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LPF Convention Motion Summary

It’s time for the LPF Annual Convention.  Over the past few weeks, I’ve been looking at all of the motions being proposed for the LPF Convention.  Here’s a summary of my position on all these motions and a link to the post in which each motion is discussed:

Old Business (Carried from the 2017 Convention)

Motion 2017-ABM-C-01: Motion to amend Constitution Art I, Sect. 2 and 3: Against

Motion 2017-ABM-C-02: Motion to amend Constitution Art II, Sects. 1 and 5: For

Motion 2017-ABM-B-01: Motion to amend By-Laws Art III, Section 2: For

Motion 2017-ABM-B-06: Motion to amend By-Laws Art IV, Sect 5 A: Split the question

Rules Packet (New Motions)

Motion 2018-ABM-C-01: Motion to amend Constitution Art II, Section 5: For

Motion 2018-ABM-C-02: Motion to amend Constitution Article III, Section 4: For

Motion 2018-ABM-C-03: Motion to amend Constitution Article III, Sections 3 through 9: For

Motion 2018-ABM-B-01: Motion to amend By-Laws Article I, Sections 4 and 5: Against

Motion 2018-ABM-B-02: Motion to amend By-Laws Article III, Section 2B: For

Floor Motions

Standing Rule: Official Notices on LPF Web Site (Fredrik Coulter): For

Standing Rule: Update to convention minutes deadline (Fredrik Coulter): For

By-Law: Convention Financial Transparency (Fredrik Coulter): For

Standing Rule: Notice of Campaign for Party Office (Fredrik Coulter): For

Constitution: Standardize Committee Appointments (Gregory Peele): For

Constitution: Remove Redundant Requirements on Candidates Committee (Gregory Peele): For

Constitution: Establish Legislative Action Standing Committee (Gregory Peele): For

Constitution: Establish Fundraising Standing Committee (Gregory Peele): For

By-Law: Amend LPF Bylaws Article 2, Section 6 (Ryan Ramsey): Against

Constitution: Delete Article 3, Section 5, to eliminate the Selection Committee, and make certification based on compliance with Division of Election rules (Ryan Ramsey): Against, but issues with Selection Committee need to be addressed

Constitution: Amend LPF Constitution Article 2, Section one (Ryan Ramsey): For, if amended

Standing Rule: Language Consolidation regarding County Affiliates within Standing Rules (Kevin O’Neill): For

Standing Rule: Removal of Member (Kevin O’Neill): Against

Constitution: Deletion of wide ranging to interpretation and ambiguous statements within core document (Kevin O’Neill): Against

By-Laws: ByLaws Version of: Removal of Member (Kevin O’Neil): Against

By-Laws: ByLaws Version of: Removal of Member (Kevin O’Neill): Against


As I said at the beginning of the post, these are my positions on the various motions.  These are not the official (or unofficial) positions of the Libertarian Party of Volusia County or the Libertarian Party of Florida’s Executive Committee.  Other people have legitimate opinions on the motions that may be different than mine.  That doesn’t mean that they are wrong, or that they are less libertarian than I am.  It just means we disagree.  Hopefully the linked posts explain why I hold the positions I do.

See you in Fort Walton Beach!

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Transparency and accountability

My name is Fredrik Coulter, and I am currently the Region 7 Representative for the Libertarian Party of Florida, the Treasurer of the Libertarian Party of Volusia County and a member of the Convention Committee of the Libertarian Party of Florida.  I am also the Treasurer of the Randy Wiseman for Governor campaign.  The main internal issues I am following as an officer and activist within the party are transparency and accountability.  As such, I am memorializing my activities within the party in this blog.

External to the party operations, I am concerned about increasing the size of the libertarian vote.  But that’s not the focus of this blog.

Feel free to contact me if you have issues you want to bring up.

Motion: Motion to amend By-Laws Article III, Section 2B

There are five new motions from the Rules Committee at the 2018 Annual Convention.  I’m planning on reviewing and posting on these motions as part of my review of the 2018 Annual Convention Agenda. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Type: By-Laws
Title: Motion to amend By-Laws Article III, Section 2B
Text: Motion to amend the LPF Bylaws Article III, Section 2B, adding new language.

