Federal Constitution

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Constitution
Peterborough New Democratic Party
Federal Riding Association

1. Preamble/Name

1.1 The name of the Association shall be the Peterborough New Democratic Party Federal Riding Association, hereinafter referred to as “the Association”.

1.2 The Association is established pursuant to the Constitutions of the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Ontario New Democratic Party and accepts the principles of democratic socialism.

2. Purpose

2.1 The purpose of the Association shall be:

2.1.1 To nominate the candidate of the New Democratic Party in each federal election and to conduct a campaign to elect the candidate;

2.1.2 To support and promote the principles and policies of the New Democratic Party of Canada through political education and organization; and

2.1.3 To afford to its members a forum for participation in the development of party policy and party governance.

2.2 The Association shall also:

2.2.1 recruit members;

2.2.2 carry out the administrative work of the Party within the riding; and

2.2.3 be the Association to which the Party assigns responsibilities under the relevant election laws.

3. Membership

3.1 The membership of the Association shall consist of:

3.1.1 All New Democratic Party members in good standing who reside in the riding, except those who have been accepted as members in another riding Association; and

3.1.2 New Democratic Party members in good standing who reside in other federal ridings in Ontario and who request membership in the Association and are accepted by the Executive of the Association.

4. Meetings

4.1 There shall be an Annual General Meeting of the Association, the business of which shall include:

4.1.1 Annual reports of the President, the Membership Officer, and the Treasurer; and

4.1.2 Election of the Association’s Executive and its delegates to the Council of Federal Ridings, where one is established pursuant to the Constitution of the New Democratic Party of Canada.

4.2 Other General Meetings of the Association shall be called

4.2.1 as determined by the Executive, or

4.2.2 upon the written request of at least fifty (50) members in good standing or one quarter of the Association’s members, whichever is less.

4.2.3 A General Meeting under the provisions of Article 4.2.2 shall be held no later than forty-five (45) days after receipt of the original request. The request shall specify the business to be placed before the meeting and this information shall be included in the notice of the meeting sent to the membership of the Association. The first order of business shall be this business.

4.3 A General Meeting shall be called for the purpose of electing the Association’s delegates and alternates to a federal convention of the New Democratic Party.

4.4 In accordance with the federal Constitution and the direction of Federal Council, a nomination meeting shall be held for the purpose of nominating the New Democratic Party candidate for Member of Parliament. Those eligible to cast ballots for the nomination shall be limited to New Democratic Party members in good standing who reside in the riding.

4.5 Notice for all General Meetings shall be mailed or e-mailed not less than fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting. Notice period requirements for nomination meetings shall be governed by the Constitution of the Ontario New Democratic Party and the Nomination Guidelines as adopted by Provincial Council.

4.6 Meetings of the Executive shall be open to members of the Association.

5. Executive

5.1 The Executive shall consist of the following:

5.1.1 President;

5.1.2 Vice-President;

5.1.3 Secretary;

5.1.4 Financial Agent;

5.1.5 Membership Officer;

5.1.6 Two Youth Officers, one male and one female, both of whom shall be under the age of 26;

5.1.7 Women’s Representative;

5.1.8 Disability Representative;

5.1.9 Volunteer Coordinator;

5.1.10 The Member of Parliament for the riding, provided (s)he is a member in good standing of the Federal Caucus of the New Democratic Party; and

5.1.11 The current federal candidate for the riding who has won the nomination from the members of the Association at its most recent meeting called for that purpose;

5.1.12 Those delegates to the Council of Federal Ridings who have not been elected to any of the above positions; and

5.1.13 Two members at large and, a maximum of three additional members at large.

5.2 Those elected to positions on the Executive shall serve from the adjournment of the Annual General Meeting at which they were elected until the adjournment of the following Annual General Meeting.

5.3 If the position of Financial Agent is vacated, the President is empowered to appoint immediately a Financial Agent subject to ratification by the Executive at its next meeting and the Association at its next meeting. The Executive may appoint people to fill unfilled or vacated Executive positions subject to ratification by the Association at its next meeting.

