GPUS Bylaws Article II National Committee
CONTACT: Hugh Esco and Holly Hart, BRPP co-chairs
SUBJECT/TITLE: Bylaws Amendment: Article II National Committee
TYPE OF PROPOSAL, EXPECTED APPROVAL THRESHOLD: Bylaws Amendment, 2/3
REQUESTED PROPOSAL DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE: Four week discussion
BACKGROUND: This bylaw amendment consolidates the core definitions and practices of the National Committee that are presently found in Articles II National Committee and Article V Voting Rules into one place, and eliminates duplicative and out-of-date text currently in Article II. Additionally since 2007, GPUS rules documents have been written/rewritten to appear in a consistent format of numbered Articles/Sections/Sub-Sections, making the text easier to follow and individual portions easier to find and cite. Before 2007, a mostly non-numbered format was used. This proposal would update Article II to reflect the Articles/Sections/Sub-Sections approach.
As the result of the consolidation, elimination of duplication and reformatting, the proposed revision shortens the number of words in existing Articles II and V from 642 to 366 in the proposed text.
Specifically, this proposal:
(1) Combines the part of Article II National Committee describing National Committee decision-making about votes cast at a GPUS Annual National Meeting, together with Article V Voting Rules - which describes National Committee decision-making - into a new Section 2.2 Decision-Making; and adds to 2.2 references to party standards about proposal sponsorship, voting and quorum that are found in Article VI of the GPUS Rules and Procedures
(2) Eliminates the 'sustaining membership' category in existing Article II, which has not been in use for many years, and which has no operative meaning in the operations/decision-making of the GPUS, and instead primarily obligates such sustaining members to receiving party newsletters and other publications -- a practice which has not been followed for years, and even if it were, would be more appropriate as a merchandising policy set by the Merchandise Committee than set in the bylaws.
(3) Embeds language about National Committee alternates (described in Article VIII of the GPUS Rules and Procedures) into Article II, so that it is clear from Article III that alternates are allowed and under which circumstances, rather than leaving absent their mention, and creating confusion whether they are allowed or not, unless one knows to look in an entirely separate rules document.
(4) Removes duplicative language referencing the GPUS platform and presidential nomination processes, which are now are contained separately in Article IX of GPUS Bylaws and in the GPUS Presidential Convention Rules, but were originally contained in this Article II National Committee when it was originally written in 2001
(5) Clarifies the reference to National Committee apportionment to the actual article (Article VIII) in the GPUS Rules and Procedures where it is defined
(6) Embeds in this Article, the decision of National Committee in proposal #78 (http://gp.org/cgi-bin/vote/propdetail?pid=78 ) that Networks (like the Green Officeholders Network) shall have a non-voting delegate on the National Committee
(7) Covers only those aspects of state parties, caucuses and networks relevant to the National Committee in the Article for the National Committee; and moves the definition of state parties and caucuses to Article V States Parties, Caucuses and Networks in GPUS Bylaws, where each can be defined in their full role, including aspects not pertinent to the National Committee
PROPOSAL: That the existing ARTICLE II NATIONAL COMMITTEE of the GPUS Bylaws be replaced with the following text, and that Article VOTING RULES be eliminated:
ARTICLE II NATIONAL COMMITTEE
Section 2.1 Authority and Membership
2-1.1 The National Committee shall be the highest decision-making body of the GPUS. It shall consist of voting delegates from accredited state Green Parties and Caucuses and non-voting delegates from accredited Networks.
2-1.2 The number and apportionment of delegates and alternates on the National Committee shall be established in Article VIII of the GPUS Rules and Procedures.
2-1.3 Alternates may be chosen by the body they represent, and shall enjoy the same rights of deliberation and voting as delegates, except that the appointing body may establish the time when alternates may vote in place of delegates.
Section 2.2 Decision-Making
2-2.1 Proposals may be submitted for National Committee consideration by state parties and caucuses, and by committees that contain such authority in their Mission Statement. The process for submitting proposals and the decision-making around them shall be governed by Article VI of the GPUS Rules and Procedures.
