How the NHL is to hockey, the National Council is to party politics. 

National Council is where federal decisions are made for the party. National Council gets to create, amend or delete by-laws of the party, they control the party’s budget, the membership fees, the rules for a national leadership race, as well as the date and location of the national policy convention.

Who gets to sit on national council?

National Councilors are elected by party delegates at a national policy convention, by province. So for example, in the Conservative Party of Canada, Ontario is given 4 of the 25 national councilors.
At each policy convention, only the delegates from Ontario ridings get to vote for the national councilors from Ontario.

National Councils differ for each party in terms of numbers, powers and terms, so we have broken it down for you:

Province

Liberals

Conservative

NDP

Green

Alberta

1

2

 

1

British Columbia

1

2

2

1

Manitoba

1

1

 

1

New Brunswick

1

1

 

1

Newfoundland and Labrador

1

1

 

1

Northwest Territories

1

1

 

1

Nova Scotia

1

1

 

1

Nunavut

1

1

 

1

Ontario

1

4

2

1

Prince Edward Island

1

1

 

1

Quebec

1

3

2

1

Saskatchewan

1

1

 

1

Yukon

1

1

 

1

Prairies

 

 

2

 

Atlantic

 

 

2

 

North

 

 

1

 

TOTAL

13

20

11

13


We did not include the Bloc Quebecois since all members of their board are from Quebec.


Are there non-elected members of National Council?

In addition to the elected members of National Council, there are non-elected members, who are called ex officio members. They are members by virtue of their position. For example, in the Liberal Party of Canada, a member from the Liberal caucus in the House of Commons is on the National Council. For the Conservative Party of Canada, the Chair of Conservative Fund Canada also sits on National Council.

The direction of the party in terms of advice given to the Leader, the staff of the party (who can be hired and terminated by the National Council), and where party monies are invested are all determined by the National Council. It is imperative that as many pro-lifers are elected to the National Councils of the different parties as possible.

Are there other national boards or committees?

In addition to their National Councils, parties have other national organs that conduct more specific business.

The two most influential of these other national organs are:

National Policy Committee. This committee is tasked with compiling the various policy proposals from all the EDAs across the country, voting on which ones should go to the national policy convention and then creating and distributing the book of policy proposals to be voted on by delegates at the national policy convention.

National Candidate Selection Committee. National Councils of parties will often create these committees to ensure that any candidates nominated at the local EDA level adhere to party guidelines and the Leader’s preferences. These committees will often times be given the power to allow or disallow a nominated candidate’s nomination.

So why does this matter to pro-lifers?

The National Councils of the various parties have an incredible influence over the party functionality, especially in regards to policy development and candidate selection committees. If pro-life policies and candidates are to be adopted and win, respectively, then pro-lifers must ensure that pro-lifers sit on National Councils and the other national organs created by those national councils.

To help build a pro-life consensus in your party, contact RightNow today and together we’ll begin to make your political party a pro-life party!


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