B.  The Executive Committee shall fill vacancies of Regional Representatives, Committee Chairs, and Committee members by appointment of the LPF Chair with confirmation of the appointment as indicated by a majority of the votes cast by the Executive Committee.  Appointments to fill Executive Committee vacancies shall take effect upon the close of the Executive Committee meeting wherein the appointment is confirmed.

A minor complaint:  This motion, like all the new motions from the Rules Committee, have crap titles.  Couldn’t the motion be titled with some sort of explanation of what they’re trying to do?

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  When I was appointed to the Convention Committee, it didn’t matter when the appointment took place.  I contacted the head of the committee, and I attended the next committee meeting.  However, when I was appointed the Region 7 Representative, my appointment only took place once the meeting of the Executive Committee was adjourned.  Or at least that’s what I was told

All this motion does is formalize that all appointments take place upon adjournment.  Apparently we were following some unwritten rule that is now written.  I can deal with it.

So I’ll be voting “yes”.

 

Motion: Motion to amend By-Laws Article I, Sections 4 and 5

There are five new motions from the Rules Committee at the 2018 Annual Convention.  I’m planning on reviewing and posting on these motions as part of my review of the 2018 Annual Convention Agenda. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Type: By-Laws
Title: Motion to amend By-Laws Article I, Section 4 and 5
Text: Motion to amend the LPF Bylaws Article I, adding a new Section 4 and Section 5

Art. I

Section 4. The Chairperson, Vice Chairperson, Secretary, and Treasurer positions of LPF county affiliates shall at all times be LPF members and LPF registered voters. No affiliate officer positions may be combined except those of Secretary and Treasurer, and all four officer positions must be filled prior to affiliation and in a timely manner when vacancies occur. Affiliates must report officer positions compliant with these provisions to the Secretary of LPF upon affiliation application, and upon subsequent request from the Secretary of LPF for record-keeping and affiliation renewal purposes. No affiliate’s rules shall restrict or abridge the rights of persons who are both LPF members and LPF voters to participate meaningfully in party business.

Section 5.  The LPF Rules Committee shall be the final arbiter of any disputes or conflicts of Section 4.

A minor complaint:  This motion, like all the new motions from the Rules Committee, have crap titles.  Couldn’t the motion be titled with some sort of explanation of what they’re trying to do?

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  This motion adds a requirement to the County Affiliates that their officers must by LPF members and LPF registered voters.  It also requires that affiliate officers follow state law, which allows the Secretary and Treasurer to be held by the same individual, but no other officer positions may be combined.

I have to say that I have some reluctance with this motion.  I’m not thrilled with the state party telling the county affiliates who they can or can’t elect as officers.  On the other hand, these restrictions seem reasonable, and the allowable combination of Secretary and Treasurer and no others is in state law.

I think my biggest problem is with the requirement that all affiliate officers be members of the LPF.  The specific issue I have is the separation of LPF member and LPF voter.  As I’ve stated elsewhere, I’m a supporter of a much more open definition of what an LPF member is.  This more open definition would mean that all LPF voters would be LPF members.  The only restriction I was putting in would be that officers and committee chairs would also be required to sign the non-aggression oath that we’ve got in the Constitution.  The question is whether we should also require that affiliate officers also sign the non-aggression oath.

I’m not going to make this the hill I die on.  I think it needs to be addressed as part of a different motion on membership.  So, for the mean time, this is a very reluctant “no” for me.  I don’t think it needs to be done; state law already exists.  We’ll survive without this change.

