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Proposal Details

Proposal ID393)
ProposalAmend Rules and Procedures Regarding Proposals before the National Committee
PresenterSteering Committee
Floor ManagerPhil Huckelberry
PhaseClosed
Discussion05/11/2009 - 06/21/2009
Voting06/22/2009 - 06/28/2009
ResultAdopted
Presens Quorum34 0.6666
Consens Quorum56 0.6666 of Yes and No Votes

Background

In recent months the Steering Committee has been confronted with difficult questions regarding assigning proper approval thresholds and other matters regarding proposals submitted to the National Committee. Existing Bylaws and Rules are in some cases ambiguous, and rules which have been passed over time have not all been compiled in the GPUS Rules and Procedures document.

This proposal seeks to address many of the issues which have arisen in recent months by providing thorough procedures for the disposition of proposals presented to the National Committee and compiling all such procedures in a single article of the GPUS Rules and Procedures. Guidelines for assigning thresholds are expanded, timelines are spelled out, the Steering Committee's overall role in the process is better defined, and language is added which would seek to establish long term planning for proposals, all of which are with an eye toward improving efficiency, clarity, transparency, and accountability for the National Committee.

The overall scope of the changes within this proposal are intended to be fairly limited. Many further improvements to GPUS Bylaws and Rules which have been suggested by National Committee members in recent weeks and months are beyond the scope of this proposal, which is attempting to deal specifically with improving and clarifying current processes regarding disposition of proposals. For example, Section 6-10 in this proposal is the existing language pertaining to appeal of Steering Committee decisions regarding the disposition of proposals. It is expected that an amendment to that language will be submitted in the near future by BRPP or another entity. Other changes are likely to come over time as well, and it is hoped that passage of this proposal will help facilitate future National Committee work by eliminating much of the existing confusion over how to interpret the rules regarding proposal disposition.

Proposal

The existing "Article VI Voting Rules" of the GPUS Rules and Procedures is hereby repealed and replaced by the new section "Article VI Procedures for Proposals to the National Committee" as follows.

ARTICLE VI. PROCEDURES FOR PROPOSALS TO THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE

Section 6-1 Submission of Proposals

6-1.1 Throughout this Article, any reference to "state parties" or "caucuses" is intended to refer to state Green Parties or caucuses which have been accredited by the Green Party of the United States.

6-1.2 Proposals may be submitted by one or more committees, caucuses, and/or state parties, in a manner provided for by their internal rules or procedures, and only within their scope as defined in 6-1.3. Proposals may be submitted by individuals only as defined elsewhere in the Bylaws and the Rules and Procedures.

6-1.3 The scope for proposals submitted by state parties and caucuses shall be any proposal in accordance with the Bylaws and the Rules and Procedures. The scope for proposals submitted by committees shall be as defined in their Mission Statement, or as defined in Committee Rules which were approved by the National Committee prior to June 28, 2009, and necessarily includes amendments to their Mission Statement and Committee Rules.

6-1.4 All proposals for National Committee consideration must be submitted to the Steering Committee. A proposal shall be considered submitted to the Steering Committee when it has been submitted to and acknowledged by the Secretary.

6-1.5 Proposals that have been submitted at least six days before a regular Steering Committee meeting, and meet the conditions as specified in Section 6-5, shall go to the online voting queue at the next regular starting date, except as otherwise provided in this Article.

6-1.6 Proposals submitted less than six days before a regular Steering Committee meeting, but which meet the conditions specified in Section 6-5, may be placed in the online voting queue at the next regular starting date, at the discretion of the Steering Committee.

6-1.7 A proposal's sponsor(s) may request a later regular starting date than the next scheduled one. If the proposal meets the conditions specified in Section 6-5, it shall go to the voting queue at the date requested by the sponsor(s), except as otherwise provided in this Article.

Section 6-2 Types of Proposals and their Approval Threshold (Consens Quorum)

6-2.1 The following proposals before the National Committee shall require 2/3 of all 'yes' and 'no' votes cast for passage

6-2.1(a) Amendments to the Bylaws

6-2.1(b) Amendments to the Rules & Procedures

6-2.1(c) Amendments to the Fiscal Policy

6-2.1(d) Amendments to the Presidential Nominating Convention Rules

6-2.1(e) Accreditation of State Parties, Caucuses, and Networks

6-2.1(f) Establishment of Standing and Ad Hoc Committees

6-2.1(g) Creation and Amendment of Committee, Caucus, and Network Mission Statements

6-2.1(h) Delegation of National Committee Decision-Making Power

6-2.1(i) Recall of Steering Committee Members

6-2.2 The following proposals before the National Committee shall require a majority of all 'yes' and 'no' votes cast for passage.

