THE NEW DEMOCRATIC PARTY
OF NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR
(As amended at Convention May 2014)
ARTICLE 1: NAME
The name of the Party shall be “The New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador”.
ARTICLE 2: OBJECTIVES
The objectives of the Party shall be to promote the principles of social democracy. These principles can be briefly described as
1.A belief that the social, economic, and political progress of Newfoundland and Labrador can be assured only by the application of social and egalitarian principles to the governance and administration of public affairs;
2.That the production of goods and services shall be directed to meeting the social and individual needs of people within a framework of economic and environmental sustainability;
3.That the dignity and freedom of the individual is a basic right that must be maintained and extended to all persons regardless of race, ethnic background, ability, religion, gender, or sexual orientation;
4.That the abolition of poverty and the elimination of exploitation are achievable goals and must be a priority of any thinking and compassionate government; and
5.That the people have a right to a meaningful voice in public policy through consultation and participation at all levels of public decision-making.
ARTICLE 3: INTERPRETATION
In this constitution:
1.“Party” means the New Democratic Party of Newfoundland and Labrador;
2.“Representation” means that members of all committees and executives of the Party should be balanced in terms of gender, demographics, and region;
3.“Member of the House of Assembly” means a member of the Party who has been duly elected and is currently serving in the Newfoundland and Labrador legislature; and
4.“Provincial Office” means the central office of the Party;
This constitution will include any and all appendices.
In this constitution words in the singular shall be deemed to include the plural and words in the plural shall be deemed to include the singular unless the contrary intention appears.
ARTICLE 4: MEMBERSHIP
Individual membership in the Party is open to every person who:
a.is a resident of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador;
b.is at least fourteen (14) years of age or other such minimum age as may be established by the New Democratic Party of Canada;
c.undertakes to accept and abide by the constitution and principles of the party and;
d.is not, or ceases to be, a member or supporter of any other political party.
- An application for membership shall be subjected to the approval of the district and/or provincial executive.
- All applications, unless rejected by the district executive, shall be sent to the provincial office along with the membership fee (if applicable), upon which the provincial office may issue a membership card.
- Applications for renewal of membership shall be accepted by the provincial office or its delegate as appointed by the Provincial Executive unless the district or the provincial executive request in writing the withholding of a given membership.
- The membership year is normally from the first day of January to the thirty-first day of December each year. However, any membership application which is received and accepted after the thirtieth day of September shall cover membership for the following calendar year as well as for the remainder of the current year.
- Notwithstanding subsections a-d of this section, the Federal Party may accept membership fees upon which the provincial office may issue a membership card.
- Affiliated membership shall be open to trade unions, farm groups, co-operatives, labour councils, women’s organizations or any other groups and organizations which by an official act, undertake to accept and abide by the constitution and principles of the Party, and are not associated or identified with any other political party.
- Members of an affiliated organization must apply for individual membership in order to become full members.
Every individual member shall automatically be a member of the District Association in the provincial district in which he/she resides. However, if a person wishes to transfer to a District Association other than the one in which he/she resides, an application must then be made in writing to the Executive of the Provincial District Association in which he/she wishes to transfer. All transfers are subject to District and Provincial Executive approval. If approved, the executive of the Provincial District to which the transfer is made, shall inform the transferee’s former District Association of such a transfer.
Affiliated organizations shall be entitled to participate in the activities of the District Association on a basis to be negotiated jointly by the Party and the affiliated organization and approved by Provincial Council and/or the Provincial Executive.
No person shall be eligible to act as an officer of the Party, a member of the Provincial Council, a member of a District Executive, a delegate to any convention, or a candidate unless he/she is an individual member of the Party whose membership is in good standing.
ARTICLE 5: FEES
The membership conditions and fees shall be set by the Executive of the Party.
The affiliate membership conditions and fees shall be set by the Provincial Council and/or the Provincial Executive.
The Provincial share of the per capita fee for affiliated organizations shall be retained by the Provincial Office.
ARTICLE 6: PROVINCIAL DISTRICT ASSOCIATIONS
The Provincial Council and/or the Provincial Executive may initiate the establishment of District Associations.
Each such association shall function within the terms of this Constitution and may adopt such by-laws that are not inconsistent with this Constitution as the successful operation of the organization may require, provided however, that such by-laws shall be subject to approval of the Provincial Executive.
Each member of the House of Assembly shall be a member of the executive and all other committees of his/her District Association.
Each District Association shall consist of an executive of not less than three persons, including the Officers of the Association. The executive shall be elected at the District Association annual general meeting.
The District Executive shall be responsible for the general administration of the affairs of the District Association at all times.
The District Association Executive shall decide, in consultation with the Provincial Executive, on the calling of a nomination meeting.
