its not at all unusual for election uncertainties to turn that into 3 years or 3 years plus between Conventions.

And the likelihood of a Federal election matters greatly to the timing of an ONDP Convention. So Summer 2010 would be possible, but Fall of this year is out. Too likely for deposits on venues and other costs to be tossed out the window.

[When is the provincial election? Whenerever it is- its fixed at least.]

I guarantee you that Convention is not being delayed to extend the terms of the executive. Thats a goofy notion. It is a by-product of other concerns and agendas that aren't being relayed here.

There is plenty of legitimate reason for disputing- and disputing vocieferously- the dealaying of Convention. It isn't necessary to make gratuitous additions of phantom agendas.

As noted, the extension of terms of office is an effect of delaying Convention... but I think its a stretch to say the Constitution is being violated even about the shifting of proposed Convention dates. I'm pretty sure the Exec has the authority to do that on its own. My guess is that they are polling Council delegates because the last minute nature of this is not the norm. What are the reasons given that things have supposedly changed enoough that delaying was not brought up at a previous or the next Council? Put another way: is this really a consequence of factors beyong control shifting, or is there some crisis mode lack of planning going on here?

KenS

Geoff OB wrote:

If the party succeeds in proroguing Convention, they should hold elections by mail-in ballot to ensure that the legal term of office for elected officials is maintained.  Also, since they're bending the rules anyway, resolutions from riding associations should be debated and voted on at all Provincial Councils leading up to whenever the convention is held.

The legal term of office is Convention to Convention. Thats when elections are. In fact, mail-in ballots are probably simply not allowed- and would get far fewer people voting even if they were.

And resolutions can be brought to debate and vote at Councils, it is not a case of must be. IF it is customary in the ONDP that a certain number of resolutions have always brought to Council, and the present Exec has not beeen doing that, it would be a direlection. But no one has said that is happening. But not bring resolutions to Council is not a "bending of the rules".

I don't know anything about what is going on within the ONDP these days. But I do have a knowledge of NDP Constitutions, and people seem to be making unfounded claims about the Consitution and "rules".

aka Mycroft

There are two things I don't understand:

1) Would it not be possible to move the convention up to November 2010 as the Laxer/Schwartz letter suggests?

2) Why is an emergency executive and council meeting needed to postpone the convention which is over a year away? Surely there's enough time to deal with this through regularly scheduled meetings which would allow for full discussion and debate.

There's also a facebook page on this issue

radiorahim radiorahim's picture

Not sure about the internal constitutional stuff but maybe it's something simple like...the party is broke.

Convention and large conference space often has to be booked two and three years ahead of time.  Could be that they've looked at the finances and decided they can't immediately afford it...and so easier to postpone the convention/elections.

KenS

aka Mycroft wrote:

There are two things I don't understand:

1) Would it not be possible to move the convention up to November 2010 as the Laxer/Schwartz letter suggests?

2) Why is an emergency executive and council meeting needed to postpone the convention which is over a year away? Surely there's enough time to deal with this through regularly scheduled meetings which would allow for full discussion and debate.

There's also a facebook page on this issue 

The facebook page has even less information- not there is any really in the letter in the opening post- and even more tenuous claims about process.

There may be lots of legitimate beefs with ONDP governance, but this stuff sounds just plain flaky so far.

As I already said- the idea of a Convention this Fall is a non-starter. Federal election way too likely. [And proposing it as if it was simple undermines the credibility of the proposers.]

There is the question of why was this not brought up in a previous Council, or could not wait until the next one. But the fact that the Convention was expected to be a year from now is not a lot of time. There may be compelling reasons that if there is a postponement it needs to be done very soon. That isn't to say people can't expect that enough was known to have expected it to be brought up earliere- but a year is not a lot of time for bookings.

Mike from Canmore

The question is why was this turned into an emergency resolution? They knew the finances two weeks ago. They knew the deal with booking venues two weeks ago. Why was this motion not presented two weeks ago at Council? 

 

No matter how you try to spin it, the voting process being used does not foster democracy and inclusion. Lots of people got their ballots late because they were forgotten about, and many delegates and alternates still have not received their ballot. The results of this vote should not be deemed acceptable. 