6-2.2(a) Budget, Budget Amendments

6-2.2(b) Resolutions

6-2.2(c) Nominations by the Steering Committee for Committee Membership as specified by the National Committee

6-2.2(d) Other nominations by the Steering Committee as specified by the National Committee, including nominations for: Forum Managers; Facilitators for Annual National Meetings; Facilitators; and Honorary Co-Chairs and Elections Administrators for Presidential Nominating Conventions

6-2.2(e) Certification of Steering Committee Election Results

6-2.2(f) Rules, Policies, and Procedures for GPUS Standing and Ad Hoc Committees, Caucuses, and Networks

6-2.3 Proposals which have multiple operative clauses or sections shall require a 2/3 threshold for passage if any part of the proposal meets the criteria as described in Section 6-2.1.

6-2.4 Proposals which seek to modify the scope or powers of a committee or network must come in the form of an amendment to their Mission Statement.

6-2.5 Proposals that do not fit into Sections 6-2.1, 6-2.2 or 6-2.3 may be submitted to the Steering Committee with a recommended threshold. The Steering Committee shall make an evaluation and assign a threshold as per Section 6-5.

Section 6-3 Decision-Making Timelines

6-3.1 When it submits a proposal, a proposal's sponsor(s) may request in advance one of the following timelines, and then may amend that request later as specified in Section 6-6:

6-3.1(a) Timeline A - Two weeks discussion, followed by one-week vote.

6-3.1(b) Timeline B - Three weeks discussion, followed by one-week vote.

6-3.1(c) Timeline C - Four weeks discussion, followed by one-week vote.

6-3.2 In addition to the options provided in 6-3.1, the Steering Committee may:

6-3.2(a) Sponsor a proposal with a shorter discussion period, if by a 2/3 vote it approves findings that declare that a shorter period would allow the GPUS to meet deadlines it would otherwise not meet, or be of other substantial benefit to the GPUS. In such cases the Steering Committee is strongly urged to schedule a one-week discussion beginning on the regular starting date, unless the circumstances identified in the findings clearly require a discussion period of different length.

6-3.2(b) Declare an expedited placement into the voting queue, earlier than the next regular starting date, if by a 2/3 vote it approves findings that this would allow the GPUS to meet deadlines it would otherwise not meet or be of other substantial benefit to the GPUS

6-3.2(c) Delay placing a proposal into the voting queue for up to two weeks, if by a 2/3 vote it approves findings that the timeframe of the proposal would overlap with holidays or major public elections, or to limit the number of proposals on the voting queue at the same time, so as to allow for greater participation on the part of the National Committee.

6-3.3 The National Committee may direct the Steering Committee to place no proposals in the voting queue for a period of up to three months for recessing or for any other purpose as specified by the National Committee. The Steering Committee may at its discretion, by a 2/3 vote approving findings to such effect, place a proposal before the National Committee during such a voting hiatus, but only for a stated emergency purpose.

Section 6-4 Proposal Format

The format for proposals shall be:

6-4.1 SPONSOR(S): (State Party, Caucus, Committee, or group(s) thereof)

6-4.2 CONTACT: Primary Presenter(s) (name, phone number, email)

6-4.3 SUBJECT/TITLE: (Goal of 10 words or less)

6-4.4 TYPE OF PROPOSAL, EXPECTED APPROVAL THRESHOLD: (as per 6-2)

6-4.5 REQUESTED PROPOSAL DECISION-MAKING TIMELINE

6-4.6 BACKGROUND AND PURPOSE: (relationship, reasons and/or justification to the GPUS; presentation should be short and to the point, with further background provided in the Resource section)

6-4.7 PROPOSAL:

6-4.8 IMPLEMENTATION/TIMELINE/RESOURCES: (personnel, meetings, work hours, finances, period of implementation, including any sunset clause if applicable)

6-4.9 REFERENCES: (Sources for readily obtainable materials to aid in the decision making process of voting members, including additional background)

Section 6-5 Steering Committee Review

6-5.1 The Steering Committee shall have the responsibility to review whether a proposal satisfies the following criteria:

6-5.1(a) Is a proposal as defined in Section 6-2;

6-5.1(b) Has been submitted in the appropriate format as defined in 6-4;

6-5.1(c) Is within the scope of the sponsoring committee or network, if sponsored by a committee or network, as defined in Section 6-1.2;

6-5.1(d) Is not in conflict with GPUS Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy or Presidential Convention Rules;

6-5.1(e) Is clear in what it asks the National Committee to decide;

6-5.1(f) Has been properly approved according to the relevant rules and procedures of the sponsoring entity or entities.