5.4 Members of the Executive who cannot attend a meeting of the Executive shall give notice to the President or the Secretary in advance if possible. A member of the Executive who fails to attend three consecutive meetings without such notice shall be deemed to have resigned.

5.5 The Executive may appoint such committees as may be necessary or desirable to carry out the functions of the Association. Each committee so appointed shall report regularly to the Executive and shall include at least one member of the Executive.

5.6 The Executive shall meet at least five (5) times during its term of office.

5.7 A quorum at Executive meetings shall be forty percent (40%) of the members of the Executive.

5.8 If a motion must be passed by the NDP Riding Association Executive between meetings via e-mail:

5.8.1 Any motion must include rationale why decision needs to be made outside of a regular meeting and deadline for response (e.g. Friday, May 1, at 5pm);

5.8.2 Responses equal to Executive's current quorum must vote to validate motion;

5.8.3 Within 24 hours of the deadline the President or Secretary will e-mail Executive the results of votes including a tally of number of yes and no votes and abstentions;

5.8.4 The motion and results of the vote will be included in the next Executive meeting to be properly minuted;

5.8.5 Funding requests from an external organization must come to a regular Executive meeting.

6. Affirmative Action

6.1 At least one half of the elected members of the Executive, convention delegates and delegates to the Council of Federal Ridings shall be women. The Executive shall ensure that members of Affirmative Action Target Groups, as designated by Federal Council, are encouraged to seek such positions in proportion to their representation among the membership.

7. Funds

7.1 The Association shall keep its funds in a chartered bank, trust company, credit union or caisse populaire.

7.2 The signing officers of the Association shall be the Treasurer and two (2) other members of the Executive. No cheque or other instrument shall be issued without the signatures of the Treasurer and one other signing officer.

8. Amendment

8.1 This Constitution may be amended at any General Meeting of the Association by a two-thirds majority of those present and voting, provided that the text of the proposed amendment has been circulated to the membership at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting.

8.2 Any amendment adopted shall be submitted for approval to the Council of Federal Ridings, or, if none has been established, to Provincial Council.

9. By-laws

By-laws consistent with this Constitution may be adopted or amended by majority vote at any General Meeting of the Association, provided the text of the proposed by-law or amendment has been circulated to the membership at least fourteen (14) days in advance of the meeting.

10. Rules of Order

10.1 The Association may adopt rules for the conduct of its business. Unless otherwise governed by this Constitution, duly adopted by-laws, or the Constitutions of the New Democratic Party of Canada and the Ontario New Democratic Party, the business of the Association shall be conducted according to Robert’s Rules of Order.

10.2 In an election, either for an office on the Executive which is held by more than one person, or for more than one delegate to another body, a valid ballot for such office or delegate position shall show as many names as there are positions to be filled, unless fewer candidates are nominated than the number of positions to be filled.

11. Interpretation and Appeals

11.1 In any conflict that might arise between this Constitution and its by-laws and the Constitution of the New Democratic Party of Canada or the Constitution of the Ontario New Democratic Party or policies adopted by federal conventions or Federal Council, the senior level Constitution and policies adopted by Federal Council and the federal convention shall supersede and prevail.

11.2 On a day-to-day basis, this Constitution and its by-laws shall be interpreted by the President of the Association, or by the Vice-President in the absence of the President. Decisions of the President or Vice-President may be appealed to the Executive of the Association. Decisions of the Executive may be appealed to the Association’s membership at a General Meeting, whether or not the meeting was called for the specific purpose of hearing such an appeal.

11.3 At a meeting of the Association or its Executive, this Constitution and its by-laws shall be interpreted by the President of the Association or by the chairperson in the absence of the President. Any decision of the President or the chairperson may be overturned on appeal by a majority of those present and voting.

11.4 Any interpretation or appeal under sections 11.2 or 11.3 may at any stage be the subject of a complaint to the Secretary of the Ontario Section of the New Democratic Party, to be dealt with in a manner similar to Constitutional matters under Article 16 of the Constitution of the Ontario New Democratic Party. Interpretations and appeals under this section shall give some weight to the benefits of resolving Association decisions at the local level. Actions taken under the authority of this section shall take precedence over actions taken under the authority of sections 11.2 or 11.3.

