Revision level: as amended at 2013 Annual Convention
Table of Contents
Last revision: Incorporate resolutions passed at 2012 Annual Convention.
Last revision: Incorporate resolutions passed at 2012 Annual Convention.
Constitution of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
C: 1.0 Name
The Green Party of Saskatchewan is a political organisation registered under the Election Act of Saskatchewan, and is hereinafter referred to as the GPS or the Party. (The Constitution and Bylaws were originally adopted under the name "The New Green Alliance Party of Saskatchewan". The name was changed at the Spring 2005 Convention to be the "Green Party of Saskatchewan".)
C: 2.0 Principles
Every member of the GPS shall abide by the following principles, as set forth and elaborated in the Charter of the Global Greens.
C: 2.1 Ecological Wisdom
We acknowledge that human beings are part of the natural world and we respect the specific value of all forms of life, including non-human species.
C: 2.2 Non-Violence
We declare our commitment to non-violence and strive for a culture of peace and cooperation between states.
C: 2.3 Social Justice
We assert that the key to social justice is the equitable distribution of resources to ensure that all have full opportunities for personal and social development.
C: 2.4 Sustainability
We recognize the scope for the material expansion of society within the biosphere, and the need to maintain biodiversity through the use of renewable resources.
C: 2.5 Participatory Democracy
We strive for a democracy in which all citizens have the right to express their views, and are able to directly participate in decisions which affect their lives.
C: 2.6 Respect for Diversity
We honour and value equally the Earth’s biological and ecological diversity together with the context of individual responsibility toward all beings.
C: 3.0 Objectives
The objectives of the GPS shall be:
C: 3.1 to run candidates and contest provincial elections,
C: 3.2 to inspire and educate people in the principles of ecology and democratic socialism,
C: 3.3 to promote a society where environmental and social concerns are given precedence over short-term economic gain.
C: 3.4 to stimulate thought and discussion between members about the future of democratic socialism and ecology, and to translate these discussions into positive action,
C: 3.5 to meet with and support environmentalists and democratic socialists in Canada and around the world,
C: 3.6 to advance the right of all citizens to be well informed, and have easy access to a wide range of public policy options, by means of an open, democratically controlled media.
C: 3.7 to work toward a society where all citizens are encouraged to share fully in a democratic process that is inclusive and transparent.
C: 4.0 Composition
C: 4.1 The GPS is composed of its members as a whole.
C: 4.2 The Group is the basic organizational unit of the Green Party of Saskatchewan. A Group is a collective of people who have a sufficient sense of identity and community to be able to work together to achieve the aims of the GPS. A Group may be people working together in a neighbourbood, constituency, at a place of work, with a community or popular organization, or around a particular issue.
C: 4.3 A Regional Steering Committee is a committee struck to coordinate the activities of several Groups within a geographic area.
C: 4.4 The Provincial Council is a committee composed of members from each Regional Steering Committee and coordinates the activities of Groups on a provincial level.
C: 4.5 The Provincial Executive, including the Party Leader is elected at Convention and is charged with managing Party affairs between Conventions. The Provincial Executive fulfills the requirements of the Election Act of Saskatchewan.
C: 5.0 Use of Feminine/Masculine Words
Words in the Constitution denoting the female or male gender shall be deemed to include the other.
C: 6.0 Democratic Control - Responsibility
C: 6.1 The highest authority resides and comes from the membership operating democratically.
C: 6.2 Under ordinary circumstances, this highest authority will be exercised by the members acting at the Annual Convention of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
C: 6.3 The Annual Convention will elect the Party Leader, and Provincial Executive members in whom authority and responsibility will be entrusted between Annual conventions, in accordance with the terms of the Constitution.
C: 6.4 The Green Party of Saskatchewan Premier shall appoint Cabinet Ministers from a list of MLAs provided by the membership.
C: 6.5 The elected officers and Party representatives at all levels shall apply, in performance of their duties the policies laid down and dictated by the members through Annual Convention or referendum vote.
C: 6.6 In order to facilitate the continual development of new ideas, and discourage the creation of a managerial elite, a GPS candidate who has served continuously as an elected MLA for eight years or more shall not be eligible for nomination in the immediately following election. The provisions of this article may be waived for a individual by a two thirds majority vote at Annual Convention.
