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platform proposal

A platform proposal is an actual proposal to change the laws of Canada or make a specific decision within those laws as they presently exist using powers that presently exist with one or more levels of government. It relies on some policy terms that may require definition in order to be comprehensible to journalists, analysts, and defensible against rivals in debates.

come from position papers


Each position paper outlines or suggests at least one potential platform proposal - the position protocol sorts these out and makes them official OR NOT. The fact that a platform proposal exists doesn't make it official - it is just as it says, a proposal. Issue Advocates bear the bulk of the responsibliity for turning proposals into the message?s that will be conveyed to the public, e.g. in press release protocol.

Most interest group briefings and Answers to Questionnaires pander to the specific target group for which it was written. Most position papers especially Issue Advocate statements and also press releases underestimate the difficulties of implementing a policy. Because they explain implications for specific politically active people who play a major role in setting the media's agenda, the Answers to Questionnaires are probably the most useful resources to consult for important qualifications or ideas about platform proposals and directions.

But, regardless of who originates them or how they are "vetted" or reconciled with policy terms:

for Platform 2005


Platform 2005 will have dozens of such proposals, no more than six to twelve of which will be highlighted as major features of Green campaigns between now and the anticipated Canadian federal election, 2005. The Platform 2005 Process sorts through the many possibilities in a "fair and balanced" way that respond to the strategic opportunities and current events in the news, to ensure that these proposals will resonate with the public and carry elements of Green message to them in the long term - changing how they think of issues or solutions.

is not policy term


A platform proposal is not a policy term. The list of policy terms are generic concepts that are defined neutrally without advocacy of any specific proposal, and which could be given without comment to journalists as backgrounder?s if they are unfamiliar with the policy concepts. By contrast, a platform proposal is much more specific to Canada and its current laws, proposing specific changes to those laws and use of powers that already exist under those laws. This could be no more than an appendix or example of a true policy term.

For instance, green tax shift is a generic policy term that has been applied in Sweden and other countries notably in the EU. You can find generic articles that talk about it with a global scope that say nothing about Canada or Green Parties, so the term is defined in English without any reference to who or where it might be applied. Platform proposals that help to implement it in Canada would have names like Stable Fossil Fuel Prices?, Cut Corporate Welfare?, Higher Luxury Tax?. Notice that the slant on these terms exploits beliefs that 'stable' is good, 'welfare' for non-living thinngs and 'luxury' are bad.

has a name suitable to put on a federal Act


Another difference is that platform proposals are so specific as to have proper names. These should be directly translatable into the names of Private Member's Bill?s, e.g. "The Stable Fossil Fuel Prices Act." By adopting consistent messaging from the initial naming to the final proposal as law, it becomes possible to assign real meaning to a simple noun phrase.

may be dated


The actual details, numbers or assumptions in proposals might vary over time in which case Stable Fossil Fuel Prices, 2005? and Stable Fossil Fuel Prices, 2006? might be different policies. A blanket proposal with the same name as the policy term could exist - it would be called Green Tax Shift, 2005? to avoid confusing it with the generic green tax shift concept.

A list of platform proposals can be implied from subtitles in the list of Platform 2005 subcommittees and should be kept separate from the list of policy terms. Eventually both sets of terms will be combined in the Platform 2005 Terms list - a glossary/appendix to the actual published printed platform.

is justified in terms of at least Pillars, at most Values


Some platform proposals up for review in Living Platform:


As is well demonstrated by the Senate Reform example, a complete platform proposal should be justified in terms of at least the Four Pillars and as many as Ten Key Values. Issues with it must be collected in IPA form and include all issues or questions raised in the Policy FAQ or that have previously been dealt with in Answers to Questionnaires during the immediately prior federal election.

can't pretend to define policy terms or pre-empt other proposals


Conflicting proposals should have different names rather than allowing either one to capture the namespace created by the policy term, e.g. electoral reform is a generic concept and if there are conflicting proposals for it, one must not be allowed to capture the name Electoral Reform for itself - the two must be reconciled. Any use of a policy term as a platform proposal name authorizes in advance any degree of integration, challenge, fusion and rewrite of the original text.





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