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Bc Ndp Debating Union Affiliation

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An internal NDP document regarding the debate within the BC NDP on the party's affiliation with the labour movement is now available online.




Here is the dissenting view, which I agree with:


3. Some party members have expressed the view that there should be no constitutional rights afforded to the labour movement, and that trade unionists should participate in the party solely as individual members of constituency associations. We find this disturbing at a fundamental level.


We find this move towards an USA model of individual politics a very disturbing trend. The promotion of the individual approach to political parties can clearly be seen across the border. The lack of collectivism in politics has prevented our neighbours from achieving many of the achievements we have made right here in British Columbia and across Canada.


For 200 years, workers have worked collectively to gain influence on public policy and workplace conditions through their unions. Throughout that time, we have become accustomed to the efforts of business interests to restrict and deprive working people of influence.


To accomplish their goals in both public and workplace spheres, they portray our collective influence as malevolent, undemocratic, and a hindrance to progress. They would prefer that workers only participate as individual players in the workplace and in politics, knowing that an "individualized" working class will have less influence on our economic and political destiny. Accordingly, their public criticism of what are, in effect, the founding organizing principles of the NDP is unlikely to be diminished unless the relationship between labour and the balance of the social democratic movement is fully and genuinely severed. We firmly believe that as long as there is any participation by union activists in party affairs, advocacy of support for the NDP within labour, or financial support for political action, business forces will not be satisfied.

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I actually disagree. Going sololy from the quoted part (I'm still working on the entire document), it sounds as if the collectivists want to stay collective to keep the movement stronger, even if individuals within the union aren't supportive of the movement. By having unions give up some of their money to these political parties, they are taking individuals' money and spending possiblely in ways they wouldn't approve of, and thus they are forced to give up part of their wages because the majority wants to support some party. Tyranny of the majority. To take the example of the AFL-CIO, they often donated money to the democratic party, even though there was plenty of members of the AFL-CIO that found them to be as deplorable as the Republicans (a stance that I don't exactly disagree with), and those policies of the AFL-CIO have come back to bite them in the ass, as many union groups are leaving due to such political loyalties (amoung other reasons). These members should be free to donate their money in ways they see fit, even if it does mean a blow to the strenght of social democracy as a whole, I consider it a small price to pay for keeping the social democratic movement democratic.


Also, we have to come to realize that not all unions are controlled directly by the workers, and that many are directed and controlled by union managers, and considering that many of these managers are much more political/radical than their rank and file, there is a good chance that they will spend money on political parties that don't exactly represent what the rank-and-file want. Unions already have a bad reputation in many parts of Canada, why make it worse by making it seem like Unions are undemocratic and are authortarian in the way they support political parties.


With all that said, I think that both Unions and corperations/buisness shouldn't be allowed to donate to political parties, and that prematurely disallowing one's donations before the others is just going to unfairly favour the other.


EDIT: Did that make sense? I'm extremely tired, and slightly high.

Edited by TheKwas
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I just find it absolutely ironic that in every single election the Liberals cry about how the NDP is bed with the unions, and has all this union money at their disposal, and if the NDP is elected, the unions will take over the province, and other fear mongering like smearing a candidate for past union ties, when the Liberals have the exact same relationship with big business and actually get about twice the amount of money from them than what the NDP sees from unions.


Why are unions so demonized in the political sphere, when big business is just as bad (or worse)?

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