Ontario Libertarian Party Constitution
As amended at the 2008 Convention
Article 1 - NAME
The name of this organization shall be the “Ontario Libertarian Party,” hereinafter referred to as the “Party.”
Article 2 - DURATION
The duration of the Party shall be perpetual.
Article 3 - PURPOSE
The purpose of the Party is to modify the political structure and social environment of Ontario to provide the greatest amount of freedom for individuals. To that end the Party shall:
a) engage in political activity such as the formation of constituency associations and the election of Party candidates to the Legislature;
b) disseminate information about the Libertarian philosophy;
c) support groups and individuals that are in agreement with Libertarian philosophy;
d) co-operate with any group where Libertarian philosophy can be promoted without compromising principles.
Article 4 - MEMBERSHIP AND ASSOCIATE STATUS
- Anyone who has signed the statement, “I’m for individual liberty,” and has paid current membership dues, shall be a “Member” of the Party.
- Anyone who has signed the statement, “I wish to be an Associate of the Ontario Libertarian Party,” and has paid current membership fees, shall be an Associate of the Party.
- Only Members may hold elected or appointed positions within the Party, be official Party candidates during an election, or hold voting status at Party Conventions or General Meetings.
- Any Party Membership or Associate status shall terminate when:
a) the Member or Associate submits a written resignation;
b) the Member or Associate has not paid renewal fees within eight weeks from the expiry date, or eight weeks from the date of notice of renewal, whichever is later;
c) the Ethics Committee rules that the Membership or Associate status is terminated because:
(i) as a Member, the individual has violated, or publicly advocated actions which violate, the Statement of Principles; or
(ii) as a Member or an Associate, the individual has publicly misrepresented the platform or goals of the Party.
Article 5 - OFFICERS
- The Officers of the Party shall be a Chairman, a Vice-Chairman, a Secretary, a Recording Secretary, a Treasurer, and a Campaign Director. All of these Officers shall be elected by the delegates at a Convention of the Party or as otherwise provided in this Constitution.
- The Chairman or his designate shall preside at all Conventions, General Meetings, and meetings of the Executive Committee. The Chairman shall be the Chief Executive Officer of the Party.
- The Vice-Chairman shall act as assistant to the Chairman and shall perform the duties of the Chairman in the event that the Chairman is, for any reason, unable to perform the duties of his office.
- The duties of the Secretary shall include:
a) providing, or making provision for, legal services for the Party; and
b) responsibility for the general correspondence of the Party.
- The duties of the Recording Secretary shall be to take minutes at all official meetings of the Party and the Executive Committee, to maintain the Minute Book of the Party, to be responsible for notifying all eligible attendees of the time and place of meetings of the Party and the Executive Committee, and to perform all other such duties as may be assigned from time to time.
- a) The Treasurer shall receive, expend, and account for the funds of the Party under the supervision of the Executive Committee.
b) The Treasurer shall serve as the Chief Financial Officer of the Party and shall be responsible for all obligations imposed on the Party by the Commission on Election Finances. The term of the Chief Financial Officer shall coincide with the fiscal year of the party.
- The Campaign Director shall be the overall campaign manager for the Party. Duties of the Campaign Director shall include acquiring and training candidates, media contact and public relations, working with Constituency Associations, and other political activities as mutually agreed with the Party Leader.
Article 6 - EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE
- No individual shall hold more than one position on the Executive Committee.
- The Executive Committee of the Party shall be composed of:
a) the Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader;
b) the six Officers of the Party; and
c) two Members-at-Large.
- The incoming Executive Committee shall take office at a date to be determined by the outgoing Executive Committee, but not later than four weeks after the close of the Convention or General Meeting at which they were elected or one week after a provincial election if one is called before the changeover occurs, whichever is later.
- The Executive Committee shall, consistent with the Constitution and Bylaws of the Party, control and manage the affairs, properties, and funds of the Party.
- Meetings of the Executive Committee shall be held at intervals of not more than 90 days, and shall be open to Members and Associates.
- The Executive Committee may suspend from office, by a vote of two-thirds of the entire Committee, any Committee member except for the Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader. Within two weeks after a suspended member has been officially informed of his suspension, he may require that the Executive Committee call a General Meeting within six weeks for the purpose of reviewing the suspension. If no appeal is made or if the suspension is upheld then the position shall become vacant.
- The Executive Committee may fill vacancies by appointment, except for the positions of Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader, by a vote of the majority of the entire Committee.
- All Officers must sign an oath of office, which shall read, “I support and promise to uphold the Ontario Libertarian Party Statement of Principles.”
Article 7 - CONSTITUENCY ASSOCIATIONS
- The Executive Committee shall recognize, and apply to the Commission on Election Finances to register as a Constituency Association, any properly constituted group which has held a meeting, adopted a constitution consistent with the Statement of Principles and Constitution of the Party, and met the necessary legal requirements.
