a week before the ndp federal convention in Winnipeg, it's not looking good for those who want to see the party morph into something new and exciting.Strike one against the New Politics Initiative is that the confab is taking place in the capital of Manitoba, a province (unlike most) where the party is alive, well, in power and decidedly hostile to the idea of shutting down the discredited federal NDP and reopening it with a new name and under new management.
Of course, since the convention is taking place on Manitoba turf, they'll have the largest delegation. You don't need to be a math whiz to figure out how hard it will be to get the Prairie folk to back a resolution perceived to be the work of radicals from BC and downtown Toronto.
To add to NPI woes, the NDP's powers that be have come up with what many regard as a clever tactic to defang the NPI: a resolution from the Steelworkers Union that will be debated first during the convention period devoted to party renewal. It contains some of the new vocabulary the NPI uses -- "a review of the relationships between the party and social movements" -- but it keeps control of the process in-house. There's no talk of a new name or a new party.
The Steel resolution will be debated ahead of the NPI's, leading the NPI's Judy Rebick and others to fear that delegates will get their fill of renewal talk on the first motion. "It's a manoeuvre by a small group at the top to maintain control of a shrinking party," Rebick warned an NPI meeting at Ryerson Saturday, November 10.
Federal secretary Jill Marzetti pooh-poohs any conspiracy theories about the Steel resolution. It's the "best iteration" of the party's renewal committee report, she explains. "That's why it was put first up."