Concerning Constitutional Amendments

Hi guys,

I’ve been reading over the proposed constitutional amendments and was wondering how difficult it would be to offer change suggestions to specific amendments prior to the actual congress.

I’m unsure how such changes can be made, and I’d like to just offer up some thoughts for those more knowledgeable.

As a simple example; “CAP-XX: Minor Corrections.” by Brendan Molloy. One of the points within this amendment is replacing Article 5.1(1) with :

“Policy development must occur with the as much interaction as is
feasible with members, and must be as participatory as is feasible.
Outcomes should attempt to be reached through consensus.”

would it not be a better idea to word this slightly differently;

“Policy development must occur with the as much interaction as is
feasible with members, and must be as participatory as is feasible.
Outcomes must attempt to be reached through consensus.”

so as to remove any ‘discretion’ from this argument? The word ‘attempt’ still allows for leeway when such consensus cannot be reached, but by using the word ‘must’ instead of ‘should’ we then require that there at very least be an attempt.


  • Geoffrey.

Hey @grey,

Pretty easily and by any mechanism you want is the answer to the question. I especially like that you came to the discussion forum to put your proposal! :smile:

There’s no formal mechanism for modifying a proposal beyond either contacting the person who put the proposal, or contacting the Secretariat and having them forward your change proposal. Once the deadline is met, amendments to the proposal may only be made by formal motion at the National Congress itself. I’ll add something about this to the wiki page for anyone else curious.

Now that you’ve made me read the sentence again, it seems that the whole clause is a bit odd. Perhaps it would be best replaced with:

It must be attempted to reach outcomes through consensus.

Otherwise, happy to just slot in “must” where “should” stands, because that’s obviously an oversight.

Let me know if you find any other issues, such as poor explanations (as I haven’t had time to detail them yet) or other issues. :smile:

As an additional point:

“CAP-XXXX: Insert a new part: Definitions” by Brendan Molloy

Two-thirds, and Three-quarters both include statements of “ignoring the remainder”; this case can trivially be raised for the fifty percent votes as well. “ignoring the remainder” should be added there as well to ensure consistency and remove a (very minor) point of ambiguity on dealing with that case.

Great point, will amend.

haha, thanks for the quick reply!
I was writing my additional point when you posted. I’ve just reached the last motion now. Figured if I’m going to get involved properly I’d start somewhere important. (discussing policy, rather than ranting about the ‘grubs’ heh.)

Haha, as good a start as any. Thanks for the review. :smiley:

I’m also looking at updating the style of our Constitution and how we can interact with it a little bit.

Here’s the styling on a slightly earlier variant of the proposals:

With the final motion, “Cap-XX: National Congress Quorum clarification” the number 20 may well do now, but wouldn’t it be better to have some minimum percentage of members instead, or at very least an easy option to change this, as the party grows? It seems unlikely that 20 will remain a valid minimum bound for too long.

I’ll take a look at your draft now!

I sat there thinking about if it should be a percentage or a fixed number. At this stage, I am going to go with a fixed number because in the last 3-4 years we’ve had between 20-40 people attend either physically or remotely. As our membership may grow very quickly, the active membership may not. If it turns out I’m wrong, it’s just a simple amendment away. :smile:

The physical attendance is only important as far as proofing, amending and putting the vote to the whole member base goes. Approximately 250 members took part in the last ballot, even though only about 40 people attended the Congress itself in one way or another.

I changed the majority definitions to say “one half (1/2)” as well while I fixed the other stuff, to make it consistent.

Also chose the phrasing:

An attempt must be made to reach outcomes through consensus.

Makes sense to me. I’ve tried to be involved in every ballot since I joined up (don’t think I’ve missed any yet), but I’ve yet to be attend any Congress or other meeting sadly.

That’s okay. One of the reasons we worked to introduce this discussion forum was to provide an asynchronous method for our members to be tangibly involved in our efforts. :smile:

Other forums just didn’t fit the mould, so we waited patiently and now we’re here.

Well, I’ve just finished looking over that draft of yours. It looks very … professional. What exactly are you trying to achieve with it, if you don’t mind me asking? (Not the constitution itself, obviously, but the format. :smile:)

Well, the current version is here that contains much of the styling, I’ve just “modernised” it a bit and made it look a bit nicer. :smile:

The ability to link to specific sections is very useful in meetings, especially policy discussions. It also makes it easier to refer to sections in emails when we say “As per Article X.Y(Z)”. Digital party needs URLs!

The highlighting was just for fun. I like to make accessible and usable interfaces.

I am intending to extend this styling and scripting to be used in a generic document viewer for our formal documents such as policies, Committee Terms of Reference, etc.

Oh, and it’s also responsive so it works on phones. As a lot of our members use phones as their primary interaction device on the web, it is only logical to extend support to such devices.

Ah yes, with direct comparison (hah, should have done that first!) your draft is definitely an improvement.

Do you know if there is any consideration to making actual hyper-linking available within the document (at least any online versions) allowing for direct-linking of relevant points when sharing it over the internet?

edit: this might even make it possible for references between documents to directly link to one another as well.

Hover over any line of text and a blue pilcrow appears at the end of the line. That’s a link. :slight_smile:

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hah, so it is. Scratch that question off then.