Q1 – Are these LPC Policy Guidelines only in place for this Convention or are they permanent?
A1 – The guidelines only apply to the 2018 National Convention and 2019 election. That said, they have been developed with an understanding that if they prove to be effective in supporting the goals of the LPC Constitution and Policy By-Law, they could be generalized and adopted more permanently. This will be assessed after the 2018 Convention.
Q2 – I would like to work with a team of people and prepare a policy paper. Are there some supporting documents or guidelines on how policy papers are to be prepared?
A2 – While the National Policy Committee has not developed a standard format for policy papers, PTB and Commission policy Chairs may prepare reports in a professional format with an understanding: the National Policy Committee should be made aware of the project and have an opportunity to provide feedback; the sponsor’s governing body will approve reports prior to distribution; and the Policy Paper is not recognized as LPC Policy.
Q3. Section 2.1 and 4.1 of the LPC Guidelines requires PTB and Commission processes to be democratic and include meaningful engagement with EDAs and Registered Liberals. Who is responsible for ensuring this happens and how will it be measured and/or enforced?
A3 – The National Policy Committee is responsible for ensuring the LPC Policy By-Law and Constitution is followed. With regard to ensuring each sponsor’s process complies with provisions for democracy and grassroots participation, each proponent is responsible for demonstrating how their processes meets standards established in section 2.1 and 4.1.
Q4 – What are the timelines for PTBs, commissions to publish policy process guidelines? Will a sample be provided?
A4 – PTBs and Commission should complete and release their policy processes as soon as possible. With regard to a sample template, the LPC Policy Guidelines provide an optional template for PTB and Commissions. No other format has been established to offer sponsors maximum flexibility in the development of their own unique engagement plans
Q5 – Section 4.1 of LPC Policy Guidelines requires all resolutions to be within federal jurisdiction. How does the National Policy Committee define ‘federal jurisdiction’?
A5 – Each proponent is responsible for demonstrating within their resolution how the policy meets standards established in section 4.1 of the policy guidelines – including federal jurisdiction as defined by the Canadian Constitution and Charter of Rights and Freedoms – and must be able to defend their compliance if challenged.
Q6 – Section 4.1 of the LPC Policy Guidelines requires policy resolutions to be factual and reflect consultation with recognized experts. How do we do this and how do we know where to find experts?
A6 – Depending on the issue they have identified as a priority, there are many ways a sponsor can locate policy experts on an issue. This can include: reviewing relevant media reports; contacting a college, university or think tank; reaching out to relevant sector associations; and meeting with provincial and municipal officials. Designate an appropriate leader from your policy team to contact these experts by phone or email them to arrange an introductory meeting. You may also wish to canvass Registered Liberals and campaign volunteers in your district to see if there are any people who have work experience or academic credentials in a particular field.
Q7 – The new LPC Guidelines prohibit resolutions that duplicate policies from the 2014 and 2016 Conventions or the last Election Platform. Where can we find those?
A7 – The previous resolutions can be found at liberal.ca/documents
Q8 – Why are sponsors only allowed to send 6 priority policies to National Convention?
A8 – In response to significant demand from Registered Liberals to reduce the total number of resolutions at the National Convention, section 4.2 of the LPC Policy Guidelines invited PTBs, Commissions and National Caucus to sponsor up to six prioritized policy resolutions. To promote continuous engagement, Section 4.3 provides PTBs with an opportunity to approve and prioritize additional resolutions for local/regional advocacy with an understanding these are not deemed to be Party policy.
Q9 – According to section 6.3 of the LPC Policy Guidelines, sponsors will only have 7-10 days to blend their resolutions to reflect on-line feedback. How can sponsors to achieve this tight timeline?
A9 – Section 6.3 provides sponsors with a three month window to blend resolutions – from November 27, 2017 to February 28, 2018. While resolutions cannot be altered during the 30—day on-line comment period, discussions between sponsors about blending can be ongoing to ensure all parties can ‘hit the ground running’ when the on-line comment period closes.
Q10 – How will Commissions and PTBs communicate with Registered Liberals regarding blending decisions, as described in section 6.3 of the LPC Policy Guidelines?
A10 – Each sponsor will be required to facilitate this communication through the same channels by which they communicated their policy process. LPC staff and National Policy Committee may assist and advise as needed.
Q11 – Section 6.4 of the LPC Policy Guidelines requires resolution sponsors to identify individuals to moderate on-line discussion about their policy proposal for one month. What if the sponsor is not able to do this- particularly since at least one person should be able to speak both languages?
A11 – By identifying this requirement early in the process, we believe most PTBs and Commissions will be able to identify individuals to moderate on-line discussion for a short period of time. Sponsors will have maximum flexibility in selecting these individuals. For example, they may identify three individuals from their jurisdiction to moderate discussion of all their resolutions. If a Commission or PTB is having difficulty with requirement, the National Policy Committee and LPC staff will work with them to identify solutions.
Q12 – How will online commentary be moderated to ensure it remains respectful?
A12 – Section 6.2 of the LPC Policy Guidelines requires the National Policy Committee to work with LPC staff to establish a common platform and security mechanism for an on-line comment and prioritization process. This online platform will include a code of conduct that prohibits anonymous, unprofessional and disrespectful commentary. As is the case with current LPC social media platforms, this approach will also include taking steps to block and report inappropriate online activity.
Q13 – Will there be opportunity to have ‘weighted voting’ at the National Convention in favour of policy resolutions with support from more than one sponsor?
A13 – Section 1.4 of the LPC Policy Guidelines says each sponsor that decides to submit policy resolutions to the National Convention must have at least one of their priorities considered by delegates. Beyond that, the guidelines do not contemplate any additional weighted voting provisions. This does not preclude PTBs and Commissions from incorporating weighted voting techniques as part of their policy selection and prioritization processes.
Q14 – How will we vote for policy resolutions on-line and at the National Convention?
A14 – Final decisions regarding voting techniques will be made by the Convention Planning Committee, LPC Policy Secretary and LPC staff closer to end of this year and the National Convention. The goal is to use technology that provides for real-time electronic voting and/or ranking of resolutions. The LPC Policy Guidelines provide PTBs and Commissions with maximum flexibility to develop innovative on-line voting and prioritization tools for their respective processes.
Q15 – Why can’t we mandate priority policy resolutions for the election platform?
A15 – LPC Leaders and Campaign Committees have a positive track record of adopting Party resolutions into our election platforms – and we expect this to continue in the future. The Liberal government is already acting on many of the policy resolutions approved at our 2016 National Convention in Winnipeg.
The LPC Policy By-Law requires the Leader to establish 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 and receive the policy resolutions submitted by PTBs, Commissions and National Caucus as described in section 4.1 and 4.2 of the LPC Policy Guidelines. The National Policy Secretary will also report regularly on status of the status of approved LPC priority resolutions.