Frequently Asked Questions
Policy decisions at BC NDP conventions help guide our party’s direction and inform our election platforms. Here’s how to submit your great idea for consideration.
Does the BC NDP offer training and support for writing and submitting resolutions?
Yes. The BC NDP is holding two “Resolutions 101” sessions, on August 29 and September 5th. These sessions will take place on Zoom.
These trainings will cover drafting and share examples of BC NDP resolutions that have gone from adoption on the Convention floor to provincial legislation.
Ask your EDA president for registration details. All members are welcome to attend.
Who can submit resolutions?
Resolutions are submitted by groups identified in the BC NDP constitution, including Electoral District Associations, affiliated organizations, the BC Young New Democrats (YND) and other duly constituted bodies of the BC NDP.
How is a resolution submitted?
The designated person (e.g. the president of a constituency association or the chair of a committee) for a group identified in the BC NDP constitution must submit resolutions by email to email@example.com, with the subject line “Resolution submission.”
When is the deadline to submit resolutions?
Resolutions must be received at BC NDP Provincial Office by 5:00 pm Pacific on September 18, 2023.
What is the proper language used to draft a resolution?
Each resolution must have a title and must clearly indicate the author (the submitting body).
Resolutions must be written in plain language. For delegates familiar with traditional resolution writing, this means that:
“Whereas...”is replaced with“Because...,” in the preamble; and
“Therefore be it resolved...”is replaced with“The BC NDP will...” in the enactment clause.
Resolutions should be written in language that is clear, uncomplicated and avoids acronyms and technical jargon.
Is there a maximum length for a resolution?
The best resolutions are short and to the point. Fewer than 200 words total is best.
Resolutions that contain many, many clauses can be difficult for delegates to debate if they are not already deeply familiar with the exact subject matter.
Consider drafting a couple of shorter resolutions, rather than one very long resolution with many clauses and/or multiple calls to action.
What subjects make good resolutions?
The subject of a resolution is up to the submitting body. If you are brainstorming ideas, consider the following questions:
- What provincial issues matter most in your constituency?
- What’s “next” after the BC NDP 2020 campaign platform is implemented by our government?
- How can we build on the successes of our BC NDP government?
- In an incumbent district, what issues is your MLA working to advance - locally, in — the legislature, or as a Parliamentary Secretary or Minister?
- How can our shared BC NDP values be turned into action?
- What problems created by the BCUP during their years in government still need to be addressed?
What calls to action make good resolutions?
Each resolution ends with a call to action, known as the enactment clause: “The BC NDP will [...].”
The enactment clause should be clearly and precisely worded in the resolution, so that delegates understand what action the BC NDP is being asked to take.
It’s important to know that the BC NDP has authority over itself as an organization. So, as the highest governing body of the BC NDP, Convention adopts resolutions to direct the actions of the BC NDP as an organization. That means that the call to action in a resolution must be something that the BC NDP as an organization has the authority or ability to do.
As an example, Convention could adopt a resolution making chocolate ice cream the official dessert of the BC NDP. Similarly, Convention could adopt a resolution calling for or in support of making chocolate ice cream the official dessert of British Columbia.
However, the BC NDP does not have the authority to direct or require a separate organization, including the public service or government, to make chocolate ice cream the official dessert of British Columbia.
What happens once a resolution is submitted?
Once submitted, resolutions are reviewed and edited for spelling, formatting and grammar. This may include follow up with the originating body as needed.
Each resolution is identified by its originating body (e.g. the name of the EDA that submitted the resolution).
The full list of resolutions received by the submission deadline will be circulated to constituency associations, affiliates, the BC YND and all duly constituted bodies of the BC NDP before Convention.
In advance of Convention, the Resolutions Committee assigns all resolutions to one of the four policy areas. Within each policy area, resolutions are prioritized in order for debate.
The printed Resolutions Guide, provided to delegates in their convention kit, will list each resolution in its policy section in the order it will appear for debate.
What if identical or very similar resolutions are submitted?
If an identical resolution has been submitted by multiple bodies, the resolution will appear in the Resolutions Guide once, with all originating bodies listed.
The Resolutions Committee may also create composite resolutions if there are two or more resolutions that are similar or complementary.
How are resolutions debated at convention?
The convention agenda will include designated blocks of time for policy debate.
During a policy block, resolutions will come to the floor for debate in their order of priority as determined by the Resolutions Committee.
