A Policy meeting will be held on September 14, 2019, at the Greenfield Community Hall, located at 3803 114 Street in Edmonton, from approximately 9 AM to 4:30 PM, with more details later.
All members are encouraged to submit policy motions in their area(s) of interest. Submissions should be prepared in the format outlined in the Party’s Policy Manual (attached) and directed to firstname.lastname@example.org. The Manual contains a comprehensive explanation of the policy-making process.
GPA POLICY MANUAL
The Constitution of the Green Party of Alberta provides that:
5.1 The general meeting of the membership is the highest decision making forum of the Party, subject only to the authority of the party constitution and bylaws.
4.4 Members may engage in policy development and may prepare and submit policy resolutions for the Party’s consideration at general meetings called for that purpose.
6.4 Policy conventions are called by the Executive Council.
All members are encouraged to submit motions on policy issues that are of interest to them and, in doing so, to adhere to the following guidelines on formatting and submission of motions.
FORMAT FOR POLICY MOTIONS
Motions should indicate the pre-existing GPA policy area most relevant to the topic of the motion. These can be found on the Party website at greenpartyofalberta.ca/policy. If there is no relevant policy area, a new one may be proposed.
A brief excerpt from existing policy that is relevant to the motion should be included. If there is no such policy, the relevant party principles may be cited.
The actual text of the motion, normally phrased in terms of what action a Green Party government would take should be stated as clearly as possible.
The objective of the discussion section is to give members a good understanding of the issues the motion is addressing and the arguments in favour of the motion. It may be several paragraphs in length and contain links to supporting websites. Bear in mind that the longer it is, the less likely that members will read it all.
Party Bylaw 3.5.3 requires that a policy motion be sponsored by three members, whose names are stated as part of the presentation of the motion.
The policy motion submissions should be kept to a maximum of 2 pages.
SUBMISSION AND PROCESSING OF MOTIONS
Notice of a policy meeting will be given at least 60 days in advance of the meeting date as per Bylaw 3.1.1., and members will be advised as to how resolutions are to be submitted to the policy committee. There will be a deadline for submission of resolutions, normally about two weeks prior to the meeting.
The committee will review submitted motions, and may request that they be edited for greater brevity or to improve clarity, but the committee will not itself make substantial changes to motions. Where a request is made by the policy committee for changes and no meaningful response is received, the Policy Committee may decide not to present the resolution(s) in question to the meeting.
The committee will decide the order in which resolutions are to be presented to the meeting. This order may be changed at the meeting, either by consensus or by formal vote of the meeting. Approximately ten days prior to the meeting, the motions will be distributed to the membership for consideration.
POLICY MEETING PROCEDURES
Debate is conducted in accordance with Robert’s rules of order, interpreted as strictly as the situation seems to require. Ordinarily, one of the sponsors of the motion will speak first, following which the floor will be opened to other members. In order to expedite the flow of business and to ensure that all points of view are heard, each speaker will be limited to one minute, although if time allows they may speak more than once to any motion. The chair will endeavour to ensure that the opportunity to speak is allocated fairly. Amendments may be offered and voted on in the course of debate.
Tenor of discussions
Like all Green Party of Alberta proceedings, policy meetings are conducted civilly, with all involved showing respect for one another and their views. Even when divisive issues are discussed, civility prevails.
All persons who have been members for at least 30 days prior to the meeting are eligible to vote. Upon registration, each member will be given three voting sticks – one each of green, red, and yellow – and will vote by raising one of the cards. Green signifies approval, red opposition, and yellow a desire for further study or revision. A majority of two thirds is required to approve or defeat a motion. Where neither outcome is achieved, the motion may be sent for workshopping, particularly if there is a large yellow vote.
In the workshopping process, persons who have an interest in a particular motion will try to reword it in a manner that achieves greater support. The revised motion can then be returned to the floor for vote. The amount of workshopping at any meeting depends on available time and the will of the members in attendance.