How to participate in the NDP leadership vote

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Want to be part of the NDP leadership decision and aren't quite sure how to go about it? Well,'s got answers for you!

First of all, you need to be a member in good standing before the cut-off date. February 18, 2012 will be your last chance to join if you want to vote. Not sure if you're still a member? Email and ask them to check their active lists for your name.

If you know you aren't a member, or have allowed your membership to lapse and would like to join before the February cut-off date, is the membership form. They'll want a credit card number, but if you don't have a credit card or don't want to use one, you can opt for monthly payments directly from your bank account (minimum $5 per month).

Once you've got your membership status all sorted out, you'll probably want to know how to vote, right? There are a bunch of different ways you can use your one person, one vote. You can vote once, by preferential ballot, or vote at each round of balloting, in person at the convention itself, online and by snail mail.

You can register to attend the convention in Toronto, March 23-24 2012, here -- you'll need anywhere from $99 to $1,000, depending on your employment status, age, etc. All members are able to attend convention as a delegate.

If you can't make it to the Toronto convention but want some of the excitement of attending, you can vote online for each round of balloting. You'll need to be ready to vote throughout the day in each round of balloting as they occur. You can vote from any computer or smartphone, from anywhere, because you'll need to be following the convention closely to participate in each round of balloting.

If you can't participate on the day of the convention, or you're absolutely dead certain of the candidate you're going to vote for, you can vote in advance online. In March, the NDP will start mailing out their Leadership 2012 toolkits. The voter's toolkit will tell you everything you need to know about voting online. Don't want to vote online? The Leadership 2012 voting toolkit has a paper ballot with return mail instructions.

Remember, once you've voted in advance you won't be able to vote again so you'll want to rank the candidates 1 through 8 in order of preference.

So there you have it. Of course, you can get all of this information -- and more -- by going to the Leadership 2012 home page.

Happy voting!

Meg Borthwick is one of the moderators of babble,'s online forum.

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