After many missed deadlines, unexplained delays, and false starts, it is time to address the New Democratic Party’s Convention failings.
Members at the 2018 Convention in Ottawa passed a clear resolution to Modernize and Democratize the Convention Resolution Process (7-45-18). It directed the Federal Council to “conduct research into methods of modernizing and democratizing the resolution prioritization process.” The resolution required the party to “disseminate a proposal at least 10 months prior to the next convention… directly to members” and “within four months of that convention, the National Director [must] operationalize an online mechanism for presentation, discussion and prioritization of policy resolutions.”
Today, it is less than a month before the party’s 2021 Policy Convention. While we are aware work is in progress, it is unacceptable to see that none of the resolution’s deadlines or milestones were met, despite postponing the Convention for a full calendar year. Members to this day still have no understanding on how they will participate in their own party’s convention. Do not let them tell you it cannot be done because delegates to the Liberal Party convention have been prioritizing and debating their resolutions since February 19th and have already published the results.
Digitalization of Convention may simply look like the natural result of COVID-19, but a more democratic policy process has been a demand fought for by countless riding associations and allied organizations (Courage included). This resolution was meant to be a long overdue step to end the closed-door system of unknown prioritization committees and Convention re-prioritization panels at inaccessible times. In the 21st century, we can move beyond this inaccessible system and encourage participation of NDP members across the country to set the policy priorities of their party.
We are dismayed that the NDP has failed to meet the deadlines set by this resolution. It is unacceptable that the NDP continues to leave its membership in the dark about how they will participate in this crucial democratic process. We must be vocal to ensure that the NDP adheres to the will of its membership by implementing a democratic prioritization system immediately.
Join other delegates fighting for transformative change at convention
Courage will be active and digitally present at convention, offering a space for progressive delegates to connect and collaborate. If you would like to join other delegates fighting for transformative change, please sign up to join our NDP Convention Organizing List.