Political Party Governance

political party governance

Political Party governance is a key aspect of democratic accountability. It determines whether political parties are cynical "vote harvesting" machines, or legitimate representatives of popular positions and political philosophies.Since federal political parties recive public funding under the new Elections Canada rules, political party governance is increasingly a public matter.

Part of the mission of open politics itself is to make goverance processes more transparent and accountable to members who join them and the public who vote for them.

[+] background on Elections Canada requirements.


position: The new rules go too far in telling political parties how to operate.

position: other specific aspects of such governance need to have standard names

If the governance elemets had the same names across all federal political party structures so that they can be easily compared by those who consider joining such parties, or voting for them, and enforced by the members:
Each party must publish these protocols to make it clear how members are treated. This serves as a reference in case there is any need to mediate disputes, and it provides a baseline from which members must argue in any lawsuits.

position: whatever rules are defined in its policies, a party must meet them itself

An issue in the GPC Council Crisis was that the Green Party of Canada had to insist that its own GPC Governance and GPC protocols be exemplary in every way in meeting the new Act and setting high standards for other parties, i.e. "there must be no policy advocated to which the GPC doesn't comply." This is an extreme position against hypocrisy and the appearance of insincere advocacy.

A fallback position is that a party agrees to meet the highest standard of any other major party, but is not obligated to set much higher standards than the best of the other parties it competes against. It may do so but if so it does so strategically as a way to win votes and supporters.