Upgrade and Update Our Constitution?

Martyn Public Seen by 132

So our Constitution http://ipnz.github.io/Docs/ConstitutionAndRules/#1-definitions needs to bereviewed. What suggested changes would you like to see?


Fred Look Thu 9 Nov 2017

AHH the IP real consitiution is the one situated at http://www.elections.org.nz/parties-candidates/registered-political-parties/register-political-parties

This differs from the github.io version which is therefore invalid... BUT having said that the github one is MUCH better in terms of format, indexing, and general useability so the first step would be to get the github version in synch with the elections.org version . (which does not require any "decision" someone just needs to do it!)

As to making the necessary changes to make the constitution fit for purpose I feel that this should not proceed under present leader. It would be best to set this aside until May 2018.


Suzie Dawson Thu 9 Nov 2017

For the sake of everyone, kindly take your vitriolic nonsense somewhere else Fred


Miriam Mallinder Fri 10 Nov 2017

I think that the Internet Party needs professional, objective (therefore probably 'outside') advice on this. Advice from people seasoned and wise in the workings of Political parties and politics.

I am not sure where to find such a person, what do you guys think? Perhaps a political science grad who also has appropriate and good experience? Someone who has seen mistakes and / or fully understands why elements should be there.

With a couple of experts on our wings we could analyse the constitutions of other political parties. I think the NZ First constitution is publically available ... probably the others too ... pick the best bits out of existing ones (and our own) for a start. Then we can publish it as a draft and ask for 'submissions' or comment. I feel this is a more proactive approach than generally asking 'what would you like?'

Although, one thing I would like to see included is a robust system for revisions to take place. Such that they can be done quickly, but objectively (on a robust discussion and decision making structure).


Fred Look Sat 11 Nov 2017

The key structural failing of current constitution is disconnects between responsibility and mandate or to put it another way where the person who carries the can is not making the decision. While in many cases the responsibility and mandate are both present they are not explicitly linked. In several cases the same mandate is given to multiple persons, bodies. In other cases mandates are able to be assumed when such assumption oversets some responsibility. Rather than ad-hoc handing out of various responsibilities and various mandates throughout the ducument, what is necessary is an organised identification of areas where responsibility must be assigned and a tight connection to those mandates required to meet them. Very important not to assign the same mandate in two places unless by design for a specific identified purpose.


IP Jo Booth Tue 14 Nov 2017

I had previously compared the github with the pdf and updated it - the only change I noted was the $1 vs $10 membership. If anyone else can spot the differences.. please do log it through.


Fred Look Tue 14 Nov 2017

4.5.4. Provided the above conditions are satisfied, full membership of the Internet Party is valid for 12 calendar months.


IP Jo Booth Sun 19 Nov 2017

Yeah, fixed that. Anything else? Once’s it’s consistent - we can update EC


Jo Booth Wed 25 Apr 2018

Just proposed some new wording for the 3 year subscription implemented with a paypal button using the trial period idea of $0.01 first month, the rest payable within the term of the membership - ideally straight away, but in my experience people take a little while to sort payment without the IPnz app. Anyways - proposed wording is here on github :purple_heart:


Mason Bee Mon 30 Apr 2018

One way to update it might be to look at the problems we have had in the past and clarify the constitution for those cases. From memory, problems have been caused by;
Leadership disappearing (Laila).
Exec disappearing or disinterested (Insert list).
Rogue exec member.
Secretary hamstrung by Exec/Rogue sec
Financial uncertainty
Mass infighting by members (Lack of membership director?)


sophia rose byles Tue 1 May 2018

Mason Bee you are a genius being honest about what needs to be updated upgraded before adding more to the pile. However you forgot to add a very important aspect to your list.....
Letting Government know the real truth about MEMBERSHIP and the exact numbers be given....This is mandatory and is yet to be finalised in truth with the required government legislation. The past LEADERS have been a waste of time and space as shows in the POLLS of PAST attempts...only grabbing the government political funds before knowing the consequences...so it is vital for the existance of this IP Party that it steps out with INTEGRITY or it nedds to SHUTDOWN....


Fred Look Wed 2 May 2018

Agreed that their are sufficient problems identified with the constitution to be going on with.
To summarize.
2014: Campaign takes over financial controls , bankrupts party, and departs. It takes concerned members many months to gain access to assets and rebuild membership database. legal company unsustainable , inc soc does not convene.
2017: Leader takes over financial controls uplifts funds but does not campaign effectively at all! No measurable effort to recruit new or renew existing members . Election undertaken without the required membership, Electoral commission not informed as required as required under the ACT.

