NDP policy party - Macleans.ca

NDP policy party

The official opposition gathers to sort itself out


Before the Liberals confirm Justin Trudeau’s leadership announce the name of their new leader in Ottawa this weekend, the New Democrats will hold their biennial policy convention in Montreal.

Postmedia has an overview of the 432 policy resolutions that have been submitted—the full list is here. Greg Fingas offers a New Democrat’s perspective.

For those who want to see concerted action against tax havens and unbridled financial speculation (including a Robin Hood tax), an increased focus on social and community ownership and employment rather than capital interests, and a move away from corporate self-regulation, the NDP’s economic resolutions address all of those issues. 

For those interested in social issues typically ignored by Canada’s other political parties such as focusing on intergenerational fairness, basing policy on the social determinants of health, expanding and strengthening of the Canada Health Act, and eliminating mandatory minimum sentences, those subjects will also be up for discussion within the social investment panel. And for those wanting a trade policy which doesn’t handcuff Canadian governments, a system to protect the rights of temporary foreign workers or an explicit focus on diplomatic measures over military action, the panel on Canada’s place in the world will address all of those possibilities.

Greg also looks closer at resolutions on the economy and the environment.

I’ll be in attendance from Friday through Sunday. Before then, I’ll have a post on the democratic and parliamentary reforms that will be up for consideration.


NDP policy party

  1. Great timing.

    Is anyone going to ask the NDP about this resolution?

    NDP campaign volunteers want the party’s staff to treat them in an “equitable and humane” way, says a policy resolution that might be debated Friday.

    The resolution, 7-15-13 Resolution on Volunteer Equity, was submitted by the Oshawa riding association.

    It says that the party’s federal staff has expressed and/or exhibited “confusion” over whether “being nice to volunteers is a job requirement during recent election campaigns” and that since volunteers are not unionized and not protected by collective agreement, the federal NDP should adopt a “Code of Conduct over the equitable and humane treatment of campaign volunteers.”

    The Code of Conduct should be drafted by a majority of volunteers and include a “equitable and meaningful grievance procedure for volunteers along with disciplinary measures for any staff who breach the Code.”

    A grievance process??? For volunteers? WTF???

    What the hell happened in Oshawa to trigger this?

    • Yikes! This is what happens when we allow rampant democracy to break out.

    • Maybe you’ve never worked on an election campaign ?

      • Yes, I did on a municipal one. The person I volunteered for had no such confusion as to whether “being nice to volunteers” was a good idea or not. He did not force me or any other volunteer to draft a “Code of Conduct” by which he would abide. And if I had ever had a “grievance”, there was a rather simple recourse. I could have simply stopped volunteering. That’s all the “procedure” that should be required of any volunteer.

        Seriously, this is the official opposition? These are the guys that want to run the country? I can only imagine what the bureaucracy would look like after a couple of years of NDP government if this is the kind of red tape they want to put around simply volunteering for an election campaign.

        • I’m sure the federal Pay Equity Commissar will weigh in and demand that the exploitation of campaign volunteers cease immediately, and that volunteers be paid on a scale commensurate with their effort and skill level, as determined, of course, by the administrators of the current 5-Year Plan.

          • OR (what I think is more likely), somebody on the ground in Oshawa got their dander up in a disagreement with the NDP head office during the last election, and is now publicly expressing their displeasure post-kerfuffle with this proposed policy measure — a thumb in the eye to whoever pissed this Oshawa volunteer off. That, to me, seems the most logical explanation, based on the snarkiness of the proposal. At least, for the sake of the NDP, I hope that’s what it is. Otherwise… what you said.

          • Yes, all volunteering must be controlled by the volunteer czar. Under-the-table volunteering will be forbidden. Perpetrators, those who dare to volunteer WITHOUT following volunteer policy, or those who dare to take advantage of volunteers, such offenses will be punishable by hard labour in Siberia.

        • A grievance procedure for volunteers! Turns the whole concept of volunteering on its head!
          And yes, the fact that they need an actual policy for this, rather than just have normal human interactions! These guys are the kings of bureaucracy! Even volunteering requires a contract and policies and grievances.

  2. “an increased focus on social and community ownership and employment rather than capital interests”
    But remember — they’re NOT socialists – cuz they say they’re not (sort of) in their new mealy-mouthed preamble to their Constitution — if they manage to pass said mealy-mouthed preamble . . .

    • They’re evil Bean, pure evil.

