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The terms party conference (
UK English British English (BrE) is the standard dialect of the English language as spoken and written in the United Kingdom. Variations exist in formal, written English in the United Kingdom. For example, the adjective ''wee'' is almost exclusively us ...
), political convention ( US and
Canadian English Canadian English (CanE, CE, en-CA) is the set of varieties Variety may refer to: Science and technology Mathematics * Algebraic variety, the set of solutions of a system of polynomial equations * Variety (universal algebra), classes of alg ...
), and party congress usually refer to a general meeting of a
political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold similar ideas about politics, and parties may promote specific political ideology ...
. The conference is attended by certain delegates who represent the party membership. In most political parties, the party conference is the highest decision-making body of the organization, tasked with electing or nominating the party's leaders or leadership bodies, deciding party policy, and setting the party's platform and agendas. The definitions of all of these terms vary greatly, depending on the country and situation in which they are used. The term ''conference'' or ''
caucus A caucus is a meeting of supporters or members of a specific political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the members of a party to hold si ...
'' may also refer to the organization of all party members as a whole. The term ''political convention'' may also refer to international bilateral or multilateral meetings on state-level, like the convention of the
Anglo-Russian Entente The Anglo-Russian Convention of 1907 (russian: Англо-Русская Конвенция 1907 г., translit=Anglo-Russkaya Konventsiya 1907 g.), or Convention between the United Kingdom and Russia relating to Persia, Afghanistan, and Tibet (К ...
(1907).


Leadership roles

Within party conferences, there might be different offices or bodies fulfilling certain tasks, usually including: *''
Chairmanship The chairperson (also chair, chairman, or chairwoman) is the presiding officer of an organized group such as a Board of directors, board, committee, or deliberative assembly. The person holding the office, who is typically elected or appointed b ...
'' — Chosen from within the body's membership to preside over its business. *''
Secretary A secretary, administrative professional, or personal assistant A personal assistant, also referred to as personal aide (PA) or personal secretary (PS), is a job title describing a person who assists a specific person with their daily busin ...

Secretary
'' — Responsible for keeping
minutes Minutes, also known as minutes of meeting (abbreviation MoM), protocols or, informally, notes, are the instant written record of a meeting A meeting is when two or more people A people is a plurality of person A person (plural people ...
of the conference's proceedings. *''
Policy committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to an assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends matters into a committee as a way to explore them more fully than w ...
s'' — Responsible for setting and maintaining review of current party policy, and preparing proposals for presentation to the full conference.


Party conferences around the world


Canada

In Canada, besides annual or biennial conventions, parties often hold special conventions to elect new leaders; often known as a ''
leadership convention {{Politics of Canada In Politics of Canada, Canadian politics, a leadership convention is held by a political party when the party needs to choose a leadership, leader due to a vacancy or a challenge to the incumbent leader. Overview In Canada, ...
''. The new leader of a party may then become prime minister.


Communist states

*
Communist parties A communist party is a left-wing Left-wing politics supports social equality and egalitarianism Egalitarianism (), or equalitarianism, is a school of thought within political philosophy that builds from the concept of social equal ...
convene a ''congress'' to elect a
Central Committee Central committee is the common designation of a standing administrative body of communist parties, analogous to a board of directors, of both ruling and nonruling parties of former and existing Socialist State, socialist states. In such party org ...
, which in turn sets up a
Politburo A politburo () or political bureau is the executive committee A committee or commission is a body of one or more persons subordinate to an assembly. A committee is not itself considered to be a form of assembly. Usually, the assembly sends mat ...
. * A Communist ''conference'' may also meet on occasion, to discuss a particular issue or plan an event, but would have no such official powers.


Ireland

All Irish parties have annual party conferences, called
Ardfheis ''Ard fheis'' or ''ardfheis'' ( "high assembly"; plural ''ardfheiseanna'') is the name used by many Irish political party, political parties for their annual party conference. The term was first used by Conradh na Gaeilge, the Irish language cultu ...
, at which party policy is decided by the membership and the party chairperson and executive board are elected.


United Kingdom

In the United Kingdom the political conferences (usually called ''party congress'', or ''party conference'') generally take place in three weeks of September and October of each year, whilst the
House of Commons The House of Commons is the name for the elected lower house A lower house is one of two chambers Chambers may refer to: Places Canada: *Chambers Township, Ontario United States: *Chambers County, Alabama *Chambers, Arizona, an unincorpor ...

