Green Party BDS Controversy: ‘A Little Baloney’ In Claim Resolution Process Is ‘Very Different’


OTTAWA — “The (Green party’s) resolution process is very different from other parties. Members come up with resolutions independently. Neither the leader nor anyone in the executive of the party can reject resolutions that comply with submission guidelines, nor does the party know ahead of time what resolutions will come forward. This grassroots process is a testament to the democratic values of the party.” — Green party news release, Aug. 7, 2016.


At the Green party’s biennial convention last week, members passed a resolution supporting the so-called Boycott, Divestment and Sanctions movement against Israel.

The move has drawn denunciations from Jewish groups, divided the party and thrown leader Elizabeth May’s future into question. May herself opposes the resolution and says it doesn’t reflect the genuine will of the overall party membership.

elizabeth may
Green Party Leader Elizabeth May speaks at the Victoria Conference Centre on October 19, 2015. (Photo: Chad Hipolito/CP)

How accurate were the party’s claims about a “very different” resolution process? Could the party have derailed the resolution at some point? Could May have stepped in to squelch the ultimate decision? And how does all this compare with other federal parties?

Spoiler Alert: The Canadian Press Baloney Meter is a dispassionate examination of political statements culminating in a ranking of accuracy on a scale of “no baloney” to “full of baloney” (complete methodology below).

This one earns a rating of “a little baloney” — the statement is mostly accurate but more information is required. Here’s why.


A Green member requires sponsorship from 20 other members in good standing to advance a resolution. These resolutions are then put to a non-binding online vote, which allows the party to gauge support prior to a convention. Voters choose “red,” “yellow” or “green” for each motion, with a threshold of 60 per cent for “greenlighting” motions, the party says.

Motions voted “green” are recommended for adoption by majority vote without further discussion at the convention. However, members may also vote to remove greenlit motions for additional discussion and workshopping.

A little baloney

Motions voted “red” are recommended for defeat. All other motions are “yellow” and go to workshop groups for further debate and possible amendment.

Green party staff monitor resolution submissions and a committee reviews them for issues of jurisdiction and note contradiction with existing policy, said the party’s Emily McMillan. However, as indicated above, neither the leader nor party executive members can reject resolutions based simply on the subject.

The online vote results for resolutions for this year’s convention were available to all about one month before the event.

The leader has one vote at the convention, and is free to argue for or against any resolution.

If a resolution is passed, it becomes party policy.


The Liberal, Conservative and New Democratic parties all have policy development processes that see ideas and proposals bubble up from the broader membership for consideration at conventions. So it is possible for a member’s resolution to make its way to the convention floor. But in each case the route appears potentially more difficult — to varying degrees — than the Green party’s resolution path.

For the Liberals, riding associations and clubs can draft and sponsor resolutions. However, provincial and territorial associations and the federal party may limit the number of resolutions that each club or association can advance, the party says.

Each provincial and territorial association can forward 10 resolutions, one of which is labelled a priority. In addition, sections representing aboriginals, women, youth and seniors, among others, can each send 10 resolutions to a convention.

Delegates from each riding association or club attend conventions, where resolutions are grouped by policy theme. “These priority resolutions proceed directly to the plenary session for voting,” the party says.

Others can be discussed in theme-based workshops and may advance to the plenary.

Resolutions that pass become party policy.

“Many would point to equal marriage and the legalization and regulation of marijuana as strong examples of nationally passed Liberal policy resolutions that became prominent platform commitments and then government policy,” said Liberal spokesman Braeden Caley.

The Conservatives hold regional policy workshops where members propose ideas. If there is enough support for a resolution following debate, it will be handed to the party’s policy committee. The committee then posts proposed resolutions online for electoral district association presidents to consider, said party spokesman Cory Hann.

The committee, made up of volunteers elected by other members, decides which policies should move forward, based on support and convention time allotted for different policy streams. “The committee and only the committee decides what resolutions move to the convention,” Hann said.