2-2.2 Quorum (Presens Quorum) shall be at least one delegate present from each of two-thirds of the active states and caucuses. A delegate is "present" when he or she (a) casts a vote of ‘yes’, ‘no’, ‘abstain’ or ‘none-of-the-above’ in on-line voting, (b) is physically in the room where a face-to-face vote is taken, or (c) is connected live to all other participants on a teleconference, web conference or other such venue at the time a vote is taken.
2-2.3 Proposals that provide options to vote either "yes" and "no" shall also provide the option to vote ‘abstain’. A vote to abstain shall count towards quorum, but not the approval threshold. Proposals that provide options other than ‘yes’, ‘no’ or ‘abstain’ shall also provide the option to vote ‘None of the Above.’ A vote for None of the Above shall count towards quorum and the approval threshold.
2-2.4 When present at the Annual National Meeting and/or other face-to-face meeting of the National Committee, a National Committee delegate may cast an additional vote in place of an absent delegate from that state party, as long as the total number of votes cast for that state does not exceed its total allowed votes on the National Committee, or twice the number of voting delegates in attendance.
RESOURCES: Bylaw change would become effective upon passage.
REFERENCES: GPUS Bylaws, ARTICLE II NATIONAL COMMITTEE http://www.gp.org/bylaws-of-the-green-party-of-the-united-states#02 and ARTICLE V VOTING RULES http://www.gp.org/bylaws-of-the-green-party-of-the-united-states#05
Existing text of ARTICLE II and Article V
ARTICLE II. MEMBERSHIP AND THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE
The term "state" as used in these bylaws shall refer to any state, commonwealth, district or territory entitled to voting representation or non-voting delegate status in the United States House of Representatives.
The term "underrepresented group" as used in these bylaws shall refer to any grouping of Greens, not explicitly ideological in nature, that has historically failed to attain adequate access to power in society at-large and/or within the Green movement, as determined by the National Committee.
2. National Committee
The National Committee of the Green Party of the United States shall consist of the representatives of state parties and accredited caucuses of underrepresented groups.
The National Committee shall be the final decision-making body of the Green Party of the United States.
The National Committee shall approve a democratic deliberative Platform process that encourages and facilitates discussion and debate among Greens at all levels, leading to voting in each even numbered year to consider amendments to revise the Platform.
The presidential nominating convention of the Green Party is the delegated decision-making body responsible for nominating the national Green Party's presidential and vice presidential candidates and approving the Green Party's national platform in those years in which it convenes"
Meeting of the National Committee and the nominating convention may be attended by Greens who are not voting representatives or delegates.
A delegate to the National Committee may cast an additional vote at a National Conference in place of an absent delegate, as long as the total number of votes cast for that state does not exceed its total allowed votes on the National Committee, or twice the number of voting delegates in attendance.
The apportionment to the various state parties and caucuses of delegates to the National Committee shall be determined by rules established by the National Committee and incorporated into a Rules document separate from these Bylaws.
3. Sustaining Membership
Individuals may become sustaining members of the Green Party of the United States by paying dues set by the National Committee on a sliding scale based on ability to pay. Members of state parties shall be actively encouraged to become sustaining members of the Green Party of the United States. Sustaining members shall receive the Association's publications and other benefits as determined by the National Committee.
ARTICLE V. VOTING RULES
The National Committee shall strive for consensus in decision making. If consensus is not possible, decision shall be passed by majority vote with the required presens quorum and the required consens quorum.
Presens quorum: In order for a decision to pass, at least one delegate from each of two-thirds of the states must be present.
A delegate is "present" when:
• (physical meeting:) he or she is physically at the location (in the room) where the vote is taken at the time the vote is taken; or • (phone or web conference:) he or she is connected live to all other participants at the time the vote is taken; or • (email voting:) he or she submits to the floor manger within the voting period a vote or an abstention. Consens quorum: In order for a decision on rules, by-laws, and platform issues to pass, a two-thirds (2/3) majority of all votes cast is required. For all other decision, a simple majority (more than 50%) of all votes cast is required. A majority can be reached in a run-off vote or by the use of instant-run-off procedures.
Abstentions are not "votes" for purpose of this sections; therefore an abstention shall count towards the presens quorum, but shall be disregarded for purposes of the consens quorum.
For proposals that provide options other than "yes" and "no," all delegates shall be given the additional option of casting a vote for "none of the above." "None of the above" cast by a delegate shall be a "vote" for purposes of this section