C: 7.0 Membership
Eligibility for Membership
C: 7.1 Membership shall be open to every Saskatchewan resident who subscribes to the Constitution and Principles of the Party, provided she is not a member of any other provincial political party registered under the Saskatchewan Election Act.
C: 7.2 Every applicant for membership shall sign an application, the contents of which shall be prescribed by the Bylaws of the Party. Applications for membership shall be made to the Regional Steering Committee. Members shall be in good standing provided they pay their annual membership fees as prescribed in the Bylaws of the Party.
Rights and Duties of Members
C: 7.3 All members of the GPS enjoy equal rights without discrimination.
C: 7.4 A member, who is in good standing may:
C: 7.4.1 attend and speak at all meetings of the GPS,
C: 7.4.2 attend, speak and vote at Annual Convention,
C: 7.4.3 vote on GPS referenda,
C: 7.4.4 hold office in the GPS,
C: 7.4.5 exercise any other rights afforded under the Constitution and Bylaws of the GPS.
C: 7.5 Each member shall declare their commitment to the Party’s principles, and agree to abide by the Party’s Constitution and Bylaws.
C: 8.0 Amendments to the Constitution and Provincial Bylaws
C: 8.1 For amendments to the Constitution, at least two-thirds of the members present at an Annual Convention or Special General Meeting called for such a vote must agree with the changes.
C: 8.2 For amendments to the Provincial Bylaws, at least one half plus one of the members present at an Annual Convention or Special General Meeting called for such a vote must agree with the changes.
Provincial Bylaws of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
B: 1.0 Groups
B: 1.1 The minimum number for a Group shall be five members.
B: 1.2. Any Group may join with other Groups or divide itself to form project or interest Groups. Groups within a region may form regional groups.
B: 1.3 Every Group shall inform a Regional Steering Committee of the nature of the Group, and the name of a contact person, in order to coordinate the activities of Groups and allow other members of the GPS to become involved in their activities.
B: 1.4 The internal organization of the Group is the responsibility of the Group members, provided always that the highest authority in the group shall be the membership in a duly constituted meeting.
B: 1.5 Funds raised by a Group shall be split with the provincial party, according to guidelines or bylaws set by Convention.
B: 1.6 When a Provincial or Municipal election is called Groups shall work together on an electoral constituency basis.
B: 1.7 All decisions in GPS Groups shall be made by consensus. This means by the agreement of most participants, with dissenters and abstainers agreeing to recognize the majority opinion as the Groups decision. If those who do not agree do not give their consent, a 75% vote for or against shall be necessary to produce a Group decision. Those who do not agree with the decision may have their objections included in any minutes recorded.
B: 1.8 All advertising and promotional material produced by groups within the Green Party of Saskatchewan shall clearly indicate the name of the group that authorised its production and/or publication. The name
Green Party of Saskatchewan shall not be used by itself for any materials which have not been approved by groups representing the entire membership, such as the provincial Executive, Council, or a General Meeting of members.
B: 1.9 A Constituency Association (CA) is a Group open to residents of a single Provincial Constituency, working together within the Constituency to promote Party principles, build public support and membership, and raise funds for GPS and CA activities.
1.9.1 A CA shall adopt a formal “constitution” document defining its nature and organization, and providing for an Executive of at least two Officers, who shall be elected at an Annual General Meeting of the CA.
1.9.2 A CA shall democratically select candidates for Provincial elections, in accordance with Bylaw 4.1.
B: 2.0. Membership
Processing of Memberships
B: 2.1.1 Applications for new and renewed membership flow, from existing members, the web-site, meetings and events, to the Treasurer of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
B: 2.1.2 Membership Application forms for the Green Party of Saskatchewan present the option to simultaneously join the Green Party of Canada.
B: 2.1.3 One cheque and one form are used.
B: 2.1.4 The Treasurer deposits all membership fees and donations in the Provincial bank account.
B: 2.1.5 The Treasurer writes one cheque to the Green Party of Canada for accumulated monies belonging to them. The cheque is forwarded along with photo-copies of the related individual membership application forms to the Ottawa office.
Expiry of Membership
B: 2.2.1 The standard membership fee is ten dollars ($10.00) for a membership that expires exactly one (1) year after the day it is purchased.