 

At the heart of this controversy is that many of our members are feeling alienated. People do not find the decision making to be participatory any longer. The lack of trust is not coming from the bottom but from the top.  The top does not appear to trust the membership to arrive at decisions that are best for the party. This is suppose to be the people's party... where are the people? The NDP always does well when times are tough - yet our membership continues to drop. 

 

The problem is not a lack finances folks, it's democracy. It's time to build a party we can all be proud of. 

KenS

OK. Given that there have been a lot of accusations floating around, some of which sound pretty loose.... I'd like to hear confirmation that there was a Council meeting 2 weeks ago.

Kloch

Even if the convention was delayed due to party finances, the circumstances under which this vote was held, if true, are very odd.  I am not even addressing whether or not, in fact, what they did was even legal. 

As for the election timing issue, under our system, an election in any legislative body could be called, in theory, at any time, so that argument is not overly convincing (minority governments notwithstanding).

That all being said, nothing that gets passed at convention ever makes it into any policy statements during elections, so, I guess, once could argue that by delaying the convention, it won't really have any consequence in terms of party functioning.

Stockholm

I don't know the details of this case, but I do know that it is very routine for conventions to be post-poned for various reasons (i.e. election timetables etc...). For example, the federal NDP is supposed to have a convention every two years. They had one in January 2003 when Jack Layton became leader. They then scheduled one for summer 2005 - but it became apparent in early 2005 that parliament could fall at any time and in fact, had Belinda Stronach not switched parties, we would have gone to the polls in July '05! in which case having a convention two weeks later would have been crazy. So, the party decided to postpone the 2005 convention to 2006 and that was held in Quebec City. Another should have taken place in the summer of 2008 - but once again as it became clear that 2008 was going to be an election year - that convention was also quietly postponed to summer 2009 - which was held in Halifax.

The fact is conventions are very expensive - both in terms of direct costs and the time involved. The ONDP had a convention one year ago in March 2009 when Horwath won the leadership - it would be crazy to have another election just one year later in 2010. I suppose you could have won in spring 2011 with an eye to the Fall 2011 - but there is also the problem of timing of a potential federal electionm in Fall 2010 or Spring 2011. Without knowing ANYTHING about the reasons given for postponing the convention - it makes sense to me that you schedule the next one for early 2012 - that way it can also be a bit of a post-election post-mortem.

edmundoconnor

KenS wrote:

OK. Given that there have been a lot of accusations floating around, some of which sound pretty loose.... I'd like to hear confirmation that there was a Council meeting 2 weeks ago.

The last council meeting happened on Saturday, March 13th via conference call.

As I understand it, the reason why an immediate vote was called was because the venue (where?) was on hold for a limited time, and council needed to act now rather than wait for the full council in May.


edmundoconnor

There are two issues here:

  1. The timing of the convention. Based on what I've heard here and elsewhere, there's a pretty good case for not doing it next year (contributors might well be tapped out by both the provincial and federal parties, etc.).
  2. The way the decision to postpone was made. I recognise the political situation shifts over time, but why couldn't the issue have been brought up at full council last time around? It's not like everyone didn't know another convention had to happen sooner or later. If the issue had been tied to the treasurer's report (we're broke, and we need to raise money now), then a discussion could have taken place, a vote held and the whole thing dealt with democratically and reasonably. I remember there was plenty of time for kicking around tiny riding associations, but seemingly none for this.

KenS

Two things I would note:

1. Full Council meetings is when you would want to have this kind of discussion. a telephone conference as there was 2 weeks ago is not much better than what they are doing now.

2. As to whether they could have known there was a problem with the tentative date... its difficult to know what is a reasonable expectation of anticipation without knowing [a] how long ago the last full Council meeting was, and [b] what the tentative Convention date was thought to be.

Given that Fall 2010 would be 6 months short of 2 years [not 'the almost 2 years' claimed in the opening post, and likely to be during an election- it never should have been seriously proposed. [And yes, there might always be an election... but that doesn't mean you pay no attention. You stay away from chunks of time where elections are likely such as Fall 2010 and Spring 2011, which always leaves times where the chances are remote... such as Summer 2010 or Winter 2010-11.]

If people can make allegations they should be able to come up with simple facts like when the Convention had tenatively been pegged.

Mike from Canmore

Actually the meeting on Saturday March 13th was a Provincial Executive meeting and NOT Provincial Council. The executive meeting was called as an emergency to discuss delaying convention. 