However, the party executive or leader could be consulted on resolutions.

If a resolution passes, it becomes party policy. But that doesn’t necessarily mean it is binding on a future government, Hann said. “Party policy can help determine an election platform, as we saw with family income-splitting where it was proposed as a policy, adopted at a convention, used in a platform and eventually made government policy.”

Under the NDP’s constitution, party bodies including electoral district associations, provincial parties, the federal council, the youth wing and various committees can submit resolutions to a convention.

Party headquarters must receive all resolutions no less than 60 days prior to start of a convention, the document says.

Resolution panels open to all delegates determine which resolutions make it to the plenary floor in what order, the party says. Neither the leader nor the party executive have more say than any other delegate as to which resolutions are voted on.

If a resolution passes, it becomes party policy.


Green party Leader Elizabeth May describes herself as simply the party’s chief spokesperson. She says the members are “always right” and constitute the highest level of authority in the party.

“I’m proud of the fact that we’re the kind of party that doesn’t say to our membership, ‘Sorry, we’re not going to let you discuss that.’ Anything is open to discussion, as long as it’s not hate speech.”

May has issues with how the Israeli boycott resolution was handled — passed by majority vote after limited debate instead of extensively discussed with an eye to consensus.

But she says nothing can be done to change the outcome, short of formally revisiting the resolution.

“We have absolutely no latitude to reject a decision of the members at a biennial policy meeting. That is now the policy of the Green party,” May said.

“There is no power of the leader, or the federal council that runs the party to say, ‘Our members were wrong.”‘


The Green party’s statements about its resolution process are generally accurate. But the process includes at least some elements of the procedures other parties follow, including the need for a measure of support from a critical number of party members before a resolution can advance. For these reasons, the Green party’s claim that its resolution process is “very different” from the other parties contains “a little baloney.”


The Baloney Meter is a project of The Canadian Press that examines the level of accuracy in statements made by politicians. Each claim is researched and assigned a rating based on the following scale:

Baloney Scale Chart

No baloney – the statement is completely accurate

A little baloney – the statement is mostly accurate but more information is required

Some baloney – the statement is partly accurate but important details are missing

A lot of baloney – the statement is mostly inaccurate but contains elements of truth

Full of baloney – the statement is completely inaccurate

27 Comments on "Green Party BDS Controversy: ‘A Little Baloney’ In Claim Resolution Process Is ‘Very Different’"

  1. Hiya! I just would like to give an enormous thumbs up for the great data you have got here on this post. I will probably be coming back to your weblog for more soon.

  2. Youre so cool! I dont suppose Ive read anything like this before. So nice to seek out any person with some unique ideas on this subject. realy thank you for starting this up. this web site is one thing that is wanted on the web, someone with a bit originality. helpful job for bringing something new to the web!

  3. I wanted to compose you one little bit of note so as to say thank you yet again considering the fantastic ideas you’ve discussed above. This has been quite extremely open-handed of people like you to give unreservedly just what most people would have distributed as an electronic book to help make some cash on their own, even more so since you might well have tried it if you ever desired. These secrets also worked to be a great way to realize that many people have a similar keenness just as mine to understand very much more regarding this problem. I know there are thousands of more enjoyable situations in the future for individuals that view your website.

  4. Spot on with this write-up, I actually suppose this website needs much more consideration. I抣l probably be again to learn rather more, thanks for that info.

  5. I抦 impressed, I must say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a weblog that抯 both educative and entertaining, and let me tell you, you could have hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the issue is something that not enough persons are speaking intelligently about. I am very glad that I stumbled throughout this in my search for one thing referring to this.

  6. you’ve a fantastic weblog right here! would you like to make some invite posts on my weblog?

  7. I am also commenting to let you understand of the great experience our girl had checking your webblog. She noticed plenty of pieces, most notably what it is like to possess an amazing teaching spirit to make others with ease thoroughly grasp certain complex subject areas. You actually exceeded people’s desires. I appreciate you for supplying these interesting, dependable, explanatory and in addition easy tips about this topic to Janet.

