My name is Barry Weisleder. I am a union organizer and a proud socialist — working to put socialism back in the NDP.
It’s time for a Democratic Revolution in Canada and the NDP.
On veut des représentations proportionnelles au Parlement et un contrôle par les membres du message que ce parti présente à l’électorat. Nous nous battons pour la classe ouvrier, et non pour ce que les Libéraux appellent la classe moyenne. (translation: We want proportional representation in Parliament and membership control of the message this party takes to the electorate. Our fight is for the working class, not what Liberals call the “middle class”.)
The NDP should stop apologizing for being a labour party. Working people make the country run. Workers should run the country.
With real wages frozen for 30 years, and deep in debt, workers need a raise. A minimum wage of $18/hour would be a good start. We need homes, not bombs. We need trains in Canada, not tanks shipped to Saudi Arabia. We need schools and hospitals on the ground, not CF18s in the air. The NDP should fight to make the polluters pay, to build renewable power, not pipelines. Let’s uphold indigenous people’s rights, not condone corporate blight. We demand fair trade, not CETA and the TPPA.
C’est maintenant qu’il faut un contrôle public et démocratique de l’économie. (transl.: Now’s the time for public and democratic control of the economy.)
That’s the way to provide useful, well-paid employment for laid-off oil workers, for farmers and fisherfolk suffering from the effects of climate change, for youths and minorities stuck in McJobs, facing a precarious future. Isn’t it crazy to rely on monopoly control by giant banks, greedy telecoms, big pharma, agribusiness and WalMart, and to expect anything other than de-skilling, speed-up, growing inequality, social decay, and racist police violence?
Our struggle is not for a ‘balanced’ budget.
It’s for a Workers’ Budget that puts people before profits. Yes, we will balance the budget – on the back of Conrad Black, on the family fortunes of Thomson and Irving, the Westons, Pattison, Desmarais, Richardson, McCain, Munk, Stronach, Peladeau, and all the non-elected barons of Bay Street.
By taxing their off-shore billions, and by conscripting their trillions in fixed assets, an NDP government will have no trouble leading the transition to a green and democratic economy, and setting an example that just might save civilization on Earth.
En tant que président du parti, je veillerai à ce que les campagnes électorales du NPD reflètent les priorités des membres. (transl.: As President of the party I will work to ensure that NDP election campaigns reflect members’ priorities.)
By devoting 80% of convention time to policy debate we can reason together. I will oppose any move to rescind or block a candidate nomination for reasons of political difference within the frame of our principles. Candidates who have the courage to stand up for Palestinians, and oppose the Zionist apartheid state and NATO, should be praised, not punished.
Les congrès du NPD doivent être plus accessibles aux travailleurs, aux femmes et aux pauvres. La règle serait de baisser les frais d’inscription et de subventionner davantage les déplacements. Je vois le NPD comme le parti du travail et des mouvements pour la justice sociale dans les rues, pas seulement au Parlement. (transl.: NDP conventions must be more accessible to workers, women and the poor. Lower registration fees, and bigger subsidies for travel should be the rule. I see the NDP as the party of labour and social justice movements in the streets, not just in Parliament.)
I will push the party to invite more unions and community organizations to affiliate. More of the money raised should go to EDAs for year-round local organizing and direct participation in the class struggle. The huge economic barriers to run for NDP Leader should be removed.
Many hard working party supporters gave millions of dollars for a campaign they hoped would offer a real alternative to austerity and inequality. Now they want their money back. Much more discussion is needed at the local level about NDP aims and policies.
Members want real in-put, instead of dinner time donation calls, instead of seeing the resources of the party used to lobby members to give the Leader one more chance, instead of telephone ‘town halls’ where tough questions are filtered out.
Why am I running for President? To give members a voice, to give delegates a choice, to keep hope alive. At a time when the NDP is at 11% in the polls, when more NDP supporters say they’d vote for the Liberals than the current NDP leader, we need a change of direction. We need to go back to the future – to the working class roots of the party. Together we can put democracy and socialism back in the NDP, and build the cooperative commonwealth in our time.