Each District Association shall prepare a financial statement prior to each annual general meeting and after each election and a copy of each statement shall be sent to the Provincial Office.
Each District Association shall hold an annual general meeting, ensuring that such a gathering is held prior to the Provincial Convention.
When an annual general meeting is to be held under the provisions of Section 8 hereof, the executive of the Association shall give at least two weeks notice to all members and affiliated organizations entitled to attend.
At the annual general meeting, only those individual members of the Party in good standing and who are residing in the District at the time, or who have become members in accordance with ARTICLE 4, Section 4 shall have the right to vote.
The business of the Provincial District Association Annual General Meeting shall be:
a.to receive and vote on the report of the executive;
b.to receive and vote on the financial statement;
c.to review and prepare amendments to the policies and Constitution of the Provincial Party, and to submit such proposals and amendments to the biennial convention of the party;
d.To pass and amend by-laws ;
e.To elect an executive of the District Association;
f.To elect delegates to the Provincial Convention;
g.To lay plans for the political and economic education of the electors and for the organization of the district; and
h.To elect a representative to the Women’s Caucus.
Should a District Association not have an executive, or where for any reason a District Executive has failed to call an annual general meeting when required by this constitution to do so, the Provincial Executive may call an annual general meeting.
ARTICLE 7: NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES FOR PROVINCIAL ELECTION
a.Any individual or any affiliated organization entitled to membership in a provincial district association may place the name of a prospective candidate in nomination prior to the Nominating Meeting by forwarding the name in writing, together with the written consent of the proposed nominee, to the District Executive.
b.All other guidelines for the candidate search and nomination of candidates shall be set down by the Provincial Executive and sent to the District Associations.
No person shall be eligible to accept nomination as a candidate unless he or she:
a)is an individual member of the Party as defined by ARTICLE 4, Section 2;
b)is eligible to be a candidate as defined by the Elections Act of Newfoundland and Labrador or the Canada Elections Act, as applicable; and
c)has completed a Candidate Disclosure Questionaire, in the form set out by the Provincial Executive.
No candidate and no District Association shall have the authority to change the Provincial Policies of the Party.
On request of the executive in the district with problems of communication or transportation, the Provincial Executive may arrange for and conduct a ballot by mail or any other acceptable method for the purpose of nominating a candidate.
In districts where there are no organizations as provided for in ARTICLE 6, the Provincial Executive shall have the responsibility for the nomination of candidates.
All nominations of candidates to represent the Party in a provincial election shall be subject to the approval of the Provincial Executive.
ARTICLE 8: PROVINCIAL CONVENTION
The Provincial Convention shall be the governing body of the Party and shall have the sole power to alter or amend the constitution.
a.The Party shall meet in convention at least every other year at a time and place to be determined by the Provincial Executive.
b. There shall be a leadership review held at each convention excepting a Leadership Convention
c.Specially called convention shall be held at the call of:
(i)at least two thirds of the provincial executive.
(ii)at least 100 members or 25% of the current membership of the Party in good standing, whichever is greater, by petition to the president.
c.At least 60 days notice of the date and place of a regular convention and 30 days notice of the date and time of a specially called convention shall be given to each Provincial District Association and to every group or organization eligible for representation.
The following shall be seated as delegates:
a. the members of the Provincial Council;
b.the members of the Provincial Executive;
c.the Members of the House of Assembly;
d.those candidates nominated for elections in provincial districts;
e.ten delegates, elected by each Provincial District Association and when membership in the district reaches 500 members, an additional delegate for each 50 members or major fraction thereof above 500 members.
f.ten delegates from the Women’s Caucus;
g.ten delegates from the Newfoundland and Labrador Young New Democrats;
h.ten delegates from each District Labour Council and ten delegates from the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour;
i.one delegate from each affiliated organization for the first 100 members for whom membership fees are paid, and one for each additional 100 members or major fraction thereof up to a maximum of 5 (five) delegates.
j. No individual shall have more than one delegate vote.
a.Resolutions, except those submitted by the Provincial Executive or emergency resolutions, must be received by the provincial secretary not less than 10 days prior to the convention date and may be submitted by:
(i)a Provincial District Association,
(ii)the Provincial Council,
(iii)the Provincial Executive,
(iv)the Women’s Caucus,
(v)the Newfoundland and Labrador Young New Democrats,
(vi)an affiliated group or organization entitled to representation,
(vii)the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour.
b.The Resolutions committee of the Convention may, with consent of the Convention, present emergency resolutions to the Convention.
c.Resolutions shall be passed by a majority vote.
d.In the case of a specially-called Convention, the executive may reduce the time required for the receipt of resolutions.