B: 2.2.2 A member may pay 200 dollars to remain as a member in good standing without annual membership renewal, and have sections 2.2.1 and 2.12.3 of the Green Party of Saskatchewan’s bylaws not apply to their membership.
B: 2.2.3 An individual may pay $50 to remain as a member in good standing for the next five years. Such membership expires exactly five (5) years after the day it is purchased.
Issuance of Membership Cards
B: 2.3.1 Membership cards are issued at the same time as the application and fees are received, if possible. A box on the application form tracks issuance of the cards.
B: 2.3.2 Membership cards are mailed out by the Treasurer if the box on the application form has not been checked off.
B: 2.3.3 Provincial party memberships shall have a check-off box that allows the GPS to share information with the GPC and have the wording of this option on the membership form be the same as the GPC membership form.
Printing of Membership Cards
B: 2.4.1 One member designated by the President maintains and distributes the supply of membership cards.
Maintenance of Membership Lists
B: 2.5.1 One member designated by the President maintains the membership list.
B: 2.5.2 Membership applications are processed by the Treasurer and then forwarded to this Membership Chairperson.
Provincial Memberships that Originate within the Federal Party
B: 2.6.1 The process is the same as for memberships originating with the GPS, but in reverse.
Loss of Status of Member in Good Standing and Reinstatement
B: 2.7 A member shall no longer be a member in good standing of the GPS when:
B: 2.7.1. such member has been suspended from membership in accordance with the provisions of Article 3,
B: 2.7.2 such member is in arrears of six months or more in the payment of yearly membership fees.
B: 2.8 The loss of member in good standing in accordance with the preceding section is automatic.
B: 2.9 A member may be reinstated as a member in good standing when:
B: 2.9.1 the suspension imposed has ended,
B: 2.9.2 such member has paid all arrears in membership fees.
B: 2.10 A member who wishes to be reinstated as a member in good standing shall notify the Regional Steering Committee. The Regional Steering Committee shall ensure that the conditions provided for in the preceding section have been fulfilled. When they have been fulfilled, the member is reinstated as a member in good standing.
B: 2.11 A person shall no longer be a member of the GPS when:
B: 2.11.1 such member resigns from the GPS
B: 2.11.2 such member is expelled from the GPS in accordance with the provisions of Article 3,
B: 2.11.3 such member is in arrears of 12 months or more in payment of membership fees.
B: 2.12 Any person who has been expelled from the GPS may be readmitted as a member in good standing provided such member complies with the provisions of Section 7.1 of the Constitution, Section 2.11 of the Provincial Bylaws and fulfills the other conditions which may be required by the Discipline Committee.
B: 2.13 Notwithstanding Section 2.12 upon written request of a member, the Regional Steering Committee may allow a member who is in arrears in the payment of membership fees to remain a member in good standing when the member is in financial difficulty.
B: 3.0 Discipline
B: 3.1. Penalties may be imposed on a member or officer if he has committed any of the following offences:
B: 3.1.1 committed a fraudulent or dishonest act against the Party,
B: 3.1.2 obtained membership through fraudulent means or misrepresentation,
B: 3.1.3 having fraudulently received or misappropriated any assets or money belonging to the Party,
B: 3.1.4 having published or circulated, either verbally or otherwise, false reports or misrepresentation concerning any member or officer of the Party in respect to any matter connected with the affairs of the Party,
B: 3.1.5 having furnished without proper authority to do so, a complete or partial list of the Party membership to any person or persons other than those whose official positions entitles them to have such a list,
B: 3.1.6 having published or circulated either verbally or otherwise, reports which were designed or calculated to injure the Party,
B: 3.1.7 having repeatedly brought unsubstantiated or frivolous charges against other members.
B: 3.2 The following penalties may be imposed on a member or officer of the Party:
B: 3.2.1 written reprimand,
B: 3.2.2 removal from office
B: 3.2.3 suspension from membership for a specified period of time,
B: 3.2.4 expulsion from the Party.
B: 3.3 The aforesaid penalties may be enacted pursuant to the following rules and procedures in the following sections.
B: 3.4 The Regional Steering Committee shall constitute a Disciplinary Committee composed of three members. These members shall be randomly selected from a pool of members in the Region willing to sit on the Disciplinary Committee.
