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Schedule for 2008 GPUS Platform Amendment

21 Jan 2008 – Deadline for Amendments

As Platform Committee receives finished amendments and completes formatting, etc., these Amendments are sent to the Secretary who places them in the proper place on the Amendments web page as he receives them.  All to be more or less up by 1 Feb.

1 Feb. 1st to 15 March  – Period of Open Negotiation Period Between Amenders, their State Parties, and the Platform Committee

Process of sending amendments back and forth to please all interested parties according to Format Rules, i.e., as detailed in the general format memo.  Platform committee members, as delegated by the Chairs, will work with competing and conflicting amendments through regular contacts with Amenders and their State Party Chairs to achieve inclusion of agreed upon points and compromise between contested points, while reducing the amendments in size and shape so that they fit within the architecture of the Platform.  The website \’open.\’

1 April to 10 May –  Grace Period so the Platform Committee can compile the Amendments – The website \’closed\’ but still \’up\’ and visible so as not to cause alarm to Party members.  Contents will change as complete, negotiated and compromised amendments are put up on it.  Materials which are not considered at this point to have a reasonable estimation by the Platform Committee and its interlocutors will be excluded from the Draft Platform.

11 May to July Assembly Date — Final Draft Reading Period

This is the beginning of the two month period in which the complete Platform as Amended is available on the National Green Party website and can be viewed and read by all interested parties.
July – Nominating Convention in Chicago
This will include one plenary and voting period for the National Party to approve its Platform.  In the event of major disagreement or failure of vote to approve, the points of contention are to be resolved in a final session between the conflicting factions, mediated by the Platform Committee, with the outcome to be approved by the Steering Committee.  While in a difficult situation, one or two planks might be decided, the Platform as a whole will be adopted by an up or down vote.
Draft procedure for indicating status of amendments on Amendments Web page
1 Control of Amendments Page by Platform Committee Secretary
For the purposes of understanding this procedure, it helps to be looking at the Amendments web-page as constructed by the Platform Committee Secretary (Ewall):
The Platform Secretary is to have sole access to this web-page, to assure that one person alone knows how and when new Amendments or changed Amendments have been added to this page.
The Amendments page is linked to the Platform Page of the National Website so it is easily available to all interested parties as coordinated between Secretary and National Website Manager.
2 Format of the Amendments as Viewed on the Amendments Page
For convenience, each time that the Secretary posts a new Amendment, it will indicate in the Amendment box including both Chapter (Roman Numerals), Section (Capital Letters) and Sub-Section (Arabic Numerals) tags.  These will correspond precisely to those of the 2004 original in the immediate box to its left.  If there are two competing amendments, these will be posted one on top of each other with parallel tags, and the additional indicator ‘Ver 1’, ‘Ver 2’ etc. 
3 ‘Hurricane’ System Indicating Ongoing Process of Changing Details in the Amendments
Also, every time the Secretary replaces one draft of an Amendment with another after a change or negotiation between the interested parties, they will use the ‘hurricane’ system.  That is, the first time an Amendment is posted, it will, whether or not it has a ‘Ver’ tag, it will also have a small case letter ‘a’ in parentheses.  Thus e.g.:
Foreign Policy I.D.3 Ver1 (a)
Contents – calls for a boycott of Burma
Foreign Policy I.D.3 Ver2 (a) 
Contents – calls for reduction of Foreign Aid to Burma
Foreign Policy I.D.3 (b)
Contents – compromise that calls for divestment from Burma
Foreign Policy I.D.4 (c)
Contents – sentence structure has been shortened, changing some words that could be construed as formal or editorial by some and substantial by others
            Foreign Policy I.D.4 (d)
Contents – sentence is shortened again, but form/content difference has been resolved by the parties. Resulting pity and powerful positions lead Green Party to consensus and victory united!
Every time the Secretary posts an Amendment version with a new one, even if this involves relatively minor changes, they will change the small case letter in parentheses.  That way, the interested parties, and also the Platform Committee itself, the Steering Committee, National Website Manager, the Washington Office, etc., is immediately aware that the document referred has changes of one form or another from one which was on the site previously.   Note that the ‘content’ as illustrated in the example does not appear on the website page but only the title with its tags.
The purpose of this is to assure quality control and especially to assure transparency – namely that the usual clerical errors that can occur in the confusion of back and forth between Platform Committee, Amenders, and the Platform Secretary are capable of being tracked, and so that such errors will not be mistaken as attempts by any of the interested parties to prefer or manipulate the amendments in a manner which may cause resentments and frustrations to other interested parties.

