Monday, August 27, 2007

NDP Won't Campaign on MMP

Today, a good source told me that the NDP, in consultation with caucus members and the party's election planning committee, has decided against actively campaigning in favour of MMP in the upcoming provincial election. Although the party supports the proposal, the party will not focus on electoral reform as a campaign theme and candidates will be advised against advertising their support for MMP in campaign literature.

Some New Democrats felt that actively campaigning in favour of MMP would hurt the party since the proposal is likely to fail. Others did not want the NDP exposed to allegations that it was violating the campaign finance rules set up by Elections Ontario in relation to the referendum. Another view was that the party did not want to alienate supporters who did not support MMP.

Instead, the NDP will focus its campaign around developing clean energy and the promotion of anti-poverty devices, like increasing the minimum wage. The party believes these issues are good wedge issues because they contrast well with the Liberal Party's support of nuclear energy and the McGuinty government's support for MPP pay raises.

***UPDATE*** Read my response to some of the comments below here.

12 comments:

Dr.Dawg said...

There are times that I'm ashamed to be a member of this party. They never fail to sell out when no one's buying.

Dissidence said...

First they won't campaign on fairness in Ontario schools (that is, a single, unified, secular school system) and support the status quo instead. Then they won't campaign on MMP. I guess this protest movement really is becalmed.

I've vote for the NDP in every election- federal and provincial- since I turned 18, but these are ntwo damn gtood reasons to vote Gree now. Let's see what else the NDP can do (or fails to do).

I'm curious to see how prominantly anti-scab legislation, card check certification, and protection for farm and domestic workers figures in to the party's campaign....wishful thinking

Lord Kitchener's Own said...

I was told that political parties aren't allowed to campaign either for or against any particular outcome in the referendum (individual members of course, can act on their own).

This is what's in the campaign regulations:

"Individuals or groups who choose to advertise in favour of one outcome or the other will be required to meet financial disclosure and reporting requirements. For example, those spending over $500 on advertising must register with Elections Ontario and file a report detailing advertising spending and contributions. Political parties and constituency associations will be prohibited from registering." (emphasis added)

I'd love to see all the parties campaigning in support of the "Yes to MMP" side in the referendum, but I'd chalk up this refusal to campaign on the MMP side to "legally barred from doing so" rather than anything else. If anything, it would seem to me if they were thinking of actively campaigning on the MMP side, that they may have been thinking of deliberately breaking that regulation (civil disobedience?).

I don't think any of the other parties has taken a side on the referendum question. Have they? If so, I think they might have broken the law.

Dissidence said...

ugh. My spelling on that last post was awful.

Saskboy said...

Oh there's a big surprise (sarcasm). The SK NDP is only 16 years into power, and still no electoral reform here...

Cue Leftdog to come in and apologize for their two faced nature on the subject of electoral reform.

Wilf Day said...

This is a mischievous post.

The Ontario NDP Council discussed as long ago as May 6 that it agree with the Vote For MMP Campaign that the party should not try and put itself in charge of the Yes Campaign, and alienate supporters of other parties who could be persuaded to support MMP. This was the consensus of all involved.

"Others did not want the NDP exposed to allegations that it was violating the campaign finance rules set up by Elections Ontario in relation to the referendum." Quite true.

"Some New Democrats felt that actively campaigning in favour of MMP would hurt the party since the proposal is likely to fail." No one has said that. "Another view was that the party did not want to alienate supporters who did not support MMP." No one has said that either.

Uncorrected Proofs said...

Wilf,

You know as well as I do that NDP strategy is not crafted at NDP council. It's crafted by the caucus and the election planning committee.

A good example was the party's position on post-secondary tuition in the 1999 provincial election. The NDP convention and council endorsed the position that an NDP government would work to gradually reduce tuition until it was abolished over several years. However, once the campaign got underway, the EPC changed the party's position so that abolition was no longer on the table, but that a modest reduction in tuition was features in the NDP platform.

Another example would be the ONDP's position on banning corporate and union donations. The 2000 convention voted against the resolution, but afterwards Hampton and the the President of the OFL unilaterally declared that the party had changed its position and was now in support of the initiative.

I could go on all day with examples. The point is that what was said at an NDP Council has little effect on the NDP's electoral strategy which is crafted in the backroom.

Mark Greenan said...

Yeah, I don't get the point of this post ...

Do we want WANT the NDP campaigning on MMP? Frankly, I don't see it as important. There are many better things the Ontario NDP leadership can do to support MMP than campaign on it.

Dr.Dawg said...

Damn, UP, I think I have to stand corrected on this without further info. I jumped too soon, and I've embarrassed myself. I trust Wilf, and his comments are helpful, but LKO's comments are right on the money.

May we expect a clarification?

Damn.

janfromthebruce said...

Election planning committee needs to run on one school system, but alas, they will just throw money at education and get lost in the war on education.
Too bad. It is a vote-getter!

Saskboy said...

Why can cabinet members announce their favour [or not] of the proposal then? Isn't that essentially campaigning.

Uncorrected Proofs said...

Dr, Dawg, See my comments and my newest post for a clarification.