Provincial Council, when all the delegates meet in person and vote, took place Saturday February 27 and Sunday February 28. There was also a Provincial Executive meeting Friday February 26.

So why are we circulating an email vote when we could have voted on it in person two weeks earlier at council? Also, is this vote constitutional considering many delegates and alternatives have not received their ballots and many people received their email ballots on different days?

edmundoconnor wrote:

KenS wrote:

OK. Given that there have been a lot of accusations floating around, some of which sound pretty loose.... I'd like to hear confirmation that there was a Council meeting 2 weeks ago.

The last council meeting happened on Saturday, March 13th via conference call.

As I understand it, the reason why an immediate vote was called was because the venue (where?) was on hold for a limited time, and council needed to act now rather than wait for the full council in May.


Caissa

Hi Mike...

Well someone had to say it.Wink

 

Mike from Canmore

KenS wrote:

If people can make allegations they should be able to come up with simple facts like when the Convention had tenatively been pegged.

 

No one is making allegations - we're stating the facts! Quit the spin Ken

KenS

Crisis management and episodic planning can go hand in hand with anti-democratic manipulation. But they are not neecarily related. Given the lack of dates and other info to work with, I've yet to see evidence of crisis management. But if that exists, it still doesn't mean there is manipulation.

Mike from Canmore

KenS - for dates please see post #14

KenS

What spin? More to the point- where are the facts?

I'm not assuming at all you don't have a solid case. I just haven't seen it yet. My questions about the dates are simple.

Slow response of computer: I see the Council mtg was less than 3 weeks ago, and 2 weeks before the ad hoc process for changing direction- I agree, what could change that much in 2 weeks?

But theres still the question of what the tentative date for Convention was or was thought to be.

I don't by the way dismiss that there is a case because people don't have the facts straight or make over the top allegations as I think are in the opening post.

It needs to be noted here that I'm not in Ontario, but I know that the vast majority of ONDP members would not know any more of the background than me... so my questions are relevant.

Bookish Agrarian

As a provincial council delegate I am profoundly insulted by Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Laxer's allegations that asking those elected by their riding associations to represent their interests withing the party are not to be trusted with making a decision like this. Provincial Council delegates were provided with a great deal of information, including the pros and cons of making the decision to move convention. It was all very straight forward and simply made sense to this delegate. It is arrogant and dismissive of Council members in a way that does not speak very highly of these two individuals, or their respect for the committment and work of people on Council or the Executive.

 

Democracy does not mean I get my way all the time, which some of these folks seemed to have never learned. It means there is an open process for people to make decisions that effect them. In every respect this decions, which has a time issue with the holding of a venue for convention that could cost the party unnecessary costs. Not everything is an effin conspiracy for goodness sake. If you kept your contact info up to date with the party as you are responsible for doing as a Council delegate you got this email with plenty of time to think over the contents.

aka Mycroft

Bookish, I don't think anyone said that Provincial Council was not capable of making such a decision, just that the process in which they are being asked to make this decision is questionable and does not permit a full discussion.

It's also odd that party officials suddenly realized this month that 2011 might be a problem. What new information has come to the fore now that wasn't available in three weeks ago? At best this suggests bad planning.

Olive

Hi everyone, I hope what I have to offer helps. This is what my region rep on exec had to say and I have no reason to not belive her, eventhough she admitted she voted in favor.

I always though that convetion should be postponed but I am so insulted and embarassed by this process that I voted no.

Exec members only had 2 days warning for the call. Some exec members did not find out about until afterwards.

Some exec members complained they were specifically told there would be Nnot be a vote on the call, just a discussion, but  a vote was held anyway.

Exec members did nit get a chance to cosnult theire members fo the vote. These last two were most disturbing to our rep.

She felt that those not infavor were treated unfairly and shut down.

The email vote was emailed to delegates 3 days later but there was never an email vote process created.

Not all deledgates have recived ballots. The party doesn't have email addresses for all delegates and not all delegates have emails.

Sorry to get mad at the end but this just steams me up.

 

 

 

Bookish Agrarian

Olive wrote:

The email vote was emailed to delegates 3 days later but there was never an email vote process created.

