Monday, December 13, 2004


Underbelly News
Downtown Eastside


At the December 5, 2004, NDP Van-Kingsway nomination meeting, serious irregularities occured and if proven accurate, are a serious affront to democracy.

Here is a listing of just a few of the problems which took place.

1) The provincial executive of the NDP took over the nomination meeting by expelling the duly elected constituency association. The provincial executive's lame excuse for taking over the nomination meeting is that an executive constituency member was an endorser of one candidate, namely, Alicia Barsallo. It seems that a perception of bias could have been easily addressed by requesting that the executive member withdraw from participating in the nomination process.

2) There was no control over the ballot books between the first and second ballot. It seems that many individuals who left after the first ballot didn't need to turn in their ballot books. Many left them behind on their chairs and unamed individuals, scooped them up and voted under the guise of being someone who they were not. It seems that this issue may have been resolved by implementing a preferiential balloting system. This would have been fair since the winning candidate, namely Mr Dix, hadn't received 50% plus one on the first ballot. Since, the third place candidate, threw his support behing the second place candidate, perhaps, big labour's chosen candidate-- Mr Dix--probably wouldn't have won the contest.

3) No privacy for voting. It seems that people had to vote from their chairs where in very cramped quarters, others could view their ballot. This process in itself is blatantly unfair, wrong and irresponsible. Voting at nomination meetings should always be by secret ballot. This ensures a neutrality. Whenever, there is opportunity to intimidate, a skewed result will always occur.

The executive of the Van-Kingsway NDP are calling for a re-vote and new nomination meeting . In light of the irregularities, the leader of the NDP, Ms Carole James, must investigate. She must exercise leadership by overturning what has turned out to be a farce of a nomination meeting.

If Ms James lacks the strength to stand up to the big labour boys who conducted the meeting, I suspect voters may question her leadership qualities by refusing her the opportunity to govern this wonderful province.

Jamie Lee Hamilton