Does it apply to a party? If the NDP are the New Democratic Party, shouldn't they be, at least, democratic? From Same-sex bill passes 158 -133:
Let's take this from several angles. Again, before you thump me, I disagree with Bev's stance, but I respect her right to disagree. Also, I'd much prefer an NDP government to a Liberal one, warts and all - at least then we'd be arguing policy and not corruption.
[NDP] Party Leader Jack Layton immediately stripped [Bev] Desjarlais of her post as party critic for foreign aid and transport and sent her to the Commons back benches.
Layton had ruled his caucus was not free to oppose the bill because it involved minority rights.
First off in a party that should believe in democracy, I'm a big believer in free votes. All Members of Parliament, regardless of political stripe, should feel free to vote as they want without fear of negative repercussions. If your party cannot come to a consistent message within like-minded individuals about a piece of legislation then either (a) your message isn't clear enough, or (b) your fellow party member doesn't agree with the proposal.
Second of all, what does being the foreign aid / transportation critic have to do with not supporting SSM? One minute she was the best for the job, the next, because she opposed SSM, she's not capable of being the critic? That's not it? Then what? Jack's got to punish her somehow and then just put some monkey in that's always going to tow the party line on everything without question? That's what the left needs, another automaton.
And third of all (my most contentious argument), is that Mr. Layton said there could be no free vote because it involved minority rights. Well, there was some question regarding the protection of religious rights. If Ms. Desjarlais believed the bill was not protecting religious practitioners, does that not contradict Mr. Layton's stance on protecting minority rights?
At any rate, I'm starting to hold to the belief that the Green Party might be a better fit for the NDP slot in Parliament. Maybe I'll review that in a different post.