 

I can't speak to the rest of what you wrote, however, with the utmost respect possible, I have to say this is emphatically not correct.  The email Council delegates received explicitly explained how to vote yes or no by putting your vote in the subject line of a reply email and also in the text. 

Mike from Canmore

While many people probably would have supported delaying convention, many people are dissatisfied with the voting process. For many, it was the straw that broke the camel's back. People are feeling alienated. People are feeling shut down. People are feeling that the only consultation they get from the party is when they are asking for donations. It's time to change the way things are done in the ONDP. 

We have a document called The Road Ahead. It contains an in-depth consultation processes with party members. We need to start implementing that report. In the very least, decisions should be measured against the report. We need to use our executives, committees and riding associations effectively. If this direction does not come from the top then we need to start a grassroots movement from the bottom. Email your regional rep.s and tell them you want a regional council before next council at the end of May. Work with neighboring ridings to share resources. Demand an open discussion at the next provincial council to talk about democracy and participation in the ONDP. 

 

Olive

Hello bookish--what I emant was that theparty does not have an email voting method in place and should have created on first before testing on a sucha n importnat issue. In my riding we have not been able to confirm if all our deledtes have ballots and we will not be able to before 9 tomorrow morning.

If the president wanted to introduce email voting into the party, she should have asked the scertaryto created process, bring it to exec and bring t to coucnil for a vote.

I want to know if this is the new way we will make decsions or only the importnat decsions.

I will bring a motion to the next counicl, if it is not cancelled, to get rid of councils and convetions altogether because they are expense and take up time.

Does nayone  know who will be counting the votes?

Mike from Canmore

Actually Olive is correct. My understanding is that executive was denied the opportunity to discuss what the voting process would entail, although a few executives tried to broach the subject. It was not well thought out and therefore not everyone got the email. Not everyone has email! 

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Olive wrote:

The email vote was emailed to delegates 3 days later but there was never an email vote process created.

 

I can't speak to the rest of what you wrote, however, with the utmost respect possible, I have to say this is emphatically not correct.  The email Council delegates received explicitly explained how to vote yes or no by putting your vote in the subject line of a reply email and also in the text. 

JasonNDP

is it just us ondy people that wonder where the leader is on all of this? she had no problem slapping down dionovo and no problem cutting off prue. she talked about open dialogue and debate. is this not important enough for her?

where does she stand on all this and how did she vote?

btw not all ondy delegates got ballots. this all smells really bad to me

j

Bookish Agrarian

Mike what you mean is a some people were upset or question it, you do not speak for, nor could you possibly know how many. Nor do many people I see in the party jump to full on conspiracy theory at the drop of the hat.  You speak for no one but yourself and maybe a few other friends and acquaintances as I can only speak about the people I know.

I am involved in a large, national organization, we vote on emerging issues by email, exactly in this form all the time.  Maybe some of you need to get up to date instead of throwing around accusations like then mean and cost nothing.

aka Mycroft

BA, I haven't seen anyone suggest a "conspiracy theory", just a lack of democracy and poor planning.

Bookish Agrarian

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Actually Olive is correct. My understanding is that executive was denied the opportunity to discuss what the voting process would entail, although a few executives tried to broach the subject. It was not well thought out and therefore not everyone got the email. Not everyone has email! 

No actually she isn't correct and niether are you.  You are mixing up the Executive with Provincial Council.  Provincial Council delegates who made sure their contact information was up to date with the party received emails.  Delegates from out riding all recieved them.  The process for voting was very clear and only took a simple process of replying once you considered your vote- which as a Council delegate is all I can comment on first hand. 

The not everyone has email conmment, is correct.  However, I have to assume that they considered this and are taking steps.

JasonNDP

@bookish

i have no problem voting by email. but i think what olive an dmike are saying is that theer should be a process for voting by email laid out and communicated to your voters ahead of time

you say your group votes by email. was it a surprise the first time? do you have rules? were you told what the rules are?

i think it is mean to say that your fellow party members see conspiracies when they are concerned with process. i gues that means ondy is full of crazy paranoid kids.

even if one person brings up a legitimate concern about process and the concern is not disucssed, then your process is flawed

 

Bookish Agrarian

aka Mycroft wrote:

BA, I haven't seen anyone suggest a "conspiracy theory", just a lack of democracy and poor planning.

