Resolution Voting Results in Four-Year Term for Leader

Resolutions passed at this year’s Annual Convention included a change in the Leader's term of office from two years to four. This move is intended to provide a more appropriate level of continuity, and strengthen the Party's public image. The need for continuity of leadership before and after a general election was cited by a number of the resolution’s proponents.

Because the Executive elections took place under the old bylaws, the four-year term will only take effect at the next leadership election, which will take place at the 2014 Annual Convention. This position was endorsed by Leader Victor Lau and all others who spoke to the matter at Convention.

In another significant change, the 3-year limit on any individual’s continuous years of service on the Executive was removed from the Constitution. This change was required in order to allow a four-year leadership term. The 3-year limit was also cited as being inconsistent with the two-year terms previously established for the positions of President and Leader.

Of the other seven Bylaws resolutions passed this year, five were to clarify and simplify existing provisions in the bylaws. The other two added basic definitions and guidelines for Constituency Associations, and for Administrative procedures, respectively.

Debate on the resolution to restrict the number of nominations per member revealed that the membership is divided on whether a nomination constitutes an endorsement and a commitment to support the person nominated, or whether it only constitutes support for having the nominee be in the race. Advocates of the resolution cited examples showing how multiple nominations by the same member could be used manipulatively, for example, to split the vote. Opponents cited general parliamentary practice as well as positive scenarios for nominating candidates one doesn’t support as ones first choice, such as to promote democratic involvement and debate. When the vote was taken, the resolution was defeated.

The resolution to add a four-year membership was defeated, apparently not because of the overall intent of the motion, but primarily because it had not been integrated with existing membership provisions in the bylaws.

All of the Constitution and Bylaw resolutions that passed received the required level of support for adoption on the Bonser ballots, i.e. two-thirds for Constitution amendments and “one half plus one” for Bylaws, but three of these came to the floor for further discussion and ratification under Bylaw 10.11 because they failed to get 75% approval on the Bonser-ballot vote.

No policy resolutions were submitted this year.

The detailed tabulation of results is as follows:

Resolution Bonser Ballot Vote Vote on Floor Final Outcome
1. Constitution Amendments      
1.1 Remove three-year limit on Executive membership 72% green passed passed
2. Bylaw Amendments      
2.1 Change Leader Term to 4 Years 61% green passed passed
2.2 Clarify Executive Term of Office 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.3 Allow Discussion of Unclear Resolutions 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.4 Clarify Election Procedures 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.5 Simplify Procedure for Leader & Deputy Vacancies 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.6 Define Constituency Association 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.7 Authorize Administrative Procedures 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.8 Clarify Membership Bylaws 75% or more no vote taken passed
2.9 Restrict Number of Nominations per Member less than 75% green;
less than 75% red
defeated defeated
2.10 Add Four-Year Membership less than 75% green;
less than 75% red
defeated defeated

Full text of the resolutions submitted to the 2012 Annual Convention can be found at

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