 

Motion: Motion to amend Constitution Art III, Sections 3 through 9

There are five new motions from the Rules Committee at the 2018 Annual Convention.  I’m planning on reviewing and posting on these motions as part of my review of the 2018 Annual Convention Agenda. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Type: Constitution
Title: Motion to amend Constitution Art III, Sections 3 through 9
Text: Motion to to amend Constitution Article III, Sections 3 through 9 by inserting the language contained in the LPF Constitution Article III, Sections 3 through 9 in their entirety, into LPF Bylaws as Article III, striking the original language that was moved to the ByLaws, renaming LPF Bylaws Article III Standing Committees and Ad Hoc Committees, inserting the language originally contained in the LPF Bylaws Article III in its entirety into LPF Constitution Article III, beginning Section 3, striking the original language that was moved to the Constitution, renaming LPF Constitution Article III Officers and Executive Committee, and renumbering both.

A minor complaint:  This motion, like all the new motions from the Rules Committee, have crap titles.  Couldn’t the motion be titled with some sort of explanation of what they’re trying to do?

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  This is a clean-up motion.  What does it clean up?  It moves all the details about committees from the Constitution to the By-Laws.  Since I’m not at all sure why we need some information about Committees in the Constitution, and some in the By-Laws, combining it all into one section seems reasonable.  And for choosing between the Constitution and the By-Laws?  I suppose that depends on what you think of Constitutions.  The Constitution of the United States is very short, dealing with major structural issues of the government.  The Constitution of India is incredibly long.  I favor shorter Constitutions dealing with broad issues, and the By-Laws and Standing Rules there to flesh them out.

So this is an easy “yes” for me.

 

Motion: Motion to amend Constitution Art III, Section 4

There are five new motions from the Rules Committee at the 2018 Annual Convention.  I’m planning on reviewing and posting on these motions as part of my review of the 2018 Annual Convention Agenda. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Type: Constitution
Title: Motion to amend Constitution Art III, Section 4
Text: Motion to amend LPF Constitution Article III, Section 4

Section 4. Rules Committee

A. The Rules Committee will be composed of the LPF Chair, LPF Secretary, and three (3) other members of the party not on the Executive Committee, appointed annually by the Chair elected by the delegates at the annual convention to serve a one-year term. Vacancies on this committee occurring after the Annual Business Meeting may be filled by the Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee. The Rules Committee shall be responsible for interpreting the Constitution and other governing documents based on current Florida Statutes and shall prepare and submit amendments to the Constitution and Bylaws for a vote by the membership at the Annual Business Meeting.

A minor complaint:  This motion, like all the new motions from the Rules Committee, have crap titles.  Couldn’t the motion be titled with some sort of explanation of what they’re trying to do?

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  The current Rules Committee is controlled by the Chair.  The Chair appoints the members annually.  So if a question comes up about the legality of an action by the Chair, the Rules Committee decides.  This seems like a massive issue about the impartiality of the Rules Committee, at least when it comes to questions of the Chair’s actions.  The new wording moves a great deal of the power away from the Chair and to the membership of the LPF.

So this is an easy “yes” for me.

 

Motion: Motion to amend Constitution Art II, Section 5

There are five new motions from the Rules Committee at the 2018 Annual Convention.  I’m planning on reviewing and posting on these motions as part of my review of the 2018 Annual Convention Agenda. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Type: Constitution
Title: Motion to amend Constitution Art II, Section 5
Text: Motion to amend LPF Constitution Article II, Section 5, adding new language.

Certain rights and privileges of membership, including delegate status, committee appointments and observation of committee meetings, holding LPF state or affiliate party office, exercise of voting rights in the conduct of any Libertarian Party of Florida business, and the right to bring business before the Annual Business Meeting, shall be reserved to LPF members who are LPF registered voters and shall be unavailable to members and officers of any other political party registered in the state of Florida. Members and officers of other political parties registered in the state of Florida may participate in discussion on items of business brought before the membership, subject to the discretion of the Chair or majority vote of the body.

A minor complaint:  This motion, like all the new motions from the Rules Committee, have crap titles.  Couldn’t the motion be titled with some sort of explanation of what they’re trying to do?