B: 3.5 On receipt of a charge against a member or officer, the Disciplinary Committee shall convene a hearing as soon as possible and the plaintiff and accused shall be given not less than seven days notice of the date, time and place of the hearing.
B: 3.6 The Disciplinary Committee shall hear the charge with impartiality and equity and it shall give the accused and the plaintiff the opportunity to present evidence and arguments. It shall ensure that the accused and plaintiff are allowed to be represented by witnesses presented by the adversary. It shall maintain order during the hearing. In every case, the onus of proof is upon the plaintiff and she shall present her evidence first.
B: 3.7 The Disciplinary Committee shall determine its own rule of procedure for the hearing and may in particular:
B: 3.7.1 decide where and when the hearing will be held,
B: 3.7.2 grant postponements and adjournments,
B: 3.7.3 intervene in the hearing and ask questions,
B: 3.7.4 proceed in the absence of the plaintiff or accused if they have been duly notified about the hearing.
B: 3.8 If the Disciplinary Committee comes to the conclusion that the accused is guilty of the offence as charged, it shall decide on the penalty to be imposed. The decision shall be rendered in writing and forwarded to the accused, the plaintiff and the Provincial Executive in strict confidence. The decision of the Disciplinary Committee shall be implemented immediately.
B: 3.9 The accused or the plaintiff shall have the right to appeal the decision of the Disciplinary Committee to a general membership meeting. The person who wishes to appeal shall advise the Regional Steering committee in writing of their desire to appeal not later than 30 days after the decision of the Disciplinary Committee.
B: 3.10 In the context of the appeal procedure to the general meeting, the Disciplinary Committee will present the reasons for their decision and the person appealing will present their evidence and argument to support the appeal. Following the presentation, a vote will be taken on the appeal. The decision of the meeting will be final and binding on the Party.
General Rules Concerning Charges
B: 3.11 Subject to the other provisions of this article, any member in good standing who considers that another member, officer or representative has committed an offense pursuant to sections 7.1 may lay a charge against this member, officer or representative. The Provincial Executive, Regional Steering Committee Executive and Constituency Executive may also lay a charge against a member, an officer or a representative.
B: 3.12 No charge can be laid later than 90 days after the day the member who is filing the charge became aware of the offence.
B: 4.0 Candidate Selection
B: 4.1 In an electoral district where there is a Constituency Association, selection may be conducted by the Association, subject to approval by the Regional Steering Committee.
B: 4.2 In an electoral district where there is no Constituency Association but where there are Party members, selection will be conducted by a meeting or other process mandated by general meeting or the Provincial Executive.
B: 4.3 In an electoral district where there is no Constituency Association and there are no Party members, selection will be made by general meeting, Provincial Executive or by some procedure or committee mandated by one of these bodies.
B: 4.4 Candidates must be members in good standing of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
B: 5.0 Meetings
B: 5.1 There shall be nine types of meetings - Annual Convention, General Membership, Provincial Executive, Provincial Council, Regional Steering Committee, Committee, Constituency, Group and Nomination.
B: 5.2 There shall be at least one Annual Convention held every fiscal year It shall be held no later than six months after the end of the previous fiscal year.
B: 5.3 Committees will hold meeting at the call of the chairperson of the Committee. There shall be at least four Provincial Executive meetings annually.
B: 5.4 Where meetings are called for in these Bylaws,
meetings may be interpreted as including asynchronous participation such as mail-in ballots or post-meeting mail-in ratifications. Procedures for asynchronous participation must make reasonable provision for security and integrity of the voting system. Such procedures must also ensure that those participating asynchronously have timely access to information and an opportunity for seeking clarification and engaging in discussion. If such procedures are adopted on a routine basis for Annual Convention or other General Meetings, the essence of the procedures shall be incorporated into these bylaws.
B: 5.5 Procedures for asynchronous participation in meetings, once adopted, become automatically null and void to the extent that they prevent the meeting from dealing with its essential fiduciary responsibilities. If those attending a meeting judge that such a conflict has occurred, it is their right and duty to assume full authority for dealing with time-critical essential matters.
B: 6.0 Decision Making
B: 6.1 All decision making will attempt to be made by consensus. This procedure will attempt to include sufficient time for effective discussion and debate.
B: 6.2 Where consensus is not attainable, a vote shall be held.
