Affirm the democratic principle of post meeting ratification votes open to all members of the party*
WHEREAS the Members were presented in 2012 with the proposal to remove the ratification of policy previously approved at an BGM as though it was mere housekeeping;
WHEREAS the merits and risks of doing so were never debated;
WHEREAS the GPC general meeting process does not ensure regional representation since it unfairly favors those living nearby and those who have the funds and time to travel to attend in person;
WHEREAS we have a growing membership, now at ~20,000, and Members want to ensure that
control of the party rests with the general membership.
BE IT RESOLVED that Federal Council be directed to craft a motion reinstating the requirement for a Policy or Directive ratification vote after every general meeting, and to develop a fair and efficient method of disseminating information relevant to the motions to the members.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that Federal Council strike a Committee on Motion Development (CMD) to investigate best practices and propose a proportionally representative system for the development and adoption of resolutions at general meetings.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the CMD be tasked to tap the experience and expertise of other Green Parties across the country and around the world to develop a process for motion adoption that is fair, proportionally representative across Canada and politically effective at advancing the collective objectives of the membership.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the committee be structured to be representative of the whole membership and develop a timeline that allows for local EDAs to participate in forging this process before the final recommendation is presented to Federal Council.
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED the CMD's recommendation be submitted to Federal Council by Sep 30, 2017, and that Federal Council be authorized to adopt the proposed system for the 2018 BGM.
Original text of motions: https://www.greenparty.ca/sites/default/files/attachments/originaltextofmotionss16-d002ands16-d014.pdf
Our process calls for a pre-convention vote using the Bonser Ballot to prioritize motions and recommend a course of action to the Members attending the General Meeting. Motions are divided into Green, Yellow and Red where Green results in a recommendation for approval, Red results in a recommendation for rejection and Yellow results in a recommendation that the motion be sent to a workshop for further study and development. The Members attending the General Meeting are free to accept or reject these recommendations.
The challenge to legitimacy stems from three factors:
1. While the general membership is greatly affected by decisions made at General Meetings it is not preoccupied with policy development or constitutional matters. There is a certain trust placed in Federal Council and the effectiveness of the Party’s consensus building process to ensure that we stay true to our values and vision.
2. The last Bonser Ballot was completed by ~2,000 members representing about 10% of our membership or about ⅓ of 1% of Canadian voters who chose to support the Green Party of Canada in the last federal election.
3. The number of members who are actually able to expend the time and money to travel to a General Meeting is even smaller, typically representing only 1% of the membership.
Subjecting all votes taken at General Meetings to an online ratification vote allows the safeguard of sober second thought if the general membership feels that any decisions made at the General Meeting does not fairly reflect the will of the membership at large. Conversely, if the membership at large does register its will on a contentious or controversial issue there can be little doubt that it reflects the true will of the Party.