At this point, there are sixteen motions being proposed as floor motions for the 2018 Annual Convention. I may have posted most of my motions a while ago, but there are a bunch now showing up. I’m planning on reviewing and posting on as many of these motions as I can before the convention. 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.
Kevin O’Neill is a member of the Hillsborough County Libertarian Party, where he’s the Chair of the Political Action Committee and the Development Committee. He has proposed several changes to the Governing Documents of the Libertarian Party of Florida. His first motion consolidated the language in two separate sections of the Standing Rules. His second motion addressed how membership in the LPF can be revoked. His third motion deleted some language in the Constitution which affected his second motion. This, his fourth and fifth motion is basically a repeat of his second motion, except that now he’s making the change in the Bylaws. Why am I calling it his fourth AND fifth motion? It appears that he’s entered the same motion twice into the system, OR the system duplicated his motion. Either way, Microsoft Word could not find a difference between the two motions.
Kevin has created a YouTube video explaining and justifying his motions. You should watch it to understand why he’s making the motions he’s making. My commentary is based on the text of the motion, not the justification. (I wish I could say that I’ve watched it, but when this is being written I haven’t had a chance to. Drama and work have eaten more of my life than I’d like. Heck, I didn’t even post anything yesterday even though I had planned to…)
Title: ByLaws Version of: Removal of Member
Article: ARTICLE II Membership
Section & Subsection (if applicable): Section 6
Text: I, Kevin O’Neill, an active member from the Hillsborough Affiliate, motion to add the below REPLACEMENT to the ByLaws.
Any member of the Libertarian Party of Florida, or member of the Executive Committee, may be suspended by two-third vote of the executive committee for violation of the Non-Aggression oath. Upon suspension of a member of the party or a member of the Executive Committee, the officer or member may appeal the suspension in writing within 30 days. If no appeal is made by the suspended officer or member, they shall be removed from office, and have their membership revoked, upon expiration of the 30 day appeal period. If an appeal is made, the executive committee shall review the appeal and vote upon removal at the next regularly scheduled executive committee meeting. A three-fourths vote will be required to remove the appealing suspended officer or member. Should the vote fail, the suspension will be lifted and membership and/or Executive Committee status shall be fully restored. Should the three-fourths vote pass, membership shall be revoked for a period of one year, at which time the member shall be eligible to reapply for membership as defined in Article 2 of the Constitution, or by majority vote of the delegation at the next annual meeting. After a member has been reinstated, should that individual’s membership be revoked as outlined above a second time, the revocation shall become permanent, and that individual will no longer be eligible for membership in the LPF.4
A motion to revoke the membership of a Member of the LPF may be brought before the LPF Executive Committee only by a Voting Member of the EC claiming that the Member’s actions have been damaging to the mission of the LPF, or that the Member has violated the Non-Aggression Principle. A second shall be required to bring the motion for a vote. The motion shall pass upon at least a two-thirds roll-call vote of the Executive Committee. If the motion is passed by the Executive Committee, then the motion shall be presented to the Members of the LPF at a special Members Only Meeting. At such meeting, the Member shall have the opportunity to address orally or in writing the motion to revoke such Member’s membership. The motion shall pass upon the affirmative written vote of at least two-thirds of the cast votes.
Attendance and communication at Member’s Meeting may be made by multi-user electronic communications such as Skype/Zoom/Google Hang-Outs or other current available technology. Vote tally can be conducted in similar manner, so long as roll-call is conducted. In all cases, a physical meeting will occur too, with at least 2-weeks warning to membership through existing communications systems, not by constructive means such as US Mail.
The Member must have the opportunity to address the Executive Committee and the General Membership in person or in writing prior to the vote to revoke the membership of that Member.
If the Member’s membership is revoked, then that Member may choose to apply for reinstatement of membership in the LPF at any time after one year from the date of the vote of the General Membership to revoke such Member’s membership in the LPF. The motion to reinstate membership must be brought during an LPF EC Meeting by a Voting Member and must receive a second by another Voting Member. The motion shall pass upon by at least a two-thirds of cast votes of the LPF EC.
A couple minor complaints: First, I don’t think you need to mention in your motion that you’re an active member, or what county you’re from. (Although I was able to use your county information to look up a little bit about you.) Second, the numbers at the end of certain sections of the governing documents are not part of the governing documents. They are merely footnote references to information about when the section was adopted.
Now for the actual meat of the motion.
Never mind. Almost everything I said in my discussion of Kevin’s second motion also apply to this motion. Go back and read my post about that motion to see why I’m against it and this one. I don’t want to rewrite an old blog post.
What doesn’t apply? The major different is that this motion at least doesn’t lead to a inconsistency within the Governing Documents, with one set of rules in the Bylaws and a second set of rules within the Standing Rules. You still have the issue of a possible inconsistency with the Constitution, and a separate motion needed to address that problem.
My recommendation (other than voting “no”) is to drop the proposed change to the Standing Rules, drop one of the two duplicate motions, and to combine the surviving motion and the change to the Constitution. This is something that Kevin can do on the floor of the convention. The bad news is that according to the Rules Committee, the resulting change to both the Constitution and the Bylaws would require a 2/3rd vote. But if it passes, a possible inconsistency in the Governing Documents is cured. And there would only be one item up for discussion, rather than four different items.
I don’t like the idea of kicking people out of the party. I’m not at all convinced of its legality, and I think it would lead to incredibly divisive witch hunts which would distract the party from its mission. But that’s something for each member of the party to consider as the convention comes nearer.
I want to remind Kevin that he needs to attend the convention on Sunday in order to formally propose his motions. As of the last list of delegates I’ve seen, he’s not registered. (But there’s still plenty of time, and the list I saw was only of those delegates who allowed their contact information to be listed.)