Tony Adey left St. John's convention early
Tony Adey is seen in this file photo.
Tony Adey went to the NDP convention in St. John’s with an open mind. And he was hoping to see a leadership convention.
However, he left the convention early and has formally revoked his membership in the party.
“I went out there this weekend in hopes that some things were going to change,” he said on Tuesday. It was a decision the former party candidate for the Bay of Islands didn’t make lightly.
He said he’s been considering it for some time, but decided to hold on until the convention. He thought the convention would be a chance for the party to go back in the right direction.
“That’s not going to happen,” said Adey, who also served on a local district association until a year ago when he stepped back because of work commitments. “I’m still very much a social democrat, but I don’t believe the party, through the convention that we just had, is practising what they preach.”
Adey said he sees discontent within the party and believes there is a divide.
“You know the political tides are changing. Our party needs to be revived and I think that revival starts at the top.”
He said this is something he’s been hearing since 2011. “A lot of people cannot envision Lorraine Michael as being the premier. And I think she’s failing to realize that and I think she’s going to bring the party down with her for that.”
He said Michael has refused to admit that she held any responsibility for the trouble the party faced this past year. He also disagrees with her statement while in Corner Brook last week that the party had a lot of support on the west coast.
"I highly doubt that the NDP would be able to gain any seats in western Newfoundland. I would actually even caution to say I wonder if they’ll hold any seats at all after the next election.”
Still Adey said he holds no ill will toward Michael and believes she’s a great person who has brought the party far.
“I just think it’s time for a change at the top.”
The need for new leadership was not the only thing that Adey took issue with about the convention.
He also questioned the way it was organized and the procedures that it followed. The vote on whether or not the party would hold a leadership convention being top among them.
"Basically the vote was to see if we still supported her as a leader," said Adey, but he noted a lot of people didn't even know what they were voting for.
The vote was 75 to 25 for not holding a convention, and Adey said he doesn't think the number represents the true thoughts of party membership on the issue.
"I believe that there are many more members of the party provincewide who should have had a say, who didn't necessarily have the means to attend a convention."
He also thought the convention was heavily focused on St. John's.
One resolution in particular that bothered Adey was on how the membership would vote for a leader should there be a leadership contest. The proposed resolution called for one member, one vote.
"Every person in the party would have equal say who our leader would be," said Adey.
However, he said the party didn't want to embrace that path right now and it was voted down.
"I think that's essential to democracy. I'm not comfortable with a select few in the party choosing how a leadership contest would play out. We should have a say in who is going to lead us going forward."