Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Sid Ryan's nomination run in Oshawa yet another federal NDP debacle

Just over two months ago the Parkdale NDP engaged in an epic debacle of a nomination meeting whose optics were appalling by the standards of any observer outside of the party who is not a bigot. The photos from it, frankly, are shocking and we have looked at them before on The Left Chapter in several posts.

This was followed by the shameful ousting of Nova Scotia candidate Rana Zaman for comments she made about Israel. The NDP has a long tradition of censoring and blocking candidates who are outspoken about Israeli Apartheid. One of them, Paul Manly, has since been elected as a Green MP.

And now it would appear that Sid Ryan -- the well known militant labour leader and former head of the Ontario Federation of Labour who has actually run for the NDP both federally and provincially before -- has been de facto blocked from running after the federal party dragged its feet in approving his attempt to get the nomination in Oshawa.

Ryan posted of this publicly on Facebook August 28:

This all has echoes of Fred Checkers, the creepy avatar the federal NDP HQ invented in 2015 to spy on potential candidates.

As I noted then this type of behaviour is:
...indicative of so much of what is wrong with mainstream bourgeois politics.  Tightly scripted, poll-driven, messaging aimed at ever smaller groups of "wedge" voters, run entirely by the leader and their staff and inner circle, largely fatuous and specious rhetoric and with ever smaller differences of any meaning between the lot of them.
It would appear that Sid Ryan is the latest casualty of a long standing, right wing NDP trend. 


  1. It's disappointing that this had to make it's way onto social media. Anyone who is directly involved in the vetting process for this election is very aware of the problems and issues that we have been facing as potential candidates, riding associations and election teams. The process is taking a lot longer than it should due to unforeseen staffing issues, which is no excuse moving forward but I think it to be irresponsible for a potential candidate to air their discontent on social media in a letter to the leader.

    We are in the biggest fight of our lives in this country with respect to this next election. We are facing a planet that is on the verge of destruction, increasing poverty, food supply shortages, a water crisis, right wing extremism, homelessness, increased crime levels, an opioid crisis plaguing our communities, rampant out of control capitalism, and the list goes on.

    I can't say that I don't see the things that Sid has brought to light as being a major issue in this election for this party. What I can say is that we need to stand united as a party to fight the right winged agenda that is plaguing our political landscape not only in this country but all over the world. If we have issues, grievances, concerns or just have something to say, I would hope that we would be grown up enough to keep it off social media and deal with it properly.

    Just my 5 cents.

  2. Thanks to the anonymous contributor above who has taken the time to rightly chastise the Left Chapter for daring to share public statements that point to the growing implosion of the Northern Democratic Party. Is it not clear that at this point the ONLY way to save civilization and the planet from the Right is to unite behind a party that has carried out countless rightwing austerity attacks on public service unions and programs since the 1990s (including the current massive campaign against public education in BC)? Forget about what the NDP does in power (e.g. billions in working class tax subsidies to the fossil fuel cartels); once again, we must offer them our unconditional support because they are always there for working people except when it conflicts with the priorities of the corporate rich, sorry, the wealth/job creators as Andrea Horwath correctly puts it at Chamber of Commerce pander-fests.

    Party partisans are unable and unwilling to acknowledge, let alone deal with the NDP's self-inflicted existential crisis. There is no democratic corrective mechanisms in the party that can undo the Augean stable of rightwing muck collected over the decades. And so desperation in its flailing attacks against a rival rising party that also mixes progressive pretension and conservative policy is about the NDP faithful's only option. That and the Homer Simpson approach to political some point in the political struggle, hide under a pile of coats and hope that, somehow, things work out.

    Left Chapter should be doing its part and get under that pile of coats rather than publish and comment on juicy tidbits like this Sid Ryan letter.

    Sincere and comradely regards,

    Gabriel Haythornthwaite