NDP activists from over a dozen riding associations and youth clubs, from Windsor-West to Willowdale, from Thornhill to Oakville, gathered at the Bahen Centre, U of Toronto on October 29 for the official launch of the Campaign to Restore Democracy in the Ontario NDP.
After hearing from panelists Diana Andrews, Tristan Ridley and Barry Weisleder, and forum chair John Orrett, the meeting debated and adopted the statement of CREDO aims and objectives (below). It approved the motion (further below) to be presented to the Ontario NDP provincial council meeting on November 19. The CREDO steering committee expanded and a good collection provided funds to help publicize upcoming events. Thanks to Ross Ashley of St. Paul’s NDP, his video/audio recording of the proceedings will be posted on YouTube.
The key task now is to rally as many New Democrats, youths and labour activists to the November 19 ONDP provincial council meeting for a debate, likely to begin shortly after 9 a.m. at 89 Chestnut St., where delegates will vote on principles of party democracy. If you are able to come early and assist with leaflet distribution, staffing an information display table, etc., please respond to this e-message and/or call: 416-535-8779 now.
Concerning a resolution/constitution amendment, aimed at reducing the power of NDP officials to interfere with the local candidate selection process, or to overturn convention-approved policies, the meeting struck a committee to work on that. It will recommend and circulate a motion everyone can take riding associations, youth clubs and unions for endorsement and submission to the April 2012 ONDP convention.
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The aim of this campaign is to engage as many members of the Ontario NDP as possible who are seeking greater accountability, transparency and democracy in our party. We want to ensure that the party membership’s power to decide party policy, tactics and strategy is respected and implemented by party officials and staff. In order to fulfill these aims this campaign sets out the following goals:
1. To establish that each NDP riding association is the paramount deciding body concerning the determination of the NDP candidate for its own riding, and
2. To establish that the Ontario NDP convention is the primary and final deciding body with regard to party policy, tactics, and strategy, and
3. To limit and clearly define the situations in which party officials and staff may override candidate nominations and convention-based policy, and
4. To require that changes in party policies, or any actions that contradict such policies, implemented by party officials be ratified by a 2/3 majority of the provincial council, within two weeks immediately following the change in policy or procedure. Should such a motion fail, the policy reverts to that which was established by the convention. The same requirement to have an imposed change ratified by members applies to a riding association affected by a decision by party officials to block or rescind a nomination.
The motion that we will present at the ONDP provincial council meeting on November 19 i the following:
“Be it resolved that ONDP Provincial Council express its disapproval of the decision to prevent Diana Andrews from seeking the NDP nomination in Etobicoke North and the decision to rescind the nomination of Barry Weisleder by Thornhill NDP, and hereby Provincial Council supports the appeals made by those members and Thornhill NDP.”