Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Proposal #15: Make Conventions More Interesting and Productive

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

Proposed by Aaron Starr.


  • Problem: Delegates spend an extra day or so at convention conducting business that need not take place every two years.
  • Solution: Split up the business portions to alternating conventions so that:
    1. Outwardly focused activities (i.e. nominating our Presidential candidate and updating our Platform) take place during Presidential Nominating Conventions; and
    2. Inwardly focused activities (i.e. electing Party officeholders and updating our Bylaws) take place during the Mid-Term Conventions.
  • Benefits:
    1. With a shorter convention it is more likely that more people will be able to stay through the entire convention and not miss out on important business, such as electing people to party office.
    2. Having Party officeholders elected at the Mid-Term Convention means that we aren’t trying to get a new National Committee up-to-speed only a few months before a Presidential election.
    3. Dividing the business into every other convention allows us to have a convention with less time dedicated to business and more time dedicated to workshops and interesting speakers.
    4. Our Presidential Nominating Conventions are often televised. And those viewing our convention are more likely to change the channel if they see us spending time debating Bylaws changes and electing people to internal Party office. The public is far more interested in who we elect for President and what issues we stand for.

Note: The substantive parts of this proposal are in the beginning (e.g. dividing up the business between conventions, only allow vacancies to be filled until the next convention, etc.). The later changes simplyconform the language so that Regular conventions are classified as either Presidential Nominating or Mid-Term Conventions. Also please note that while Representative Regions are formed every four years in this proposal, regional representatives need not serve four-year terms. A regional formation agreement may be written so that a regional representative is replaced more frequently (e.g. at each convention).


Bylaws of the Libertarian Party

ARTICLE 11: CONVENTIONS

  1. Regular Conventions:
    The Party shall hold a Regular Convention every two years, at a time and place selected by the National Committee. Regular Conventions shall be held sometime during the period of July of an odd-numbered year through August of an even-numbered year. All business required to be conducted at Regular Conventions shall be conducted at Regular Conventions only. A Regular Convention shall be either a Presidential Nominating Convention or a Mid-Term Convention, alternating from one to the other. Nominations for President and Vice President, and amendments to the Platform shall only occur at Presidential Nominating Conventions. Elections of Party officeholders and amendments to the Bylaws and Convention Rules shall only occur at Mid-Term Conventions.
ARTICLE 8: NATIONAL COMMITTEE
  1. The National Committee shall appoint new officers and members-at-large if vacancies occur, such officers and members-at-large to complete the term of the office vacated, or until there is an intervening Regular Convention, at which time a special election will be conducted to fill the seat.
ARTICLE 9: JUDICIAL COMMITTEE
  1. The Judicial Committee shall be composed of seven Party members elected at each Regular Mid-Term Convention, and any five members shall constitute a quorum. No member of the National Committee may be a member of the Judicial Committee. The members of the Judicial Committee shall select the Chair of the Judicial Committee. The Judicial Committee shall take office immediately upon the close of the Regular Mid-Term Convention at which elected and shall serve until the final adjournment of the next Regular Mid-Term Convention. All Judicial Committee members shall have been Party members at least four years at the time of their selection.The remaining members of the Judicial Committee shall appoint new members if vacancies occur, such appointees to serve until the final adjournment of the next Regular Convention complete the term of office vacated, or until there is an intervening Regular Convention, at which time a special election will be conducted to fill the seat.
ARTICLE 17: AMENDMENT
  1. These Bylaws may be amended by a 2/3 vote of the delegates at any Regular Mid-Term Convention. During a Presidential Nominating Convention delegates may by a 3/4 vote suspend the rules to consider an exigent amendment to the Bylaws, but such an amendment shall then require a 3/4 vote to pass.
  2. Article 4, Section 1, shall not be amended by a vote of less than 7/8 of all registered delegates at a Regular Mid-Term Convention.


Bylaws of the Libertarian Party

ARTICLE 4: STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES AND PLATFORM

