Policy Process

(Effective January 22, 2018)

The Green Party of Canada seeks to maintain the grassroots nature of its policy development process, while ensuring that policy statements are well-formed, well-deliberated and well-supported by the membership.

This GPC policy process increases member participation in policy development by clarifying the definition of policy, by outlining clear proposal submission rules, and by providing a Policy Process Committee to assist members in the writing of clear policy statements. The process improves deliberation on policy proposals by providing online and in person policy proposal amendment workshops. The prioritization process allows the party membership to indicate which proposals will be considered at a general meeting. The process increases the representation of diverse viewpoints by seeking participation from across the regions of Canada, from groups who are affected by a particular proposal, from party members, and from policy experts. The final deciding vote on policy is taken by the GPC membership as a whole through an online ballot.

Definition of Policy

“Policy” is defined as a principle based statement which does not contain any specific strategy or tactical statement.

Scope of Proposals

Proposals may relate to political policy or may be a directive to the party’s Federal Council to draft a constitutional amendment or to alter party operations.    

Policy Proposal Submission and Timeline

  • Policy Process Committee will set a policy submission timeline and invite members to submit proposals to be considered at the next general meeting.

  • Policy Process Committee may choose to accept policy submissions continuously if party resources allow.

  • EDAs are encouraged to engage their members in policy discussions.

  • Any member in good standing may submit a policy proposal using the online submission form located on the party’s website.

  • Each member is asked to prioritize their own policy ideas before submission and may submit one proposal per general meeting.

Proposal Drafting Rules and Standards

  • Refer to proposal submission rules and drafting standards.

  • A Policy Process Committee (PPC) will be available to ensure that the submission standards are clear and to assist members to ensure that their proposal meets the standard.

  • The Policy Process Committee will ensure that the policy submission form provides members with a clear understanding of the nature of policy, defining policy as principle based, and makes a clear distinction between policy and strategy or tactics.

  • The Policy Process Committee must accept any policy proposal which is compliant with the principle-based motion submission standard, whether the committee supports the meaning of the motion or not. Proposals which are incomplete or which contain strategy or tactics as of the submission deadline will not be accepted.

  • Duplicate policy principles submitted by separate sponsors will be combined.

Policy Process Committee

The Policy Process Committee is appointed by Federal Council with the PPC membership reviewed and ratified at each biennial general meeting of members.

Policy to conform to the six core Green Values

  • Each proposal will include a comment indicating the core Green value or values which the policy supports.

  • The Policy Process Committee will invite Members of Parliament and Shadow Cabinet to submit comments regarding political or strategic implications of the policy, to be included as a preamble to any proposal.

Amendment of Proposals

  • Proposals are expected to be complete at least 3 months before the general meeting at which they are to be considered, in order to allow time for translation, member consideration, and the prioritization process.

  • A well drafted proposal should not need to be amended.

  • The membership retains the right to amend during a general meeting but the use of BGM time for amendment is highly discouraged.

  • If the need for amendment is discovered at a general meeting, the meeting is encouraged to refer the proposal to the PPC for immediate amendment, or refer it to the submitter for resubmission at a later date, or to reject the proposal.

  • The Policy Process Committee may use online workshops to seek member input on motion proposal wording.

  • The Policy Process Committee will advise motion submitters and all members of the dates and agenda of any motion discussion workshops.

  • Policy workshops will follow Green Rules for meetings.

Prioritization of Policy Proposals by members

  • The completed, amended, and translated policy proposals will be circulated to the membership at least 60 days before the general meeting at which they may be considered.

  • An online prioritization ballot will be provided with the proposals.

  • Prioritization will take place over a 30 day period.

  • Members will be advised that they may vote for as many proposals as they wish to prioritize and that the 15 proposals which receive the most votes, plus any general meeting emergency proposals, will be the only the proposals which are considered at the general meeting and in the final member online vote.

  • For each proposal, the prioritization ballot will ask “Is this proposal a priority for consideration during the <year> Convention”. Members will choose between Yes, No or I don’t know.

  • The 15 proposals which receive the most priority “yes” votes will be debated at the general meeting and then move on to the final member vote to become policy.

  • All others will be returned to the submitter and may be resubmitted for a future general meeting.

  • As soon as the results of the prioritization ballot are available, members will be advised of those results.

  • The 15 proposals for consideration at the general meeting will be posted on the GPC website.

  • As part of the approval of the agenda, the general meeting will have an opportunity to discuss the amount of time it wishes to devote to policy proposal consideration.

Emergency Motions submitted at a General Meeting

  • An Emergency Motion is defined as a proposal which deals with a new political issue which has emerged after the GPC policy proposal submission deadline and for which there is no applicable GPC policy principle.

  • The Policy Process Committee (PPC) will be available at a BGM to receive any emergency motion proposals and to assist in meeting the policy drafting standards.

  • There will be a deadline for the submission of emergency motions during a BGM.

  • The PPC will not accept a proposal as “emergency” if the issue is not new and emerging and time-sensitive.

  • The PPC will not accept a proposal as “emergency” if it is a strategy or a tactic.

  • The PPC will not accept a proposal as “emergency” if it was submitted through the normal policy submission process but failed to meet the deadline.

  • The general meeting will debate an emergency proposal referred by the PPC if 67% of those members present in the meeting agree to consider it.

Post-convention final online vote

  • The final deciding vote on the 15 top priority policy proposals and any emergency proposals is taken by the GPC membership as a whole through an online ballot. This vote includes the proposals which were either approved or defeated at the general meeting.

  • The Policy Process Committee will prepare a preamble to be included with each proposal, indicating the general meeting voting results and a comment regarding political or strategic implications of the policy.

  • Lower priority proposals which were not discussed by the general meeting will not be included in the final vote.