Monday, February 5, 2007

The Manitoba NDP's Betrayal : Defend Democracy and OMOV (Edited)

Democracy in the Manitoba NDP has been snuffed out, and I am absolutely ashamed to call these people "New Democrats". The MNDP convention delegates voted to restore the Stone Age Delegate System and scrap the Modern One-Member-One-Vote (OMOV) to choose their leader. The actions of 263 delegates has removed the democratic rights of many.

Interesting to note who the enemies of democracy are:

A return to a delegated leadership convention was championed by the Manitoba Federation of Labour...

Now, I am a supporter of, and a member of, unions, but it is this type of action that makes it hard to counter the allegations that unions have a extremely disproportionate amount of power within the NDP. It looks to me that this change promoted by Labour on delegated leadership conventions is a selfish one, concerned with their power in the MNDP today at the expense of the grassroots in the future. After all, it is the grassroots that fuel the operations and success of the NDP everywhere today, and trying to cut them out of the loop today will just ensure that they are gone tomorrow.

Who else supported this? High ranking NDP members. You know, the ones that are rich enough to go to a convention and influence the vote. They seem to be so complacent about their power that they should be run out of office.

But anyways, does this have implications for the Federal and BC NDP. You betcha! I will go so far to say that OMOV is in grave danger right now.

There are factions of the party, federally, that want to do away with OMOV, such as the NDP Socialist Caucus:

20. Oppose 'One Member One Vote' Polling

Whereas voting mechanisms like One Member One Vote for leadership selection and/or policy determination have further atomized the membership, and reduced collective debate, discussion and movement building in favour of an exercise in top-down, manipulative, electronic polling;

Therefore Be It Resolved that this party rejects and removes One Member One Vote as a decision-making mechanism.

With the events in Manitoba, it is easy to conceive of a scenario where the forces of elite New Democrats and Labour could act to try to snuff out democracy in the Federal and BC NDP.

As grassroots members, we must say enough is enough. We must fight to protect the democratic rights of ourselves and others. Because, it is now known: there are forces that will take democratic rights away from us. We must fight them with every ounce of strength we have.

In fact, we must work to extend democracy, and remove the weighted system regarding Labour votes in the NDP's OMOV system. Because right now, this system makes some votes more equal than others, which is something that should be avoided as much as possible (I will grant some discrepancy for geographic considerations).

Personally, OMOV is very important to me. The choosing of a leader is too important to be left by some delegate that I must trust to represent my interests. In fact, I would take the removal of OMOV in the Federal and BC NDP as a sign that the party does not care about its members, and as a result, I would take my leave.

Edit, 06/02/2007 2:00 am: Changed the tone a little bit: there were some portions that could be been construed as meaning something else entirely.

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