  8. very good put up, i certainly love this website, keep on it

  9. I am just commenting to let you know what a terrific discovery our daughter went through browsing your web page. She discovered numerous things, which included what it is like to have an ideal coaching nature to have most people easily understand several extremely tough issues. You actually surpassed her expected results. Thank you for imparting those helpful, dependable, edifying and even fun guidance on your topic to Jane.

  10. I am typically to blogging and i really recognize your content. The article has really peaks my interest. I’m going to bookmark your site and preserve checking for brand new information.

  11. I抦 impressed, I have to say. Really hardly ever do I encounter a blog that抯 each educative and entertaining, and let me let you know, you’ve hit the nail on the head. Your thought is outstanding; the issue is one thing that not enough individuals are talking intelligently about. I’m very joyful that I stumbled across this in my seek for something relating to this.

  12. Can I simply say what a reduction to find somebody who really knows what theyre talking about on the internet. You positively know easy methods to bring an issue to gentle and make it important. Extra individuals must learn this and understand this side of the story. I cant consider youre not more popular because you definitely have the gift.

  13. I definitely wanted to jot down a small remark to express gratitude to you for those marvelous information you are sharing at this site. My incredibly long internet lookup has at the end of the day been paid with incredibly good facts and techniques to share with my companions. I would mention that we visitors are truly lucky to dwell in a very good site with many outstanding people with very helpful principles. I feel pretty fortunate to have encountered the webpage and look forward to many more pleasurable moments reading here. Thanks once more for a lot of things.

  14. Would you be thinking about exchanging links?

  15. I am also writing to make you know what a fine discovery my wife’s daughter found going through your site. She discovered so many things, with the inclusion of what it is like to possess an awesome coaching mindset to let most people without problems gain knowledge of specific grueling things. You really exceeded our own desires. Thank you for imparting these helpful, safe, educational and cool guidance on that topic to Mary.

  16. Your place is valueble for me. Thanks!?

  17. You made some respectable factors there. I regarded on the web for the issue and located most individuals will go together with along with your website.

  18. Oh my goodness! a tremendous article dude. Thank you Nonetheless I’m experiencing issue with ur rss . Don抰 know why Unable to subscribe to it. Is there anyone getting identical rss drawback? Anyone who knows kindly respond. Thnkx

  19. Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to mention that I’ve truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.

  20. Taxi moto line
    128 Rue la Boétie
    75008 Paris
    +33 6 51 612 712  

    Taxi moto paris

    I used to be able to find good info from your blog articles.

  21. I am also writing to make you know what a impressive encounter my friend’s girl gained reading through your web page. She learned plenty of pieces, which include what it’s like to possess an amazing helping mood to let many people quite simply grasp chosen grueling subject areas. You really exceeded our expectations. Many thanks for giving the informative, healthy, educational and as well as easy thoughts on the topic to Jane.

  22. My husband and i ended up being cheerful Albert could carry out his analysis because of the ideas he acquired out of the web page. It’s not at all simplistic to just choose to be giving freely information and facts that many other folks have been selling. And we also figure out we have the website owner to be grateful to for that. The entire explanations you have made, the simple site menu, the friendships you can give support to engender – it’s got everything fabulous, and it’s really facilitating our son and the family feel that the issue is enjoyable, and that is incredibly indispensable. Thank you for all the pieces!

  23. behavioral health patient phone calls shared with department saff – viagra drug interactions Ewhwcna
    cialis generika per Гјberweisung
    order generic viagra cialis: [url=]cialis generic[/url]

  24. Really lots of beneficial knowledge! kamagra pineapple jelly Yuelaazv

  25. You actually revealed it terrifically! kamagra phone Yhmidbr

  26. Very good knowledge. Many thanks. safe take ritalin viagra Iblfank

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.