Fraser-Nicola MLA Harry Lali issued the following statement blasting the NDP executive for the rules it has imposed on the party leadership contest:
MERRITT – It is unreasonable and ridiculous that the BCNDP would bring in new rules for submitting new memberships to the Party only 3 days before the deadline of January 17th. We are the New Democratic Party of British Columbia, NOT the Republican Party of the United States of America with Candidates for Leader spending hundreds of millions of dollars on their campaigns.
The Party first decides to give very little time for new member sign-ups, and now wants to ham-string candidates by insisting that mass sign-ups be electronically entered on to Excel Spread-Sheets with ONLY 3 DAYS LEFT for sign-ups. This is ridiculous to say the least!
To make matters worse, the Party wants candidates to give 50% of all monies raised for their campaigns to Party Central, and they have imposed an unreasonable Entry Fee of $15,000 per Entrant (up from $2500 in 2003), plus the spending limit of $175,000 which means one has to raise $350,000 to meet their top target. This begs the question: “Who is it that the Party does not want to run for Leader?”
In order for a person to enter the race he/she has to raise a minimum of $30,000 – because the Party will skim 50% right off the top of any monies raised for itself – JUST to get his/her foot in the door.
If you are an intelligent 26-year-old woman living in Penticton or Victoria with some brilliant ideas for change and renewal for the Party and for the province forget about running for Leader of the BCNDP because you haven’t got $30,000.
If you are an aging sawmill worker from Prince George or Mission and want to use 30-plus years of experience in the resource industry you might as well dash your dreams of running for Leader of the BCNDP because you’ve spent your $30,000 – if indeed you were able to save that much in this day and age – on your kids’ university education.
If you are Nicholas Simons or Dana Larsen and can’t raise $30,000 for your leadership run, you might as well as forget it, too, because “The [new] rules are designed to establish a modern, fair, and transparent leadership election.”