      • Hey, they’re the ones that are shirking and hiding under the bed from the word socialism, not me. Why can’t they just be up front about what they are? I have far more respect for people like James Laxer and Judy Rebick, who come right out and proudly proclaim that they’re socialists, and seem prepared to carry out an adult dialogue on that basis. Isn’t the real question why it is that socialists, and an avowedly socialist party, feel this need to cover up the fact that they’re socialists? They’re every bit as pathetic as those Quebec separatists who do everything in their power not to use the word “separatist” — including on referendum ballots which are quite clearly intended to result in, ahem, separation.

        • It’s like Amway: they won’t say it, but that’s what they’re selling. Semantical BS.

        • “Why can’t they just be up front about what they are?”

          You mean like Harper and the CPC core who don’t dare run as real Conservatives lest they get run out out of power …thus they pretend to be liberals with an attitude..I guess they can afford to become real Conservatives once they finally hit the opposition benches once again?

          Is that what you meant by being up front about what they are?

          • Last time I checked, the word “conservative” figures fairly prominently in the name and constitution of the Conservative Party of Canada. Thus I don’t think they can be accused of running from the word “conservative”. So today’s lame false equivalency award goes to you. Thanks for coming out.

          • No my friend, keep it, it’s all yours for intentionally misconstruing my meaning. Lame just about nicely covers it, for you at least.

          • Yeah you are right; lets clarify what kcm2 was trying to get at: while the NDP are trying hard to avoid the word “socialist”, the CPC is trying hard not to follow conservative ideals / policies.

          • Well, then you must be very happy with them, no? Doesn’t that mean they’re being progressive?

          • No; they are trying hard to be populist.

    • It’s almost as bad as the CPC’s constitution which makes no mention of socialism despite their policies of maintaining socialized medicine and funding such outrageous socialist programs like public libraries.

  3. Okay I get it, socialism, ha ha …

    What about the platform proposals? No one wants to defend corporate self-regulation, marijuana criminalization, tax havens? Weakening the Canada Health Act?

  4. 432 policy resolutions! Jeepers! I knew there was a reason why i never joined the NDP. Who do they think they are…the general assembly of the UN?

    What i doubt they will address is how they are going to square the circle of having a very tenuous power base within QC and yet still hope to made inroads into the CPC vote in the RoC in ’15.

    More and more it looks like their road to real power looks like running right over JT and the liberals rather than SH and the Tories…good luck with that boys.Nobody knows how to cook up the fudge necessary for making this country work like the Liberals; and the chef Trudeau mark 2 is about to hit the kitchen.
    I don’t have a lot of sympathy for them. Perhaps they genuinely think signing QC up will get us all singing from the same dipper hymn book; but it does at least look as if under Mulcair they have doubled down on dividing Canadians, rather than pretending/hoping like the rest of us that this odd little country keeps on keeping on more in practice than in theory.

    • What’s your objection to member resolutions? You prefer to just pay your party dues and have the rainmakers decide?

      Not that the NDP always follows through, the provincial ND parties have a history of ignoring some provincial resolutions once in power but they at least have to answer for that at the next convention. I just wonder why you have an issue with grassroots party participation.

      • I wasn’t entirely serious. Just the number i find daunting.
        I’m a sort of grass roots liberal myself, so i shouldn’t really have any objection to how other parties carry on. It just seemed a bit of an NDP stereotype…never leave any problem or injustice unexamined.
        But as you say its better than just getting your marching orders from party HQ. Just tiresome – for me at least.

        • Know what you mean. Party organizers like Topp spend a lot of time trying to prevent these resolutions from defining the party much like Harper has to keep a lid on the social conservatives, but I think the party knows it’s better for having a sincere left wing than without.

  5. Is is too late to ask the NDP to include a policy resolution that this guy is a freaking bonehead that doesn’t deserve to sit in Parliament?

    Where the f**k are you, Wherry, when guys like this come out of the woodwork for any party other than the Conservatives? This is a “bozo eruption” of the highest order that you’re pretending not to see.

    • I’ll see your NDP MP and raise you a Clement, Poilievre, Van Loan, Anders, Goodyear, Toews. del Mastro . . . . well, you probably get the picture

      • Exactly my point. When they say something stupid, we hear about it. For day after freaking day.

        • Most probably because they keep up a steady supply . . . so many sources, and all so prolific. Plus the fact that as members of the party that has control of government (are all the members named actually members of the government?) they are under more scrutiny.