What is an Assembly?
An assembly is a group of members of an organization (e.g. an EDA, a policy caucus, a working group, an advisory council, etc.) who meet periodically to make decisions about a specific area or scope of the organization.
Assemblies—often, but not always, properly constituted— hold meetings, some are private and some are open. If they are open, it is possible to participate in them (e.g. attending if the capacity allows it, adding items to the agenda, or commenting on the proposals and decisions taken by this body).
Assemblies are a core feature of Decidim (this website) so it's something worth taking the time to understand.
The Constitution Working Group (CWG) was formed last fall to coordinate the development of constitutional/bylaw amendments and directives as part of the 2020 policy development process. The CWG includes members with diverse views and backgrounds, focussed on the changes needed to improve member involvement and engagement in the governance of the party.
Activities so far
Led by past President Mark MacKenzie (Renfrew—Nipissing—Pembroke), the CWG developed 6 constitutional/by-law proposals and 4 directives for the 2020 policy process.
The group also worked to persuade Federal Council to revisit the policy development process, arguing that the template was not well suited for constitutional/by-law amendments nor directives. This effort was not successful, but the CWG was able to obtain agreement from Federal Council to remove the 15-proposal limit for the upcoming General Meeting.
CWG, following on from a request from the Chair of the Policy Development Process Committee (PDPC), supported a series of virtual workshops leading up to the General Meeting. These workshops gave members an opportunity to engage with the proposers of all constitutional/bylaw motions and directives in advance of the GM.
Purpose of action
The letter of our Constitution and the way it is being interpreted is not in alignment with its spirit (an organization grounded in participatory democracy); therefore, many Members are feeling powerless and disenfranchised. A grassroots-led Constitutional renewal will establish improved and less ambiguous governance mechanisms, thus empowering Members' grassroots initiatives and engagement, and strengthening the party at its base and amplifying its reach.