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  If you look at the additions to the Constitution, what’s being changed is that two loopholes are being filled.  It appears that when the Constitution was drafted, it was assumed that every registered voter would be a member of a political party.  So if you excluded members of a different political party, then everyone else would be a libertarian.  However, the biggest group of new voters are those with No Party Affiliation (NPA).  Those voters may, or may not, agree with libertarian policy proposals.  Under the existing wording, they could do anything that registered libertarians could do.  I agree that this loophole needed filling.

The other loophole was the question of whether an individual who is not registered to vote could take part in the party roles.  Under the existing text, it wasn’t explicitly stated, although there have been decisions made by the Rules Committee.  The change in the text explicitly requires that party business is limited to registered voters.  I agree that this loophole also needed filling.

So this is an easy “yes” for me.

 

Motion: Motion to amend By-Laws Art IV, Sect 5 A

There are four motions carried forward from the 2017 Annual Convention to the 2018 Annual Convention.  I’m planning on reviewing and posting on these motions as part of my review of the 2018 Annual Convention Agenda. All of these blog posts will be tagged LPF2018, so if you want to look at my thoughts on the other motions, just click on the LPF2018 tag on the right side of the page or the bottom of this post.

Type: By-Laws
Title: Motion to amend By-Laws Art IV, Sect 5 A
Text: Motion by the Rules Committee to amend By-Laws Article IV, Section 5 A by striking some language and adding new language

A. The Executive Committee Chairperson shall appoint members to the Convention Committee with the approval of the Executive Committee members to the Convention Committee at least one hundred eighty (180) days before the date of the annual convention. The Executive Committee shall also notify the state party members at least ninety (90) days before the Annual Business Meeting. The Executive Committee shall assume all responsibility for the Annual Business Meeting, including but not limited to: the annual business of the Libertarian Party of Florida, hosting events, the rental of accommodations to hold the annual business meeting and all other events surrounding said meeting.  The LPF will split in a 50/40/10 manner all net profits from annual business meeting with the following breakdown:  50% to the state party, 10% to the host county affiliate if in good standing, at the time of selection, and 40% to be split equally amongst the remaining county affiliated in good standing at the time of the conclusion of the convention.  Otherwise the split shall be 50/50 with half to the state party and half split equally amongst all county affiliates in good standing at time of conclusion of the convention.

A minor complaint:  This motion, like all the motions being carried forward from the previous year’s convention, have crap titles.  Couldn’t the motion be titled with some sort of explanation of what they’re trying to do?

Now for the actual meat of the motion.  There are three different parts of the motion, all of which deal with the Convention Committee.  Let’s look at each one individually.

First, the committee membership is being centralized into the Chair’s office.  I’m not a fan of centralization.  I would (as I’ve mentioned elsewhere) rather the Committee Chairman be selected by the Chair with the approval of the Executive Committee, but the rest of the committee membership come from the Committee Chair, not the Executive Committee.  The Committee Chair has much more of a reason to want the committee to succeed than the Executive Committee.  But that’s far outside the bounds of this motion.

Second, the time frame of the committee has been dropped from the By-laws.  I think this is the wrong direction to go.  I’d prefer that a separate convention committee be formed for each annual convention.  I’d prefer that the convention committee starts the process with recommending a hotel and a date, negotiating the contract, organizing and running the convention, perform all closeout activities, and report to the Executive Committee when they’re finished.  I’d also like the hotel and date be selected prior to the previous convention so that programming can include “See You Next Year…”.  The end result is that a convention committee needs to be organized at least three months prior to the previous year’s convention.  I don’t see how deleting the timing requirements is at all helpful.

Third, dropping the financial split requirement.  This requirement (despite the fact that the Libertarian Party of Volusia County will gain some cash from it) is outdated.  Conventions are not run by the County affiliates, so there’s not really a good reason to give them a guaranteed portion of the profit.  (If any.)  So I’m in favor of this portion.

I wonder if a motion to split the question would be ruled in order.  It would make my voting much easier.

I also want to mention that I’ve got a motion for the floor that directly affects the Convention Committee, and that Greg’s motion to unify committee requirements may also affect the Convention Committee.