B: 6.3 All decision making on changes to the Constitution, Bylaws, or major policies, shall include a 30 day preview period to encourage full and effective discussion and provide the opportunity for tools like study circles to be utilized.
B: 6.4 A secret ballot on any vote at any meeting shall be required if three members present request the secret ballot.
B: 6.5 At general meetings, a vote shall be called on all decisions.
B: 6.6 Each meeting shall have an agenda, a chairperson and a secretary.
B: 6.7 A Special General Meeting shall be by petition in writing of the lesser of one-third of the membership or 50 members to the Provincial Executive. The Provincial Executive shall have the power to call, at any time, a Special General Meeting of the members.
B: 7.0 Quorum
B: 7.1 Quorum for the Annual Convention and General Meeting shall be one-third of the membership or 20 members whichever is less and a majority of the Provincial Executive members.
B: 7.2 Quorum for the Provincial Executive, Regional Steering Committees, and other committees shall be at least half of the committee members.
B: 7.3 Quorum for a constituency Nomination meeting shall be at least five members within the constituency in question.
B: 8.0 Provincial Executive Officers
Election of Provincial Executive Officers
B: 8.1 The Party Leader is a member of the Provincial Executive.
B: 8.2 Provincial Executive officers shall be elected by a combination of secret mail-in ballot and vote at the Annual Convention on the last day of the Annual Convention.
B: 8.2.1 Any member not in attendance at the Annual Convention may mail in their ballot, or have their ballot hand delivered to the Convention. The ballot will be designed and tabulated in accordance with the principles of instant-runoff (preferential) voting.
B: 8.2.2 Any mailed in ballot must be received by the Election Committee prior to the Annual Convention.
B: 8.2.3 Ballots must be sent out 6 weeks prior to the Annual Convention along with the list of candidates.
B: 8.3 The term of office for Executive positions is one year, except for the Leader, whose term of office shall be four years, and the President, whose term of office shall be two years.
B: 8.4 The term of office for any person appointed or elected in mid-year to fill a vacant Executive position shall end at the next Annual Convention, except where a position having a standard term of more than one year is filled by special general election, in which case the term of office shall end on the same date as if the election had taken place at the most recent Annual Convention, or at an earlier date specified at the time of the election.
B: 8.5 The nomination of the Provincial executive officers will be as follows:
B: 8.5.1 All candidates for any provincial executive position must be nominated in writing by 3 members in good standing.
B: 8.5.2 All nominations must be received by the Election Committee 2 months prior to the date of the election.
B: 8.5.3 If no candidate in nominated 2 months prior to the election, the position may be filled by nominations from the floor during the AGM.
B: 8.5.4 If only one candidate is nominated for a position and
None of the Above receives the majority of votes, new candidates may be nominated from the floor and a second election will occur.
B: 8.5.5 All candidates must be presented to the general membership at least 6 weeks before the election.
B: 8.5.6 A given individual may be nominated for any number of Executive positions, but may only be elected to one. When ballots are counted for any office, the name of any individual already elected to a different office will be removed from the ballot.
B: 8.6 The order of election shall be as follows:
B: 8.6.1 Party Leader
- To be responsible as the external/public voice of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
- To respond in a timely fashion, contact requests from the public, media, and organizations primarily based in Saskatchewan.
- To ensure that the passed resolutions of the Green Party of Saskatchewan are effectively communicated to the public.
B: 8.6.2 Deputy Leader
- election of Deputy Leader be held after the vote for the election for Party Leader, and that members be encouraged, when possible, to fill the Deputy Leader position with someone of the opposite gender to the Leader,
B: 8.6.3 Party President
- To be responsible for the internal/member voice and direction of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
- To ensure Executive, Annual, and Special Meetings of the Green Party of Saskatchewan are properly constituted and called when necessary.
B: 8.6.4 Party Vice-President
- To support the President in his/her duties
- To be the acting President when the President is unable to fulfill his/her duties for a short period of time between the Annual General Meeting
B: 8.6.5 Secretary
- To record minutes of each Executive, Annual, and Special Meeting of the Green Party of Saskatchewan.
B: 8.6.6 Treasurer/Chief Official Agent
- To be responsible for the Provincial Accounts of the Green Party of Saskatchewan
- To be the main contact of the Green Party of Saskatchewan with Elections Saskatchewan
- To ensure the Green Party of Saskatchewan fulfills its obligations as set out in the Saskatchewan Elections Act.