Did you read your opening post, talking about the NDP being like a rogue state and the executive giving itself an extra year of power.  Call it what you want but that smacks of tinfoil hatism to me.

Poor planning maybe, but then I will bet a lot of those complaining have never tried to plan a big event like a convention.  You routinely need to book several years in advance, especially if you want to avoid even heftier charges.  The organization I belong to and have helped to plan large national and provincial conventions for routinely books three years in advance and even then, if we try to move the location to other cities and so on, you can have a really hard time getting a date you want.  The farther out you go, the better it is for planning and cost savings.  It is basic large even planning 101, but instead some people are just assuming you can whip up a convention in no time flat.  Full of it is that notion.

Bookish Agrarian

JasonNDP wrote:

@bookish

i have no problem voting by email. but i think what olive an dmike are saying is that theer should be a process for voting by email laid out and communicated to your voters ahead of time

you say your group votes by email. was it a surprise the first time? do you have rules? were you told what the rules are?

i think it is mean to say that your fellow party members see conspiracies when they are concerned with process. i gues that means ondy is full of crazy paranoid kids.

even if one person brings up a legitimate concern about process and the concern is not disucssed, then your process is flawed

 

Again the instructions for voting were contained in the email.  They were simple, straightforward and easy to follow if you bothered to read them.

And the first time we used it was when something came up that needed to be dealt with right away and the staff of our organization came to the conclusion it was easier than trying to arrange a conference call with everyone one.  So in some ways it sure sounds similar actually.

Bookish Agrarian

JasonNDP wrote:

is it just us ondy people that wonder where the leader is on all of this? she had no problem slapping down dionovo and no problem cutting off prue. she talked about open dialogue and debate. is this not important enough for her?

where does she stand on all this and how did she vote?

btw not all ondy delegates got ballots. this all smells really bad to me

j

And the minute she did the same usual suspects would be whining she was trying to influence the outcome and bemoaning how the NDP is so autocratic.

Olive

Bookish I think you are not hearing what we are saying. The email ballot instructions were clear, but the entire managing of the voting procedure is not clear and is unknown.

If stephen harper suddenly called an election and said everyone will vote by email. herei syou ballot, email it in in tow days. what woudl you say to that?

Would you argue that he has caught up with the times and he has been clear and fair in calling the vote? would you say because theer clear instructions in the  ballot the process is fair.

In all my years with this party, this scares me. Why not consult members on cretaingthis process? 

Mike from Canmore

Don't denounce our concerns by labeling them as conspiracy theories. People have valid concerns about democracy. Don't dismiss our questions about the voting process by calling us out of date. Not everyone has access to a computer. It's demeaning, dismissive and arrogant attitudes like these that shut people down and have people wondering what happened to the democracy in our party.      

Bookish Agrarian

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Don't denounce our concerns by labeling them as conspiracy theories. People have valid concerns about democracy. Don't dismiss our questions about the voting process by calling us out of date. Not everyone has access to a computer. It's demeaning, dismissive and arrogant attitudes like these that shut people down and have people wondering what happened to the democracy in our party.      

I agree completely that your arrogant, demeaning attitude to those of us on provincial council who don't agree with your assessment sure undermines democracy in the party.  If you were raising legitimate concerns, then go to it, instead you are throwing around wild accusations without a single shred of evidence. 

And as I have said the access to a computer is a legitimate issue.  But you see the difference between us I assume the best of the people who devote a good deal of their time and resources in working for the betterment of the NDP, while you seem to assume they are just a step away from the jack boots.   Unless and until you provide some evidence that party officials did not do something to make sure those without computers were not consulted in some way you are grasping at straws to bolster your general negative attitude towards the good people who work as hard and care as much about democracy and the NDP as you do. 

aka Mycroft

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

aka Mycroft wrote:

BA, I haven't seen anyone suggest a "conspiracy theory", just a lack of democracy and poor planning.

Did you read your opening post, talking about the NDP being like a rogue state and the executive giving itself an extra year of power.  Call it what you want but that smacks of tinfoil hatism to me.

Yeah, I did read the opening post and I don't see anything in it that justifies this response by you:

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

As a provincial council delegate I am profoundly insulted by Mr. Schwartz and Mr. Laxer's allegations that asking those elected by their riding associations to represent their interests withing the party are not to be trusted with making a decision like this.