Now both these scenarios have a common constitutional cause and will occur again (if we manage to survive this!) and that being a failure to set out clearly the limits of exec and leadership powers. and to clearly set out the purpose/responsibility of the party administration and explicitly provide mandate to party administration.
The administration has a vitally important roll in ensuring legal requirements are met and that the long term survival of the party is not subsumed by campaign (or funds simply uplifted and NOT campaigned with)
The power of EXEC is not absolute and this must be explicitly stated
EXEC does not have the information or expertise to manage cash-flow so that the party remains in a position to meet it obligations as they fall due. Only the party administration is in a position to do this and so the constitution must reflect this.
Further EXEC does not have the information or mandate to manage the membership and reportage to the electoral commission. This roll is given in the electoral ACT to the Party Secretary. The constitution must set limits to EXEC roll in membership!

I do have specific proposals to address both of these matters raised but would like to let you all acquaint yourselves with these issues and have dialogue before proposing specifics


Mason Bee Wed 2 May 2018

@sophiarosebyles @fredlook That being said, how about we take one piece of the constitution (small piece preferably) and propose an amendment that we think would solve the problem in future.

Look on the bright side. For better or worse we actually have an exec this time. Historically we spend the first six months after 2014 in-fighting. That is a lesson to be learned I think. Perhaps by me more than others.


Miriam Mallinder Wed 2 May 2018

We have a sycophantic exec at the moment ... there needs to be something to enable free speech within the exec too (this is one of our principles right?) and while views might differ, some means by which to talk out differences in a manner which creates a solution which is greater and better than the sum of its parts. Not a railroaded decision made by the leader. Decisions need to be unanimous, and not acted upon until they are. (or until dissenting members have agreed to a compromise without bullying from the leader)

Respect for different views, and for every piece of work done no matter how small, because it all adds up and people do more when recognised. (I did a lot of work before current leadership and exec arrived only to be told that I 'did nothing' by the new leader. That was not true, but her view prevailed. Other members did more, including put up their own money to keep the party going but were not given the respect of having a view)

Recruitment to exec should have some principles around it ... I feel we need a balance of viewpoints and demographic on board. Current exec felt that the party was all about young people ... and those ideas are great ... but young people vote the least, if we truly want to get a seat we need to appeal to the voting majority AS WELL. Convincing young people to vote / relying on just one demographic is risky IMHO.

Fred will have salient comment on the technical and financial principles for the constitution. My expertise is not there.

My expertise is not in constitution writing either ... happy to talk to someone who can do this, to incorporate these ideas ... if you guys like it.


sophia rose byles Wed 2 May 2018

Well said Miriam....You need to be back on EXEC to catch the crooks getting in....
Funny how when the ship sinks the rats run....NO WORD after the election past from all those others who cheated the system (And were voted into EXEC in desperation() and made fools of themselves to us honest folk...Did they really think they would get away with their bad behaviour? Look who is now speaking???The honest ones who were forced out through Suzies bad deeds and list of her bad friends...All they think about is spying and stuff they fight against personally....
We saw how they rushed in to a meeting just to VOTE because Suzie said so. They actually believed in her because she did some bookwork website that turned out to be a bad face to newzealanders with integrity....
We saw how one bad egg attracts all the others...didnt work of course because it never does. Karma works well though and for those who participated in supporting the past bad deeds need to be aware of their future consequences made last election.
It is those who are willing to be honest and carry new zealand mana that will bring this IP Party to a better existance.
A NEW EXEC is required immediately to bring some respect back to itself along with a NEW LEADER with respect for others who are real newzealanders!!!!
NOONE is perfect we all know this but why have they run off leaving the IP Party abandoned?
Suzie is unable to be a financial member after 3 years out of nz so she is out>>> with little effort from anyone...I am happy about that as it was a huge mistake letting her take a very importANT SEAT..as a.leader!!!!

I also feel that $1 is not enough to attract anyone into a party..... It must be at least $5 to show goodwill from true members.
I have said my piece.


Mason Bee Thu 3 May 2018

@miriammallinder Not quite sure how to incorporate the first paragraph? Exec is too small for anonymous voting to work and if they get rail roaded then hell, it is their fault and ours. They are adults and we are the adults that voted them in. We get, democratically, what we asked for. Perhaps a mediation option? In case of accusations of bullying in Exec we get a Pirate Party member to mediate?

Second paragraph is in our constitution already and apart from the lack of 3.2 demographics many of the current exec are quite young. Perhaps weighting the exec voting with demographics might be a solution?

@sophiarosebyles (Fantastic name BTW) If I am to read between the lines you want;
The leader must remain until another leader is chosen or one year has passed?
Some type of anti-bullying clause possibly. Same as the mediation one?

To everybody though, can we not go attacking people. If we need to rant then let's set up a rant page (sorry, rant is an awful word). Half the problem is that the things we attack now are our benefits tomorrow and the other half is that we end up handicapping the party today instead of looking to the future. We need to very clearly think out our changes for the benefit of the party.


