Party Operation

Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party Operation

The Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party has served as a vehicle for the promotion of non-violent socialist policies through the political process, in the un-ceded Abenaki territory known now as Vermont, since 1970. An anti-war party, we stand in opposition to the unceasing imperialist actions of the US government. We stand in unequivocal solidarity with the working class and advocate working class ownership and control of the means of production. We offer a slate of candidates for statewide and national offices in general elections.

The Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party currently holds Minor Party Status in the State of Vermont and is formally organized as a minor political party in accordance with the rules and guidelines stated in Vermont Statutes Title 17, Chapter 45. As a Minor Party, the Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party organizes town, county and state committees for the purposes of electoral access. Minor Parties must be organized in a minimum of 10 towns across the state. The requirement for achieving Major Party status in Vermont is organization at town and county levels in a minimum of 30 towns and 7 counties.

A commitment to uphold the Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party Platform is the basis for membership as it is for serving as a candidate on behalf of the party in elections. Members of the party are free to form caucuses to promote specific goals consistent with the principles expressed in the platform.

The Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party holds monthly meetings on the 2nd Sunday of the month. However, meetings are always recessed, instead of adjourned, at their conclusion so we are technically always ‘in meeting.’

The Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party has, since inception, committed to Decision-Making by Consensus in respect to all essential matters such as the revision of the party platform or issuing important position statements, recognizing that the ethical ground of decision-making by consensus is valuing the good of the whole group above individual or factional preferences. In instances when full consensus can not be reached, those who maintain reservations, or dissent to the majority consensus, “stand aside” and the majority decision goes forward with Conditional Consensus.

In non-critical matters and in the nomination process for candidates we employ majority rule.

Formal Time Periods:
Electoral work
Electoral work takes place during the alternate years between election years. Electoral work is focused upon fulfilling the legal requirements of organizing at town, county and state levels. The platform is not open for discussion at this time except in instances of emergency. Meetings at this time principally concern electoral issues.

Regular Time
The monthly meetings occurring between those devoted to fulfilling the requirements of the electoral process, in either election or alternate years, are regarded as taking place in Regular Time. During this time we work to promote the principles of our platform through ongoing activist engagement. Meetings concern discussion of this work, issuing position statements through press releases and social media, and developing strategies for implementing concrete proposals in the public arena. The party platform is not open to discussion at this time except in instances of emergency.

Pre-convention Period
The Pre-convention Period occurs following the completion of electoral requirements and prior to the Nomination Convention(s) occurring during election years. During the Pre-convention Period formal position statements are submitted for discussion. Documents are presented as Proposals. Counter Arguments or Opposing Documents are presented at this time as well. Individuals and caucuses are invited to edit Proposals for presentation during Nomination Convention(s).

Party Convention(s)
Party conventions are held after Electoral Work and the work of the Pre-convention Period have been concluded and prior to the Nomination Convention(s). Proposals made during the Pre-convention Period, amendments and additions to the party platform, points of unity, and party operation documents are finalized and placed in effect for the coming 2 year cycle. A Party Convention is held at a regular monthly meetings or a series of regular monthly meetings.

Nomination Convention(s)
The Nomination Convention(s) may take place at any regular monthly Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party meeting during an election year. Town and county committees are encouraged to nominate candidates independently and to bring nominations to the State Committee. Minor Parties are not entitled to participate in the statewide primary. Therefore the nomination process occurs within the party and candidates are decided by majority vote of those in attendance at the meeting. The party platform is not open for discussion at this time.

When the Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party regains Major Party status, the party will nominate candidates in accordance with the rules for Major Parties and participate in the statewide primary election.

The party as a whole will determine which time period applies at any given monthly meeting.

Meeting Structure
Green Mountain Peace & Justice Party meetings are conducted in union meeting format.

The first order of business is the designation of a Meeting Facilitator, Note-taker and, as necessary, a separate Stack-keeper. The roles of Faciliator, Note -taker and Stack-keeper are understood to rotate among members on a monthly basis.

The second order of business is the presentation and approval of an Agenda. Competing agendas may be presented and items may be added or removed from the agenda. The agenda may be discussed and modified before being approved. During the meeting, points may be added to the agenda subject to approval by attendees.

Following the approval of the agenda, each item is taken up and speakers are invited to address the item. If necessary, the Facilitator may impose a time limit for each speaker as well as a time limit for the discussion of each item. At the completion of discussion, any person in attendance may call the issue. The Facilitator may invite those in attendance to confirm consensus. If the agenda item is non-critical or the agenda item concerns the nomination of a candidate, a vote may be taken.

Refer to the Community Conduct Guidelines in the party’s Code of Conduct for further guidance on meeting management and member participation in meetings.

This process is repeated until there are no more points on the Agenda. At the consensus of those in attendance, a meeting may be recessed and discussion on other topics may occur prior to the addressing of all the items on the Agenda.

Official Email List (currently Google-Groups platform)
The official email list is limited to party business. To facilitate communication, subject headings such as; Proposal:. Information:, Warning:, Emergency:, are suggested. Regular discussion and debate should be limited to the Google Discussion platform  or to the discussion portion of meetings.