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Liberal Democrats

F32: Selection of Motions for Debate

Submitted by: Basingstoke and Deane.
Mover: to be announced.
Summation: to be announced.


Conference notes that:

    A. The Conference standing orders do not set out the reasons why the Federal Conference Committee may refuse to select motions, while they do set out the reason why the FCC may refuse amendments to the Constitution and the standing orders (SO 4.3) and emergency motions (SO 4.4). B. Standing order 6.1 states that proposers need to provide reasons why the expressed reasons for rejection are not valid but as there is no list of valid reasons this can be difficult. C. At each conference many motions are not selected to be debated by the Federal Conference Committee. D. Voting members can vote to decide which emergency motions are discussed at Conference but do not have a vote on determining if any non-emergency motions are selected.

Conference resolves to amend the standing orders as follows:

Add new standing order:

4.2 Policy motions

The Committee may refuse to select a policy motion if, in their opinion:

    a) It is similar in effect to another motion or motions which have been selected for debate or ballot at the same meeting of conference, in which case the Committee must consider whether it is appropriate for it to be composited with that or those motions. b) It encompasses a policy area covered by a policy motion and accompanying policy paper that has been passed after the last general election or by conference in the last two years. c) It encompasses a major change to party policy in an area being considered by a policy working group which is scheduled to be discussed at either of the next two conferences. d) It is similar in effect to a motion that has been discussed at either of the last two meetings of conference. e) It does not include any new policy. f) It is unclear as to its meaning or intent or is, in the opinion of the Committee, too poorly drafted to provide a sensible basis for debate. g) It is ambiguous.

4.3 Ballots for policy motions

All policy motions, except those rejected under standing order 4.2, must be placed either on the agenda for debate or in a ballot for selection by members of the Party. The Committee may hold separate ballots to select which of a range of policy motions to debate. If one or more ballots are held the Committee shall circulate the text of all balloted motions in the Agenda and shall specify closing times for the ballots. Following the counting of any ballots the Committee shall decide how many motions shall be debated in the time available. Amendments can be proposed and taken to any motion in the ballot(s) under this standing order in the same way as other motion in the Agenda.

Renumber accordingly, and in standing order 3.2 delete '4.3' and insert '4.5', and in standing order 4.5 delete '4.4' and insert '4.6'.


The existing text of Conference standing orders is at pages 99-117 of the agenda.

Applicability: England only; except 7., which is Federal.


Mover: 5 minutes; all other speakers: 3 minutes. For eligibility and procedure for speaking in this debate, see page 9 of the agenda.

The deadline for amendments to this motion , is 13.00 Monday 5 September, see page 12 of the agenda. Those selected for debate will be printed in Conference Extra and Monday's Conference Daily. The deadline for requests for separate votes is 09.00 on Sunday 18 September, see pages 8-9 of the agenda.

Standing order amendments require a two-thirds majority to pass.