Like baseball cards (without the bubble gum)

Earlier, we reported East Kootenay provincial New Democrats are calling on the party to "cease immediately" it's practice of sharing membership information with outside organizations for fundraising purposes. But, in an interview with Public Eye, New Democrat communications officer David Bieber explained that information sharing process is "extremely common. Everyone from the Arthritis Society (of Canada) to the David Suzuki Foundation does this. And we're no exception to that."

Here's how to it works: according to Mr. Bieber, the party "makes our membership list available to businesses that specifically manage the trading of (membership) lists with other organizations. So we don't just email all of our information to other organizations because that certainly would be a violation of privacy. What we do is the trade operation brokers a swap whereby we agree (to give an organization) 5,000 of our names in exchange for 5,000 of theirs. And then (the names) go only to a mailing house which deals with them strictly and confidentially." And it's that mailing house which distributes the fundraising letters. "The other organization doesn't ever see the inside information on our list."

"We also give all of our members an opportunity to be excluded from this practice," continued Mr. Bieber. "We regularly remind folks that if they want to be put on the do not trade list they simply need to call us up and their name will not be included in these swaps."

Mr. Bieber also said the party has looked into the East Kootenay constituency association's allegation that such trading has "caused a breakdown in the privacy protection of this sensitive information, on at least one occassion." But "we found there was no breech in privacy."

9 Comments

"We also give all of our members an opportunity to be excluded from this practice," continued Mr. Bieber. "We regularly remind folks that if they want to be put on the do not trade list they simply need to call us up and their name will not be included in these swaps."

I don't believe that to be true.

I have been a member for many years, received multiple mailings from various organizations and never heard of this trading from the party nevermind being given an offer to not be on the list.

New Democrat communications officer David Bieber explained that information sharing process is "extremely common. Everyone from the Arthritis Society (of Canada) to the David Suzuki Foundation does this. And we're no exception to that."

It's a dangerous practice. With the memership lists that I managed with a constituency association, under NO repeat NO circumstances were lists to be used for anything other than constituency business. This includes trading.

The parties should not be cross posting membership lists as they wrong assume that the members have the same intrests as the political hacks.

It's stupid practice and should be stopped.

I am a member of the party and have suspected that my info was being shared (the party mispelled my name on their list and I started recieving junk mail with the same typo). I certainly wasn't given the opportunity to remove my name. I actually contacted the party to determine if they shared their lists and was told "no we don't do that".

"We also give all of our members an opportunity to be excluded from this practice," continued Mr. Bieber. "We regularly remind folks that if they want to be put on the do not trade list they simply need to call us up and their name will not be included in these swaps."

I am a member of the NDP and I have never been told this. I also sit on our riding executive. Nobody there has been told this either. I hope this East Kootenay motion passes. It's time to send a message to David Beiber and Co. who are running provincial office.

Settle down, kids. The newspaper the NDP publishes has a regular ad in every issue that explains why they trade lists and how you can have your name taken off the list.

"Settle down, kids. The newspaper the NDP publishes has a regular ad in every issue that explains why they trade lists and how you can have your name taken off the list. "

That's not the point. In fact wasn't it that somehow the NDP memership list got crosslinked into the federal Liberals a few years ago?

I remember some idiot VP of a civic party asking for a list and it was eventually used for recruiting support for a federal Liberal candidate.

The NDP or any political party should not be trading lists. At all.

If I found one of our riding lists being used for that purpose, at a meeting, my solution is simple.

I'd take it.

If they want new members, do it the regular way.

Find them.

That's what the local ridings and volunteers within are for.

I'm not sure a "reverse option" to be removed from the trading list even complies with BC's FOIPPA.

The NDP in my riding, used to have a policy of offering membership lists to local municipal candidates who were pro-NDP. Unfortunately, concerns about potential confidentiality issues were never a big thing with the exec and non-members ended up getting free access to the list. I know because I was contacted by a non-member who worked as a journalist and wanted to let me know she knew.

I quietly contacted officials who confirmed the list was given out, but I am still waiting (more than 20 years), for a clarification and or apology over the ease with which non-members got access.

Of course my membership renewal payments are still pending as well.

"Unfortunately, concerns about potential confidentiality issues were never a big thing with the exec and non-members ended up getting free access to the list. I know because I was contacted by a non-member who worked as a journalist and wanted to let me know she knew.

I quietly contacted officials who confirmed the list was given out, but I am still waiting (more than 20 years), for a clarification and or apology over the ease with which non-members got access."

Wouldn't wait for the Greyhound to Calgary or Vancouver on that one. Ain't gonna happen.

Some other party ran into the same problem. Some idiot didn't keep to the rules and return or destroy the list despite being told repeatedly to do so. Idiot kept the list and insisted it was still accurate despite the real one being revised more than once over the time period idiot had his.

That idiot is somewhere in the paid system
within a current political party getting nice pay.

The NDP should be hollering over that trading lists back and forth.

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