Party Constitution amendment proposals for 2016

After spitballing a bit on IRC, @Frew suggested I write these up as formal proposals, so I did. Then I kept going. Nothing new about that, lol.

Highlights include:

Changes to the positions on the National Council

[GitHub diff link]

  • Abolition of Deputy Treasurer, Registered Officer and the two Councillors.
  • They are replaced with: Fundraising Officer, Volunteer Coordination Officer, Communications Officer and Campaign Management Officer.
  • Registered Officer is merged into Secretary, Party Agent merged into Treasurer.

Changes to language for preferential voting

[GitHub diff link]

  • Cumbersome language around how we vote removed. Doesn’t make sense anymore at this stage for the Party.
  • Explicitly list Schulze. If we want to change it, change the Constitution.
  • Add definition for Schulze (and a sneaky link to Wikipedia).

Changes to handling vacancies on the National Council

[GitHub diff link]

  • Cause a position to automatically expire if member fails to attend 4 consecutive meetings or vanishes for 2 months.
  • Provides provisions for causing an election of that position, as we now have the technical capacity to handle such a situation.

Capitalise constitution everywhere

[GitHub diff link]

  • Pedants gonna pedant.

Explicitly disallow state branches from registering as a federal party or division

Add the paragraph to Article 2.1 (State and Territory Branches):

  • No State or Territory Branch may register as a federal political party, nor as a division of the Federal Party.

Kill bureaucracy 10 years in advance. Parties have this dirty habit of spending too much time on developing mechanisms of control and bureaucracy. Disallowing this is future-proofing to stop in-fighting and ensure the federal party remains the central point for federal elections insofar as handling AEC bureaucracy is concerned and stops the ‘regionalisation’ of the Party.

Vote down any further extension to the constitutional quorum

We’re already at 20% and I see no benefit of this going higher. It was a novel and useful idea at the creation of the party, as we’ve gone from 10% to 20% since 2009, though going any higher than this will only burden us going forward. High quorum is not necessarily best quorum.

I will motion that this be voted down on the floor of Congress, defeating the provision, causing Article 9.1(4) to be automatically deleted as a result.

Here is a HTML version with all those changes.

Discuss, or not. :smile:

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Re. handling vacancies on NC, should “fail to attend a meeting four (4) consecutive times” have a specifier on which types of meetings? I figure “National Council” meetings would be appropriate. Otherwise it could be vague as to whether things like committee meetings would count (probably not), or Preselection Meetings (explicitly mentioned in constitution so probably would count).

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Being the proposed amendment is specific to roles in NC, it’d therefore be specific to such meetings. Committee roles are independent.

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I will preface ‘meeting’ with ‘National Council’ so this question is never asked again.


For the sake of the discussion (and to annoy Brendan) is this a viable argument for our constitution? I mean, the amendment is specific to roles in the NC, but I don’t think our constitution has any “you must consider the context under which the constitution was amended” type rules for making these sorts of rulings. I just don’t think there’s any need to leave vagueness in the constitution.

Constitution is interpreted by intent, can be corrected by by-laws or operational amendments. Not a big deal.

Added “Explicitly disallow state branches from registering as a federal party or division”.

I note that as the Congress approaches, and constitutional amendment proposals must be in by the 28th day before the start of Congress, these have to be formally submitted soon or cannot be done.

The problem is, I will not be present this year (digitally or otherwise) as I will be getting married in Iceland, lol.

I am looking for people who are interested in sponsoring and representing any of these proposals for the Congress. Let me know if you’re interested.

With less than 24 hours to go (assuming I counted correctly) we’re up to 16 CAPs. If you were thinking of submitting a proposal or have feedback about an existing proposal you need to get in contact now.

What’s the rationale behind CAP0?

You want quorum to be as high as possible, but no higher. So the way to find that level (as people seemed to decide way back when) is to gradually raise it. The trouble with that approach is what CAPs 12 and 13 (or whatever numbers they are) are meant to patch.


As Fletcher said, the submission date has closed and we have 16 constitutional amendment proposals (CAPs). CAP-0 is constitutionally required, but the rest have been written by @Frew, @Fletcher, @rundll and myself.

I am happy to answer any questions relating to them, as I’m sure the others are as well. Bearing in mind that they cannot be substantially changed at this point (although they can be amended at Congress), minor adjustments can be made to the substance if there have been errors, and the rationales may be extended if necessary.

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