Defend Democratic Rights in the SC and the NDP
xxxxxxx at xxxxxx.xx
Fri Jun 23 18:10:42 MDT 2000
The following is an email I sent to the NDP list in defence of the
rights of the Socialist Caucus as well as the rights of dissenters
within the SC:
(In response to someone who said in regards to the SC being a "party
within a party" "if it walks like a duck and talks like a duck..."
Funny, I recall that Senator Joe McCarthy said exactly the same thing.
I'm disturbed by the direction that [you are] taking this discussion. I
am arguing for respect for democratic rights and free speech within the
Socialist Caucus and some, like Thomas, are leeching on to this to argue
for the exact opposite within the NDP. Just as I should not be expelled
from the Socialist Caucus for expressing my opinion or challenging its
leadership and direction neither should the Socialist Caucus be
threatened with sanctions from the NDP for wanting democratic rights and
free speech within the Party. What is needed is a political revolution,
if you will, within the Socialist Caucus ie a democratization of its
internal regime so that it can effectively push for democratization of
the NDP as well as a reorientation of NDP policies. The Socialist Caucus
cannot do this as long as it is subject to an undemocratic internal
regime. This is the problem.
I warned Joe Flexer that announcing my "resignation" would have the
unintended consequence of raising the whole, bogus, "party within a
party" issue but he was confident that he could deal with that. However,
Joe's failure to deal with it, by evading the issue rather than taking
it head on, does not mean that those who are now opportunistically
taking advantage of Flexer's blunder are right to begin a witch-hunt of
the Socialist Caucus.
Most democratic political parties in the world, the Parti Socialiste in
France for example, openly recognise and allow the formation of
tendencies and factions within their party. They recognise that this
freedom of organization is an essential part of democracy. Why is the
NDP so afraid of it?
If the Socialist Caucus is a "party within a party" then so is the
leadership faction of the NDP which acts in a sometimes secretive way to
plan and preplan its moves. Don't tell me there are no informal meetings
by the leadership faction prior to executive meetings and other
important events in order to plot strategy? There are even factions
within the leadership faction. Don't tell me you never heard of the
MacKenzie faction and the Lewis faction?
The only difference between these factions and the Socialist Caucus is
that the Socialist Caucus is not in leadership, is in dissent, and
advocates socialist policies which are in the interests of the working
class. If you move against the Socialist Caucus it is not because it is
a "party within a party" because, as I've pointed out, there are many
parties within the NDP. If that's your reason for moving against the SC
you'll have to also move against the Lewises and the MacKenzies. No, the
real reason you are against the Socialist Caucus is its politics which,
rather than being hostile to the NDP are actually the closest thing
today to a true expression of the interests of the working class the NDP
claims to defend and the closest thing ideologically to the views
expressed by the women and men who met in Saskatchewan in 1933 to write
the Regina Manifesto.
Xxxx Xxxxxx mailto:xxxxxxx at xxxxxx.xx
Check out the Socialist Alternative website
Join SALT-L, the Socialist Alternative mailing list:
More information about the Marxism