Constitution 2011-12-18

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This constitution have been replaced with the new constitution adopted on 2012-06-20. The following Constitution was adopted on December 18th, 2011.

Contents

Article I. Name

The full name of the Party is "Pirate Party of Canada"; its short name is "Pirate Party". In French, the full name of the Party is \Parti Pirate du Canada"; its short name is "Parti Pirate". In both languages, the name is abbreviated as "PPCA".

Article II. Object

The principles of the Party are:

  1. That intellectual property law needs to properly balance the needs of innovators with those of users to ensure maximum cultural and intellectual growth;
  2. That government must be transparent and accountable at all levels and that government information should be made available to all citizens where it would not compromise individuals' rights.
  3. That Canadians have a fundamental right to privacy and that the laws should both require that right to be respected and respect that right themselves; and
  4. That telecommunications, including the Internet and postal mail, are of vital importance for maintaining cultural and economic prosperity; and that access to telecommunications on equitable terms, without censorship or interference is a human right.

The object of the Party is to engage with the people of Canada and use the democratic process to reform the laws of Canada to uphold the principles of the Party and to ensure that our nation's laws can adapt to new technologies.

Article III. Membership

Membership of the Party shall be limited to those natural persons who are Canadian citizens or permanent residents and are at least fourteen years of age. Any person expelled from the Party may rejoin only if so authorized by a general meeting.

III.1 Membership Fee

The Party shall collect a membership fee annually from each member. Members of the Executive Board and of the Political Council, as well as selected candidates and Members of Parliament representing the Party, may, at their option, receive membership free of charge for the duration of their service on one or more of these positions. The Party may award free membership for a period of time not to exceed two years with approval of a general meeting, of the Executive Board, and of the Political Council.

Membership begins immediately when the fee is first paid, and may be paid for up to five years in advance. If a member is delinquent in paying the fee, they shall lose their membership.

Article IV. Officers

The officers of the party shall be the Leader, the President, the Deputy Leader, the Vice-President,and the Secretary. These officers shall perform the duties given to them by this document, by the Party, or by the parliamentary authority of the Party. No person shall be both President and Vice-President, or both Leader and Deputy Leader.

With the exception of the Leader and Deputy Leader, the officers shall each be elected by a general meeting and serve until the first regular general meeting one year or more after their election, or until their successors are elected. The Leader and Deputy Leader shall be elected along with the Political Council as defined elsewhere. Elections shall always take place by secret ballot, except if there is only one candidate and the vote is taken at a meeting.

Article V. General Meetings

The Party shall hold regular general meetings monthly at a time and place fixed by special rule of order.

Special general meetings may be called with at least three days notice either by the Executive Board with a two-thirds vote, or by the President upon presentation to him or her a petition of at least fifteen members of the Party. The above notwithstanding, general meetings shall be held in an online environment easily accessible to members of the Party.

Fifteen members shall constitute a quorum at a general meeting.

Article VI. Executive Board

VI.1 Composition

The Executive Board shall consist of the officers of the Party and the chairs of any standing committees of the Party.

Additionally, if the Party's chief agent is a corporation, its directors are members of the Executive Board. The directors of the chief agent do not have the right to vote or to make motions at meeting of the Executive Board unless they hold another position on the Board. Quorum of the Executive Board is a majority of members with voting rights.

VI.2 Powers & Duties

The Executive Board is responsible for the general affairs of the Party and has full power and authority over its affairs in between general meetings except where authority is held by the Political Council, or as otherwise limited. The Executive Board's actions are subject to change by, and shall not conflict with decisions of a general meeting.

The Executive Board has the power to delegate its authority to the Political Council as well as to members and committees of the Party, the Executive Board, and/or the Political Council as it sees fit. The Executive Board has the power to adopt its own special rules of order.

VI.3 Finances

The Party's finances shall be managed by its chief agent, at the direction of the Executive Board.

The financial records of the Party shall be provided to any member upon request to the maximum extent permitted by law. The Executive Board shall report on the Party's finances to the May general meeting each year.

VI.4 Meetings

The Executive Board shall regularly meet at least weekly at a time and place fixed by special rule of order of the Board. Special meetings may be called with two days notice by the President or by any three members of the Board.

Article VII. Political Council

VII.1 Composition

The Political Council shall be chaired by the Leader. Its members, including the Leader and the Deputy Leader, shall be chosen by election and serve until their successors are elected. There is no maximum number of members of the Council, although it must have at least five. The election must take place by all-party ballot. Members of the Political Council must be members of the Party.

