This section of the LPC Policy Tool Kit provides an overview of the various elements of the LPC Policy process:
- continuous engagement
- policy resolutions
- national conventions
- national platform committee
The purpose of the of the LPC policy process is to encourage participation of Registered Liberals in the public affairs of Canada by:
- advocating and supporting Liberal values, philosophies, principles and established policies
- providing forums for Registered Liberals to improve policies, provide input on public affairs and contribute to the election platform
- accommodating changing technology, conditions and electoral cycles
- endorsing and supporting elected Members of Parliament and nominated candidates
The LPC policy process must facilitate continuous policy engagement with Registered Liberals and promote diversity, bilingualism and gender equity.
All Policy Secretaries/Chairs are responsible for facilitating a democratic and transparent policy process within their jurisdiction that promotes grassroots engagement with Registered Liberals, the LPC Constitution and By-Laws.
LPC Caucus, Commissions, Provincial and Territorial Boards may sponsor policy proposals for consideration by the National Platform Committee and National Convention in accordance with these guidelines.
Each sponsor that decides to submit policy resolutions to the National Convention must have at least one of their priorities considered by delegates.
Regular reporting on the status of prioritized resolutions and platform commitments is a key element of the LPC Policy process.
Provincial and Territorial Boards and LPC Commissions have flexibility to develop, select and prioritize policy proposals in a way that reflects their unique jurisdiction. However, their governance processes must:
- be democratic
- include meaningful engagement with Electoral District Associations and Registered Liberals
- promote innovation and accessibility
- comply with the LPC Constitution and Policy By-Law
To be eligible for consideration, resolutions must meet quality specifications and timelines established in section four of LPC Policy Procedure Guidelines.
The National Policy Committee is responsible for ensuring compliance with the LPC Policy By-Law and Guidelines – and making improvements as needed.
The policy process begins with Registered Liberals meeting to share opinions and beliefs on issues of importance in their community.
All LPC Policy Chairs/Secretaries are responsible for encouraging this active participation by Registered Liberals in the public affairs of their communities in a way that promote liberal values and facilitate forums where citizens can share ideas. This engagement can include:
- logistical support for Liberal MPs
- organizing policy town-halls, socials and/or community roundtable meetings in unheld ridings with LPC staff
- follow-up on prioritized resolutions through advocacy, correspondence and/or preparation of policy papers
- liaison with neighbouring riding associations and local Commission representatives
- communicating government-led engagement opportunities and regular progress reports on LPC platform implementation to key stakeholders
- surveys on important issues within federal jurisdiction
- being active in local/provincial community/charitable causes
- coffee parties/coffee house chats
- other creative ideas developed by Commissions, Provincial and Territorial Boards and Electoral District Associations (EDAs)
Links to information and documents that can help support continuous engagement activities:
- Previous election platform and LPC policy resolutions (liberal.ca/documents)
- Recruiting Flyer – Electoral District Association Policy Chair (my.liberal.ca/policy)
- LPC Constitution (liberal.ca/documents)
- LPC Policy By-Law (liberal.ca/documents)
- LPC Policy Guidelines (liberal.ca/documents)
To be eligible for consideration by the National Platform Committee and National Convention, policy resolutions must:
- respect Canada’s Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms
- be national in scope, within federal jurisdiction and focused on a public policy purpose
- express a judgement that LPC should take a position or press for action on an issue
- be factual and reflect consultation with recognized experts
- be the result of a democratic process that includes meaningful grassroots engagement with Registered Liberals
- be submitted to the National Policy Committee before November 27, 2017
- not duplicate 2015 election platform commitments or priority resolutions from the 2016 and 2014 National Conventions
- be limited to 275 words with four sections:
Provincial and Territorial Board (PTB)s, Commissions and National Caucus are invited to sponsor up to six prioritized policy resolutions at the 2018 LPC Policy Convention in Halifax. Territories are invited to submit a total of six resolutions comprised of two resolutions per Territory or any combination they agree to.
The LPC Policy By-law also requires the National Policy Committee to ensure the Indigenous Peoples’ Commission (IPC) have an opportunity to provide feedback with respect to any proposed policy resolution pertaining primarily to Indigenous peoples before it is considered.
These policy resolutions will be considered by the LPC National Policy Committee in four streams:
To promote continuous engagement, PTBs may approve and prioritize additional resolutions for local/regional advocacy beyond the national convention and platform process with an understanding these are not deemed to be Party policy.
Voting and Prioritization
Provincial and Territorial Boards (PTBs), EDAs, Commissions and Caucus
- PTBs and Commissions have flexibility to develop processes for voting and prioritizing policy resolutions for the National Policy Committee and National Convention as long as they comply with the LPC Constitution, Policy By-Laws and Guidelines.
- PTB and Commission processes should be published and proactively communicated to EDAs and local representatives as early as possible.
- To facilitate participation in remote areas and for Registered Liberals without computer access, the National Policy Committee will collaborate with LPC staff, PTBs and Commissions to consider alternate options and/or meeting locations during comment/voting periods.
- National Caucus may develop and prioritize policy resolutions for the National Platform Committee and National Convention with the leadership of the National Caucus Chair.
- The National Policy Committee will work with LPC staff to establish a common platform and security mechanism for an on-line comment and prioritization process in the lead up to National Convention.
- This on-line platform will include a code of conduct that prohibits anonymous, unprofessional and disrespectful commentary.
- Resolution sponsors must be prepared to maintain an on-line presence for their 1-3 National Convention priority resolutions. This will include links to background information and the designation of representatives to moderate respectful on-line debate for 30 days in January/February 2018.
Convention Agenda and Presentations
- Sponsors will be required to identify three Registered Liberals who are prepared to speak in favour of their priority resolution(s) at the National Convention.
- LPC Policy Secretary will work with National Convention Chair(s) and LPC staff to establish a convention plenary schedule, coordinate moderators and confirm voting methods that facilitate more meaningful engagement.
- Emergency resolutions will be permitted at Convention in accordance with rules and procedures established by the National Biennial Convention Committee.
NATIONAL PLATFORM COMMITTEE
The ‘Platform’ is the policy document the LPC Leader and nominated candidates present to Canadians during an election campaign.
The Leader of the Liberal Party of Canada establishes a National Platform Committee prior to each federal election campaign in consultation with Campaign Co-Chairs and National Caucus Chair.
The National Platform Committee will seek input from the National Policy Committee through the Policy Secretary. They will receive the policy resolutions submitted by PTBs, Commissions and National Caucus in association with the National Convention process and as described in section 4.1 and 4.2 of the LPC Policy Guidelines, available at Liberal.ca/documents.