NDP Alberta Premier, Rachel Notley, needs to begin addressing inner party issues.
Robyn Luff, the New Democrat member for Calgary-East, is refusing to sit in the legislature as a sign of protest over the treatment that she has received from the party brass the Calgary Sun reports.
Luff said that the higher ranking members of the party, including Alberta’s Premier Rachel Notley, have bullied party members in the legislature, leading to a lack of proper representation for their respective constituencies. Their job performances subsequently being affected as well.
The MLA from Calgary-East has strong beliefs against the fact that she must vote with the leader at all times. Moreover, she claimed that all questions are written on her behalf and she is forcefully told what to say when speaking in the house.
Toxic Party Loyalty
Luff said that control and a lack of individualism for MLAs “leads to hyper partisan rhetoric, and to no actual debate on bills”.
Last year, a similar event occurred when MLA Karen MacPherson left the NDP caucus because she felt that she was being bullied. She was an independent for some time, before finally joining the Alberta Party. MacPherson added that she thinks there are others like herself who share similar experiences.
In a press release, the NDP stated that they made the decision to remove Luff from the caucus after a meeting held by NDP MLAs.
After the press release, the party said: “Owing to Ms. Luff’s actions, NDP MLAs have lost confidence in her ability to participate as a productive and trustworthy member of the government caucus”.
Brian Mason, who is the government house leader, said that Luff’s actions are unfortunate and that he is disappointed with the outcome. Furthermore, he claimed that there is a normalization of inner party frustration that is an intangible component to being an MLA.
Jason Nixon, the house leader for the United Conservative Party said that events like these are alarming and mustn’t be overlooked. Nixon took the opportunity to go on the offensive against his opposition stating “There’s a significant difference between the United Conservative Party and the NDP, “They don’t allow their caucus to speak their own thoughts”.
Events like these are frightening, and it may serve to expose further problems that lie at the heart of Alberta’s NDP.