B: 8.6.7 Youth Representative
- To represent the views of young people on the provincial executive, and to devote time regularly toward recruiting young people to join the party.
B: 8.6.8 Organization Chair
- To direct the ongoing effort to organize the party in all provincial constituencies, and to organize and lead a committee to drive this effort.
B: 8.6.9 Fundraising Chair
- To continuously raise money for the party, and to organize and lead a committee to drive this effort.
B: 8.7 The Provincial Executive Officers shall:
- Act pro-actively to ensure the orderly functioning of the party within the framework and spirit of the Constitution of the Green Party of Saskatchewan,
- Ensure that all functionary positions are filled, - Ensure that all functionary responsibilities are undertaken in a timely and expeditious manner Engage in long term planning.
- Ensure all passed resolutions of theGreen Party of Saskatchewan are acted upon in a timely and expedient manner.
- Be the voice of the general membership in-between annual general meetings.
B: 8.8 A nominee will be permitted up to three minutes in which to make an acceptance speech to the Convention.
B: 8.9 The installation of Provincial Executive officers shall take place at the last meeting prior to adjournment of the Convention and the Provincial Executive officers shall assume their offices immediately after such installation.
Vacancy in a Position on the Provincial Executive
B: 8.10 The Deputy Leader shall automatically become Leader should this position become vacant during a term of office, in which case an election for the positions of Leader and Deputy Leader shall be held at the next Annual Convention.
B: 8.11 The Vice-President shall automatically become President should this position become vacant during a term of office, in which case an election for the positions of President and Vice-President shall be held at the next Annual Convention.
B: 8.12 If a position other than Party Leader or President should become vacant on the Provincial Executive during a term of office, the Provincial Executive shall have the right to appoint another party member to the vacant position
B: 9.0 Finance
B: 9.1 The fiscal year of the GPS shall be from January 1st to December 31st.
Salaries of Staff and Representatives
B: 9.2 The maximum yearly salary of staff, officers and representatives shall be no greater than the average yearly provincial unionized wage. Fringe benefits will be similar to that attained by unionized workers in the province.
Political Contributions and Annual Membership Fees
B: 9.3 Political contributions to the GPS shall be limited to a yearly maximum of $3500.
B: 9.4 Political contributions will only be accepted from private individuals.
B: 9.5 No financial contribution will be accepted from any organisation except the Green Party of Canada.
B: 9.6 The annual membership fee shall be set at the Annual Convention.
B: 9.7 All funds raised by the GPS or a Regional Steering Committee, Constituency Association, or other Group within the GPS shall be allocated in the following proportions:
B: 9.7.1 100% of unsolicited donations received by the GPS stay at the GPS.
B: 9.7.2 If the GPS solicits a donation from a member living in a riding with an established Constituency Association, 50% of the raised funds will stay with the GPS and 50% will be transferred to the Constituency Association of the member.
B: 9.7.3 If a Regional Steering Committee, Constituency Association, or other Group within the GPS solicits a donation, 80% of the raised funds will stay with that body, and 20% will be transferred to the GPS.
B: 9.7.4 The GPS must co-ordinate fundraising efforts with Constituency Associations, Regional Steering Committees and other Groups by giving at least two weeks notice before the members of such bodies are contacted for fundraising purposes.
B: 9.7.5 All funds raised during a candidate’s election campaign remain with the candidate. Any surplus funds at the end of a campaign will be transferred to the CA, if it is established, or to the GPS.
B: 9.8 Groups may choose to redesignate funds available to them to other Groups within the GPS, as deemed necessary.
B: 9.9 All money raised shall be deposited in a financial institution (preferably a Credit Union) and/or invested in accordance with the laws of the provinces dealing with the investment of monies by trustees, the whole as determined and decided by the Provincial Executive.
B: 9.10 The Party funds must be used for Party purposes only.
B: 9.11 In the case where a donation is for a candidates deposit to allow that person to run for the GPS in a provincial election, that s/he will receive the full 100% of the donation back. The provincial party will not subtract the 12% in the situation of it being for a candidate’s deposit.
