2020- 2022 Policy Process | Green Party of Canada
Where GPC membership collaborates to develop our policies
G21-B002 Bylaw for a Revitalized Shadow Cabinet
This proposal was discussed in the workshop during Phase 2 of the VGM. However, there was not enough time for this proposal to be voted on in plenary by the members during Phase 2. Therefore, this proposal will not be included in the ratification vote.
Shadow Cabinet should be, and be seen by the membership as, an invaluable conduit for dialogue between the leadership and the grassroots. It is therefore proposed that Bylaw 6, Cabinet, be deleted and replaced with the following:
Bylaw 6 Cabinet
6.1 The Cabinet or Shadow Cabinet will be chosen by the Leader using a list of candidates provided by the membership. The list will be generated based on their expertise in specific fields that match official Cabinet positions.
6.2 Caucus MPs selected to be members of Shadow Cabinet will select a Co-Critic chosen from the list provided by the membership.
6.3 Vacancies will be filled from the lists provided by the membership.
6.4 The process and procedures for soliciting Shadow Cabinet candidates and their selection to Shadow Cabinet will be provided in the Shadow Cabinet Handbook and published on the website of the Party.
6.5 The Shadow Cabinet shall be responsible for the following:
6.5.1 Creating the election platform in keeping with membership-approved policies;
6.5.2 Ensuring that the members of the Party have the ability to set the Party policy and to influence the Party platform;
6.5.3 Facilitating the development of written procedures for grassroots policy development for consideration and approval by the membership;
6.5.4 Ensuring the publication of these procedures on the public website of the Party;
6.5.5 Facilitating member-driven regular reviews of the existing set of policies to modify or rescind policies as needed, to ensure they are relevant, up-to-date, and reflect current Party thinking and priorities;
6.5.6 Maintaining an up-to-date compilation of the Party policies on the Party website.
To revise how the Shadow Cabinet is created with revitalized roles by engaging the available expertise and capacities of the membership. This will make this body of greater value to the Party and the Leader, more respected by the membership, and more effective in carrying out its mandate.
The amendments will strengthen the connection between the membership and Shadow Cabinet, take advantage of the vast reservoir of knowledge and expertise within the membership, and clarify roles with respect to party policy and platform development. Connecting leadership with grassroots will bring innovative and forward-thinking input to advance the Party’s goals.
Supporting Comments from Submitter
The current Shadow Cabinet follows the traditions of the major Parties in how it is constructed and used by the Leader. Greens are courageous and innovative in finding new ways to work within the existing systems to be more democratic and effective. This bylaw amendment revises how the Shadow Cabinet is created and utilized to engage membership in order to be of greatest value to the Party and the Leader.
The proposal also aims at making the bylaw consistent with the Constitution. The latter takes precedence and clearly states that the responsibility for setting policy lies with the General Meeting of Members (7.3.12). The bylaw's current language is ambiguous in that it leaves in the hands of the Shadow Cabinet to determine how members can “influence” party policy (6.4.2., "ensuring the members of the Party have the ability to influence the policies and platform of the party"), instead of acknowledging that the mandate to set policy lies with the membership. A key role of Shadow Cabinet is to work as a body in helping the Leader to prepare a platform that ensures it is consistent with member-approved policies and resonates with the public. Where possible, the membership should also be consulted in drafting of Positions that may emerge during an election.
Ecological Wisdom, Participatory Democracy
Relation to Existing Policy
Rescind and replace an existing policy. This proposal would rescind and replace Bylaw 6.
List of Endorsements
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