Ever wonder where governments get their ideas for legislation?
Ideas come from polls, surveys, the Leader and the team around the Leader, as well as other members of caucus.
But the guiding document for any political party in power is the policy platform. Within the policy platform are all the positions that the party takes on various issues from foreign policy to economic policy to social policy.
Who gets to write the policy platform?
The members of the party do!
While it is slightly different for each political party, essentially each EDA board submits policy resolution proposals to the National Policy Committee. The EDA will ask for members of the EDA to propose policies or they will create a Policy Committee for the EDA made up of EDA board members (do you see why it is important to become a member of the EDA board?!).
The National Policy Committee will then combine similar policies from different EDAs into one policy and decide which policies will go to the membership for a vote at a national policy convention.
Who goes to a national policy convention?
First off, a national policy convention is where selected members of the party get together to debate and vote on policy resolution proposals. They are typically held every 2-3 years and will be based in different cities across Canada. For example, in 2016, the Liberals had their policy convention in Winnipeg, the Conservatives in Vancouver, the NDP in Edmonton and the Greens in Ottawa.
The various EDAs will vote amongst themselves who will represent the EDA at the party’s national policy convention at a Delegate Selection Meeting. Typically only about ten are selected for each riding. In addition to delegates, alternate delegates will also be elected. The alternate delegates cannot take part in any of the voting at the convention unless a delegate drops out of the convention.
EDAs do not have to send a full slate of delegates and often times most EDAs will have a few spots left. This means that all the delegates nominated at a delegate selection meeting could be acclaimed. For example, let’s say you want to go to the Conservative Policy Convention for the riding of Central Nova, but only eight people put their name forward as delegates. If you put your name forward, you will automatically go (provided that you are able to pay the delegate fees, hotel and travel costs).
What happens at a national policy convention?
Prior to the convention, all the delegates will have access to all the proposed policies. The policies will be grouped into various categories such as: environment and energy, economic and fiscal policy, social policy, etc… and be voted on in these break-out rooms. Delegates select which rooms they would like to go to in order to vote and potentially speak for or against certain policy proposals. The top ten or so policies from each break out room will make it to the convention floor where every delegate will get a chance to vote on them. This is known as the plenary session.
In order for a policy resolution to pass, it must receive the majority support at the plenary session in all parties.
So why does this matter to pro-lifers?
Since the platform can be a guiding document for future governments, it would be wise to make as many parties policy platforms as pro-life as possible. The best way to achieve this is to become a member of a political party and be selected as a delegate to that party’s national policy convention.
If you are wanting to become a delegate, propose pro-life policy to be voted on at your riding level as well as at the national policy convention then get a hold us at RightNow today and we will help get you and your policies there!