Rule Changes Roil NDP in Canada

Union members across Canada are expressing concern over an apparent change of rules regarding New Democratic Party (NDP) leadership following the death of long-time NDP leader Jack Layton.

“The IAM will abide by the rules as they appear to be set, but we voice a strong objection to a simplistic one member, one vote leadership process,” said General Vice President for Canada Dave Ritchie, who represents more than 40,000 IAM members in Canada.

“Removing the weighted vote from the leadership process removes the weight of those organizations representing Canadian workers and goes against the founding principles of the party,” said Ritchie.

The NDP was created in 1961 by an historic partnership of the Co-operative Commonwealth Federation (CCF) (forerunners of the NDP), and the labor movement and the Machinists were very much a part of that creation. This created an alliance between organized labor and the political left in Canada.

“Under this new system I question who will represent organized labor and how,” said Ritchie.