Mason Bee Thu 17 May 2018

Mason Bee....shutting down conversation since 2011....Look folks, we need to talk about this and I want to talk about it. We have a chance to fix the parts of the constitution that are broken. Let's try.


Jo Booth Sat 19 May 2018

Thanks @masonbee - I'm keen to get some further engagement on this. Looks like the trio have left?


Mason Bee Sat 19 May 2018

Hopefully not. They are making points that can be/could be addressed in the constitution or in by laws I suppose but we need to get down to actually wording before this will go anywhere I think. Just to go back to the previous list, we are again leaderless. Why don't we start there. What happens when we no longer have a leader? What should happen? What is the timeline. Who is responsible for managing that timeline.


Jo Booth Sun 20 May 2018

In terms of timeline, the constitution says "the Party Secretary will conduct a by-election as soon as practicable" At the time of the first vacancy we were knee deep in the election, and it was deemed not practicable at the time. With compliance workloads and other distractions - the practical time hasn't happened yet. I'm keen to do it soon. :purple_heart: :soon:


Daymond Goulder-Horobin Sun 20 May 2018

We didn't have a leader between 2015-early 2017, but we do have a party president. We only became "Leaderless" because Suz was unable to continue to be a leader due to her being out of the country more than 3 years. However in-between elections the President becomes the main charge.

In terms of the Trio, those three have had a history of slandering and performing Libel against the current exec, they are former exec who operated in 2016 and left because they were disgruntled at the former party leader Suzie Dawson. As you've already noticed they have a habit of attacking people both on this thread and in others. Of course, if you want to see how they attacked us in other threads that we archived, I'm more than happy to DM you what they said before we archived them. All-in-all I still don't understand why the Trio keep coming back and hope that we never have to deal with them again.

But I'd rather focus on the future. Our Discord is far more active than our Loomio. I would like to continue to use Loomio as our port of call for policy discussion and long-term planning, and our Discord for on the spot discussions and meetings. The reason we have been quiet is one, we have been focusing on international events such as the Assange Vigil events and secondly we have been working out our returns for the party. Once that is done the party will become more locally active. And whilst our Loomio is quiet our discord sure isn't!


Mason Bee Mon 21 May 2018

Technically we had a party president for some of that time as well. At the same time I am unsure whether Suzie is able to continue as Party President as the constitution specifies the nominees must be full members which she doesn't appear to be able to be. I am still of two minds of this. For instance the constitution deson't appear to say how the Party President is elected...can it be anyone....from anywhere? I don't know. I am asking Jo for clarification. Perhaps this would be a good amendment to the constitution as well.

In terms of the Trio, if you want to throw libel and slander around then do something about it. There is a process, use it. Please don't offer me archived content. Either it is public and available or private to the exec in which case it shouldn't be offered. Personally I think all exec content should be public...at least to members.

Discord does have more people commenting than Loomio. How many are New Zealanders is hard to say. Remember this is a New Zealand party and a party on the ropes at the moment. In the last election we got 500 votes. Assuming all those votes are members we are one member off not being a party. Not a good situation.

Now you could take this as an attack on the exec or not. I would prefer not. I am tryign to point out these ...uncomfortable points....in order to better the party constitution. In paragraph one amend it, two use it, and three involves saving the party itself.


Jo Booth Mon 21 May 2018

All good, technically @suziedawson is interim Party President, pending a by-election to elect a new one. the tweet announcement only fitted 140 chars, but much exec discussion was entered into before making the call. Yes the constitution doesn't help much with it - Suzie was a full member when brought into exec.


Daymond Goulder-Horobin Tue 22 May 2018

It was offered if you needed more clarification, that is all. The Trio was dealt with last year using a process and they, for some reason continue to persist. Full members have rights to any information they need to make decisions on so its there.

However, at any rate, The current exec is focused on the future of the party and not lamenting on the past. Our Facebook is still very much active and we will continue to rebuild ourselves further so that in the 2020 election we have a good foundation to work with.


Mason Bee Tue 22 May 2018

So do you think need changes to be made to the constitution in order to promote the parties future? Have you faced problems while exec where you thought the constitution was unclear or lacking?


Jo Booth Mon 26 Nov 2018

Quite often when faced with something that needed clarity from the constitution I found it lacked the definitive black and white. I suppose thats where bylaws come in - formalising the “way we run it” where the constitution is unclear, but apart from the revolving president / chair and ex-officio members getting a vote (consensus!), we havent really had too many hard situations. Usually there is enough guidance, just not enough clarity.


Mason Bee Sun 2 Dec 2018

As far as I am aware we don't have any by-laws.....or at least I have asked for them and never received them and they have to be memberly available.