No free vote if you’re an NDP

There is absolutely no straying from party doctrine when your an NDP, otherwise you will have to do as Mrs. Bev Desjarlais, and find yourself another party. Bev Desjarlais, the only NDP MP to vote against the same-sex marriage bill last spring, has lost her NDP nomination for the next election for doing so.

This decision is somewhat understandable as same-sex marriage was a key issue in the NDP platform; but in an era of pressing the free vote, to me, this seems a very harsh penalty from a party that appears to portray a more gentile, friendly, and forgiving persona.

Mrs. Desjarlais has already stated that she will run as an independent in the next election this spring, but may begin sitting as an independent as early as next week. As an MP since 1997 for the Churchill riding, Mrs. Desjarlais’ may be a seat the NDP can kiss good-bye.

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7 Comments

  1. Manatee said,

    Tuesday, 18 October 2005 at 8:52 am

    Let’s remember that she was still allowed to sit in caucus, and allowed to run for the nomination. She was simply defeated. There certainly is no injustice here.

  2. RP. said,

    Tuesday, 18 October 2005 at 9:20 am

    I wish Layton had have been more harsh on Desjarlais. If it were something smaller than say, fundamental human rights, or something that wasn’t an essnetial plank of the platform, I would’ve been glad to see any MP follow their conscience. BD voted against the essential humanity of homosexuals, and for that I applaud the Churchill riding association for putting principle before politics.

  3. O'Smiley said,

    Tuesday, 18 October 2005 at 12:24 pm

    I didn’t say there was any injustice, not that you are saying that I said there was an injustice. As I pointed out in the post, this move is quite understandable and I would expect it of any political party.

    What I was trying to point out is that a free vote can’t be expected of any party, even the “lovey-dovey” NDP. Because of this, the NDP can never argue that the Government does not allow enough free voting from its members. The NDP have demonstrated what will happen, at the very least, if you do vote freely.

    Thanks RP for finding our Blog.

  4. Stevo said,

    Wednesday, 19 October 2005 at 5:32 pm

    Gay marriage is such a trivial topic in the world today. I’m amazed anyone cares. With the world in such chaos and so unstable why do we bother arguing about same-sex marriage. I think Liberals, Conservatives,Human Beings need to focus on the real problems in the world such as the wealth gap between nations, pointless wars, and helping develop ways to combat hunger and disease. Twenty years from now no one will care about same-sex marriage, it will be mainstream and part of who we are. Just like divorce and abortion, people’s personal freedom will outweigh any argument stopping it. I appreciate O’Smiley not so cleverly pointing out obvious political hypocrisy but lets all stop wasting time and talk about real problems that MATTER.

  5. Manatee said,

    Wednesday, 19 October 2005 at 6:05 pm

    It is important that all affronts to social justice be addressed in the political arena, whether they will be solved in twenty years (wishful thinking), or not. Just because SSM is now legal in Canada does not mean that homophobia does not continue to exist in our society and that this should not be a concern, alongside the other affronts to social justice you list, Stevo.

  6. O'Smiley said,

    Wednesday, 19 October 2005 at 8:36 pm

    Unfortunately Stevo, the problems that “really matter”, such as the examples that you have provided (wealth gap, war, poverty) are based on the fundamental difficulties of humanity, specifically personal and social greed, core social and cultural beliefs, and the insurance of personal welfare over societal welfare. These problems are very complex and although they can be debated, resolution of such problems is far from our reality. The problems of the wealth gap, war, and poverty will not end until humanity as a whole evolves and cooperates.

    Although these are very interesting topics to discuss and debate, they are far from the scope of this blog, Current Canadian Political Affair; hence my post, and all posts regarding such issues as SSM or world poverty, have been merely from a Canadian political standpoint.

    Thanks for your comment though Stevo, your comments on any issue are very welcome nonetheless.

  7. O'Smiley said,

    Wednesday, 19 October 2005 at 8:47 pm

    Manatee – regarding such issues as Homophobia, this is a social/cultural issue that I don’t think can be “fixed” persay. I don’t believe that you can convince someone suffering from homophobia to change, just as you can’t convince a racist to change. These problems can only be changed over generations with changing cultural and social morality.


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