I’ll put down this marker right now, and I’m guessing that I can speak for many others too. Anjali Appadurai is likely to be an approved leadership candidate, very few memberships are likely to be terminated as a result of the internal investigation raised as a result of some publicly available information hinting at the potential of bad actors trying to influence the membership vote.
Anjali Appadurai was an approved federal candidate in the last election for the NDP and almost won a long time Liberal seat on the power of her candidacy. If she’s good enough to pass the federal NDP vetting process, she’s good enough for the BC NDP too.
Nobody has a problem with this. Any member in good standing can apply to seek the nomination of a federal or provincial riding association, seek an internally elected position or stand for leader of either party. This isn’t the issue.
Anyone can join the party too. Remember, however, that a political party has the right to set rules and conditions for obtaining and maintaining membership in a party. Most parties – as they’re in competition with each other for the same electoral contests – forbid memberships of people who retain a membership in another party.
Obtaining membership in an organization by means of deceit or fraud is illegal. I’m not sure which laws are broken, but I’m certain that its unlawful. The memberships gained in such a way would rightly be terminated, plus any and all evidence of said fraud should be forwarded to the appropriate authorities for possible legal sanctions where they may apply.
When we heard of the general fuckery regarding a possibility of some activists “paying” for others’ membership – a practice flatly banned by law, many of us were alarmed. Immediate links to the BC Liberals own leadership/membership fiasco were made – we don’t want to follow those foot steps.
The current flap is nothing more than a narrative trap. It should not be controversial that a party seek to assure its membership base is legitimate and that its leadership election process is without issues. Yet addressing the concerns and complaints made, any attempts to dig into the matter and the party is accused by some of being under the influence of the ‘good old boys’ network.
Attacking those who defend the party and its REQUIREMENT to audit and examine memberships in light of the allegations made is turning into an exercise in gaslighting.
Just. Fucking. Stop.
Defending the party’s attempt to identify fraudulent memberships is not somehow undemocratic; its protecting the integrity of the vote itself. For folks on the right to attack the NDP for this; well that’s what they do best…attack. But for folks on the left to adopt some of that ‘anti-elitist’ language you often hear in Qanon circles, well that’s an extra level of absurd.
We pay membership dues and make donations not just to fund the various campaign needs we have, but to maintain a party infrastructure – equipped to deal with a mess like this. We want the leadership election process to be untainted. To fail to do so, means that we’ll have equally embarrassing and potentially worse outcomes.
The BC NDP are not the only political party where potential fuckery happens in the lead up to a leadership contest. Most of the federal parties, even the federal green party has had issues. This year, they booted Quebec Green Party leader Alex Tyrrell as they seek to renew their leadership from the last time they had a tainted leadership contest.
I don’t care that Anjali Appadurai is seeking the leadership of the BC NDP, and if I’m disappointed by anything its that only two names came forward for leadership. But this is where we are.
Members will have to decide which leader works best for party unity, setting government policy for the remainder of the term, and who is best to lead the NDP to a winning result in 2024.