For Immediate Release
Today the New Democratic Party Socialist Caucus, a network of thousands fighting for a new, socialist direction for Canada’s labour party, joins with MP Niki Ashton and high profile NDP members like Svend Robinson and Sid Ryan, in protesting the undemocratic process which is denying party members their right to choose local election candidates.
The federal NDP Candidate Search Committee has unduly delayed or blocked socialists and other progressive party members from seeking the NDP nomination in several electoral districts. Janet-Lynne Durnford in Simcoe North dropped out because “the party’s delay in my vetting has made it impossible to run an effective campaign”, she told CTV.
The apparently rigged process denied the application of Socialist Caucus chairperson Barry Weisleder to run for the nomination in University-Rosedale, delayed the vetting of Sid Ryan in Oshawa (causing him to withdraw), failed to vet Socialist Caucus activist Robbie Mahood in Mont-Royal, and unjustly rescinded the nomination of Rana Zaman in Dartmouth Cole-Harbour.
After waiting four months to be vetted, Weisleder, who joined the party 52 years ago, had his appeal turned down. Thus, the only vetted applicant in Uni-Rose is set to be acclaimed. “Bureaucratic measures from the top down, designed to filter out leftist candidates, are a major reason why the NDP has approved candidates in only about half of the 338 electoral districts, with voting day less than seven weeks from now”, Weisleder said.
“The flagging NDP election campaign can be saved and strengthened if the clamps are removed from the nomination process, if grassroots members of the party are allowed freely to elect a candidate in each and every district, and if the leadership emphasizes socialist policies, especially on the environment, public ownership, non-precarious jobs, and for a just foreign policy. The NDP can show that it is a labour-based, working class alternative markedly to the left of the Liberal and Green parties. There is still time to turn left and to win.”
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