B: 10.0 Annual Convention
B: 10.1 Participation in Annual Convention will consist of in-person attendance at the meeting, whose timing is governed by Article 5 of these Bylaws, and asynchronous participation via mail-in ballots as provided for in other articles in these Bylaws.
B: 10.2 Should the scheduled timing of Annual Convention conflict with other party activities, the Provincial Executive is empowered to bring forward or delay the date of such Annual Convention by no more than two months. Such action shall require a two-thirds majority support from the Provincial Executive.
B: 10.3 The Provincial Executive shall issue the official call to such Annual Convention at least two months prior to the date of the Convention.
B: 10.4 The general purposes of the Annual Convention are:
10.4.1 to receive reports from the Provincial Executive officers in order to respond to the members on how they have carried out their responsibilities during the year and their opinions on the tasks of the GPS in the period ahead,
B: 10.4.2 to discuss and adopt resolutions involving solutions to members common needs and concerns,
B: 10.4.3 to decide on the policies of the GPS for the period ahead, following democratic debate and a vote on resolutions duly submitted to the Convention,
B: 10.4.4 to deal with any other issue, duly submitted to the Convention, concerning the common good and welfare of the Party and the public generally,
B: 10.4.5 to deal with any proposed changes in the Constitution or Bylaws,
B: 10.4.6 to elect the officers who will comprise the Provincial Executive from the time they have taken the oath of office after such election.
Committees for Convention
B: 10.5 The Convention requires the following Committees:
B: 10.5.1 The Convention shall have committees, some of which will commence work in advance of the Convention to assure the most democratic and efficient functioning of the Convention. These committees shall be open to all members in good standing.
B: 10.5.2 The Election Committee shall be responsible for conducting nominations, determining the eligibility of those being nominated, be responsible for preparing ballots, be responsible for explaining election procedures to the Convention and shall be responsible for counting of the ballots, reporting of numbers of votes for each candidate, destroying the ballots, all of which shall be subject to the decision of the Convention. No member may be on the Election Committee who is an Elected Legislated Representative. No member may be on the Election Committee who is a candidate for Party Leader or the Provincial Executive.
B: 10.5.3 Other committees which may be required during the course of the Convention shall be elected by the Convention.
B: 10.5.4 All Convention committees shall have a non-voting member of the Provincial Executive.
Procedures for Resolutions
B: 10.6 Members, Groups, Regional Steering Committees, and the Provincial Executive may submit resolutions for action at the Annual Convention.
B: 10.7 Such resolutions shall be sent to the Provincial Secretary at least two months prior to the date of the Annual Convention. The Provincial Secretary shall ensure that copies of all resolutions submitted in writing to the Secretary for consideration at the Annual Convention are made available to all members at least six weeks prior to the opening of the Convention.
B: 10.8 The Resolutions and Bylaws Committee shall review all resolutions which have been duly submitted before the Convention, group them by subject matter or amalgamate them according to the intent of the resolutions. The Committee shall review the resolutions to amend the Constitution or Bylaws, draft the constitutional text, determine the order of presentation to the Convention and make recommendations to the Convention regarding the purpose of the resolution taking into account, where need be, the present Constitution.
B: 10.9 The Resolutions and Bylaws Committee shall prepare a
Bonser ballot listing all resolutions published as per Article 10.7, and mail it at least thirty (30) days prior to the Annual Convention to everyone who is a member in good standing of the Party, or has had their membership lapse within the last year, at that time.
B: 10.9.1 The Bonser ballot will show the following choices for each resolution:
- red, indicating opposition to the resolution;
- yellow, meaning
I wish to learn more about this resolution or
I do not like this resolution’s present wording, but I think the concept has merit;
- green, indicating support of the resolution.
B: 10.9.2 Included with the ballot will be:
- a separate envelope, into which the recipient will place the secret ballot, before sealing the envelope;
- a membership renewal form, with the individual’s name pre-printed, which will be returned with the sealed ballot envelope. The form must be completed if the individual would not otherwise be a member in good standing on the date set for Convention.
In order to submit the ballot, the member must mail both the above items to the GPS office, enclosing payment for renewal if appropriate. Only ballots received at the GPS office, from members in good standing, at least five calendar days prior to Convention will be counted.
