National Caucus Bylaw

From the National caucus bylaw decreed Nov 21, 2012.

National bylaw: National caucus bylaw

Introduction: A bylaw governing the block voting of the national caucus on the platform of the Federalist party of Canada.

Expires election day for the 42nd General election of the Parliament of Canada.

From the provisional constitution

12.3 Key resolutions need two third majorities to be passed in the National Assembly, National Congress, and the Federal council. Key resolutions are motioned in the National policy committee. These resolutions are in the National Party Platform and are binding upon a Federalist government and all Federalist MP’s.

12.4 Each Federalist MP can vote as they choose in the House of Commons. They may vote against key resolutions without penalty a number of times in each Parliament equal to the number of times they have been elected to the Commons. Key resolutions form the main policies to be supported by the Party. They are the major planks in the Party’s manifesto issued for each federal general election.

As stated in article 12.4 each Federalist MP may vote as they choose in the House of Commons or that every vote is a free vote UNLESS the caucus is block voted and the MP’s vote as a member of the party. This bylaw states how a vote in the House of Commons is declared a party vote and the Federalist MP’s vote as a block in the House. The Senate caucus, if any, is never block voted.

Procedural votes

1.0 All procedural votes in the house are free votes and are never block voted.

1.1 All disciplinary motions are free votes. All votes to confirm an appointment to federal office are free votes. All votes to dismiss a person from federal office are free votes.
Constitutional votes & Standing orders of the House

2.0 These votes are always free votes and cannot be block voted.

Confidence motions

3.0 All confidence and non-confidence motions are blocked voted and are never free votes. Federalist MP’s are still entitled to their passes, see article 4.3 .

3.1 The Leader shall ask the National Congress for confirmation that the House caucus shall be block voted either yes or no on the specified motion before the House of Commons. If the Congress in legislative session by a majority vote confirms then the caucus shall vote as per the block vote in the House.

3.2 The Deputy leader can ask the Congress for confirmation of a block vote but this takes a two-thirds majority vote in the Congress.

3.3 The first time in a Parliament that an MP votes against a block vote on a confidence motion they are suspended from caucus and the National Congress for 3 months. The second time they have their party membership suspended for 6 months. The third time the person is expelled from the Party.

Legislation

4.0 All legislative votes are free votes unless block voted.

4.1 The Leader shall ask the National Congress for confirmation that the House caucus shall be block voted either yes or no on the specified motion before the House of commons. If the Congress in legislative session by a two-thirds majority vote confirms then the caucus shall vote as per the block vote in the House.

4.2 The Deputy leader can ask the Congress for confirmation of a block vote but this takes a three quarters majority vote in the Congress.

4.3 Each MP can vote without penalty against a Party vote in the House a number of times in each Parliament equal to the number of times they have been elected to the House of Commons. These votes without penalty are called passes.

4.4 The first vote against a block vote on legislation with penalty and that penalty is suspension from the House caucus for three months. The second time is suspension from the caucus and National Congress for six months. The third time the penalty is suspension of party membership for one year. While suspended the member can not run in a nomination election. The fourth time is the loss of membership in the Federalist party of Canada.

Summary: All Federalist Members of Parliament are members of the Parliament of Canada first and not a Member of the Federalist Party. It is not the Party or its Leader that pays the salary of an MP but the taxpayers and voters of Canada.

Remember the provisional constitution Article: 11.3 The Leader shall sign all nomination and Election Canada papers. Any refusal shall mean the automatic and immediate expulsion from the Party.

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U.S. Congress

The United States Capitol Building in Washington, DCWhat if the U.S. Congress used the Dual Electoral System? A brief summary from the Fed the party’s Wiki.

A preference ballot is used for voting. The candidate with the number one on a ballot gets one vote. The two candidates with the most votes are elected. The ballots are counted a second time with the elected candidate with the lower number getting one vote. Each elected member will have one ” member vote ” in the House to be used in regular sessions and one ” legislative vote ” for each vote received on the second count of the ballots. These votes are voted when the House is in legislative session and is used to pass what else, legislation! One day a week is set by the Commons for the legislative session and any bills requiring third reading are voted on during that session.

House of Representatives 

Each district elects the top two candidates with each having one vote in legislative session for each vote they get on the second count of the ballots. 435 Seats 870 members

House of Representatives 2012

 

GOP

Dem

Libertarian

Green

Reform

Conservative

Ind

Seats

234

201

0

0

0

0

0

Pop vote

47.8%

48.9%

1.1%

0.3%

   

1.9%

Dual Seats*

417

415

9

2

1

1

15

Dual Leg vote

49.2%

49.0%

0.5%

0.1%

0.1%

0.1%

1.0%

*Dual seats are 860 members not 870. 10 districts had 1 candidate.

