I would like to thank you all for your support and encouragement for my bid for the nomination to be the NDP candidate for the new federal riding of Nanaimo-Ladysmith. It is with regret that I write to tell you that the federal NDP has refused to allow me to stand as a candidate.
“The local riding executive approved my candidacy for the nomination but the NDP National Director, Ann McGrath, has not approved me and the federal NDP executive will not let me stand as a candidate.”
That would be this Ann McGrath, three months ago:
[McGrath] said her party won’t repeat the mistakes of the federal Conservatives and Liberals, whose grassroots members have complained of interference in local nominations by senior party officials.”
Yet they turned Manly down.
Really, NDP? This guy spent his 16th birthday campaigning with Tommy Douglas!
He made the 2009 doc You, Me and the SPP: Trading Democracy for Corporate Rule, frequently pillaged here at Creekside in the past, on his own dime after being turned down for funding by CBC and NFB.
He shot that footage you’ve all seen of the three 3 rock-toting Quebec police provocateurs at the Montebello protest back in Aug. 2007, and the magic disappearing act of the Toronto police at the G20 while a few black bloc rampaged through downtown in 2010.
Since then he’s worked in his community for healthcare, First Nations rights, and marched to end violence against women.
His 2013 doc Troubled Waters exposes the dangers to public watersheds in Canada from private ownership, privatization, P-3s, groundwater contamination, and international trade agreements. Great film — well worth your time — and inspirational as so much of what he documents is farmers and treeplanters leading the way to protection of our water.
He’s a well-known grassroots community guy working for the public good in his community long before his attempt to represent it in the next election.
So what exactly about this guy isn’t good enough for the NDP? Ah, here we go …
That’s his dad, 79-year old former Vancouver Island NDP MP Jim Manly, onboard the Swedish ship Estelle bound for Gaza in 2012 with humanitarian aid, shortly before it was boarded in international waters by an Israeli security team and all 30 crew members were arrested and detained in Israel.
So Paul wrote a letter, an entirely reasonable letter: My father, Jim Manly, must be released immediately, and was also quoted in the news:
It would be nice to hear some politicians speak out in support of a retired Member of Parliament who has stuck his neck out to help people in a less fortunate part of the world,” Paul said. “It’s kind of shocking that nobody’s said anything.”
And there was also this: Son of detained ex-MP says NDP has lost its way
As Paul noted in a letter to his supporters about being turned down by NDP Ottawa:
I have not received a written reason for this refusal and was told I will not receive a written reason. I was told verbally on the phone, that the reason was in relation to ‘what I said and did when my father was in Israel.’ There was also concern that I was running to make Israel and Palestine an election issue.
“Israel and Palestine is an issue my parents are focused on, it has not been a focus for me except for the week when my father was seized illegally in international waters and held incommunicado in an Israel prison. This was not going to be an election issue on my platform.”
He ends by quoting approvingly from the NDP policy book on Israel and Gaza.
So WTF?, NDP. You may not owe Paul Manly an explanation, according to your own nomination rules, but you sure as hell owe the rest of us one.
I see a note on his FB page from CBC’s Rosie Barton asking him to get in touch. Hope he does.
Update: The Star and CBC both have stories about this now. Nothing new in them except the CBC quotes from NDP Brad Lavigne’s book on “bozo eruptions” and the Star gets his name wrong in the dek and says Manly alleges he was blocked “due to his comments on Israel”. Fuck you both.