VII.2 Elections Generally

Elections for the Political Council may be held only when authorized by this document. An election shall occur for the Political Council at the second regular general meeting following each federal general election. An election shall also occur at the regular general meeting in November unless an election was held during or after May of that year, or is scheduled to be held before the end of that year. Elections may be called by the Political Council with a two-thirds vote, or by a general meeting with a two-thirds vote taken by all-party ballot with notice.

A candidate may decline the offices of Leader or Deputy Leader together before or immediately after being informed of the result. A candidate may not decline the office of Leader without also declining the office of Deputy Leader. Declining office does not affect whether or not the candidate can be elected to the Political Council in another capacity.

Approval voting shall be used, and only nominees shall be eligible for election. To determine the winners, first, every candidate with less than two-fifths support is removed from consideration and cannot be selected, the rest of this paragraph notwithstanding. Then, if the Leader received at least three-fifths support and does not decline office, he or she is re-elected. Otherwise, the candidate with the most support who does not decline office is elected Leader. The candidate other than the newly-elected Leader with the most support who does not decline office is elected Deputy Leader.

Every other candidate with at least three-fifths support is elected to the Political Council, and if this results in fewer than five members of the Political Council, then as many other candidates as are necessary to bring the total to five are also elected, preferring candidates in order of support.

Candidates are individually responsible for complying with the financial administration requirements for leadership contestants set out in the Canada Elections Act.

VII.3 Vacancies

In case of a vacancy in the office of Leader, the Deputy Leader shall succeed the Leader automatically. In case of a vacancy in the office of Deputy Leader, a replacement shall be elected by and from the Political Council. In case of a vacancy in both offices, replacements shall be elected by and from the Political Council.

If ever there are fewer than five members of Political Council except immediately after an election or by-election, then a by-election shall be held to find additional members. Current members of Poliical Council shall not be affected by or be candidates in this by-election. In particular, the Leader and Deputy Leader shall retain office. A by-election may additionally be called by the Political Council with a two-thirds vote. If, immediately after an election or by-election, there are still fewer than five members, then Political Council shall appoint additional members until there are five.

VII.4 Powers & Duties

The Political Council is a board responsible for the general public interface of the Party. The Political Council has the power and authority to speak on behalf of the Party, to set out Party policy, and to approve external communications. The Political Council's actions are subject to change by, and shall not conflict with decisions of a general meeting.

If a motion is presented to the Political Council and is rejected due to the members feeling it is outside their duties as assigned by the constitution the motion must be referred to the Executive Board. In this case the Political Council is considered by default to have delegated its powers to the Executive Board for the express purpose of dealing with that particular motion. The Political Council when referring the motion may place limitations on the power granted. If even with these powers the Executive Board decides it is not capable of handling the motion it will then be sent to the next scheduled General Meeting. This General Meeting will decide who has the authority to act on the proposed motion or whether to act upon the motion itself. If the General Meeting assigns responsibility for the motion to the Political Council it may not be rejected on the grounds that it is outside their duties as defined by the constitution.

The Political Council has the power to delegate its authority to the Executive Board as well as to members and committees of the Party, the Executive Board, and/or the Political Council as it sees fit. The Political Council has the power to adopt its own special rules of order.

VII.5 Meetings

The Political Council shall regularly meet at least biweekly at a time and place fixed by special rule of order of the Council. Special meetings may be called with two days notice by the Leader or by any three members of the Council.

Article VIII. Committees

Standing and special committees may be established as needed by a general meeting, the Executive Board, or the Political Council. Such committees shall report to the body that established them. Standing committees may be established only by special rule of order.

The President and the Leader shall be ex officio members of all committees, but shall have no obligation to the committee solely by way of this provision, and shall not be considered for determining quorum.

Article IX. Parliamentary Authority & Special Rules

The parliamentary authority of the Party shall be Robert's Rules of Order Newly Revised, and it shall govern the Party whenever applicable and where it does not conflict with the bylaw or a duly-adopted special rule of order.

IX.1 Distributed Meetings

All bodies of the Party are authorized to meet by means of real-time telecommunications. Where the body does not have rules accounting for a situation, a superior body's rules should be used if possible. If no superior body has such rules, the chair of any assembly may vary the rules, subject to Appeal, in a way consistent with the principles of parliamentary law in order to accommodate the chosen means of communication.

