Wednesday, July 02, 2014

Paul Manly - Not your NDP's candidate

Not your NDP Candidate

Dear Mid Islanders, Friends and Supporters

"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 : 

NDP’s new national director promises open nominations

"[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.”

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 ...

Excellent piece from Greg Fingus@Accidental Deliberations in the LeaderPost [italics mine]:
"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.

Also : John Baglow at Rabble and on Dawg's Blawg : Paul Manly and "today's NDP"
Boris at The Beav : Party Poly-ticks
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


ron wilton said...

The federal NDP would be well advised to rethink this position, but when has the NDP ever really listened to their grass roots.

I get the feeling their motto is "My mind is made up and if I want anything from you it is money'.

Anonymous said...

The next time anyone hears from the NDP, they should just say PAUL MANLY and hang up. If enough people do it, they'll get it.

Anonymous said...

I sent them (the NDP)a message about it. Don't know if it'll do any good, but maybe if enough people do they'll be forced to respond. Thanks for notifying us about it Alison! :)

West End Bob said...

Organized politics sucks no matter the party.

Vote your conscience whatever the party affiliation - or, hopefully - no affiliation. You'll sleep better at night . . . .

deBeauxOs said...

Is the NDP doing this, and adopting neoliberal policies to make itself more palatable to voters who would "naturally" vote for the CPC & LPC, in order to win the next federal elections...?

They will lose many supporters' votes. Will this Mulcair-led engineering, informed by polls and non-NDP focus groups prove to be a winning gambit? I think not.

Boris said...

I have no idea what the NDP thinks it's doing, but it certainly doesn't involve being clear about their motives and intentions to the public and their supporters. Some people might call this dishonesty. At least you kind of know what you're getting with the other two parties.

Anonymous said...

Alison, I know you've been a longtime supporter of Manly's work but is it not not possible that Manly has some politically embarrassing skeleton in his closet that we don't know about?

Dr.Dawg said...

Excellent post. Gave you a shout-out at my place, and on Rabble.

Evil Eye said...

Manly could run as an independent and in BC, independents have somewhat of a chance to win.

I would say, that the Federal NDP leave as cold as a corpse as they would sell out BC faster than either than Trudeau the Younger or Herr Harper.

Run as an independent and campaign against NDP hypocrisy, at least it would give the voter a cut and clear choice.

Boris said...

Anon, the NDP HQ decided that they did find something that looked them like an embarrassing skeleton, which is why they sunk the nomination.

The idea that politicians have become grey blobs with nothing like a clear opinion on anything to appeal to voters is why we're in this mess.

Alison said...

Hi all and many thanks for your comments and links. Forgive me if I don't respond to each here - no time.

Most importantly please see this morning's letter from Paul Manly in the many updates to this post.

In my entirely unsupported opinion, the NDP's decision to reject Paul may well have been influenced by not wanting an environmental activist MP sitting right across the Salish Sea from already sitting NDP MPs like Burnaby MP Kennedy Stewart who have already outright rejected pipelines running across BC.

Phil said...

responding to "anonymous" - this is precisely what the federal office is allowing to happen by refusing to provide to the candidate factual reasons for being rejected. If the matter were embarrassing I think the candidate would not make an issue of it. It is character assassination by silence, referring to past candidates who were eliminated for very good public reasons. The NDP party is acting like the catholic church with victims of sexual abuse - the victims are told to keeep silent for the good of the church and not to create scandal, even told that to speak about abuse is sinful. Confidentiality cannot be used as a shield to defend personal bias and ideological narrowness. When a candidate is rejected by a secret tribunal and refused to be allowed to know what are the FACTUAL reasons, I think we should suspect the institution and not the candidate. The National Director of the NDP is quoted as saying that the party would respect local autonomy in the selection of candidates and would promote openness and democratic principles. Well - a few months later, we could almost think that Harper has instructed Mulcair on how to control his party members.

the salamander said...

