next GPO constitution

The next GPO constitution will be written by those who oppose Bill Hulet's omnibus resolution, since both potential GPO Presidents strongly oppose him.

See next GPC constitution for a good example of how to list changes required to a political party constitution.

Some changes that have been suggested for the next GPO constitution:

  • redefine the GPO as a Confederation of natural bioregional districts instead of as artificial human "Constituency Associations." The GPO CAs do not represent living bodies and can be changed at will of the government; for this and other reasons they are not rational bodies on which to organize. The current constitution allows that "CAs may form alliances to follow bioregional boundaries;" this could be required of all CAs.
    • Internal bioregional policy should be an exception to the clause that "dissenting or unratified policy statements must not be publicly presented as policy of the GPO." It must be possible for a bioregional inter-CA conference to set and publish policy and have it respected.
  • Specify some GPO protocols that the GPO Council will be required to uphold, regardless of who is in what post/mandate. Prepare to move to a governance council using organization protocols as a basis for complaints and audits and oversight
    • Redefine GPO Ombuds as those who supervise these and look for exceptions, and refine protocols
    • Define and implement a GPO agenda protocol based on Living Agenda protocol and the experience with wiki
    • Give all human command verbs that are mentioned in any of the party protocols status in the constitution so that there is one, privileged, definition for use in all protocols. For example, define a single meaning for the term "officer" and a short list of meanings for the term "vote" to ensure clear communication
  • Clarify some situations where municipal, campus, GPO, GPC, FPVA and Global Greens have conflict of interest, keeping the Green movement a bottom-up organizing structure. As part of that, to retain autonomy we should specifically forbid:
    • Receipt of private GPO records by parties not bound to the GPO proper, and commit to report any infraction to authorities, without exception
    • Any use of hearsay or rumour or paraphrase from outside sources as evidence in any GPO decision
    • Any use of the generic name "Green Party" by members, and especially of the logo, to advertise their own views as if they were the opinion of the party or some branch of it; Eject any member violating this wilfully unless they surrender any and all domain names and trademarks and copyrights in any works that infringe on the name and identity of the "Green Party" or "Green Party of Ontario" or "GPO", etc.; Sue without exception those who defy this rule, even after ejection from the party itself (to fail to enforce a trademark is to lose it)
    • Allow or encourage GPO members to hold membership in another federal political party
  • ensure that the GPO President is the only person "required to investigate all complaints against the internal decision-making process of any local CA" (the current wording is unclear), or to decide "that the local CA has misused its financial privileges or is not following proper democratic process in its internal decision-making," or suspend the CA, or call an AGM
  • Leadership needs to be clarified, and some leader roles removed:
    • Remove GPO Leader and GPO Deputy Leader from voting roles on GPO Council; possibly add second Deputy selected by the Council for regional or gender balance, to compliment the elected Deputy;
    • Clarify the party's stance on no party lists in any electoral reform, but in case a party list system is approved, clarify how such a list will be made in the constitution
  • Clarify process by which party refuses to sign nomination papers; presently "failure to nominate a replacement candidate is the only situation where provincial executive is allowed to "appoint" a candidate into a CA against the wishes of the CA membership." This should be expanded:
    • to allow for execution of strategies where there is active cooperation with another party to achieve electoral reform, in which case it may be required to nominate or endorse a member of another party.
    • For extremely urgent ecological purposes or to achieve structural reform to an electoral system it would thus be permissible to forbid a GPO CA to nominate any candidate. The requirement that "candidates must be members in good standing of the GPO" would be dropped for purposes of such dual nominations.
    • ALTERNATIVE: permit any GPO CA to nominate a candidate who has already been nominated by another party in return for specific guarantees (GPO visibility on signage and literature, policy endorsements, etc.)
  • "a mail-in ballot for plenary resolutions was agreed to in principle" but hasn't been implemented. An alternative is to have the plenary session do no decision making except as required to set up a mail-in ballot that would be the OUTPUT of the APC. Major decisions would then be made by the membership based on a clear set of questions laid out by those who had attended plenary and workshop sessions. This is similar to the proposed system of the Green Party of Nova Scotia.
  • Some formal status for GPO internal party directives is required, and some regarding electoral reform and democratic renewal need to be part of a constitution:
    • The recommendations or areas on which the GPO recommends some changes to the Ontario Democratic Renewal Secretariat should be clarified in detail at constitution level
    • Funding formulae for any anticipated per vote funds received by the GPO in case the provincial system emulates the federal in this regard should be worked out well in advance of any reality to avoid conflicts in the moment when it's becoming real. This has been very divisive in the GPC. Regional funding structures are advisable as they are robust, objective and accountable, in a way that "individual CAs" cannot be, and province-wide funding also cannot be
    • In line with policy on decentralization as one of the Ten Key Values, the constitution must outline how a Green Party of Toronto or Province of Toronto Green Party can be formed, and likewise for at least a Green Party of Niagara and any other region that is distinct and has a substantial movement to remove itself and end Ontario as we know it. The GPO is not hostile to such movements and must be able to facilitate them within its own structure, rather than resisting them. It is also required to work closely with municipal leaders especially in the very major centres such as the City of Toronto at least on development of good candidates for office.
    • A process to write an Ontario constitution that deals with the above is probably desirable as an element of the next GPO constitution to attract all those who are not unwilling to consider radical change.
  • Clarify goal of GPO as being to implement its policies as law, not to become ruling party, and accordingly:
    • Remove clauses that prevent one to hold membership in another provincial political party
    • Refuse cooperation to any political party that demands to know who is a GPO member
    • Define the GPO as an entity that seeks to further Earth-wide interests as a first priority, followed by bioregional interests, and only then those of the community. Member status in the GPO is not a basis to favour persons or groups, so it is simply wrong to state that "interests of the party" have any status in GPO decision making.