Toronto Star columnist Linda McQuaig is seeking the NDP nomination for the by-election in Toronto Centre.
So what, you might ask. Well, Linda McQuaig happens to be a FATCA supporter and cheerleader, see this post on Brock referencing what McQuaig said in her book more than a year ago
I don’t live in Toronto, and I don’t know anyone who lives in Toronto Centre any more (though I did live in that riding for a couple of years in the early 1970s). I am a life-long NDP voter (with the exception of one election when I voted Liberal), I am a current member of the party, but have no vote in the selection process for that riding.
If the NDP candidate in my riding were someone who supports FATCA, I’d vote Green or maybe Liberal — I sure as hell wouldn’t vote for that candidate in either a by-election or a general election, and I bloody well would vote. FATCA violates Section 15 of the Canadian Charter of Rights of Freedoms, as well as our banking and privacy laws. Do you want someone representing you in Parliament who is prepared to let the United States trample all over Canadian sovereignty and your rights and protections as a Canadian resident? No matter what party they purport to represent?
I urge anyone visiting this website who is an NDP member to do as I’d do, but before that, if you’re an NDP member in Toronto Centre, I urge you to contact anyone you know on the riding association, and also your favourite alternative to McQuaig for the nomination, and mention what’s wrong with McQuaig’s position on this issue, how upset you’d be if the party were to nominate someone who thinks FATCA is a good idea and who supports American over-reach into Canadian and other countries’ sovereign right to have their own banking, privacy and human rights laws, and how nominating such a candidate will cost the NDP a vote in the by-election and maybe also in the next general election. Maybe cc the email to Tom Mulcair at the same time. And do mention that you’re a party member — they’re more likely to pay attention to your email, I hope.
In fairness to McQuaig, and acknowledging a good point made by Tim in his post on this subject at Brock, you should also cc McQuaig on your correspondence, and/or maybe first (or at the same time) write to her and ask her if she still holds with her previous stance on FATCA. It’s a fair question – and if you’re a member of the Toronto Centre NDP, it’s also a very fair question to ask at the nomination meeting when the candidates face the members before the vote!
You might also mention that McQuaig’s stance is diametrically opposed to the position taken by the entire BC NDP caucus more than a year ago, when they wrote and signed a joint letter to Flaherty expressing opposition to any Canadian compliance with FATCA. So what exactly is the NDP’s position on FATCA (a particularly good question to ask Mulcair if McQuaig wins the nomination; I’ll be asking him and my MP that question if that happens).
If McQuaig wins the nomination, I suggest voting Liberal in the by-election (unless you seriously think the Greens have a snowball’s chance in hell of winning the riding, or unless you actually think having a Conservative in that riding would be a good idea, which I don’t).
I think this could be an excellent opportunity for Brockers and Sandboxers to raise Canadian awareness and to send a few cannon-shots-across-the-bows at MP-wannabees that this issue is going to affect votes in the next election. That’s what democracy is for, and so far it’s what we still have in Canada.
And let’s not just target NDP riding meetings on this issue — this question is fair game for any Tory, Liberal or Green nomination meeting too (though the Greens are more on-side and consistent on the FATCA issue than anyone else except the NDP’s BC caucus).
Final afterthought: if you know anyone who lives in Toronto Centre who is an NDP member or supporter, please forward to the link to this post. I’m not sure what the deadline is for getting a party membership in time for the nomination meeting, nor when/where the meeting is, but it should be easy to find that out. Party membership is (or was, last time I did it) $25 a year, you only have to do it once and have to certify you aren’t a member of another party, and if the deadline hasn’t passed, you can go to the nomination meeting, ask questions and vote. If I resided in Toronto Centre, I’d consider that a good investment in striking a small blow or “mosquito bite” against FATCA.