Saturday, February 15, 2014

Proposal #13: Creation of a Style Committee

DRAFT This is a draft proposal which has not yet been voted on by the committee.

Proposed by Aaron Starr.

  • Problem: A proposal quickly crafted on the floor at the 2010 convention added Convention Rule 5.8, which authorizes the National Committee with only a majority vote to amend thePlatform and Bylaws (but not the Convention Special Rules of Order) for non-substantive stylistic changes.

    The enacted change is more in the nature of a Bylaw, rather than a Convention Special Rule of Order, which is normally intended to address how we conduct business during the convention.
  • Solution: Require such changes receive a super-majority (rather than a simple majority) of the National Committee after providing advance notice on the Party’s website, and that such changes be proposed by a separate Style Committee, a majority of who are other than National Committee members. Move it from the Convention Rules to the Bylaws, where it belongs.
  • Benefits:
    1) Increases the requirement for a modification from a simple majority of the National Committee to a two-thirds vote.
    2) Assures that the National Committee may not propose such a change, and that majority of those who are proposing a style change are not also serving on the National Committee.

Convention Special Rules of Order of the Libertarian Party


  1. Should changes to the bylaws or platform result in a grammatical error in accordance with the latest edition of the Chicago Manual of Style, the LNC presiding at the time of that discovery is authorized to make those grammatical corrections provided it does not change the meaning or intent of the item edited.

Bylaws of the Libertarian Party


  1. The National Committee shall appoint a Style Committee composed of three members: the Secretary and two individuals who are not members of the National Committee. The Style Committee may propose stylistic changes to the Platform, Bylaws, and Convention Rules that are non-substantive in nature, such as corrections to spelling, grammar, punctuation, capitalization, active versus passive voice, breaking up run-on sentences, correcting references, reordering, and renumbering. Proposed changes shall be posted on the Party’s website at least 30 days prior to being submitted to the National Committee for ratification by a two-thirds vote.


  • removed - red, strikethrough
  • added - blue, underline, italic


  1. One person's 'style' is another's 'substantive change'. No.

  2. It should just be eliminated. It made sense at the time (as delegates were tired of covering bylawas changes about commas for ever) but in practice I dont' see anyone actually doing this. And we have enought "keyboard warrirors" that whatever decision such a committee made it would be argued about on the Internet forever instead of useful move towards a libertarian society.