Active Democracy Study Group

The Active Democracy Study Group completed its mandate with the vote on the resolutions at the 2013 Annual Meeting.  Please contact if you have questions about the implementation of the Active Democracy resolutions.


In 2005 the Canadian Unitarian Council passed four linked resolutions under the heading Imagine Canadian Democracy that encouraged “the CUC Board to be leaders in, and advocates for, adopting democratic and transparent procedures in CUC internal affairs; recognizing the need for the Board to speak with one voice, once decisions have been taken.”

CUC Active Democracy Study Group

At the 2010 AGM, the Council passed a Study Resolution on Active Democracy, appointing the Active Democracy Study Group to undertake a two-year national conversation regarding the democratic processes employed in the governance of the CUC. The Active Democracy Study Group explored such issues as the decision-making extent of the Board, the selection of congregational delegates to the AGM, and the involvement and representation of all the UU communities.

Final Report:

The CUC Active Democracy Study Group, co-chaired by John Hopewell and Rev. Karen Fraser Gitlitz, presented their report, Strengthening Our Democratic Voices, at the May 2012 Annual General Meeting.

Active Democracy Study Group Final Report – June 2013 (pdf)

Active Democracy Resolutions 2013

The Study Group submitted their recommendations in December 2012, and at the AGM in 2013 delegates voted on and approved the following resolutions in seven parts.

Study Group members:

Rev. Karen Fraser Gitlitz (Co-Chair, Ministry Member)Western Region
John Hopewell (Co-Chair)BC Region
Gary GrootWestern Region
John Marsh (Ministry Member)Eastern Region
Mary-Anne Parker (Religious Educators Member)Western Region
Carol Cumming SpeirsEastern Region
Devin Murphy (Young Adult Member)Eastern Region

4 thoughts on “Active Democracy Study Group

  1. The issue for me is not that all 5,000 or potentially all 5,000 could participate actively but that the delegates could participate from their home and delegates would not be selected from a small pool of individuals who can afford to or have reason to travel to the city where the meeting is being held. Democracy is not simply one person one vote. It is a much bigger issue for me.

  2. The question “Should we webcast the annual meeting?” is not the same as the question “Would you participate electronically in a webcast annual meeting?” It’s entirely possible to answer the two questions differently: “I think it’s a good idea, but I wouldn’t participate myself” or “I think it’s a bad idea, but if it happens anyway, I’ll be there.” I think this poll needs to be redesigned.

    • I think the question isn’t one of asking people whether or not they personally want to participate, but rather whether they think it advisable that the CUC enable participation in the ACM via webcast. Unfortunately, I think that question actually opens even more necessary poll options because webcasting as a term is typically meant as a uni-directional broadcast of the ACM out and not a mechanism for enabling the democratic participation that @1799a9b6a2cdfad1a3a820392bd51fc0:disqus mentioned and which I think may be intended.

  3. I agree with Shoshanna. I think the more webcasting the better, but I’m not sure I’d actually go somewhere for the webcast as suggested. It seems to me I should be able to participate in a webcast from home. In fact, I do that with lots of other organizations and companies.

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