Not your NDP Candidate
"I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.
The local riding executive approved my candidacy for the nomination but the NDP National Director, Ann McGrath, has not approved me and the federal NDP executive will not let me stand as a candidate."
That would be this Ann McGrath, three months ago :
"[McGrath] said her party won’t repeat the mistakes of the federal Conservatives and Liberals, whose grassroots members have complained of interference in local nominations by senior party officials."Yet they turned Manly down.
Really, NDP? This guy spent his 16th birthday campaigning with Tommy Douglas!
He made the 2009 doc You, Me and the SPP : Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule, frequently pillaged here at Creekside in the past, on his own dime after being turned down for funding by CBC and NFB.
He shot that footage you've all seen of the three 3 rock-toting Quebec police provocateurs at the Montebello protest back in Aug. 2007, and the magic disappearing act of the Toronto police at the G20 while a few black bloc rampaged through downtown in 2010.
Since then he's worked in his community for healthcare, First Nations rights, and marched to end violence against women.
His 2013 doc Troubled Waters exposes the dangers to public watersheds in Canada from private ownership, privatization, P-3s, groundwater contamination, and international trade agreements. Great film - well worth your time - and inspirational as so much of what he documents is farmers and treeplanters leading the way to protection of our water.
He's a well-known grassroots community guy working for the public good in his community long before his attempt to represent it in the next election.
So what exactly about this guy isn't good enough for the NDP? Ah, here we go ...
That's his dad, 79 year old former Vancouver Island NDP MP Jim Manly, onboard the Swedish ship Estelle bound for Gaza in 2012 with humanitarian aid, shortly before it was boarded in international waters by an Israeli security team and all 30 crew members were arrested and detained in Israel.
So Paul wrote a letter, an entirely reasonable letter: My father, Jim Manly, must be released immediately. He was also quoted in the news :
“It would be nice to hear some politicians speak out in support of a retired Member of Parliament who has stuck his neck out to help people in a less fortunate part of the world,” Paul said. “It’s kind of shocking that nobody’s said anything.”
and there was also this : Son of detained ex-MP says NDP has lost its way
As Paul notes the day before yesterday in his letter to his supporters about being turned down by NDP Ottawa:
"I have not received a written reason for this refusal and was told I will not receive a written reason. I was told verbally on the phone, that the reason was in relation to “what I said and did when my father was in Israel.” There was also concern that I was running to make Israel and Palestine an election issue.
Israel and Palestine is an issue my parents are focused on, it has not been a focus for me except for the week when my father was seized illegally in international waters and held incommunicado in an Israel prison. This was not going to be an election issue on my platform."
He ends by quoting approvingly from the NDP policy book on Israel and Gaza.
So WTF?, NDP. You may not owe Paul Manly an explanation, according to your own nomination rules, but you sure as hell owe the rest of us one.
I see a note on his FB page from CBC's Rosie Barton asking him to get in touch. Hope he does.
Update : The Star and CBC both have stories about this now. Nothing new in them except the CBC quotes from NDP Brad Lavigne's book on "bozo eruptions" and the Star says Manly alleges he was blocked "due to his comments on Israel". Fuck you both.
Thursday updates : More on this ...
"Now, it's questionable whether a single instance of past public disappointment with a party should ever be considered a reasonable basis for rejecting a candidate. In fact, a standard of "no past public criticism of one's party ever" seems sure to turn away anybody who has spoken up on any issue other than as a party cheerleader - limiting the pool of candidates either to people who have refused to serve as public advocates for their principles, or those who don't hold any principles strongly enough to speak up in their defence.
Manly's rejection in turn followed a similar story in New Brunswick. There, provincial candidate Chris Rendell had his nomination approval revoked for the apparent offence of clicking "like" on a single Facebook post praising the province's Green Party leader."
Yeah, about that, from CBC :
"[Rendell] said NDP officials showed him a Facebook page where Rendell clicked “like” to a post supporting Green Party Leader David Coon.
"The Facebook comment was made by Hugh Duncan Brown, who said: “Thank you, David Coon. This is how to fight for the people of New Brunswick. You have my vote as long as you don't have any posters of war criminals on your office wall.”
Rendell and seven other people clicked, “Like,” under the Facebook post.
The party cites Rendell’s Facebook "Like" as the reason why he is no longer a party candidate.
“I can tell you that the decision to not disqualify Chris was genuine until days ago when the liking of the offensive post was noticed. The fact is if Chris had not liked that post on June 21, he would still be eligible as a candidate right now despite whatever interest in running arose from any other person,” according to Tony Sekulich, the director of communications for the NDP."
The NDP replaced Rendell with a former Progressive Conservative MLA.
Boris at The Beav : Party Poly-ticks
Thursday at 10am :*** A letter of further clarification from Paul Manly ***
Friday : Independent Jewish Voices : NDP's anti-Palestine sentiment is part of a much wider problem
Saturday 5th : Ok, this is really not on. On CBC's The House this morning, at the 43 minute mark, Terry Milewski said :
"The by-elections of course weren't the only unfortunate news, to put it politely, for the NDP this week. You know there was a nomination issue in Nanaimo, wasn't there, with the candidate Paul Manly who was blocked. He's the son of a former NDP MP and he says he was blocked as a candidate by the NDP executive because of his anti-Israel views. It seems he blames Israel - not Hamas which runs Gaza - for the humanitarian crisis in Gaza so I'm wondering if there's still an anti-Israel streak in the NDP which keeps popping up despite Tom Mulcair's efforts to stamp it out."
An utterly unfair interpretation of Manly's position on ending the illegal blockade of Gaza, which, incidentally, happens to be the official NDP position also.
.July 17 Update : Good post from Richard Hughes :
Thomas Mulcair-Anne McGrath Stop Interfering In Local NDP Nominations which includes the text of a letter from the Nanaimo Ladysmith Riding Association protesting federal NDP interference.
IJV Letter to Tom Mulcair
Ricochet : Jim Manly responds