Building a new Liberal movement: Renewal and consultation
Early this year, Justin Trudeau asked LPC President Anna Gainey and your LPC Constitutional and Legal Advisors to lead a working group on determining the constitutional changes needed for the May 2016 Winnipeg Convention.
Tasked with redesigning the party from the ground up, the goals of the working group were to create a more open and accessible party; to modernize the party for the 21st century; and to create a unified party under one constitution that removes many of barriers created by past divisions.
The working group sought direct input from all members and supporters of the party, and 2,116 Liberals completed an online survey giving their opinions, and an astounding 1,279 Liberals provided written comments and advice.
The response was overwhelming – and here’s a sense of what we heard:
98%support modernizing the Liberal Party of Canada constitution
91%believe the Liberal Party of Canada should have one constitution like all other major federal parties
96%want to make membership more open and accessible
99%support steps to make the policy development process more innovative and open
This 2016 round of feedback builds upon a series of comprehensive consultations with the party membership on these topics over the past decade, which was instructive to the 2016 working group and has already resulted in other important reforms such as the 2012-13 open leadership contest and supporter category.
Some of these previous consultations include:
- 2006 Red Ribbon Renewal Task Force
30-page report, and Justin Trudeau served as a task force chair focused on youth involvement
- 2009 Special Committee on Party Renewal
- 2009 Change Commission
39-page report and 17-page follow up two years later
- 2011 consultations leading to supporter category
79-page Building a Modern Party background paper
Voting on a new Liberal constitution
The vote on whether to adopt the proposed new constitution will take place at the 2016 Liberal Biennial Convention in Winnipeg from May 26-28 during the constitutional plenary session, and all delegates attending the convention will be eligible to vote.
To pass, the proposed new Liberal constitution requires the support of at least two-thirds of voting delegates in attendance for the plenary.
Transitioning to a new Liberal constitution
The new constitution includes several pages of detailed transition timeline information.
If the new constitution is approved on May 28, some of the changes will take effect immediately, some changes will take place over the remainder of 2016 as the National Board of Directors passes new by-laws, and some changes will start taking effect on January 1 2017.