Stop the Anti-Equity NDP Leadership Money Grab
We the undersigned feel that the Executive of The New Democratic Party of Ontario has gone back on its commitment to social equity and in encouraging those who have been left out of our political system to become involved, by asking a $15,000 entry fee to simply participate in our upcoming leadership campaign. Whereas, the federal party asked $7,500 to enter to become NATIONAL leader, and the BC NDP asked $3,000 in a province where you actually have a reasonable chance to become government, the Ontario NDP has asked $15,000 to just put your foot in the door of our upcoming leadership race. This leadership race is an opportunity to allow new, and different, voices to come forward, whether they have a serious chance of winning or not, and influence the tone of the debate. We the undersigned feel that by setting the very entry fee at $15,000 the party insures that only those in the party elite or those with a big pocket book can participate. While it is true that the well-to-do can get a line of credit, that is not true for many people in this province among the middle & working class. We the undersigned suggest that the entry fee serves the direct and intended purpose of excluding those who might question the direction of the party tactically and politically. We would further suggest that a party that claims to want to promote women, people of colour, gays & lesbians, youth and others to a fuller participation in our political system DIRECTLY undermines this commitment, such as it is, by setting so high a fee to simply enter the race. While it is fashionable to deny the existence of class as having an impact on one\'s political point of view, it is worth noting that the least represented group in our society in terms of who holds public office are those at the lower end of the income scale. These voices, should they have wanted to be involved, are unquestionably shut out by these entry fees. Will we ever know if a recent immigrant, a young person, a single-mother, or many others left out of the present political elite, would have wanted to come forward, despite the odds, to make their voice heard. The entry fee will certainly intimidate most of them out of doing so. We the undersigned feel that this is a wrong headed, cold hearted direction for a Socialist Party, dedicated to equity, and working families, to take, and we call on the party to reverse this decision and lower the fee to a more equitable level such as $3,000 or less.