TORONTO – If anyone thinks these people are a serious alternative to the other “big tent” parties, they need to give their head a shake. No, I am not going to apologize for not reading the Constitution of the Ontario NDP. There is no need to do so at this point.
Judging by what they did in the last election and what they issue in their press releases, I may as well dust off one of the prescribed reading texts from university days: The Revolution of the Saints, (predestination politics) A Study in the Origins of Radical Politics, by Michael Walzer. It is “a study, both historical and sociological, of the radical political response of the Puritans to the disorder of the day. It interprets and analyzes Calvinism as the first modern expression of an unremitting determination to transform on the basis of an ideology the existing political and moral order”,( according to a summary in Wikipedia)
Today, the NDP “leadership contest must generate enthusiasm for the Ontario NDP, its ideas and principles”. I am guessing there must be a Catechism somewhere. Their rules seem to be so faith-based that one gets the sense that they are trying to reverse the concept of separation of Church and State.
The leadership candidates “must be positive, inclusive and accessible; and grow the membership of the party including prioritizing growth in equity-deserving communities.” Who is to judge which communities are so deserving? Under which criteria? Good luck in achieving a consensus.
Even in simple calculations involving numbers (like, are you supported by more “bodies” than the next person) you might need an advanced model of technology to calculate the answer to the question “who wins?”. At first it would seem fairly straightforward: the winner garners ”greater than 50% plus one from all the ballots cast”.
Hold on. Only after that candidate secures “signatures from 100 NDP members who live in at least four of six geographic regions of the province”. It seems almost commendable that the new leaders go out of their milieu and send out search parties to find other believers outside their own bailiwick.
Do you still have your calculator? From here on the NDP deal with percentages, no longer with absolute numbers. “At least 50 per cent of each candidates’ signatories must be women.” Some functionary, in the deep, dark, denizens of the party will have established a bullet-proof method to check that without offending all sensibilities of propriety and the Human Rights Code.
Next, “At least 25 per cent of each candidate’s signatories must be equity-seeking NDP members, including Black, Indigenous and racialized members.” What does one do if they are not equity seeking? Does the Party attribute that “quality” to them without exposing itself to allegations of engaging in pigmentation politics irrespective of merit?
Of course, by now, you may have already surmised that the easiest way to satisfy the “numbers requirement” is to simple recruit only women.
At any rate, the seemingly simple democratic principle that the person accompanied by the most bodies wins is thrown out the window the moment the Party accepts the concept of a “one member-one-vote weighted to 75% and votes from affiliate organizations weighted to 25%”. In the first case, you receive three votes for every four recruited, in the second you will receive one for every three signed up.
The inescapable conclusion is that the Party is neither new nor democratic. It is Moralistic and radical.
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