The convention shall be called to order by the President, and the Convention shall then appoint Convention Chairs, a credentials committee, a resolutions committee, and such other committees as the convention may decide to elect or appoint.
The business of regular convention shall be:
a.to receive and vote on the financial statement of the Party;
b.to receive and vote on the report of the Provincial Executive;
c.to elect officers as follows:
(ii)An Associate President who shall be of the gender other than that of the President.
(iii)A second Associate President who shall represent affiliates and the partnership with the Labour Movement.
(iv)A Provincial Treasurer.
(v)A Federal Liaison Officer.
(vi)In the absence of an appointed Provincial Secretary, an elected Provincial Secretary.
(vii) A Membership Secretary
d.to elect other executive members as defined in ARTICLE 10, section 1
e.to discuss and vote upon resolutions pertaining to organization and the policies of the Party.
Specially called conventions may deal with any or all of the business specified above, provided that notice of intention to do so is stated in the convention call.
a.A specially called convention may be held to:
(i)elect a leader. Such a convention shall be called a leadership convention and the election of the leader shall take place at a leadership convention.
(ii)discuss and implement major changes to the Constitution or policies of the Party;
(iii)respond to any emergency in the Party or in the Province.
b.The purpose of the specially called convention shall be clearly stated in the call to the convention.
a.Election of a leader of the Party shall take place if:
(i)the current leader announces his/her intention to resign; or
(ii)the provincial executive has received a request for a specially called convention to elect a leader, as provided for in ARTICLE 8, Section 2(b)
(iii)if the current leader receives less than 50% plus one of the vote at a leadership review
b.The Provincial Executive shall establish guidelines and procedures for the conduct of the leadership campaign and for the election.
ARTICLE 9: PROVINCIAL COUNCIL
The Provincial Council shall be composed of:
a.members of the Provincial Executive;
b.the Presidents of the Provincial District Associations;
c.in addition to the leader, three caucus representatives elected by the caucus;
d.three representatives of the Women’s Caucus elected by the Women’s Caucus.
e.three representatives of the Newfoundland and Labrador Young New Democrats elected by the Newfoundland and Labrador Young New Democrats.
f.one member from each affiliated organization ;and
g.six (6) representatives from the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, at least three (3) of whom shall be women.
a.The Provincial Council should meet at least yearly and review the activities of the Executive and give direction to the Executive in accordance with policies and programs of the Party as adopted by Convention.
b.Special meetings of the Provincial Council may be called by the President on direction from the Executive.
c.The President shall call a special meeting of the Provincial Council on the request in writing of one third of the council members.
d.The Provincial Council shall discuss and vote on resolutions referred from the Convention and on any other matters as may be duly adopted by council.
e.The Provincial Council shall elect four (4) members at large to the Provincial Executive.
ARTICLE 10: PROVINCIAL EXECUTIVE
The Provincial Executive shall be composed of:
a.the Officers of the Party;
b.a caucus representative elected by the caucus;
c.five members elected by convention to represent the regions of Labrador, Western Newfoundland, Central Newfoundland, Eastern Newfoundland, and The South Coast. Regional Representatives must reside in the region s/he represents. At least three shall be women;
d.three (3) members at large elected by Convention and four (4) from Provincial Council of whom at least four (4) shall be women;
e.one representative of the Women’s Caucus chosen by the Women’s Caucus;
f.two representatives (2) of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour;
g.the provincial representative to the NDP of Canada Women’s Council who is chosen by the Women’s Caucus;
h.the provincial representative to New Democratic Youth, who is chosen by the Newfoundland and Labrador Young New Democrats.
a.The Executive of the Party shall meet at least every two months.
b.Special meetings of the Executive may be held on the call of the President.
c.The President shall call a special meeting upon request of three members of the Executive.
a.The Executive shall conduct the affairs of the Party in accordance with the policies of the Convention and of the Provincial Council.
b.The Executive shall have the authority to set up such Committees and appoint such staff as it deems appropriate in order to further the objectives of the Party as provided for in ARTICLE 2.
c.A new caucus may be formed at the discretion of the executive upon the petition by any group of at least five members of the party.
