Proposal to limit paper applications for B.C. NDP membership going nowhere
The proposal to limit paper applications for membership to the B.C. NDP is going nowhere.
One of its proponents has indicated that the recommendation isn’t likely to make it to the party’s November convention because of the backlash it has generated. The motion was earlier criticized for being discriminatory against ethnic minorities.
“It’s very unlikely that anybody will push to have it on the floor,” Glen Sanford told the Straight in a phone interview.
Sanford is a well-known New Democrat. He was a former communications director for the B.C. NDP’s legislative caucus, and he managed the federal NDP’s B.C. campaign in the 2011 national election. He is currently with the executive of the provincial party’s Comox Valley constituency association, which originally proposed capping paper recruitment to 10 people per person per week while allowing unlimited sign-ups online.
The suggestion was adopted by Forward B.C. NDP, a group that surfaced after the party’s unexpected defeat in this year’s May election. Sanford is a supporter of the organization, whose public face is Sage Aaron, daughter of long-time Surrey–Green Timbers MLA Sue Hammell.
Aaron had told the Straight that the measure addresses “questions around bulk signups”.
Sanford also said that he has gotten in touch with Rey Umlas after the veteran NDP organizer in the Filipino community blasted the proposal in a previous Straight interview as an attempt to “muzzle the ethnic minorities”.
“I’m not going to be championing getting this on the floor because, obviously, there’s more dialogue needed,” Sanford said.
The debate around mass-recruitment drives, which typically happen during nomination and leadership races, isn’t going away anytime soon.
Former New Democrat MLA Michael Sather observed that signing up people without them knowing what and why they are joining is unethical.
The ex-Maple Ridge–Pitt Meadows representative also noted that the B.C. Liberal Party dealt with this problem in their last leadership race by adopting a weighted voting system, in which each constituency has more or less the same say regardless of the size of their respective memberships.
“The Liberals addressed it,” Sather told the Straight by phone. “We didn’t.”