Monday, July 10, 2006

The NDP is having a convention and I’m invited!

Got an e-mail from the NDP today, they’re having their national convention in Quebec City in September and I’m invited! OK, so it was a bulk e-mail sent to everyone on their mailing list, but still, it’s nice to be wanted, isn’t it?

Out of curiosity, I went to the Web site to check out their delegate fees. Here they are:

Early-bird registration

(registration payment sent on or before July 7th)

Youth Delegate $50
Unwaged Delegate $50
Regular Delegate $95

Alternate Delegate $95

Regular Registration

(registration and payment after July 7th)

Youth Delegate $65
Unwaged Delegate $65
Regular Delegate $175

Alternate Delegate $175


$30 per day or $75 for 3 days

You also have to pay for your travel, accommodations, and meals.

Now, this isn’t a leadership convention, but still, would someone please tell me how the NDP can make their convention work at $95/head, but the Liberal Party needs to charge $995? Granted, the Liberal fee includes some meals, but we’re not talking Filet Mignon here. Travel and accommodation is still extra.

I’m aware of the Liberal travel subsidy program, but still, this gap is insane, and given donation limits that program may need to come to an end. As much as I want to go to Montreal, I’m having a hard time justifying $995 plus travel and accommodation. Besides, having donated more than $5 already something would have to give.

But donation limits aside, the LPC needs to work to bring delegate fees down to a more reasonable and accessible level. If the NDP can do it I would think hope the LPC could too.

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Jason Cherniak said...

At Liberal conventions the astronomical fees result at least partially from the fact that we subsidise travel. I'm also not sure whether the Dippers have simultaneous translation of anything and everything.

Zac said...

Even with the travel subsidy, that's a huge gap. Could it be because the venue is smaller? Where is this NDP convention being held?

s.b. said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
s.b. said...

The Liberals could definately do more to lower fees like not having conventions in downtown hotels for example and raising membership fees. It is much more expensive to be a member of the NDP. I think it was about $45 years ago, but the fees could be waived if you were unwaged or a single mother etc. The Liberals would be far better at being accessible if they had waged and unwaged prices not under 26 years old for god's sake prices and over 26. That's so stupid I don't even know where to begin. A 25 year old billionaire pays half of what a 27 year old unemployed single mother does. How's that for equity and accessibility. Student fees are fine. Youth fees and youth membership should be completely eliminated.

A BCer in Toronto said...

Even with the travel subsidies Jason, that's seems like a rather large gap to say the least.

Zac, it's in Quebec City at the Congress Centre. I'm not familiar with Quebec City but I'd think that's a regular-sized convention venue.

SB, I'm not sure if it's membership fees, although the NDP's better fundraising record may allow them to run the convention at a loss.

I think there really does have to be a middleground between the two fees. If the rules are the same for delegate fees as they are for memberships now, and esp. if they count as donations, delegates need to come up their own fees and with those high fees that's a pretty big burden to ask of the grassroots.

Tyler said...

Different parts of the NDP have travel subsidies. Since I am a youth member I can get travel subsidies from the youth. Also there is a lot of fundraising.

The convention fees last time were around $400 I believe. Jack Layton saw that and he thought it was too much so he worked to get them lower.

Membership fees depends on the province. They can range anywhere from $5-$25 depending on the province. Or $0-$10 low income. Not that bad in my opinion.

Lookout Mountain said...

The Liberal convention runs from the Tuesday/Wednesday until Sunday.

So we throw in meals, coffee, juice, staff for late evening sessions, media wrangling, simultaneous translation (and I assume ear pieces for everyone).

Add to that the travel subsidy, the lower price for youth.

I would say that the Liberal fee is more reflective of what it actually costs to go to convention. Liberals will know most of the costs upfront for the convention (flight, hotel, fees) while the NDP person will be faced with large unpredictable costs.

Also, NDPers will be split up for meals, much more so than liberals, in fact seperating people without financial means from people with means (at say a fancy restaurant.)

The NDP fee structure in the end makes it less likely that a person with limited means could attend the convention, while the Liberal structure could allow for a fairly large portion of the costs to be covered by leadership campaigns, riding associations, youth clubs, and such, since the costs are set in stone.

Liberal Pebbles said...

Yeah, I believe Jason and KO hit the nail on the head on this one.

SB, where would you suggest the convention be held, that has enough rooms for 6000 delegates?

The fee could be lower, but I would rather have meals, refreshments, and snacks provided to some extent to make life at the convention easier. I wouldn't want to miss a vote to go out to Wendy's

Liberal Pebbles said...


Liberal Pebbles

A BCer in Toronto said...

KO, I find it hard to see how you can argue it would be harder for a person of limited means to attend the NDP convention when the Liberal fee is $900 more.

Let's assume you're coming from BC. In 04, the travel sibsidy for my ruralish riding was something like $250. That drops the bill down to $745. But air fare would be closer to, let's say $500, to be very conservative, so my bill is now $1245. Let's say four nights in a hotel at a very conservative $120/night, and I'm sharing the room with a friend so we split it, so add $240 to my bill, it's now $1485.

Now let's use the same scenario but I'm going to the NDP convention, that's $95 in fees. $500 in air fare, no travel subsidy, takes it to $595, two nights hotel makes it $815.

So that's a $670 difference to cover meals and simeltenous translation (and I'm sure the NDP would have to provide some kind of translation, it being in Quebec City.) Let's even out the length of convention to make it more even, two more days hotel, it's still a $550 difference.

As for things being set in stone, even with a subsidy travel and hotel are still wildcards for people attending either convention. The only wildcard NDP delegates have that Liberals don't is food, and really it's a relatively minor.

As for missing votes for lunch pebbles, I wouldn't worry, lunch breaks are scheduled into the program, if it's not served on site you'd still have time to grab a cheeseburger.

Liberal Pebbles said...

The cost of meals as a tourist can add up quite fast for 5 days, 3 meals a day, I would estimate 45- 50$ a day for meals and drinks.


Liberal Pebbles

Budd Campbell said...

Liberal Pebbles, ... is it a coincidence that your estimate of the daily cost of meals, $50, is roughly what the Federal Govt provides in meal allowance? Just asking.