Welcome to the second, less frequently-posted decade of RevMod.

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Wednesday, January 08, 2003

You are Number Six

I open my NDP Leadership countdown with the only candidate of the six who would actually drive me out of the party: Bev Meslo.

While the other leadership candidates, declared and soon-to-declare (all males), have positioned themselves at the center and on the right wing of the party, there is a strongly felt need for a socialist alternative, for someone who is proud to stand on the Left, fighting for a Workers' Agenda. (from the web page)

I attended a forum in Edmonton, and saw all six candidates in action. Bev's entire pitch was this sort of pissing on the party for selling out, without coming out and saying it. I find this Buzz Hargrove-inspired "I'm the only socialist voice, I'm the only feminist voice" offensive. It dismisses the actions of dedicated, hard-working New Democrats who don't think exactly like her. There will be no room in the party for people like that when she's elected leader, which is why it must never happen.

And as for the "all males" implication, the party has had two female leaders in a row. I don't think that dismisses the possibility of a third... there could be ten in a row for all I care. But there doesn't have to be... the party doesn't sell out the day a white male takes the helm. I think we can maintain our credibility with feminists without electing a third female leader in a row.

All of her page, all of her campaign materials leave me with the impression of someone carrying a sign in front of the convention, screaming "let me in!" Thing is, the NDP isn't the G8... you can come in if you like. But you're going to have to set down the sign and join us in something constructive, instead of continuing to march and chant inside the meeting hall.

If Bev wins, I'll join the Liberal party, and begin a "Draft Axworthy" movement. And when that doesn't work, I'll quit the Liberals, too, and start my own party, because that's what good Albertans do.

The good news is she has very little chance of receiving a single ballot east of Hope. And so, however sexist it may seem, I will be using male-specific pronouns whenever I speak of the party's next leader in the generic. Because Bev is not worth the effort of an "or she".

My friends Bill and Nina are New Democrats living in Vancouver. Bill wrote me this about Bev Meslo:

I think there's one riding that Meslo could win: my riding in Vancouver East. However, Libby Davies already has that seat for the NDP. The next time the party considers a woman as leader, Libby would be the better choice.

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