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Delegate says 'filibuster' stymied NDP name change debate

The NDP name change never made it onto the table yesterday after what some delegates called a filibuster.

The NDP name change never made it onto the table yesterday after what some delegates called a filibuster.

The motion to consider dropping the “New” from New Democratic Party was sixth on a list of items to be debated over one hour at the federal NDP convention in Halifax.

But the first item – a serious of constitutional changes – took up 57 minutes.

“It’s filibustering,” said one delegate who wished to remain anonymous.

“The opponents of the name change have organized to try and stall. And they’re doing a pretty good job.”

The delegate said such moves aren’t unusual at party conventions.

“It’s one of the tools you have when you oppose something. Rather than tempt fate with a vote, you try to make sure there’s no vote,” he said.

Those opposed to the name change were highly visible at the convention as they passed around orange buttons showing just the letter "N."

In public debate and private conversations many NDP members could be heard deriding the name change as a diversion from bigger issues, both within the party and in the media.

“It’s been a distraction right now,” said Nova Scotia MLA Lenore Zann. “There’s so many more important issues that could be discussed.”

 
 
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