CPC ConventionWatch 2008: We read 19 pages of proposed constitutional amendments so you don’t have to!

Now that I’ve had the chance to go through the full list of proposed constitutional resolutions, here are a few of the more interesting changes that will be considered at next week’s convention.

Note: All of these resolutions are slated to be debated on the floor; there is a separate package of ballot-only resolutions as well, most of which are eyeglazingly technical in nature, but I’ll post the highlights once I’ve had the chance to go through it.

  • No more Teeny Tiny Tories: Prospective members will have to be at least 16 to join the party, although 14-and-up- year olds who are currently members in good standing will be allowed to remain, provided they meet all the other eligibility requirements.
  • Pay your own way: In future, the national membership fee would have to be paid personally, by the member in question, in accordance with whatever “rules or procedures” the National Council comes up with to provide “reasonable assurance” that members aren’t joining the party on someone else’s dime.
  • “60 days? But I have strong feelings for or against a particular policy and/or candidate now!” : A separate proposal would also impose a sixty day “minimum waiting period” before a new member can attend local riding association meetings, vote for (or be elected as) a delegate or attend the national convention, although that can be waived by National Council. Oh, and they’ll need to show photo ID too.

  • From the “Things I Would Have Assumed Were Already In The Constitution, But Apparently Not” files: The leader of the party now has to be a member in good standing, as does the executive director, members of the National Council, Conservative Fund of Canada directors and anyone who wants to run for the party.
  • And it shall be known as “NorthYukonavut” – For delegate-selection purposes, the three territories constitute a single province.
  • No love for lobbyists: “A person required to be registered as a Consultant Lobbyist under the Lobbying Act (Canada)” cannot be elected – or appointed – to National Council, although they needn’t feel slighted, as the constitution also bars MPs and Senators (except the party leader), party employees, MP and Senate staffers, and anyone who holds a membership in another federal political party. (Does the above list include PMO officials, I wonder? It doesn’t say anything about ministerial staff.)
  • National Council elections would be conducted using a preferential ballot, and the president would automatically become a director of Conservative Fund Canada.
  • “REEEEECALL!” – EDA presidents will be allowed to petition – once – to recall their regional representative National Council member, although at least a year has to have passed since the initial election, and it requires two-thirds support to succeed.

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