ARTICLE 11: OFFICERS
The officers of the Party shall consist of the Leader, President, Associate President, Second Associate President, Provincial Treasurer, Federal Liaison Officer, and Secretary. Gender balance shall be maintained.
a.The Leader is the Chief Political Spokesperson of the Party and shall make statements on behalf of the Party, shall enunciate the Policies laid down by its Conventions, and shall, if a member of the House of Assembly, lead the Party Caucus in the House. The Leader shall actively encourage the development and building of the Party in all possible ways.
b.The President shall chair meetings of the Provincial Council and Provincial Executive, and supervise the internal affairs of the Party in general. The President shall call the meetings of the Provincial Executive and other meetings as provided in this Constitution.
c.The Associate Presidents shall assist the President and chair meetings of the Party in the absence of the President.
d.The Provincial Treasurer shall be responsible for the handling of all monies, assets, preparation of budgets and financial statements, and maintain such records and correspondence related to same.
e.The Provincial Secretary shall co-ordinate all meetings of the Provincial Council and Provincial Executive and maintain such records and correspondence as related to the affairs of the Party and shall carry out other such duties and responsibilities as defined by the Provincial Executive.
f.The Federal Liaison Officer shall be the main contact with the Federal Party. All matters and issues pertaining to the Federal Party shall be directed through the Federal Liaison Officer. Final decisions shall be made only after consultation with the Provincial President and/or the Provincial Executive.
A Member of Parliament or a Member of the House of Assembly may not be President or an Associate President.
ARTICLE 12: QUORUM
A quorum for the conducting of business shall consist of one third of the members of any Executive, Council, or Committees of the Party.
ARTICLE 13: VACANCIES
Should the office of President become vacant between Conventions, the Provincial Executive shall elect one of the Associate Presidents to fill the vacancy for the completion of the term.
If the position of Political Leader becomes vacant between Conventions, an acting Leader shall be selected at a joint meeting of the Members of the House of Assembly and the Provincial Council.
Should any other office become vacant between Conventions, it shall be filled by appointment by the Provincial Executive.
Any Executive member who fails to attend at least 50% of the executive meetings over a period of a year may be deemed to have created a vacancy by a motion of the Provincial Executive.
The term of office of any officer, member of the Provincial Executive, or member of the Provincial Council shall be automatically terminated when such an officer or member ceases to be a resident of the Province of Newfoundland and Labrador, provided that this section shall not apply to a Member of the House of Commons.
ARTICLE 14: AUDIT
The Books of the Party shall be audited at the end of each financial year and the financial statement and the Auditor’s report shall be laid before the next Provincial Convention. The financial year of the Party shall end on December thirty-first of each year.
ARTICLE 15: WOMEN’S CAUCUS
The Party may charter a provincial women’s section known as the Women’s Caucus, which shall operate according to its terms of references as approved by the provincial executive.
ARTICLE 16: NEWFOUNDLAND AND LABRADOR YOUNG NEW DEMOCRATS
The Party may charter a young people’s provincial section to be known as the Newfoundland and Labrador Young New Democrats, which shall operate according to its terms of reference as approved by the provincial executive.
ARTICLE 17: DISCIPLINE
No member, District Association or affiliated organization shall publish or circulate information purporting to express the views of the Party without same having been approved by the Provincial Council or the Provincial Executive.
(i)Any five members in good standing may by petition addressed to a District Executive or the Provincial Executive request that disciplinary action be taken against any member who has not abided by the policies and Constitution of the Party
(ii)The petition shall state the reason for the request and shall be signed by the given members.
b.Upon receipt of a petition, the Provincial Executive shall forward a copy of it to the member so named and the Executive of the District in which the member is registered.
c.Upon receipt of a petition, the District Executive shall agree to hold a meeting of the Executive within 30 days and shall notify the petitioners and the accused member of the time and place of the meeting.
d.After hearing the case, the District Executive may recommend to the Provincial Executive that the accused member be admonished, suspended for a defined period, or expelled: or they may dismiss the case.
e.If the District Executive makes a recommendation to the Provincial Executive, it shall be accompanied by a full written account of the hearing of the case and the petition.
f.The Provincial Executive may, on the evidence submitted or hearing the petitioners and the accused, admonish, suspend, expel the accused member; or dismiss the case.
g.The Provincial Council at its next meeting shall be informed of the action taken by the Provincial Executive.
h.A member who has been disciplined may appeal to the Provincial Council and their decision shall be final.
i.All votes taken by the Executives or Provincial Council under this Article shall be by secret ballot and action to discipline shall not be taken unless two thirds of the members present and voting are in favour of the proposed action.
j.In the absence of an existing District Executive, the Provincial Executive shall assume the roles and responsibilities of the District Executive with respect to this disciplinary process.
ARTICLE 18: FINANCIAL RESPONSIBILITY
The Party and its Officers shall not be responsible for any debt incurred by any District Association or any other organization.
ARTICLE 19: AMENDMENTS
Proposed amendments to this constitution must be received in Provincial Office (hard copy, fax, or electronically) 30 days before the start date of Convention. Proposed amendments shall be made available to the general membership no later than 20 days before the start of Convention.
Each proposed amendment shall be voted on separately and requires 2/3 majority vote and will come into full force and effect upon adoption.