As a GPO member, this is your chance to have your say on Policy Statements that will be considered at the 2021 Convention!
Starting May 15th, members will receive their Provincial Executive ballot and Policy Statement list. Members will rank their top 10 statements.
What is plenary?
Plenary is the part of the convention that is attended by all participants (as opposed to the other breakout sessions throughout the weekend). In the GPO, we use the term plenary to refer to the parts of our convention where we consider and vote on constitutional, policy and directive resolutions.
What are resolutions?
During the conference, we will consider 3 types of resolutions that set a particular direction for the GPO:
- Policy resolutions that set a position for the GPO on a specific issue,
- Constitutional resolutions that modify our constitution, and
- Directive resolutions that request a particular course of action for operations of the party.
What order will we review resolutions?
We’ll look at constitutional, directive and policy resolutions, in that order.
The policy resolutions will be ranked by members prior to convention.
When do we vote?
We will vote on resolutions during Plenary.
How do we vote?
We use a voting method called the Bonser Method to consider resolutions. For our general convention process, or where the Bonser Method is silent, we use Robert’s Rules of Order.
Here is a brief introduction to the Bonser Method of voting. More information is available in the Bylaw F of the GPO constitution. If there is a discrepancy between these instructions and the bylaw, the bylaw is the authority.
The sponsor of the resolutions or a designate presents the resolution and explains its merits for a maximum of 2 minutes.
2. Questions of clarification
Delegates (that’s you!) can ask up to a total of 3 short questions of clarification of 30 seconds maximum (3 total per resolution, not per delegate). This is not a presentation of arguments for or against the resolution, rather an explanation of a point that may not be clear.
At this point, only minor wording changes (‘friendly amendments’) that clarify the resolution in response to the questions asked shall be allowed – no opinions, amendments, or speaking to the content of the resolution.
Delegates can next speak in favour or in opposition to a resolution: up to 2 people with supporting arguments, and 2 people with opposing arguments. Maximum 30 seconds per person.
Two microphones will be set up on the plenary floor for this purpose (a “pro” mic and a “con” mic). If there are more than 2 people at a mic, it’s good to consult with each other to ensure the best arguments are put forward. The plenary chairs may extend the debate for up to 5 minutes.
Once the debate has been closed, the chairs will then move to a vote. To vote for the motion, show your voting card:
- Green to support the resolution.
- Red to oppose the resolution.
- Yellow to send the resolution to workshop. This means that you could support the motion, given changes that would be suggested during a break-out workshop.
Note: some delegates may carry proxy votes on behalf of members who aren’t able to be present at the meeting.
The motion passes if more than 60% of the votes cast are green, and is defeated if more than 60% of the votes cast are red. Any other outcome means the resolution will be sent to a workshop session for possible amendment.
You do not have to vote on every resolution.
At an appropriate time in the agenda, generally after 3 resolutions are voted to go to workshop, the chair calls a breakout workshop session. In each workshop, a resolution is discussed and amended, and recommendations to the assembly may also be prepared.
You can choose whichever workshop is of most interest to you.
At the workshop, the resolution is debated in more detail, and amendments are proposed to address any concerns raised. The final wording of the resolution is brought back to the plenary for a final vote.
6. Final Vote
At the close of the workshops, plenary resumes and the updated resolution is provided for consideration. The workshop leader is given time to explain the reasons behind the changes (if any). 3 questions of clarification are permitted. Friendly amendments (wording changes that don’t affect the meaning of the resolution) are allowed, but there is no further debate on the resolution.
A second vote on the resolution is held. In this final vote, only votes in favour (green) or opposed (red) are permitted. If 60% of the cards displayed are green, the resolution passes. The resolution is defeated with any other outcome.