Earlier, Public Eye reported rumours the British Columbia New Democrat's provincial council would, this weekend, "discuss a last-minute compromise proposal" concerning the party's relationship with the labour movement. And now, your humble organ has obtained a copy of that proposal. According to the document, unions will still be permitted to affiliate with the New Democrats. But the number of delegates they send to convention will be calculated according to the total number of individual party members belonging to that union - not the union's total membership, as is presently the case. That will likely reduce the number of labour movement delegates at convention - although not as dramatically as the affiliation committee's majority report had initially recommended. Suprisingly, the proposal also increases the number of labour representatives on provincial council for four to six - a recommendation also contained in the majority report. The following is a copy of that proposal.
Proposal on Affiliation
Significant debate has ensued since the September Provincial Council meeting regarding the report of the Committee on Affiliation. What follows here is a model which has received considerable support during those discussions, enough to warrant consideration formally by the Provincial Executive for possible recommendation to the Provincial Council and ultimately to Provincial Convention. While asserting the principle of individual members being the fundamental building block of the party, the model acknowledges the historic and ongoing importance of Labour's participation.
* An individual may choose to join the BC NDP as an affiliated member by indicating their involvement or membership in an affiliated organization.
* All affiliated members shall be individual BC NDP members in good standing.
* Affiliated members of the BC NDP shall participate in party decision making as members of the constituency association where they reside (unless their membership is transferred to another constituency in accordance with the constitution) with the exception of selecting delegates to convention.
* For the purposes of selecting delegates to convention, affiliated members will only participate through their affiliated organization, including calculation of delegate entitlement, standing for nomination as delegate to convention, and voting for delegates to convention.
* Calculation of delegate credential entitlement will be based upon the following:
* For an affiliated union, whether that affiliation is through the unionï¿½s local, provincial or national office, delegate entitlement will be calculated by aggregating all affiliated individual members from all affiliated locals of the union or through regionally based organizations as approved by Provincial Executive.
* For other affiliated organizations, affiliated local organizations will aggregate their total affiliated individual memberships with like organizations province wide or through regionally based organizations as approved by Provincial Executive.
* The same formula used to determine constituency entitlement will be used to determine delegate entitlement for these aggregations.
* The position of a labour Vice-President and labour member-at-large on the Provincial Executive be retained (as is the current practice), and that six (instead of four) labour representatives be on the Provincial Council, all to be elected by the labour caucus at the Provincial Convention.
Below are suggested draft amendments to the BC NDP Constitution that reflect the model as outlined.