When meetings are held in this fashion, members shall be required to check in specifically for that meeting in order to establish quorum. Once checked in, a member shall be assumed present unless they disconnect. To safeguard against small groups, no motion shall be adopted at a meeting held by telecommunications unless the number of votes in the affirmative is at least half of quorum.

IX.2 All-Party Ballots

Where an all-party ballot is called for, it may be held by mail, by e-mail, by telephone, and/or through a website approved by the assembly, provided that notice of the vote is sent to every member and they are given at least a week in which to vote.

Article X. Candidates

The Party shall select a number of persons to represent the Party as candidates in federal elections. Only one candidate may be selected per riding. No candidate may be endorsed as the Party's candidate unless selected in accordance with this article.

X.1 Eligibility

In order to be eligible to be selected as a Party candidate, a person must have been a member of the Party for the previous three months, and must additionally satisfy all eligibility requirements for candidacy set out in Canadian law. The membership requirement may be waived by a two-thirds vote of the Political Council or of a general meeting.

A candidate is expected to run in their riding in a federal election at the next available opportunity, and their selection applies only to the first completed and valid election after their appointment.

X.2 Selection

For a riding with an Electoral District Association, that EDA may appoint the candidate for its riding.

For a riding without an Electoral District Association, a member may be elected as the candidate for that riding at a general meeting. Notice must be given of the election.

If there has been an election called in a riding without a candidate, the Political Council may appoint a candidate for that riding, notwithstanding the rest of this section.

Notwithstanding the above, after a federal general election, no candidate shall be selected for a riding until the completion of the subsequent election of the Political Council, except if another federal election is being held in that riding.

Contestants of a candidacy are individually responsible for complying with the financial administration requirements for nomination contestants set out in the Canada Elections Act.

Article XI. Amendment

This document may be amended, including to dissolve the Party or merge it with another party, only by a three-quarters vote or by a vote of a majority of all the membership, taken by all-party ballot, with notice provided at the previous general meeting. A motion for dissolution of the Party shall specify how the remaining assets of the Party are to be distributed.

Article A. Provisos

A.1 General Meetings

The following will be enacted as a special rule of order: "General meetings shall be held at 8:00 PM Eastern time on the 3rd Wednesday of each month in the #canada channel on irc://irc.pirateparty.ca/."

A.2 Executive Board Meetings

The first Executive Board meeting shall be held at the call of the President, and shall enact a special rule of order to set the time of future meetings.

A.3 Political Council Meetings

The following will be enacted as a special rule of order of the Political Council: "The Political Council shall meet weekly at 9:30 PM Eastern time each Thursday in the #council channel on irc://irc.pirateparty.ca/ ."

A.4 Selection of Officers

Sean Hunt shall become President, Shawn Vulliez shall become Vice-President, and Ric Lim shall become Secretary, with term to the election of their successors. Elections for these offices shall be held at the first opportunity.

Mikkel Paulson shall remain Leader of the Party and Shawn Gray shall become Deputy Leader. The members of the old Federal Council shall become the new Political Council. An election of the Political Board shall be held at the first opportunity after the remaining officers are elected.

A.5 Free Debate

The following will be enacted as a special rule of order:

"In free debate, members are not required to seek the floor to speak or make motions. Additionally, there is no limit to the length or number of speeches of a single member, but there may be a limit on the overall length of the discussion period. Free debate can be started or ended by the motion to Limit or Extend Limits on Debate. When limited solely to changing the form of debate, the motion requires a majority vote, and may apply to the remainder of the meeting rather than a pending question or series of questions (and may be moved in this form as an incidental main motion), although it still cannot be made with an undebateable motion pending. In a situation where there is normally a limit on members' speeches, free debate is normally limited to 25 minutes. In a situation where there is normally no limit, then free debate is similarly unlimited. Orders limiting individual members' speeches are ignored when in free debate, but orders limiting (or extending the limits on) the total duration of debate are carried over from one form of debate to the other. Speeches made during free debate are not counted towards individual members' limits."

A.6 Standing Committees

The following will be enacted as a special rule of order:

"The IT Committee shall be a standing committee of the Party, chaired by the IT Director. The IT Director will be elected and serve for a term in the same manner as an officer. Additional members may be appointed or removed by the Executive Board or a general meeting as they see fit. The IT Committee is responsible and has power to oversee the technical operations of the Party. The IT Director shall have full access to the computer systems of the Party except as otherwise ordered by a general meeting; additional access may be provisioned by the IT Committee. Both general meetings and the Executive Board may issue directions to the IT Committee."


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