How to draft a plank

en français

To draft a plank for Platform 2005 follow these steps:

What is a plank?

A plank is a tactical, one-term (four year) implementation of a policy. It consists of a well thought out position on a well defined issue. Hopefully, it is consistent with Green Party's principles and values

A plank is not a philosophical statement, or a statement of belief. It is a list of actions that the Green Party would take if elected to govern. In its most distilled form, a plank is a collection of point form statements, beginning with The Green Party will...

Primary and secondary development

Primary development: happens mainly in the subcommittees and secondary development is supervised by the platform co-chairs. The object of primary development is to complete an IPA document - which identifies issues and positions, then provides supporting (and opposing) arguments. Sometimes a plank leader will begin with (borrow) a well developed position from some outside authority, this works well, so long as the necessary feedback and testing is conducted.

Secondary development: Beginning only after the Assembly has approved the plank, the secondary development of the plank is shared between the subcommittee, the plank leader and supporting staff. In this phase the plank is thoroughly researched, quality tested, implemented into the Green Federal Budget, and provided with backgrounders and messaging to candidates.

For more details on primary and secondary plank development see: guidelines for plank leaders

Reviewing Existing planks

Part of the platform project is to review to identify which planks from 2004 need the most work, and prioritize those topics that need work. Working from Platform 2004, intended to provide quick results in the event of a snap election.
  • Categorize all planks into one of two states: improve or start fresh.
    • Improve means that the plank is acceptable in principle and should be developed futher, with more research and quality testing.
    • Start fresh indicates that we would not advance this plank were a snap election to be called and a plank leader should be invited to submit an entirely new draft.
  • Brainstorm new topics. What was missing from the existing platform? Add these topics to the "insufficient" list.
  • Prioritize the "Start Fresh" for accelerated development.
  • Solicit researchers and plank leaders to work on the "Improve" planks.

Protocol for creating and approving a plank

  • Establishing the Committees - The Process Committee will establish a number of subcommittees to facilitate primary plank development.
    • Each subcommittee will have a chair and the chair will define the number of planks to be worked on, assign plank leaders to planks and facilitate the process.
    • the subcommittee chair will maintain the list of planks needing work, and appoint and advise the platform co-chairs when planks are ready to be brought to the assembly.

  • Finding a leader - once selected, the plank leader will be responsible for: directing volunteer efforts on the given topic, meeting deadlines, moderating debates about that topic on the email and in the wiki, and recruiting people to assist or consult on the plank.
    • Volunteers for plank leaders will submit a brief bio, and their intent for the plank.
    • If there are multiple volunteers for a role, the subcommittee chairs will decide, based on a recommendation from the subcommittee, or the platform co-chairs, or the assembly, if possible.

  • Planning and Developing
    • The subcommittee chair and the plank leader will decide on a reasonable deadline for the primary plank development, which will identify the issues, propose a position and provide arguments supporting and opposing. They will create a set of milestones from the current date, to the deadline date.
    • The subcommittee chairs and the plank leader will consult periodically to verify that the plank development is happening on schedule. If necessary, the subcommittee chairs can request additional resources to ensure that the plank is developed on time.

  • Accepting a plank into the platform
    • Before the plank is due to be voted upon by the Assembly, the subcommittee must reach a consensus that they are happy with the draft plank.
    • The plank will be presented to the Assembly list for one week of discussion. Any member of the assembly who objects to the proposed plank will be asked to explain their concerns about the plank to the plank leader.
    • The subcommittee will have one week to amend the plank and/or respond to the concerns of the Assembly, with the option to withdraw the plank.
    • After amendments are made, planks subcommittee will re-introduce the plank to the assembly for voting. The plank may not be amended once it has been re-introduced.
    • On the due date, the assembly will vote on the plank. All "nay" votes will have to explain why the plank has been deemed insufficient. If a simple majority is reached (50%+1), the plank will be accepted into Platform 2005 quality testing. If the plank fails the vote, a new plank leader may be selected, at the discretion of the platform co-chairs.

see also: guidelines for plank leaders