Senate

Each Senate seat elects 2 senators with 10 legislative votes split between the senators in proportion to their popular vote. That gives you 200 senators with 1000 legislative votes.

U.S. Senate 2012

 

Dem

GOP

Green

Ind

Seats

53

45

0

2

Dual seats*

96

100

1

2

Dual Leg vote

494

489

2

15

*Dual seats is 199 members not 200. Sen. Thune ran unopposed.

As I recommend in Canada is try it before you buy it. The House would form the House advisory council with the top 2 candidates in each district appointed to it for 870 members. All other candidates transfer their votes to one of the appointed members in their district. In legislative session which advises the House of Representatives on passage of legislation each member has one vote for each vote they received in the election and for each vote transferred to them. In regular session each member has one vote. The Senate would form the Senate advisory council with the top 2 candidates in each senate election appointed to it for 200 members. All other candidates vote for one of these appointees with their votes added to that candidate’s own popular vote. 10 legislative votes are split between the two candidates in direct proportion to this vote. If the split is 54% to 46% the first member has 6 legislative votes and the second 4 legislative votes. This gives you a council of 200 members with 1000 legislative votes and each member has 1 vote in regular session.

 

Acting president: Barry Aulis

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Dual electoral last election

Conservative

NDP

Liberal

Bloc

Green

Ind

Commons

166

103

34

4

1

0

Dual

231

224

110

46

2

3

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An Alternative

The 3 R’s of Parliament are representative, responsible, and responsive. With our first past the post system we don’t even get beyond the first R of parliaments. Here is an alternative to both the current electoral system and the defeated proportional representation.

In the 2001 BC election 21% of voters did not vote for either the Liberals or the NDP. That means 1/5 of all taxpayers; the people that are paying the government’s bills had no representation whatsoever. For the 2005 election it was 13% and in the last election it was 12%. The worst-case scenario is what happened in 1987 in New Brunswick. The Liberals won every seat with 60% of the vote. Forty percent of the voters had no representation at all and thus no say in determining how their tax dollars are spent. I believe this is commonly referred to as taxation without representation!

Like many I know that our first past the post election system doesn’t give us a representative House of Commons but also like many I don’t like the various proposed proportional representation systems either. After the Quebec 1998 general election where the Liberals got more votes then the PQ but the PQ formed a majority government with it having over 60% of the seats I thought we really do need an alternative to first past the post. What follows is my proposed alternative to FPTP and PR elections.

Dual Electoral System

This proposed system of representation comes from the House of Commons itself. It can be said of the House of Commons that it is a group of 308 voters who choose from among their number two principle leaders, one who leads the majority caucus of the House and one who leads it’s minority. This is the basis of the dual electoral system.

A preference ballot is used for voting. The candidate with the number one on a ballot gets one vote. The two candidates with the most votes are elected. The ballots are counted a second time with the elected candidate with the lower number getting one vote. Each elected member will have one ” member vote ” in the House to be used in regular sessions and one ” legislative vote ” for each vote received on the second count of the ballots. These votes are voted when the House is in legislative session and is used to pass what else, legislation! One day a week is set by the Commons for the legislative session and any bills requiring third reading are voted on during that session.

Last three BC general elections

BC Party % Seats Dual Leg vote
2001 Lib 58 77 79 57-78%
NDP 22 2 79 22-43%
2005 Lib 46 46 79 46-59%
NDP 42 33 79 41-54%
2009 Lib 46 49 85 46-58%
NDP 42 35 83 42-54%
Ind 1 2 ~1%

The main drawback of this system is if you keep the same number of ridings you will double the number of members or having the same number of members will double the size of the electoral ridings.

Benefits of the Dual Electoral System

1.    Guarantee of an opposition since no party can have more than 50% of the members.

2.    In regular sessions the members have one vote each so there will be non-partisan voting on the election of the Speaker, rules of the House (2/3 majority), procedural motions and committee membership.

3.    In legislative session you will have proportional representation since each member will have one vote for each vote received on the second count of the ballots.

4.    No party lists since your still voting for the Member of Parliament of your choice. One MP represents the majority vote in a riding and the other MP the main minority vote.

5.    No major revision of the electoral map. Ridings should only be altered when the number of electors in a riding is 150% or more or 50% or less of the average number of electors per riding. Each election few if any ridings will change. This will mitigate the political fighting over riding boundaries or size for the purpose of any real or imagined partisan gain.

6.    An incentive to vote since the more votes an MP gets the more votes they have on voting on legislation. Also ridings and provinces will increase their voting strength in the House if their voting turn out is higher than the National average.

