No, I’m not there… but I was planning to go. I had my accomodations secured and the bus schedule researched, but in the end it’s the NDP and I’ve got CPAC.
It’s a good thing I didn’t shell out for an observer pass because from what I hear from some conservative ‘friendlies’ at the conference, the “party of openness” has closed it’s policy meeting doors to the public.
First, we learned that the NDP had intended to keep its draft policies secret until today (until I ruined that for them on Monday). Now we learn that media and observers are barred from the policy discussion meetings. From a media relations point of view, perhaps this is wise as grassroots NDP members have claimed that Canadian troops in Afghanistan are acting “like terrorists” and that George W. Bush has committed Nazi-like war crimes in Iraq. But as the New Democratic Party of Canada purportes to be a transparent democratic institution in this country — a party that would seek government — closing doors on policy discussions to observers is troubling.
Information from behind those closed doors has leaked, however, and we’ve learned that the NDP youth has voted 175-0 on a motion to remove Canadian troops from Afghanistan.
Peter Stoffer now seems to be the only NDPer who actually opposes the NDP stance on Afghanistan. Time will tell how long it will be before he’s Desjarlais’d.
UPDATE: Just received some audio from a reader who’s at the convention… click here to listen.
On the rationale for the closed-door policy discussions:
“Sometimes people are worried how debate may look on television”