6-5.2 If a proposal has satisfied the criteria in Section 6-5.1, the Steering Committee shall place the proposal into the voting queue according to the timing specified in Sections 6-1 and 6-3.

6-5.3 When the Steering Committee places a proposal into the online voting queue, it shall

6-5.3(a) State the quorum requirement as a percentage and as a specific number of states and caucuses necessary to meet it;

6-5.3(b) State the appropriate approval threshold by the National Committee;

6-5.3(c) Assign a Steering Committee member as Floor Manager for the proposal's discussion and vote periods.

6-5.4 If the Steering Committee deems that a proposal does not comply with any/all of the conditions in Section 6-5.1, it must approve findings that state how the proposal does not comply and how it can be corrected. Such findings shall be published to the National Committee votes list no more than 72 hours after the conclusion of the Steering Committee meeting at which the findings are approved. In the absence of a vote approving such findings, a proposal shall be assumed to satisfy the conditions in Section 6-5.1 and must be placed in the voting queue according to the timing specified in Section 6-1.

6-5.5 If the Steering Committee deems that a proposal warrants a different approval threshold than that specified by the sponsor, it must approve findings stating why, including directly addressing 6-2. Such findings shall be published to the National Committee votes list no more than 72 hours after the conclusion of the Steering Committee meeting at which the Findings are approved. In the absence of a vote approving such findings, a proposal shall be assumed to satisfy the conditions in Section 6-5.1 and must be placed in the voting queue according to the timing specified in Section 6-1, except as otherwise specified in this Article.

6-5.6 Decisions of the Steering Committee may be appealed according to the process defined in Section 6-10.

Section 6-6 Online Discussion Period

6-6.1 The regular starting time of the discussion period shall begin at 12:01am Eastern Time on Mondays. The regular discussion period shall be for either two or three weeks, as specified in Section 6-3 followed by a voting period of one week, ending at 11:59pm Pacific Time on Sundays.

6-6.2 The National Committee shall strive for consensus in decision-making. The discussion period is the place for stating and responding to clarifying questions and concerns, and proposing amendments and responding to them.

6-6.3 If a two-week discussion period had been chosen, the sponsor(s) retain the option to extend the discussion period for one or two more weeks, upon notifying the Floor Manager at least 48 hours before the close of the discussion period. If a three-week discussion period had been chosen, the sponsor(s) retain the option to extend the discussion period for one more week, upon notifying the Floor Manager at least 48 hours before the close of the discussion period.

6-6.4 The Steering Committee may extend a discussion period for up to two weeks, so long as the total discussion period does not exceed four weeks, if it approves findings stating specifically how this would benefit the National Committee's decision-making process. Such findings shall be published to the National Committee votes list no more than 72 hours after the conclusion of the Steering Committee meeting at which the findings are approved. Sponsor(s) should be consulted in advance, if possible, and if a proposal sponsor should express any concerns with extending discussion, such concerns should be part of the record of the Steering Committee's findings.

Section 6-7 Amendments by the Sponsor(s)

6-7.1 During the online discussion period, sponsors may amend their proposal and resubmit the amended version to the National Committee if at least 48 hours before the commencement of the voting period, they make their submission to the Secretary and notify the Floor Manager. The sponsors shall also post the text of such amended proposals to the National Committee votes list to help ensure that the National Committee has the greatest opportunity to discuss the amended proposal.

Section 6-8 Amendments by the National Committee

Section 6-9 Online Voting Period

6-9.1 The voting period shall be seven days, commencing upon the close of the discussion period.

6-9.2 Quorum shall be at least one delegate present from each of two-thirds of the state parties and caucuses. A delegate is "present" that casts a 'yes', 'no', 'abstain' or 'none-of-the-above.'

6-9.3 Abstentions count towards the quorum (presens quorum), but not towards the approval threshold (consens quorum.)

6-9.4 For proposals that provide options other than 'yes' and 'no' and which are not conducted using ranked choice voting, 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.