B: 10.9.3 Members attending Convention, including those who join at Convention, who have not mailed in a ballot, may receive a ballot at Convention, which must be filled in and sealed and returned to the Ballot Committee by a time designated by the meeting facilitator.
B: 10.9.4 A Ballot Committee of two members will be appointed by the Executive, to verify membership, open the ballots (maintaining secrecy) and tally the results. Any member in good standing has the option of scrutineering the count. Membership verification can be done for all mail-in ballots before the Convention. Ballot opening and counting must occur at the Convention itself for members submitting ballots in person.
B: 10.10 Resolutions for which adequate notice has not been given may only be considered if this is acceptable to a two-thirds majority of those attending the Convention.
B: 10.11 Voting on resolutions for which prior notice has been given will take place as follows:
Bonser ballot results will be announced by the Ballot Committee, using the colour-coded categories defined in Article 10.9.1.
- If 75% or more of the votes are green, the resolution is accepted, without further discussion at Convention, and without subsequent ratification, except that such resolutions may be re-opened for discussion and voting at Convention if a majority of those present agree there is a need to do so in order to deal with unclarity of intent, mutual incompatibility, incompatibility with GPS principles, constitution or bylaws, or similarly compelling issues.
- If 75% of the votes are red, the resolution will fail, without further discussion at Convention, and without subsequent ratification.
- If neither green nor red has 75% of the votes, the resolution will be discussed and voted on at Convention.
Agenda and Vote
B: 10.11 A Convention Planning Committee shall prepare the agenda and schedule for the various matters coming before the Convention. The Convention Agenda should normally include:
- B: 10.11.1 report of the Provincial Executive,
- B: 10.11.2 written reports of Officers who are members of the Provincial Executive,
- B: 10.11.3 report of the Resolutions and Bylaws Committee,
- B: 10.11.4 Resolutions,
- B: 10.11.5 Appeals,
- B: 10.11.6 Reports of other committees in the order determined by the Provincial Executive,
- B: 10.11.7 Election of the Party Leader
- B: 10.11.8 Election of other Provincial Executive Officers
- B: 10.11.9 Other Business as determined by the Convention.
B: 10.12 The Executive shall mail out a secret ratification ballot to all persons who were members in good standing at the time of the Annual Convention for all resolutions passed at Convention, except for resolutions that were passed by a 75% green vote on the Bonser ballots and were not subsequently amended on the Convention floor. Ratification ballots must be mailed out within 10 days of Convention, and must be received back at the GPS Office within 60 days of convention. If 50% plus one of the ratification votes support the resolution, it is deemed to be accepted; otherwise it is defeated. Any member in good standing has the option of scrutineering the count.
B: 10.13 After 5 years, policy resolutions become obsolete and are automatically resubmitted to the membership at that year’s AGM for reconsideration. The Resolutions Committee of the day is responsible for the resubmission of all expiring policies. The Resolutions Committee of the day shall make recommendations as to the relevance of the expiring policy to the current political climate and update resolutions as needed.
B: 11.0 Administrative Guidelines
B: 11.1 Any Group or other body within the GPS, such as the Provincial Executive, Provincial Council, or Regional Steering Committee, as well as the membership acting as a whole at general meetings, may adopt and enforce administrative guidelines within the scope of that Group or body’s authority.
B: 11.1.1 Administrative guidelines may include procedural guidelines, standard forms, etc., and may be designated as mandatory or suggested.
B: 11.1.2 Guidelines shall not be adopted when in conflict with the constitution or bylaws of the adopting Group or body, or with those of the GPS. Where a conflict exists, the constitution or bylaws shall prevail.
B: 11.1.3 The Secretary or another designated officer of the Group or body shall maintain and keep current a file of any administrative procedures and guidelines adopted.
B: 11.1.4 The Secretary or designated officer of the Group or body shall make administrative procedures and guidelines available to any interested members of the Group or body, as well as to any coordinative bodies to which the Group or body reports.
B: 11.1.5 The Provincial Executive may adopt administrative procedures and guidelines that apply to the GPS as a whole, as well as those that apply specifically to the work of the Executive. Such procedures and guidelines are subject to any direction that may be adopted as a resolution at any GPS general membership meeting.
B: 11.1.6 The Provincial Secretary shall be responsible for maintaining administrative guideline files on behalf of the general membership and on behalf of the Provincial Executive.