By-laws
Peterborough New Democratic Party Federal Riding Association

By-law 1 - Duties of Executive Members

1. The duties of Executive Members of the Association are as follows:

1.1 The President shall:

Chair meetings of the Executive and the Association; be chief spokesperson for the Association; initiate meetings of the Association in consultation with the Executive; compose or approve all non-routine correspondence; and initiate the development and approval by the Executive of an Association Workplan for the year.

1.2 The Vice-President shall:

Carry out the duties of the President in the President’s temporary absence.

1.3 The Secretary shall:

Minute all meetings and be responsible for forwarding minutes to the members; in consultation with the President, draw up agendas and notify Executive members of Executive meetings; develop and maintain a central filing system; be responsible for writing routine correspondence; submit a correspondence report for Executive meetings; and be responsible for circulating correspondence from Provincial Office.

1.4 The Membership Organizer shall:

Recruit, direct and be responsible for the activities of a membership committee, to which membership duties can be delegated; forward membership applications and fees to Provincial Office; keep accurate records of all members’ addresses, phone numbers, etc.; organize membership renewal drives, new PAC drives and actively recruit new members; gather and maintain riding maps, marked voters’ lists, and other information essential to current activity and election campaigns; give month-by-month reports to Executive and Association meetings on total membership, renewed membership and new membership; and organize and maintain a system for notifying or consulting the membership about issues or events, such as a telephone tree.

1.5 The Financial Agent shall:

Keep account of all expenditures and revenues in the business of the Association in accordance with provincial law; be a signing officer of the Association; present the financial position of the Association at each Executive meeting; and recommend a budget at the Annual Meeting.

1.6 The Youth Officer shall:

Organize on behalf of the Association among the youth of the Riding; represent the interests of youth within the Association, and liase between the Association and Ontario New Democratic Youth and New Democratic Youth of Canada.

1.7 The Member of Parliament in the NDP Caucus shall:

Keep in regular two-way contact with all members of the Executive and the Association regarding the activities of the caucus and government; take account of the concerns of the Association in his or her work as MP.

1.8 Federal Council Delegate(s) shall:

Represent the Association and the party in general at all meetings of the Regional NDP Federal Council and Federal Convention; provide written reports of activities of the Councils and Convention to the Association; and inform the Council of all relevant resolutions or initiatives undertaken by the Association.

1.9 Federal Council Alternate(s) shall:

Carry out the duties of the Federal Council Delegate(s) in the temporary absence of the Federal Council Delegate(s).

1.10 The Women’s Representative shall:

Represent the Association and the party in general at all meetings of the Ontario NDP Women’s Committee; provide written reports of activities of the Committee to the Association; and inform the Committee of all relevant resolutions or initiatives undertaken by the Association.

1.11 The Disability Representative shall:

Be a person with a disability or a person with an interest in disability issues and shall represent the Association and the party in general at all meetings of the NDP Federal Disability Rights Committee; provide written reports of activities of the Committee to the Association; and inform the Committee of all relevant resolutions or initiatives undertaken by the Association.

1.12 The Volunteer Coordinator shall:

Maintain a database of past, present and potential volunteers; recruit volunteers as needed; contact potential volunteers as needed; ensure that volunteers are assigned appropriately to tasks based on their interest, skills, abilities and indications of desired contributions; ensure that volunteers are oriented & trained as necessary; and be responsible for volunteer recognition and appreciation.

1.13 The Members-at-Large shall:

Have an obligation to serve on committees of the Association.

1.14 All Executive Members shall:

Serve on committees of the Association and assist other members of the Executive with the execution of their duties as required; and in the exercise of their office, submit regular reports to the Executive and seek Executive approval for all new initiatives.

