Stuart Parker trashes proposed amendments to COPE bylaws
A high-profile member of the Coalition of Progressive Electors has accused the executive of trying to "prevent ordinary voters and social movement activists from setting the party's direction going into what could be its last election campaign".
Stuart Parker, a former leader of the B.C. Green party, declared in a lengthy blog post that the COPE executive is bringing forward bylaw amendments next month to insulate itself from being defeated at a June nominating convention and a July annual general meeting.
According to Parker, members will be asked next month to approve the creation of "equity representatives" on the board.
Equity caucuses will elect these representatives, boosting board membership from 12 to 16.
"Effectively, this means that the current Executive may determine the composition of the four equity caucuses which, in turn, elect four members to the Executive," Parker wrote. "This is a political feedback loop whereby the current executive can insulate itself against the democratic will of the members depriving it of its majority at the Annual General Meeting."
Parker also described how a new code of conduct allows the executive to fire candidates for civic office, even if they've been nominated by the membership.
According to Parker's blog, the code of conduct applies to COPE candidates. They must refrain from speaking against or criticizing COPE policy "in any public forum or communication".
That includes in media interviews or statements, candidates debates, web comments, emails, blogs, and on social media.
"Obviously, whether I choose to remain active in COPE will depend on how this meeting goes in March," Parker stated in his post. "There is little point in participating in a party that has so completely rejected democracy in favour of the pettiest, most small-minded personality cult."
Parker never named former councillor and COPE internal chair Tim Louis in his post.
However, Parker didn't leave a lot of ambiguity about who he was referring to by claiming that the bylaw amendments would turn marginalized people into "tokens or pawns" for a West Side lawyer and "his handful of long-term toadies, yes-men and financial dependents".