The opening post doesn't mention provincial council at all so I don't see where you read insulting comments directed at that body.

Mike from Canmore

I know for fact that not every delegate has received a ballot. Again, not everyone has email. Emails also end up in the Trash bin. People may be away. I know several alternates who have not received their ballot. I know of a president who has not received his ballot and only just learned of the vote today. Many of the executives received their ballots a day late after they emailed in and requested them. Doesn't sound like a democratic process to me. Maybe the president and prov. secretary should not be testing this out on such an important vote. 

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Mike from Canmore wrote:

Actually Olive is correct. My understanding is that executive was denied the opportunity to discuss what the voting process would entail, although a few executives tried to broach the subject. It was not well thought out and therefore not everyone got the email. Not everyone has email! 

No actually she isn't correct and niether are you.  You are mixing up the Executive with Provincial Council.  Provincial Council delegates who made sure their contact information was up to date with the party received emails.  Delegates from out riding all recieved them.  The process for voting was very clear and only took a simple process of replying once you considered your vote- which as a Council delegate is all I can comment on first hand. 

The not everyone has email conmment, is correct.  However, I have to assume that they considered this and are taking steps.

JasonNDP

@mike, bookish's tactics are not surprising. ondy reps reported the exact same tactic used on exec at the time of the call. i think this is the new regime for the party an i find it offensive

when my membership runs out, that is it and i can tell you lot's of other ondy members are saying the same thing

@bookish, you are right with keeping up with the times. lucy for us today we have other choices and can express our political will in other places, other parties, in civil society and what not

the party should always pay attention to what its youth wing has to say because they are the times

Bookish Agrarian

JasonNDP wrote:

@mike, bookish's tactics are not surprising. ondy reps reported the exact same tactic used on exec at the time of the call. i think this is the new regime for the party an i find it offensive

when my membership runs out, that is it and i can tell you lot's of other ondy members are saying the same thing

@bookish, you are right with keeping up with the times. lucy for us today we have other choices and can express our political will in other places, other parties, in civil society and what not

the party should always pay attention to what its youth wing has to say because they are the times

This is the kind of crap that makes me despair for the future of the NDP, but more importantly progressive politics in Canada.  Disagree with those who have appointed themselve as the font of all knowledge and what it means to be progressive or democratic or what have you and immediatly you are part of some conspiracy, working in concert with some malicious agenda or worse.  It happens all the time. 

I am going soley on my experience within the NDP and in other organizations and on the information contained in the email.  That's it.  There is no tactics, no nothing other than I have to wait for a repairman and so am spending more time than usual on my computer.  But of course every time you suggest that maybe, just maybe all these conspiracy theories are hooey you get accussed of all kinds of things and called names.  I haven't discussed this with anyone but people in my riding so that as a Council member I could vote in tune with their thoughts.  My entire focus has been on the question raised and what the best balance is for finances, party structure and the reality of how you go about creating a convention.  But please do continue to put jack boots on me.

Bookish Agrarian

Mycroft - Because that is the body entrusted with making this decision.  Provincal Council delegates are democratically elected by riding associations, and affiliated organizations.  They have been democratically entrusted with representing the interests of those organizations and riding associations, the open media release is suggesting, by implication and explicitly that those delegates can not be trusted to make a decision and that decision would be undemocratic if they decided differently than what the authors suggest and they somehow those democratically elected Councillors are not up to the job of making a correct decision so they have to intervene.  It is arrogant, dismissive and profoundly insulting.

And please comparing the NDP to a rogue state is supposed to be open and just them being nice folks?  C'mon. 

JasonNDP

i do not agree with rogue state comparisson. i would have used a banana or people's republic instead. it may not be a coup but it smells like one and that is bad enough

bookish can you answer olive's question a while back, who will be counting the vote?