The debate chair will read the text of the resolution and then open the debate. Delegates who wish to speak in favour or in opposition to a resolution should proceed to the “Pro” or “Con” mic as appropriate.
Delegates should refer to the printed Resolutions Guide for the order of debate.
Who prioritizes resolutions?
Prioritization of resolutions for debate at Convention is the responsibility of the Resolutions Committee. The committee is appointed by Table Officers, with consideration given to diverse representation (including labour, equity, and regional representation).
For Convention 2023, BC NDP EDAs, affiliates and equity committees will also have input on the prioritization process.
Following the resolution submission deadline on September 18, resolutions will be compiled and distributed to EDAs, affiliates, and equity committees.
These resolutions will be accompanied by a link to the prioritization input survey.
Via the survey, each EDA, affiliate and equity committee can identify the ten (10) resolutions and the five (5) policy topics they would like to see prioritized for debate at Convention.
The resolutions and the survey will be circulated on September 25.
The deadline to respond to the survey will be 5:00 PM Pacific on September 29.
Survey responses will be provided to the Resolutions Committee for consideration during the Committee’s prioritization process.
How does the Committee prioritize resolutions?
Resolutions most likely to be prioritized for debate are clear and to the point, easy for delegates to understand, and deal with salient public policy matters relevant to British Columbians.
Resolutions will be prioritized based on the following criteria:
- Prioritization input survey responses regarding policy topics
- Prioritization input survey responses regarding specific resolutions
- Convention 2023’s theme: Building a Better Future, Together
- Diversity of perspectives, including regional perspectives and those of equity groups
- Number of bodies submitting a resolution
- The BC NDP Constitution, including the Party’s primary purpose to “field candidates for election to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia”
- Clarity of drafting, including the use of plain and understandable language and precision about the action delegates are being asked to support
- Accuracy of information presented and inclusion of key relevant facts
- Past BC NDP convention resolutions and campaign platforms
- Current events and political context in British Columbia
- Expert policy advice
- Any applicable legislation, such as the BC Election Act
The Committee will exercise its judgement to ensure that the resolutions prioritized for debate balance competing or conflicting criteria when possible.
Can a resolution’s wording be amended?
Amendments to resolutions cannot be proposed on the Convention floor.
Rather, delegations wishing to amend a resolution wording must submit an appeal in writing to the Resolutions Committee, clearly stating the proposed amendment to the wording of the resolution.
Delegations proposing an amendment are strongly encouraged to assist the process by contacting any delegations that may be affected by the proposed change (e.g. the delegation(s) that submitted the resolution).
Additional details on the deadline and process for submitting proposed amendments and what information needs to be submitted will be available closer to convention.
How can the prioritization order of resolutions be changed?
Appeals to the prioritization order of resolutions are made to the Resolutions Committee. The prioritization order of resolutions cannot be changed on the Convention floor.
Delegations wishing to appeal a resolution’s priority order must submit an appeal in writing to the Resolutions Committee.
Delegations appealing a resolution’s priority order are strongly encouraged to assist the process by contacting any delegations that may be affected by the change (e.g the delegation that submitted the resolution and the delegation(s) that submitted any resolutions that will also be shifted in priority order as a result of the change).
Additional details on the deadline and process for submitting appeals to prioritization order and what information needs to be submitted as part of an appeal will be available closer to Convention.
What are emergency resolutions?
Emergency resolutions are limited in scope. They can only address an issue that:
- Has arisen after the September 18 resolution submission deadline; and
- Is of an urgent nature
Resolutions that do not meet this criteria will not be considered.
Emergency resolutions must be submitted to the Resolutions Committee and must be submitted in the same format as regular resolutions.
Additional details on the deadline and process for submitting emergency resolutions will be available closer to Convention.
When does the Resolutions Committee decide on emergency resolutions, proposed amendments and appeals to prioritization order?
The Resolutions Committee will meet a number of times during Convention to review, consider and make decisions on all submissions of emergency resolutions, appeals to prioritization order and proposed amendments.
Delegations who made the submissions will be invited to have one representative attend the Resolutions Committee meeting, who may give a short - maximum 2 minutes - verbal presentation in support of their submission.
Details on the time of the meetings will be posted at Convention.
Where do I find more information?
Contact firstname.lastname@example.org for more information, or attend one of our training sessions.