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next GPNS constitution

The next GPNS constitution has been proposed to have the following features. Some of these may be incorporated into the GPNS protocols before GPNS AGM 2007.

This short summary of the proposed GPNS constitution features is drawn from March 2006 summaries of alternative drafts(external link) of the GPNS constitution approved at GPNS AGM 2006. It follows the general rules and style of Green constitutions. Other aspects of that draft not dealt with here include:

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PURPOSE

"The GPNS exists to discover and ratify viable Green policies with as
wide a base of support as is feasible, advancing them into NS law by
whatever means, but especially by: building a grassroots movement that
remains a constant presence on the political scene, gaining widespread
publicity and support for our own or similar policies (using public
education, representative education, membership drives and leadership
races), running directly in elections for the Nova Scotia legislature
or co-nominating or levering agreement not to run, offering input to
(and critiques after) major government decisions especially budgets
and throne speeches, filing formal positions and deputations with
provincial government and other official bodies, working with all
other Green Parties in the world towards common simultaneous policy,
participating in media debates, and actually taking office as MLAs."

STRUCTURE

Organize along seven large ocean-shed bioregions. Names & exact
boundaries not final, but here is the idea (numbers correspond to
riding numbers):

1. Eastern Shore: 12, 15, 22, 24, 43, part of 45.
2. Forestry economy region & St. Margaret’s Bay (incl. Lun. Co.): 10,
38,
39, 44, 48.
3. Fishing economy region (incl. Shelburne & Yarmouth Cos.): 3, 11, 47,
52.
4. Agricultural economy region/Valley: 1, 32, 33, 35, 36, 37.
5. Bras d’Or/Cape Breton: 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 23, 34, part of 45, 50.
6. Urban/Halifax Harbour: 25, 31, 43, 48, 51, etc.
7. North Shore: 2, 13, 16, 17, 40, 41, 42, 49.

10, 21 may also be divided.

These entities have sole control over their own membership functions -
they are equivalent to districts likely to exist under STV and may be
transformed into formal STV district entities; while the present FPTP
system persists all GPNS Constituency Associations will be organized
as "Circuits" of their regions including existing ridings as above -
these regions are the bodies that actually send delegates to Council,
with final say over policies relevant to their regions, and membership
(since voting for leader or policy is by delegate, there need be no
single membership list at all, and this is desirable for many reasons)


PROTOCOLS

- see GPNS PROTOCOLS for a list of all functions of the party that are
required to create totally predictable behaviour relative to the PURPOSE

- the constitution only specifies the names and scopes of the protocols,
the definitions are in an appendix subject to frequent debate and re-
definition and interpretive rulings mostly driven by cases/complaints

- new sub-protocols can be created by committee and adopted by Council
where more rigour is required

CONVENTIONS

Aim to organize two conventions; one policy, one leadership. Locations
still to be decided but should be as central to as much of NS as possible,
eg. New Glasgow & Tantallon. All voting will be done by mail. Conventions
simply frame the ballot questions: policy ballot is output of the policy
convention and final copy of ratified policy is presented for vote at AGM.

Leadership candidates must anounce sometime in early April, after the
creation of the party but well before the convention. Must be nominated
and seconded by members.

Exact protocol definitions will be changed at each Annual General Meeting
(policy ratified from the prior policy convention is under the standing
GPNS position protocol, before the new one come into effect at the AGM)


GOVERNANCE

- a council drawn of at least two representatives from each region

2 council members will be drawn from each ocean-shed region, with
the exceptions of Halifax & Cape Breton, which will contribute 3 each
owing to their larger populations - subject to possible increase later

- the leader and one deputy are elected together on a single "ticket"

- a second deputy leader is appointed by the Council for some balance
(gender, region, language, race, urban/rural) they think is central

- the council jointly responsible to define jobs but with constraint
that they must have a plan for dealing with each party protocol and
must have a single clear way to deal with complaints about failures
that is effective and timely (not ineffective like the GPC "Ombuds")

- officers in a conflict of interest with respect to a protocol (for
instance, with respect to member protocol, if one is part of a specific
faction actively stating their willingness to exclude another faction)
or person (for instance, with a stated preference for excluding some
person or in a position of advocating some formal complaint or lawsuit
that names them) will withdraw from that protocol or decision and will
satisfy council to "unanimity minus two" that the conflict is over
before they are permitted to make decisions w.r.t. that protocol/person

- mandatory mediation and arbitration may apply for some conflicts; in
particular complaints that the GPNS is abusing finances or regulations

INTERNAL AND EXTERNAL RELATIONSHIPS

- high bioregional autonomy so that, for instance, Cape Breton has
most or all control over policies that affect only Cape Breton, and
membership control ideally also in the hands of the bioregions only
(no central membership list, bioregions issue all member credentials)

- a relationship with the GPC that consists only of offering the GPC
first chance to comment on GPNS policy to remove small differences
that affect coordination but also offering exactly that same chance
to other federal parties after the GPC has had its chance to review

- a relationship with other provincial Green Parties that prefers the
provincial New Brunswick and provincial PEI Greens position, then
the Green Party of Maine and of Newfoundland and Labrador, and only
after that other Greens in New England and Quebec. The GPNS cannot
participate in any Canada-wide federation of provincial Green parties
unless it includes substantially all of these parties and is not
formally affiliated with the Green Party of Canada. The GPNS will be
instrumental in forming a Gulf of Maine Greens, Gulf of St. Lawrence,
and Gulf Stream Greens, to better execute bioregional responsibility
and will work directly with foreign Green Parties to achieve this

- an open position protocol where any individual can participate using
online media, teleconference calls, email, and need not attend some
particular live meeting or offer their input only at a critical time
but can do so at any time prior to the final decision and know that
their input will be reliably stored as part of a pending agenda item



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