- Only Members of the Party may become executive officers of a Constituency Association.
- A person who is not a Member or Associate of the Party may become a member of a Constituency Association subject to the constitution and bylaws of the Constituency Association.
- The Executive Committee may, by a vote of two-thirds of the entire Committee, de-register a Constituency Association which no longer complies with this Article.
- A Constituency Association may voluntarily de-register by complying with legal requirements. The Constituency Association shall notify the Executive Committee.
Article 8 - ETHICS COMMITTEE
- There shall be a standing Ethics Committee which shall be comprised of six members and which must be exclusive of the Executive Committee.
- The Ethics Committee shall be created at each Convention and at each General Meeting as follows: The four members of the immediately preceding Committee with the shortest length of service shall be appointed to the Committee. If fewer than four members remain on the Committee or are willing to serve on the Committee for the coming term, all the remaining members are appointed to the Committee. All remaining positions on the Committee shall be filled by a majority vote of the registered delegates on the floor. For purposes of this section, with respect to two members elected at the same Convention or Annual General Meeting, the member elected with the higher vote total shall be deemed to have had the shorter length of service.
- The Ethics Committee shall be responsible for:
a) disciplinary action against any Member or Associate.
b) challenges of amendments to the Statement of Ultimate Goals believed by a member to be in conflict with the Statement of Principles;
c) challenges to other Party documents believed by a Member to be in conflict with the Statement of Ultimate Goals;
d) alleged violations of the Constitution or Bylaws by any Officer of the Party; and
e) other business as directed by the Executive Committee, or by a Convention or General Meeting of the Party.
- Disciplinary action against a Member or Associate shall be in accordance with the parliamentary authority of the Party, except as otherwise provided in the Constitution and Bylaws.
- All members of the Ethics Committee shall sign the same oath of office as the Officers.
Article 9 - CAUCUS
- The Caucus of the Party shall consist of the Party Leader, the Deputy Party Leader, and all standing candidates.
- There shall be only one Standing Candidate for each provincial constituency. The Standing Candidate for a constituency shall be:
a) the Member who has been elected to the Legislature; or if none has been elected,
b) the Member who has been nominated by the Party’s registered Constituency Association for the next provincial election; or if none has been nominated,
c) the Member who has been accepted as a candidate by the Party Leader for the next provincial election; or, if none has been accepted,
d) the Member who has run in the most recent provincial election.
- The purpose of the Caucus shall be to:
a) develop policy and a Platform consistent with the principles of the Party;
b) recruit and train candidates to stand for election to the Legislature;
c) provide research facilities and resources to candidates for policy development;
d) assist the Party’s research efforts; and
e) promote the libertarian philosophy.
- The Caucus shall operate under the Constitution and Bylaws, and under a Caucus Charter to be approved by the Caucus and the Executive Committee. This Charter may be amended by a two-thirds vote of the Executive Committee and a two-thirds vote of the Caucus.
- All Standing Candidates shall sign a candidates’ pledge, which shall read: “I will not advocate anything inconsistent with the Ontario Libertarian Party Statement of Principles.”
Article 10 - GENERAL MEETINGS
- The Executive Committee shall hold General Meetings as required by this Constitution or at any time that they may choose. General Meetings shall be open to all Members and Associates. Notification of the time and place of General Meetings shall be sent to the membership at least four weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
- At each General Meeting any Executive Committee positions filled by the Executive Committee under Article 6 Section 7 shall become vacant, and elections shall be held to fill these and other vacancies to the Executive Committee except for the positions of Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader.
- The Executive Committee shall call a General Meeting upon petition by 5% or more of the Members. The meeting shall be held within six weeks of such request being presented to the Executive Committee.
- A General Meeting may make changes to the Platform, the policies, and the Bylaws of the Party. 25% of the Delegates shall constitute a quorum for this purpose.
- A General Meeting may remove or elect Ethics Committee members and Executive Committee members except the Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader. Notice of this intention must be given at least four weeks prior to the date of the meeting, and one-third of the Delegates shall constitute a quorum for this purpose.
- At a General Meeting called for the purpose of removing or electing Officers, Delegates may assign their votes by proxy to any Delegate. The Executive Committee shall be responsible for notifying the Delegates of the procedure for registering proxy votes no later than four weeks prior to the date of the meeting.
Article 11 - ANNUAL GENERAL MEETING
- At intervals of not more than 13 months the Executive Committee shall hold a General Meeting which it shall designate as an “Annual General Meeting.”
- Except as noted in this article, all rules pertaining to General Meetings shall apply to Annual General Meetings.
- At each Annual General Meeting the positions of Members-at-Large, and all Executive Committee positions filled under Article 6 Section 7 of this Constitution, shall become vacant, and an election shall be held to fill those positions.
Article 12 - CONVENTIONS
- The Party shall hold a Convention at least every 36 months at a time selected by the Executive Committee. Notification of the time and place of the Convention shall be sent to the membership at least twelve weeks prior to the date of the Convention.
