When Justin Trudeau decided to boot Liberal senators from his caucus this week, it seems he wasn’t aware that his actions breached the Constitution of the Liberal Party of Canada (LPC).
Liberal deputy leader Ralph Goodale has now asked the Liberal Party president Mike Crawley to amend their constitution.
The problem is, according to the Liberal Party's own rules, you cannot retroactively bring amendments to a Constitution.
But it gets worse for the Liberals. Here are the Liberal Party's rules for amending their Constitution (Section 76):
- (3) Proposed amendments must be submitted in writing to the National President at least 27 days before the convention of the Party at which they are to be considered.
- (4) The National President must publish a copy of each proposed amendment to this Constitution that must be submitted to a convention of the Party on the public website of the Party at least 20 days before the convention at which the proposed amendment is to be considered.
The Liberal convention will be held on February 20th, which means they won’t be able to submit their amendment the required 27 days before the convention. Not only is it impossible to amend it retroactively, the deadline for submitting these amendments has already passed.
We are getting used to policies from Justin Trudeau that aren't properly thought and are drafted on the back of a napkin. But breaking party rules to accommodate his top-down decision-making approach is more than a simple mistake.
If only the liberals had voted for the NDP motion calling to end partisanship in the Senate, Trudeau and his MPs would have had the time to follow due process in making these changes. Instead, the Liberal leader chose grandstanding over working with others to achieve real change.
Canadians deserve better. People deserve leaders that respect their party's rules and consults people before making important decisions.
Canadians deserve better.