.. perhaps Canada will begin to value non partisan independant MP's.. exemplars who earn the respect of many of their neighbors and get elected.. then go to Ottawa and actually do something.

The current trogledite model is obviously a complete failure. ie The Harper Party Government whose MP's seemingly are being blackmailed, their ignorance and behaviour is so bizzare. How they got elected even more bizzare. Calandra? Adler? Anders? Butt?

And how does Kellie Leitch avoid resigning? What with her unresolved conflicts of interest undeclared..

Does anyone think Joe Oliver actually represents his current riding? He's from Montreal for gawds sake..

The system is broken.. and now Harper is simply toying with it as if its a sandbox and the toys are his.

Anonymous said...


Go figure?


Man From Atlan said...

I didn't leave the NDP, but, the NDP left me. Been disappointed so many times before, this just one more nail in the coffin.

Expect to lose in the next election.

e.a.f. said...

They rejected him on the basis of what his father did? Oh, boy......
There really has to be more to it than this. The Jewish vote isn't that big in Canada, nor would it cause him an election if he were the candidate. Lets hope the party simply knifed him because they want to parachute someone else in.

I thought his Dad was a bit crazy for his antics and that includes the rest of the ship of ......., but to deny him the right to run as a candidate, not so much. that is just too anti democratic for me.

some one must believe the NDP has a chance of winning the next election and hoping there are no idiots in the ranks, but hell, it was just all those "off the wall candidates from Quebec that got Mulcair the Official opposition position. Like give your heads a shake there party boys and girls in ottawa.

this guy is running in B.C. Have they taken a look at the demographics in this province any time lately. Perhaps, libby Davies could explain things to them.

MyPetGloat said...

Another reason to vote ABC in the 2015 election. Mulcair is a former Charest Liberal cabinet minister. The NDP in Ontario and elsewhere in the country is compromised. Shifting right like every other goddamned party in this country. There is simply no point in laying your life on the line for any party. Harper needs to GO and the only way we can get rid of him is by voting strategically. The Liberals and the NDP are each too invested in their own narcissism to care one iota about putting Canada first. They are still bickering and back-stabbing and behaving like fucking idiots dividing the liberal vote.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like the same assholes that organized the NDP's election shit show in BC. Really can't see The NDP doing anything in 2015 with the media all ga ga over the Liberal empty brained Trudeau not to mention all the empty brained voters in Canada. We are all our own worst enemy.

Jan Slakov said...

Party politics can be so frustrating. But when we give up on electing good people, we allow those who want bad people elected to win! There are great MPs and great people in politics. I might not have been able to say this some years ago, but we did elect Elizabeth May in 2011...

Alison said...

While I still think this was a cowardly PR decision on the part of the NDP brass - if indeed there's no more to Manly being given the boot than what's been revealed so far - for an idea of what the NDP is up against here, check out the Saturday update to this post for Terry Milewski's quote about Manly and the NDP on CBC's The House yesterday morning.

From a purely strategic pov, Harper's wedge strategy on Israel has been quite effective here. It's unlikely there are *any* lefties who are ok with the illegal blockade of Gaza so in successfully portraying that position as a probable cover for nascent anti-Semitism, Harper has goaded the NDP into censoring, silencing, or driving away a large part of their traditional base.
Not that I think Mulcair needed much prodding here ...

Anonymous said...

Great idea ... good way to reply to party emails as well

Anonymous said...

Thomas Mulcair appears to be letting his personal biases silence himself and the NDP party regarding the great tragedy and injustice of a genocidal and apartheid state of affairs in Israel.

“My in-laws are Holocaust survivors. Their history is part of my daily life. That’s why I am an ardent supporter of Israel in all instances and circumstances,” Mulcair explains.

It's understandable, of course, that he feels a certain way as husband and in-law. However, in a leading position with a political party of conscience Mulcair must remove his personal blinkers.

Henry Siegman, president of the U.S./Middle East Project, executive director of the American Jewish Congress from 1978 to 1994, and former executive vice president of the Synagogue Council of America, among others, shows what Mulcair is missing:

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