  1. The Statement of Principles affirms that philosophy upon which the Libertarian Party is founded, by which it shall be sustained, and through which liberty shall prevail. The enduring importance of the Statement of Principles requires that it may be amended only by a vote of 7/8 of all registered delegates at a Regular Convention.
  2. The Party Platform shall include, but not be limited to, the Statement of Principles and the implementation of those principles in the form of planks.
  3. The current Platform shall serve as the basis of all future platforms. The existing Platform may be amended only at Regular Presidential Nominating Conventions. Additional planks, or additions to planks, must be approved by 2/3 vote. A platform plank may be deleted by majority vote.
ARTICLE 7: OFFICERS
  1. The officers of the Party shall be:
    • Chair,
    • Vice-Chair,
    • Secretary, and
    • Treasurer.
    All of these officers shall be elected by a Regular at a Mid-Term Convention of the Party, shall take office immediately upon the close of the Convention and shall serve thereafter until the final adjournment of the next Regular Mid-Term Convention. No person shall serve as an officer who is not a sustaining member of the Party.
ARTICLE 8: NATIONAL COMMITTEE
  1. The National Committee shall be composed of the following members:
    1. the officers of the Party;
    2. five members elected at large by the delegates at a Regular Mid-Term Convention; and
    3. any additional members as specified below:
      Any affiliate party with 10% or more of the total national party sustaining membership within affiliate parties (as determined for delegate allocation) shall be entitled to one National Committee representative and one alternate for each 10% of national sustaining membership. Affiliate parties may, by mutual consent, band together to form "representative regions," and each such "region" with an aggregate national party sustaining membership of 10% or more shall be entitled to one National Committee representative and one alternate for each 10% of national party sustaining membership. "Representative regions" may be formed or dissolved once every two years during a period beginning 90 days before the beginning of and ending on the second day of the National Mid-Term Convention, and notice of new formations or dissolutions must be given in writing to the national Secretary prior to the close of the Convention at which they take place.
  2. The National Committee shall take office immediately upon the close of the Regular Mid-Term Convention at which they are selected, and serve until the final adjournment of the next Regular Mid-Term Convention.
ARTICLE 11: CONVENTIONS
  1. Convention Rules:
    The Party's Convention Special Rules of Order may be amended only by a Regular Mid-Term Convention.
ARTICLE 12: OTHER COMMITTEES
  1. There shall be a Platform Committee, a Bylaws and Rules Committee and a Credentials Committee for each applicable Regular Convention. The National Committee shall appoint a temporary chair of each committee to serve until each committee selects its own chair.
  2. The Bylaws and Rules Committee shall consist of ten Party members appointed by the National Committee no later than three months before a Regular Mid-Term Convention. No more than five of these members shall be members of the current National Committee.
  3. The Platform Committee shall consist of 20 members selected as follows:
    1. One member by each of the ten affiliate parties having the largest sustaining memberships as determined for Convention delegate allocations at the most recent Regular Mid-Term Convention. These members shall be selected no later than the last day of the fifth month prior to the Regular Presidential Nominating Convention.
    2. Ten members appointed by the National Committee, including no less than five members from states other than the ten affiliate parties having the largest sustaining memberships as determined for Convention delegate allocations at the most recent Regular Mid-Term Convention. These members shall be appointed no later than the last day of the fifth month prior to the Regular Presidential Nominating Convention.
ARTICLE 14: PRESIDENTIAL AND VICE-PRESIDENTIAL CAMPAIGNS
  1. Nominations of candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States may be made only at the Regular Convention immediately preceding a presidential election a Presidential Nominating Convention.

Convention Special Rules of Order of the Libertarian Party

RULE 1: ORDER OF BUSINESS

The standing order of business for a Regular Convention shall be as follows, and further limited in these Bylaws:
  1. Call to order
  2. Credentials Committee report
  3. Adoption of agenda
  4. Treasurer's report
  5. Bylaws and Rules Committee report
  6. Platform Committee report
  7. Nomination of Party candidates for President and Vice-President (in appropriate years)
  8. Election of Party Officers and at-large members of the National Committee
  9. Election of Judicial Committee
  10. Resolutions
  11. Other business
RULE 5: DEBATING AND VOTING -- PLATFORM
  1. After the adoption of the convention agenda at a Presidential Nominating Convention, the convention will vote whether to delete planks from the existing platform. This will be accomplished as follows:
    1. The Credentials Committee shall issue five signature tokens to each delegate.
    2. Tokens shall only be issued to delegates. Delegates are responsible for transferring possession of unused tokens to their alternates if necessary.
    3. Each delegate may cast each token as a recommendation for deletion of one plank by noting on the token the plank to be deleted and signing the token.
    4. A delegate may cumulate recommendations by casting any number of tokens for deletion of the same plank.
    5. Delegates will be given until one hour prior to the scheduled start of the platform report to mark their tokens and deliver them to the Secretary.
    6. Prior to the scheduled start of the platform report, the Secretary shall review the tokens received and tabulate and report the tokens submitted for deletion of each plank.
    7. As its first item of platform business, the convention shall vote whether to delete each of those planks that received a number of tokens for deletion equal to 20% or more of the number of credentialed delegates. Such votes shall be cast without amendment or debate.
  2. The Platform Committee shall meet before each Regular Presidential Nominating Convention and prepare a report containing its recommendations. At the convention, the Platform Committee's recommendations shall be reported to the floor and debated and voted upon separately. The Platform Committee shall set forth the order in which each recommendation shall be considered.

Proviso: Amendments to the Platform may still take place at the convention at which this is adopted.


Key

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

3 comments:

  1. If this were changed to allow for filling of LNC spots vacated during the preceding 2 years (even if the LNC has appointed someone to the position) I would consider supporting it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Bylaw 8.7 addresses that, Matt:
    "or until there is an intervening Regular Convention, at which time a special election will be conducted to fill the seat."

    If you think that does not adequately address the situation, please suggest alternative language.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Certainly a good idea, though one thing to be concerned with is: 1.) The more portions you edit in one change, the less chance it will get approved by the delegates. 2.) There is concern if good potential LNC officers would decline the nomination as not willing to promoise the next four years of her life.

    ReplyDelete