MP Member of Parliament or Member of Party
What our Members of Parliament have become is a pledged delegate. In an election are we voting for an MP or the PM? If what we are really now voting for is whom we wont as the Prime Minister then that makes the party’s candidate in each riding the means by which we vote for someone else. This is exactly what a pledged delegate to a leadership convention is. As I posted elsewhere our elections have come to resemble US presidential elections namely with the top of the ticket (PM) and the bottom of the ticket (MP).
I just recently sent a letter, YES the Canada Post kind! to Mr. Rathgeber. Here is most of that letter.
If you want our politics to change it will have to start with the political parties themselves. That is the purpose for the founding of this party, which is based on the principles that I believe in and organized the way I think a party should be run.
So begins the statement of founding for the Federalist party of Canada (www.federalistparty.ca). I was the riding president here in Compton-Stanstead when I quit the NDP in 2009. That year I received an email from both the National and Montréal offices that stated that in order to run for the nomination you had to be approved first my the national director in the federal office. NO! To run for the nomination you must be eligible to run for the House of Commons and be a member in good standing. There should be some sort of review process for nominated candidates but not to simply run for the nomination itself and of course as you know the Leader of a party under our election rules can refuse to sign your nomination papers. I ended up founding a new federal party solely because all the other parties are not run the way I believe a party should be organized.
Here are the 5 main bodies of the Federalist Party.
National Assembly: The national assembly is the registered members of the party who vote online in direct democracy of the membership. All policy resolutions and bylaws require the approval of the national assembly. The national assembly and only the assembly can votes on constitutional amendments. Representation in the assembly is one member one vote.
National Congress: The national congress is the winners and second-place candidate for the party’s nominations for the House of Commons. The approval of the congress is required for all resolutions and bylaws. Representation in the congress is one riding one vote.
Federal Council: This Council is the national leadership of the party and includes the national policy committee. The national policy committee is in effect the Federalist party’s government in waiting. The national policy committee initiates all key resolution that forms the party’s national platform. The party platform is binding upon any Federalist government and it’s members of Parliament. The federal council initiates all binding resolutions and these are binding upon a Federalist government.
National Executive: The administrative body that runs the national office. It is the top two candidates that get elected so the executive is a non-factional body that serves all the members of the party.
Federal Tribunal: The independent and long-termed judicial body that resolves all disputes involving the party’s bylaws and Constitution.
Federal Election Officer: The FEO is the independent and non-factional officer responsible for conducting the nomination and all national elections. In effect the chief electoral officer for the party.
From the provisional constitution:
11.3 The Leader shall sign all nomination and Election Canada papers. Any refusal shall mean the automatic and immediate expulsion from the Party.
11.4 The National caucus shall consist of all Party members who are members of the House of Commons. Each Federalist MP can vote as they choose in the House of Commons. The caucus by an absolute two-thirds majority vote can suspend an MP from caucus.
12.3 Key resolutions need three-quarter majorities to be passed in the National Assembly and National Congress. The Federal Council must also pass such resolutions with a two-thirds majority vote. Key resolutions are motioned in the National policy committee. These resolutions form the National Party Platform and are binding upon a Federalist government and all Federalist MPs.
This last one is applicable to you. In the Federalist Party you are a Member of Parliament before you’re a member of party. The restraint on you is getting the nomination again and your standing in the Party. The restriction is the Party’s platform, which is binding on the Party’s MPs. Under the Party’s rules you can vote against the platform without penalty a number of times in each Parliament equal to the number of times you have been elected to the House. If you were a Federalist MP in this Parliament you could break party ranks twice with no disciplinary action. The first time with penalty you are suspended from caucus for 6 months. The second time you have your membership suspended for one year. Of course three strikes your out and expelled from the party.
An independent election officer instead of the party executive.
10.5 There shall be a Federal Election Officer (FEO). This officer shall be responsible for the conduct of all national and nomination elections and the administration of the Party’s registered voters list.
10.6 The Federal Election Officer is elected by a two-thirds majority vote of the National Congress in regular session with a concurring two-thirds majority vote of the National Assembly. This officer can be removed by the same vote in the Assembly and Congress. The term of office shall be for 10 years.
Join a former NDPer in this party and change the way political parties in Canada are run. There are two registered parties (Pirate Party / Online Party) who use online voting for direct democracy and so it’s a matter of time before it will be the main parties as well. If you don’t join any comments or suggestions will be welcome.