16 August 2009

Dipper doodles: NL First meets the (N)DP

Scanning the list of resolution at this weekend’s (N)DP convention – the “New” is optional -  someone from Newfoundland and Labrador might find it all very curious.

There’s a resolution to reorganize the party’s national executive board.

The resolution provides for two seats representing all of Atlantic Canada.

Four provinces:  two seats.  Ontario gets two seats on its own as do Quebec and British Columbia.  But according to the (N)DP,  seven of the 10 provinces in the country have to be bundled together in clumps to equal the other three provinces on their own.

The very attitude so many Canadians have fought against for decades is enshrined as (N)DP national policy in how the party governs itself.  The Liberals and the Conservatives both have representation on their national executives by province. 

Good enough for Grits and Connies.

But not for Dippers.

This must not be sitting well with such long-standing and hard core (N)DP types as Ryan Cleary, he of the Newfoundland and Labrador uber alles wing of the party.

Cleary has set as his goal improving the “long-term status of Newfoundland and Labrador” so it must be tough having to start by trying to sort out the headspace of his fellow (New) Democrats on top of all his other challenges.

Now almost certainly some irked Dipper will point out that there is representation for each province on the national council.

But take a look at the revised structure of that council.  Each province gets one member.  But where party membership is over 5,000 in that province, there’s another member.  And there’s another for province’s with more than 10,000 (N)DP members, and so on.  That sort of structure obviously favours more populous province’s like  - interestingly enough – Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec.

The run-up to the next election could turn out to be really fascinating for political watchers, but not because the (N)DP can’t figure out what to call itself. 

Nope.  There could be a little war brewing between the party and one of its wannabe candidates.


Quagmire update:  At this writing (1015 AM Eastern) The convention wound up moving two separate motions to refer the resolution back to committee to reconsider the representation issue for both the Prairie’s and Atlantic Canada.

How did this get out of committee in this state in the first place?