6-9.5 Proposals which are conducted using ranked choice voting shall be tabulated using the method for ranked choice voting defined in GPUS Rules and Procedures.

Section 6-10 Appeals of Procedural Decisions Made by the Steering Committee, Floor Manager or Facilitator

6-10.1 Should any five members of the Green National Committee of the Party representing any five state parties or caucuses assert that any ruling of the Steering Committee or the Floor Manager on any point with respect to the handling of a Proposal submitted for the consideration of the National Committee was made contrary to the rules governing such rulings, such objection shall be recognized, and shall serve to initiate an appeal from the decision. When meeting face-to-face a Delegate may raise such an objection by respectfully addressing the facilitator and stating: "I appeal from the decision of the facilitator because this ruling is contrary to our rules" and then explaining the inconsistency. When meeting by email such an objection may be initiated by posting the same statement to the votes list. Any such appeal which is then joined by sufficient cosponsors as required by this paragraph shall stay the effective date of that decision, pending the resolution of the appeal.

6-10.2 The facilitator at a face-to-face meeting, or the Floor Manager, when conducting business by email, shall acknowledge the appeal by stating to the body the point ruled on, the Steering Committee or facilitator's decision on it and shall then put the appeal to the National Committee. The question put to the body shall be framed as: "Shall the body sustain the decision of the Steering Committee (or the Floor Manager or the facilitator) that . . . "

6-10.3 Debate on the correctness of the ruling shall be limited to twenty minutes when meeting face-to-face or when conducting business by email shall end at 12:00 midnight Pacific on the day following the day on which the appeal is acknowledged by the Floor Manager as being in order due to its having sufficient cosponsors. The facilitator or Floor Manager shall then put the question of the appeal to the body for a vote. When conducting business by email, the vote shall commence upon the close of debate and shall close seventy-two hours later.

6-10.4 The ruling of the Steering Committee, Floor Manager or facilitator shall be sustained unless overruled by the vote of a majority of those voting, who voted in opposition to the question of sustaining the decision, provided votes have been cast by Delegates from at least a simple majority of the state parties and caucuses eligible to cast votes on the matter. All appeals from the decision of the Steering Committee or facilitator at a face-to-face meetings shall be made immediately, and no appeal shall be in order after other business has intervened from the time of the alleged error of the Steering Committee or facilitator and before the appeal is sought. All appeals from the decision of the Steering Committee or Floor Manager when conducting business by email shall be made not later than midnight Pacific time, the third complete day after the publication to the votes list of the decision appealed.

6-10.5 Any member may have entered in the minutes a protest in writing based on any ruling so made. Said protest shall clearly and succinctly set forth the grounds of such protest and shall not exceed 200 words. It shall not impugn the motive of the body or any member thereof.

Section 6-11 Long Term Planning and Scheduling of Proposals

6-11.1 At the beginning of each Fiscal Year, state parties, committees, caucuses and networks that expect to advance proposals to the National Committee, including any required by the Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Fiscal Policy, Presidential Convention Rules, and/or by resolution of the National Committee, are encouraged to forward the basic scope and expected timing of submission of such proposals to the Steering Committee.

6-11.2 The Steering Committee shall publish the list of potential proposals identified in Section 6-11.1, together with the schedule of internal elections and other mandated decisions, to the National Committee on a semi-annual basis.

6-11.3 Once a state party, caucus, network, or committee has begun an internal vote to send a proposal to the Steering Committee, the Co-Chairs of that state party, caucus, network, or committee are encouraged to notify the Steering Committee of the anticipated date of the proposal's submission should it be approved.

6-11.4 Where it may ensure that decisions already required by the Bylaws, Rules and Procedures, Presidential Convention Rules and/or by Resolution of the National Committee are heard by the National Committee, the Steering Committee is encouraged to consult with sponsors of other proposals to voluntarily adjust their timing, to give these mandated items priority.

6-11.5 Where there may be potential overlap of mission and/or jurisdiction among proposals and/or proposal sponsors, the Steering Committee may facilitate a consultative process among them and any relevant other committees, caucuses, networks, and/or state parties. The existence of such a consultative process does not prevent a proposal from going forward in the voting queue as otherwise specified in Section 6-5. However, a proposal's sponsor(s) may amend the timing and content of their submission as a result.

Resources

As specified. Many committees will need to review their Committee documents to ensure that they have a clearly defined Mission Statement.

References

Rules and Procedures, Existing Proposal Procedures, Proposal 266

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