2. Other Executive Members

The Executive shall also include the following appointed position:

2.1 The Labour Affiliate Director, who shall be appointed by those labour organizations affiliated to the New Democratic Party with a significant number of residents residing within the riding, provided that the person appointed lives within the riding and is a member of the New Democratic Party. The Labour Affiliate Director shall act as a liaison between those labour organizations and the riding executive.

By-law 2 - Executive Committee Structure and Terms of Reference

1. Committee Structure

1.1 The Association Executive shall maintain a sub-committee structure, including, but not limited to the following committees to undertake the work of the Association:
a) Election Planning;
b) Finance & Fundraising;
c) Governance;
d) Membership;
e) Outreach.

2. Committee Chairs

2.1 The Chair of each committee shall be appointed by the Executive from amongst its members at the first meeting of the Executive following the Annual General Meeting each year.

2.2 Committee Chairs shall be responsible for calling committee meetings, setting meeting agendas, ensuring minutes of meetings are taken, and making regular reports to the Executive on the work of the Committee.

3. Committee Membership

Each member of the Executive shall be responsible for sitting on and assisting with the work of at least one committee.  Committee Chairs are strongly encouraged to populate committees with party members external to the Executive based on their interest, resources and/or talents.

4. Election Planning Committee

4.1 The duties of the Election Planning Committee shall include, but not be limited to the following:
a) Work between elections to review and develop election procedures and strategies;
b) Prepare for upcoming elections, including the coordination of a candidate search as necessary;
c) Recruit election staff and volunteers; and
d) Prepare election budget for Executive approval.

4.2 The membership of the Election Planning Committee, in addition to membership as defined elsewhere in this by-law, shall include the candidate, the campaign manager, and other election support staff/volunteers as necessary.

5. Finance & Fundraising Committee

5.1 The duties of the Finance & Fundraising Committee shall include, but not be limited to the following:
a) The preparation of an annual budget for adoption by the Executive to guide the Association’s expenditures between elections;
b) The preparation of an annual fundraising strategy including a calendar of events and annual fundraising targets;
c) The planning, preparation and execution of all local fundraising events and initiatives; and
d) The maintenance and management of the overall financial health of the Association.

5.2 The membership of the Finance & Fundraising Committee, in addition to membership as defined elsewhere in this by-law, shall include the Financial Agent, and where possible shall include at least one Federal Council Delegate.

6. Governance Committee

6.1 The duties of the Governance Committee shall include; but not be limited to the following:
a) The organization, preparation and execution of an orientation session for new Executive members to be held each year within one month of the election of the new Executive;
b) An annual review of the Association constitution and by-laws and the recommendation of amendments of such documents to the Annual General Membership Meeting via the Executive;
c) In consultation with the President, if (s)he is not a member of the Committee, organize, prepare and execute the planning of the Annual General Membership Meeting, Association Executive Elections, and any other membership meetings deemed necessary;
d) Recruit and coordinate the Association’s delegates to New Democratic Party Conventions; and
e) In consultation with the President, if (s)he is not a member of the Committee, organize the a strategic planning session and/or the development of an annual workplan for the Association.

7. Membership Committee

7.1 The duties of the Membership Committee shall include; but not be limited to the following:
a) Assist the Membership Organizer and Volunteer Coordinator in recruiting new members and volunteers;
b) Assisting with the maintenance of local membership records; and
c) Organizing membership renewal drives.

7.2 The membership of the Membership Committee, in addition to membership as defined elsewhere in this by-law, shall include the Membership Organizer and the Volunteer Coordinator.

8. Outreach Committee

8.1 The duties of the Outreach Committee shall include; but not be limited to the following:
a) Work to disseminate information regarding the party platform with the riding;
b) Liaise with various citizen groups whose aims and work support the policies and principles of the NDP;
c) Connect with relevant constituency groups and regions within the riding through events and various initiatives;
d) Maintain the Association’s web presence through the maintenance of the Association’s webpage;
e) Organize and undertake events and initiatives relevant to establishing and maintaining an increasing local NDP presence.

8.2 The membership of the Outreach Committee, in addition to membership as defined elsewhere in this by-law, shall include the President, the candidate and at least one youth organizer, where possible.