Mike from Canmore

@Bookish I did try to find out what was being done to collect the votes of those without email. I got no response. What did you do to make sure this vote included everyone? I haven't demeaned the attitudes of council delegates. I have been asking questions about the legitimacy of the processes. So far ONE delegate - bookish Agrarian - has been dismissing my concerns as conspiracy theory and has been trying to shut me down. Maybe start answering some of my questions. Explain to me how everyone delegate was contacted. Email doesn't cut it. Explain to me why executive was not allowed to discuss the voting process. Sandra and co making up the rules as they go doesn't cut it. Explain to me why this was suddenly an emergency resolution that had to be circulated through email when we had council two weeks before hand? The onus is on you to prove why this was a well thought out and inclusive process. Why are you so determined to fight with everyone on here and defend this crappy voting process rather than hear us out and start working toward a solution that addresses these concern? You hear babblers like JasonNDP saying they are leaving the party over this. Stop shutting us down and start listening. 

Bookish Agrarian

I only saw rhetorical questions from Olive

But the answer I assume it party staff and/or the Executive as a body.  But of course those at those positions are just plain evil and we can't trust their power hungry designs.  After all it is such a sweet deal to be an unpaid member of the executive putting in endless hours and hours of unpaid work to better the NDP and the issues we care about as a party that they will probably appoint themselves for life if we don't watch them carefully - roll eyes here

aka Mycroft

Bookish Agrarian wrote:

Mycroft - Because that is the body entrusted with making this decision.  Provincal Council delegates are democratically elected by riding associations, and affiliated organizations.  They have been democratically entrusted with representing the interests of those organizations and riding associations, the open media release is suggesting, by implication and explicitly that those delegates can not be trusted to make a decision and that decision would be undemocratic if they decided differently than what the authors suggest and they somehow those democratically elected Councillors are not up to the job of making a correct decision so they have to intervene.  It is arrogant, dismissive and profoundly insulting.

Again, no one said Provincial Council is not competent to make a decision. People, including provincial council delegates, are saying that this is being done in a way that doesn't allow the body to properly deliberate and also that the vote is not being conducted in a way that allows for everyone to participate. it's a bit like saying instead of allowing the legislature to debate a bill we're going to ask MPPs to vote by email without a proper discussion.

Bookish Agrarian

Mike from Canmore wrote:

@Bookish I did try to find out what was being done to collect the votes of those without email. I got no response. What did you do to make sure this vote included everyone? I haven't demeaned the attitudes of council delegates. I have been asking questions about the legitimacy of the processes. So far ONE delegate - bookish Agrarian - has been dismissing my concerns as conspiracy theory and has been trying to shut me down. Maybe start answering some of my questions. Explain to me how everyone delegate was contacted. Email doesn't cut it. Explain to me why executive was not allowed to discuss the voting process. Sandra and co making up the rules as they go doesn't cut it. Explain to me why this was suddenly an emergency resolution that had to be circulated through email when we had council two weeks before hand? The onus is on you to prove why this was a well thought out and inclusive process. Why are you so determined to fight with everyone on here and defend this crappy voting process rather than hear us out and start working toward a solution that addresses these concern? You hear babblers like JasonNDP saying they are leaving the party over this. Stop shutting us down and start listening. 

There is no onus on me at all.  I am not the one making wild accusations.  If you simply wanted to ask questions to make sure the process was a good one, you could do that without all the rhetoric.  I have no objections to the questions -it is the characterization of motive and action I object to.  And please- trying to shut you down.  All I did was disagree with you.  I have no more power to shut you down then I do to move a 10,000 lb rock.  Give your rhetorical excesses a rest and maybe people might start listening.

Mike from Canmore

@Bookish I have been talking with Exec. members. Those that I have spoken with did not like the conference call last Saturday. They do not think the current voting process is democratic. Have you spoken with any of the exec.s? I think you are really missing it. No one is saying council can't make a good decision - we are saying that the decision making process has not been properly administered so the results can not be considered legitimate.   

Bookish Agrarian

Well Mycroft that might be your reading of it and fair enough, but please accept that it can be read another way in good conscious too.

Olive

Hello Bookish, I am probably a lot older than most of you and think I have given a lot of my time to our Party. Whya are you so angry that people are concerned with the process? If you truly worry about progressive politics in Canada, should you not encourage all of us to ask more questions, not less, always be vigilant about our democracy on every leve, not just accept what we are told.

The progressive politics I fought for was never to give up all my trust in a party, even my own. It has always been to have the right to continuously and constantly ask questions of governments, politicians, and power and expect to get answers.

Bookish, I am saddened that an obviously intellegent man such as yourself so passionately defend a process you say you have no hand in making and against us that have conerns.

Olive

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