Format for submitting a proposal (amendment) to 2004 Platform

Full Name
Street Address, City, State, Zip/Postal Code
Home Phone, E-mail
Party affiliation

The Platform Committee:
1)  May return a proposal for revision or correction.
2)  May send a proposal to your state party or state organization for review.
Steps to take for proper submission:
  First, go to Chapter (in Roman numerals) and the Section (in Alphabet) and then paragraph or paragraphs, Number(s) of 2004 Platform that you wish to amend.
–  Identify where your amendment will fit or what it will replace.
–  Write your amendment and indicate that it replaces/adds/re-orders/change some words/or whatever in 2004 Platform. Sometimes an amendment merges with original text, sometimes it replaces or adds… that’s fine.
 If your text replaces a whole section – are defined number of paragraphs – write it in italics.
  Get approval from your Steering Committee before sending to us. (You can get approval by e-mail if necessary.)

  Send the amendment to the Co-Chairs of the Platform Committee:

Jenefer Ellingston, email = jellingston@earthlink.netand

John Ely, email = johnbethany@earthlink.net
Write Additional Comments if further explanation is necessary.  Please note:  If you do not follow format given above, your amendment will not be accepted.  It will be returned with request that you follow the format.

GPUS Platform 2008 Timeline/Process
Amendments were accepted from Oct. 1, 2006 to Dec. 31 2007.
We have extended the timeline to January 21, 2008.
Accepted amendments will be put on website by Mike Ewall, Secretary for all Greens to review and offer corrections. Mike’s email = catalyst@actionpa.org

The website will be closed for a period while we compile/order/correct typos the text and then opened two months prior to Convention.
We wish to avoid complaint that Green had to vote on a document they hadn’t had time to read.

Additional information
1. National Committee approved the timeline/process this summer or early fall of 2006.
2. Notice was sent out by the Platform Committee co-chairs to NC and Platform Committee members that door is open to accept amendments.
3. Amendments are to be approved by State Steering Committee or Caucus before submitted by member.
The Platform Committee will track and organize submissions.
All accepted amendments will be posted on the website:  www.gp.org/committees/platform/draft/work
(Note that they are not all there yet.)
4. Corrections to website amendments must come from your Steering Committee or Caucus, not from one person. We will use a simple rating system to evaluate support or opposition for a proposed amendment. (SEE RATING FORMULA BELOW.)

5. Final draft by two months prior to 2008 convention.  There should only be a few, if any, unresolved issues at this point.  Unresolved amendments will be circulated back to states/caucuses at least two months prior to the convention for last-minute feedback, informing them that they could be voting on these at the final platform hearings, to be scheduled as close as possible to the day preceding the presidential nominating convention.  Any items and language that remain to be determined at the final hearings, if such are needed, will be made available to all convention delegates as part of the convention packets (as well as available online).

6. Copies of the nearly final platform (with an addendum listing unresolved issues) will be printed before the convention and will be available at the convention.  Platform hearings will be held to refine the unresolved issues in an effort to make them acceptable to Greens at large.  Platform hearings will be open to all, but only those chosen specifically to represent their state or caucus on the matter of these unresolved amendments would be entitled to vote, {if such is needed; however, consensus is the goal, so material not gaining obvious overall support will not be included}.  States/caucuses can caucus at the convention and choose who will represent them in these hearings.  (It is up to the state/caucus chair or co-chairs to inform the Platform Committee about who was chosen to represent them).

States/caucuses can choose more than one representative, but votes will be counted in such a way that each state/caucus will be represented proportionally, with voting weight equal to the number of voting delegates to which they are entitled to have at the convention. No single person may carry more than three votes.  If consensus cannot be reached in the hearings, the voting representatives shall vote on proposed amendments. Those amendments pass only if they obtain the support of 90% or more of the weighted vote of the representatives in attendance.

7.  Final copies of any amendments approved on the floor of the convention will be printed and made available, as a final addendum to the printed “near final” draft that the delegates will already have.  This will prevent a frantic, last-minute printing adventure.  Nice and pretty final copies can be done up after the convention.

A rating of 1 = 3 points
A rating of 2 = 2
A rating of 3 = 1
A rating of 4 = 0, and
A rating of 5 = -1

1 – Approval.  Material meets with general approval of membership, a strong majority or consensus.

2 – Approval, with minor revisions.  Overall approval, but minor revisions such as corrected or updated information may be needed, or minor revisions to
meet concerns are suggested.

3 – General support, but with more substantial concerns to be addressed (this could involve more substantial working out of material, possibly referring
content to those with particular expertise or background)

4 – General lack of support.  This might be more acceptable if (…), but overall, members find it unnecessary/unacceptable/doesn’t really fit.
(Unlikely that material garnering this type of rating will make it into the 2004 platform, but worth looking into.)

5 – Reject.  Members do not support inclusion of this amendment in the Green Platform

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