- Except as noted in this article, all rules pertaining to Annual General Meetings shall apply to Conventions.
- The Executive Committee shall appoint a Convention chairman and shall announce this appointment with the Convention notice. The Convention chairman shall appoint the appropriate committees to carry out the business of the Convention.
- A Delegate shall be a Member as described in Article 13. 5. Delegates may assign their votes by proxy to any Delegate to the Convention for all or parts of the voting procedure. Proxies must be registered with the meeting chairman or his designate before they may be voted.
- Amendments to the Constitution or Bylaws shall take effect upon the investiture of the new Executive Committee unless otherwise decreed in the amending motion.
Article 13 - DELEGATES
- The maximum number of Delegates to a Convention or General Meeting shall be 500. This shall be divided among the constituencies and membership as follows:
a) Where the number of Members who wish to become Delegates is equal to, or less than, 500, all registrants will become Delegates.
b) Where the number of Members who wish to become Delegates exceeds 500, each Member who holds a seat in the Ontario Legislature shall be a Delegate. Each Constituency Association shall then be allowed two Delegates plus any additional Delegates that may accrue when the number of Members in the constituency is taken as a fraction of the total Membership and multiplied by the number of Delegate positions remaining. Where there are fewer than three Members of voting age residing in any constituency, each Member resident shall be allowed to be a Delegate. Unrepresented constituencies shall not participate in the distribution.
- Delegates need not attend a Convention or General Meeting in person, but may give their proxy to any Delegate who is attending.
- A Delegate in attendance at a Convention or General Meeting may give his proxy to any other Delegate in attendance, but may not transfer any other proxies which he may hold unless the proxy so allows.
- Each member of the Executive Committee shall automatically be a Delegate from his constituency unless he declines.
- A Constituency Association may pass a bylaw describing the method of appointing Delegates and setting the length of term.
- A Delegate must have been a Member of the Party for at least 90 days prior to the commencement of a Convention or General Meeting. A reinstated Member shall be deemed as having a continuous membership for purposes of this section.
Article 14 - STATEMENT OF ULTIMATE GOALS
- The Party shall adopt a Statement of Ultimate Goals which shall include the Statement of Principles.
- The Statement of Principles affirms that upon which the Party is founded and by which it is sustained. The enduring importance of the Statement of Principles requires that it shall be amended only by a vote of not less than seven-eighths of the Delegates to a Convention, provided that notice of such amendment(s) has been sent to all Delegates not less than eight weeks prior to the date of the Convention. Amendments to the Statement of Principles cannot be made by Members from the floor of the Convention.
- At each Convention the Statement of Ultimate Goals other than the Statement of Principles may be amended. A section may be deleted by a simple majority vote of the Delegates. The substitution of a new section for an old one or the addition of a new section shall require approval by a vote of two-thirds of the Convention Delegates.
Article 15 - PLATFORM
- The Caucus shall develop a platform, from time to time, which is consistent with the Statement of Ultimate Goals and which addresses the current issues.
- Changes and additions to the platform shall require a two-thirds vote of the Caucus. Such changes shall be published in Bulletin within two issues from the date such change or addition is made.
Article 16 - ELECTION OF PARTY LEADER AND DEPUTY PARTY LEADER
- Nominations and elections of the Party Leader and Deputy Party Leader shall be made at each Convention.
- No candidate may be nominated who has not expressed a willingness to accept or who is legally ineligible to run for the office of member of the Legislative Assembly by Ontario or Canadian law.
- The Deputy Party Leader shall succeed the Party Leader in the event of a vacancy in that position.
- In the event of vacancy in the position of Deputy Party Leader, the Caucus shall elect a new Deputy Party Leader, subject to ratification at a Convention.
- No one shall serve as Party Leader or Deputy Party Leader who has not signed the oath of office and the candidates’ pledge.
Article 17 - CONSTITUTIONAL AMENDMENTS
- Except as otherwise provided this Constitution may be amended by a two-thirds vote at any Convention, if notice of amendment has been sent to all Members not less than 30 days prior to the date of the Convention. If such notice is not given, amendments must receive a three-fourths vote to succeed. This Constitution may also be amended by a ballot of the Members, provided that the affirmative votes received by the current Chairman or his agent, within four weeks of the mailing of the ballot, are not less than 55% of the Members.
- Article 14 Section 2 and Article 17 Section 2 of this Constitution shall be amended only by a vote of not less than seven-eighths of the Delegates at a Convention.
Article 18 - BYLAWS
The Bylaws may be amended by a majority vote of the Delegates at any Convention or General Meeting, or by a vote of three-fourths of the Executive Committee at any other time, provided that the latter are ratified at the next Convention or General Meeting.
Article 19 - ANNOUNCEMENTS
Announcement in the official publication of the Party shall be deemed to be the notification required by this Constitution.