Monday, May 04, 2009


The Star Phoenix reports on the initial results of the Saskatchewan NDP's investigation as to the member lists submitted last month:
An investigation by the Saskatchewan NDP into the work of one its leadership campaigns in the Meadow Lake constituency has found names of people who don't want to be members but had memberships purchased for them.

The NDP has pulled more than 1,100 memberships sold by one campaign in the northern constituency and is contacting as many people as possible to confirm their memberships.

"This is someone who was overzealously working to renew memberships," said NDP provincial secretary and CEO Deb McDonald.

Purchasing memberships for other people is not illegal under party rules.

The investigation started Friday and will continue until this evening, when the results will be handed over to the leadership committee that governs the campaign, McDonald said.
In a constituency where members usually number around 400, the large number of returning forms raised eyebrows. The party received phone calls from current members and leadership campaigns.
An unknown number of the memberships have been purchased for people who did not want to be members.

"If we find 1,000 of the 1,100 are invalid, we'll remove them and destroy them," said McDonald.

The party can track which campaign sold the memberships through forms that must include the signatures of people, usually associated with a single campaign, who sold them.
Now, there may be some room for debate as to whether or not the party's solution goes far enough. In effect, the people signed up without their consent are being given a chance to get around the membership deadline which applies to everybody else in the province - which would be avoided if the party's question was whether the people involved actually signed up before the deadline, not whether they want a membership now.

But at the very least, the investigation looks to have undone a strong majority of the damage which might have been done if the list had been left as submitted. And we'll find out before long whether the campaign representative responsible will in turn face the music for what looks to have been a highly dubious tactic.

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