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1/ Thread. My party is in the middle of a leadership race, it just received a "what went wrong" report, and now Harper has stepped back from the fund. So let's talk about a vision for corporate governance. How the party is governed is just as important as what it stands for. Image
2/ First, current state. Right now, our governance, in theory, is managed between the Leader (elected by members), the Fund (appointed by leader) and National Council (NC) (elected by members).
3/ Current state - the role of NC is extremely limited with no say or direct oversight of budget. It's members don't have clearly defined mandates and aren't specifically trained to execute fiduciary responsibilities associated with a multimillion dollar going concern.
4/ Fund members are appointed by the leader, have total control over all expenditures, little formal requirements related to transparency on budgetary decisions, and members don't have clearly defined mandates and aren't specifically trained to execute fiduciary responsibilities.
5/ Current state. The leader has a great degree and weight of responsibility, but also a great degree of total control over the party with limited transparency requirements.
6/ Operating realities: we are managing to electing enough MPs to form government. The leader needs flexibility to execute their vision for achieving this as they have been given a mandate by the members to do so.
7/ Operating realities: we need to ensure that our members have a say and are confident in the management of the party, give the leader room to execute, and uphold fiduciary obligations related to oversight of a multi million dollar going concern.
8/ Future vision: What if we eliminated the Fund and National Council, and amalgamated it into one governing council instead? Here's how this could work, and why it would work better than current state.
9/ Leader (elected by members) would be able to appoint a slim majority of members to this council based on set criteria like capacity to fundraise, corporate board experience, provincial representation, etc. Membership elects the rest.
10/ All members would be required to take professional corporate board training, corporate ethics training, and other associated governance education within three months of being elected or appointed, or their forfeit their position. This allows them to do their jobs.
11/ The ratio of elected vs appointed allows the membership to have direct say in oversight (which doesn't occur right now), while acknowledging the trust and mandate put in the leader when they were elected, and the operational realities mentioned above.
12/ There would be subcommittees for things like finance, which would ensure that the highest standard of oversight and accountability would be achieved, while recognizing the operating realities mentioned above.
13/ Executive Director of the party could be hired by the governing committee on the advice of the leader, with the leader having veto power. Same goes for chair of the board. Party president and chair of fund positions eliminated due to new structure.
14/ Bottom line, the current state has clearly shown it's not sustainable beyond Harper, nor is it the most efficient, effective, transparent, or democratic way of managing the party. It needs to change. There's a lot of best practice out there.
15/ This leadership race can't just be a popularity contest, about policy, or about who can beat Trudeau. It has to be also about who has the best vision to modernize the governance, function and management of the party itself.
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