Every two years the Conservative Party of Canada has a policy convention where the official policy stances taken by the Party are decided. This year the Policy Convention will take place in Halifax August 23-25. The Policy Declaration of the party will be used as the basis for the Party's election platform for the 2019 general federal election.
Each of the approved policies from IdeasLab and the regional policy meetings will be divided into general categories, typically along the lines of foreign affairs, justice and crime, economics, and social policies. At the policy convention, there will be one room for each of these general categories and the policies that are passed within these break-out sessions will make it to the plenary session.
The plenary session takes place on the second day where every delegate gets to vote on all the approved policies from the break-out sessions. In order for a policy proposal to pass, it must receive an overall majority of 50% + 1 of all voting delegates in the room and have a majority of the delegates from 7 provinces and territories also vote for the proposal (known as a double majority).
Let's continue with our example policy proposal to strike down Policy No. 65 (A Conservative government will not introduce legislation to regulate abortion). After being approved on IdeasLab or in a regional policy meeting, the policy would go to a break-out session at the policy convention (most likely one on health and social issues). That break-out session would need a majority of pro-life delegates at the time of the vote of the policy in order for the policy to go to the plenary session.
Assuming that happens, the policy would then require a simple majority of the approximate 3,000 voting delegates at the plenary session and a majority of the delegates from seven provinces or territories. In this example, if the policy proposal receives 1,600 of the 3,000 votes cast and the approval of the majority of delegates from Alberta, Saskatchewan, Nunavut, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Newfoundland and Labrador, and New Brunswick, then the policy would pass.
If the policy proposal received 1,600 of the 3,000 votes cost but only received the approval of the majority of delegates from British Columbia, Alberta, the Northwest Territories, Quebec, and Nova Scotia, then it would fail.
If the policy proposal received 1,400 of the 3,000 votes cast and received the approval of the majority of delegates from Yukon, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Newfoundland and Labrador, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, and New Brunswick, then it would fail.
Polices come from the membership of the Party. The Party will consider 78 policy proposals at the policy convention, 60 from IdeasLab and 18 from the regional policy meetings. Each riding association will take policy proposals from the membership through policy meetings, surveys, the work of the policy committee for each riding association, and social media. The policy committee and the riding association board of directors will vote on which policies should be proposed on behalf of the riding association.
There are two ways for the policy proposals to go to the policy convention to be voted on:
- Regional policy meetings
Each of the 338 riding association presidents has editor access to a website called IdeasLab where all the policies proposed from the riding associations can be viewed by members and the public-at-large. Each of the 338 riding association presidents will vote on the policy proposals on IdeasLab and the 60 policy proposals with the highest votes will then go to the policy convention to be voted on by the delegates.
Regional policy meetings
There will be eighteen (18) regional policy meetings across Canada. Each riding association will be grouped into one of these regional policy meetings. Each riding association board will be able to present at least one policy proposal. At the regional policy meeting, all members of the Party who come from those ridings will be able to vote on the proposed policies. The policy proposal receiving the highest number of votes will then proceed to the policy convention to be voted on by delegates.
Let's say that the policy proposal we want to introduce is the elimination of Policy No. 65 (A Conservative government will not introduce legislation to regulation abortion). We would need a riding association board of directors to approve the policy at one of their board meetings and the president of that board to then input on IdeasLab. We would then need to ensure that as many of the 338 riding association presidents vote for that policy as the 60 top policies will then be introduced at the policy convention in Halifax.
Simultaneously, we would introduce the same policy at as many regional policy meetings as possible and ensure that as many pro-life members of the Party are present at these regional policy meetings so that policy would received the highest number of votes to go forward to the policy convention in Halifax.
Each riding association gets to send up to ten delegates, with one of them having to be under the age of 24. The delegates are selected by members present at a delegate selection meeting for the riding. If more than ten members wish to be delegates, then a vote is cast by all members of the riding present at the delegate selection meeting. The delegates with the highest number of votes are then selected.
It is imperative that if you wish to be elected as a delegate for your riding association, that you have as many pro-life members of the riding attend as possible specifically to vote for you to be the delegate. Remember, we need a majority of pro-life delegates to go to the policy convention in order to pass pro-life policy proposals.
Remember, that delegates MUST be members of the Party for at least 21 days prior to the delegate selection meeting or their membership expired no more than 90 days beforehand and was renewed at the delegate selection meeting!
Let's say that you receive a notice that the delegate selection meeting is April 2, 2018 and you want to be a delegate for your riding association. The first step is to let us know at RightNow so that we can help you get as many pro-life members of the Party to the delegate selection meeting as possible to vote for you to be a delegate. Additionally, you should try to sell as many memberships to the Party to pro-lifers in your riding so that they can vote for you at the delegate selection meeting.
If there are no more than nine members of the riding over the age of 23 who wish to become delegates, then those members are acclaimed as delegates.
If there are more than ten members of the riding over the age of 23 who wish to become delegates, then a vote will be held and all the members of the riding who are present at the delegate selection meeting will choose their top nine delegates. The nine members who receive the highest amount of votes will be elected as delegates.
If there are more than ten members of the riding who wish to attend as delegates, but one is under the age of 24, then the member under the age of 24 is acclaimed and the other members have to be elected as delegates as per above. If there are more than one member under the age of 24 wishing to be a youth delegate, then an election is held for that spot as well.