7.    All votes do count! If your first choice doesn’t get elected then one of the two candidates who did get elected will get to vote your vote because of the preference ballot.

 

If the dual electoral system were to be used it would have to be decided what the maximum size of the legislative assembly should be. British Columbia’s legislative assembly currently has 85 seats. If an Assembly of 100 members were set this would give you 50 electoral ridings. This gives an 18% increase in the number of members and a 70% increase in the size of the ridings.

One can easily try it before you buy it. The BC legislative assembly could establish the Assembly advisory council.  The top two candidates for each riding would be appointed giving you a council of 170 members. In regular session each member has one vote. In each riding the other candidates transfer their votes to one of the appointed candidates for that riding. When added to their own this becomes the number of votes they get to cast when the advisory council votes in legislative session. The council in regular session advises the Speaker of the Assembly on procedural motions and when in legislative session advises whether a bill should be given third reading.

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Standing Orders

Organizing the National Congress

For the National Congress I would use the traditional committee system. I would create approximately 30 to 40 committees having a membership of 30 members each. This gives you somewhere between 900 and 1200 for a total committee membership. Each member of the National Congress would sit on either one or two committees. In order of precedence each member would choose a committee to sit on and you would go down the list of members and repeat on till all the committees have full membership. The precedence of the members being the current members of Parliament in order of seniority, former members of Parliament in order of seniority, members who were the party’s nominee in the last election, and finally the runners up in the nomination elections.

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Delegates for the House of Commons

Non-voting members of the House of Commons

Under the standing orders of the House of Commons there shall be created a class of members called House delegates who can motion and debate but have no seat on any committee and no vote in the House of Commons. Delegates can be created by an absolute two-thirds majority vote (206) of the Commons. These delegates have a term of office for the duration of that parliament. A House delegate called a Member-emeritus can be created by an absolute three quarters majority vote (231) of the Commons. A Member-emeritus serves for the duration of five parliaments starting with the one in which they are created. All Speakers of the House become a Member-emeritus for life in the Parliament after they retire.

There shall be ex-officio House delegates who are any member of the Council of Ministers or the Council of Opposition who does not have a seat in the House of Commons. Furthermore both the Prime Minister and the Leader of the Opposition shall only be House delegates. If they are members of the House of Commons at the time of appointment as Prime minister or Leader of the opposition they then shall resign that seat in the House of Commons. Also if any leader of an official political party does not have a seat in the House of Commons they shall become a delegate member of the Commons.

The status of an official political party shall be granted to any party, which got 5% or more of the popular vote in the last election or who has 1% or more of the membership in the House of Commons. Using this formula for the determination of official status gives you the following results federally and for the 10 provinces. Nationally we would have five official parties namely the Conservative, Liberal, NDP, Bloc, and the Green party. Provincially PEI would have two official parties, Ontario and Alberta would have four official parties, and the other seven provinces would all have three official political parties.

What does this change federally? It means that the House of Commons would have 308 voting members plus 3 House delegates. The three House delegates would be the Prime Minister Stephen Harper, the Leader of the opposition Mr. Michael Ignatieff, and the leader of the Green party Mrs. Elizabeth May. There could be more delegate members of the House of Commons depending on whom the Prime minister and the Leader of the opposition appoints to the Cabinet or the shadow cabinet.

Barry Aulis   barryaulis@federalistparty.ca

Compton-Stanstead Qc

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Term limits

With the recent deaths of Senators Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts and Robert Byrd of West Virginia it brings up the question of term limitations. Senator Kennedy was elected to the Senate in 1962 and served for 48 years. Senator Byrd being elected to the Senate in 1958 and serving for 52 years. In my opinion the only person that should be able to celebrate a Jubilee in office is a distinguished little old lady who’s been known to wear a tiara from time to time. I have nothing against long serving members of the Legislature but where re-elections extends that term to 50 years that is simply too long. Both Senator Kennedy and Senator Byrd got elected to the U.S. Senate before I was born and I’m no spring chicken!

In the United States they should limit Senators to being elected to four full terms plus part of an un-expired term. This would mean Senator Kennedy gets elected to a partial term in 1962 and getting re-elected to full terms in 1964, 1970, 1976, and 1982. He ends up leaving the Senate in 1988 having served for 26 years. Senator Byrd would’ve been elected in 1958, 1964, 1970, and 1976. He ends up leaving the Senate in 1982 having served 24 years.

Here in Canada I would suggest that our Members of Parliament would get to serve in six Parliaments this would give them a maximum term of 30 years. For the federal election in 2011 six terms would have been being elected in 1993 and serving in six Parliaments for 18 years. For the federal election in 2004 six terms would have been elected in 1980 and serving for 24 years.

Barry Aulis  barryaulis@federalistparty.ca

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