House of Commons
is in recess. The conferences of the three largest UK-wide parties, the
Conservative Party Conference The Conservative Party Conference (CPC) is a four-day national conference event held by the Conservative Party (UK), Conservative Party in the United Kingdom. It takes place every year around October during the British party conference season, when ...
, the
Labour Party Conference The Labour Party Conference is the annual national conference of the UK Labour Party (UK), Labour Party. It is formally the supreme decision-making body of the Party. The conference is traditionally held on the final week in September during the ...
and the
Liberal Democrat Federal Conference The Liberal Democrat Federal Conference (often referred to as the Liberal Democrat Conference) is an internal body of the Liberal Democrats (UK), Liberal Democrats, the third largest political party in the UK by the number of votes. The Federal ...
, are held during this time.


United States

In the United States, a ''political convention'' usually refers to a
presidential nominating convention A United States presidential nominating convention is a political convention The terms party conference (British English, UK English), political convention (American English, US and Canadian English), and party congress usually refer to a ge ...
, but it can also refer to state, county, or congressional district nominating conventions in which candidates are nominated, delegates to larger regional or national conventions are elected and the
party platform A political party platform, party program, or party manifesto is a formal set of principle goals which are supported by a political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country' ...
is adopted. Today, the two largest conventions on national level are the
Democratic National Convention The Democratic National Convention (DNC) is a series of U.S. presidential nominating convention, presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1832 by the United States Democratic Party. They have been administered by the Democr ...
and the
Republican National Convention The Republican National Convention (RNC) is a series of presidential nominating conventions held every four years since 1856 by the United States Republican Party The Republican Party, also referred to as the GOP ("Grand Old Party"), is on ...

Republican National Convention
, usually held every four years to select their candidates for the offices of
president President most commonly refers to: *President (corporate title) A president is a leader of an organization, company, community, club, trade union, university or other group. The relationship between a president and a chief executive officer ...

president
and
vice president A vice president, also director in British English, is an officer An officer is a person A person (plural people or persons) is a being that has certain capacities or attributes such as reason Reason is the capacity of consciously apply ...
. They are attended by delegates, who are mostly elected in
primaries Primary elections, often abbreviated to primaries, are a process by which voters can indicate their preference for their party's candidate, or a candidate in general, in an upcoming general election, local election, or by-election. Depending on ...
. Between the national conventions, the ''national committee'' of each party (see DNC and RNC) leads the party administratively, while they are politically represented by their leaders in Senate and in the House, or (if applicable) by the president. However, some party charters also provide for ''party conferences'' to be held between two national conventions to deal with various matters. In fact, those and the national committees can be compared to regular party conventions in other countries. The first political convention held in America took place in
Hartford, Connecticut Hartford is the capital city A capital or capital city is the municipality holding primary status in a Department (country subdivision), department, country, Constituent state, state, province, or other administrative region, usually as ...
in March 1766. The meeting was organized by the
Sons of Liberty The Sons of Liberty was a loosely organized clandestine political organization active in the Thirteen American Colonies founded to advance the rights of the colonists and to fight taxation by the British government. It played a major role in ...

Sons of Liberty
, who, in challenging incumbent governor Thomas Fitch, nominated
William Pitkin William Pitkin (April 30, 1694 – October 1, 1769) was a List of colonial governors of Connecticut, colonial governor of the Connecticut Colony. Biography Pitkin was born to a politically prominent family in Hartford, Connecticut, Hartford (Now E ...
for
governor A governor is, in most cases, a public official with the power to govern the Executive (government), executive branch of a non-sovereign or sub-national level of government, ranking under the head of state. In federations, ''governor'' may be t ...

governor
and
Jonathan Trumbull Jonathan Trumbull Sr. (October 12, 1710August 17, 1785) was an American politician and statesman who served as List of Governors of Connecticut, Governor of Connecticut during the American Revolution. Trumbull and Nicholas Cooke of Rhode Island w ...
for deputy governor. In the US, the term ''party conference'' is sometimes also used to refer to the equivalent of
parliamentary group A parliamentary group, parliamentary party, or parliamentary caucus is a group consisting of members of the same political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's election ...
s in other countries (see also
congressional caucus A congressional caucus is a group of members of the United States Congress The United States Congress is the legislature of the federal government of the United States. It is Bicameralism, bicameral, comprising a lower body, the United S ...
).


Germany

Other than in the United States, party conferences in Germany (both on state and federal level), called ("party
diet Diet may refer to: Food * Diet (nutrition) In nutrition Nutrition is the biochemical Biochemistry or biological chemistry, is the study of chemical processes within and relating to living organisms. A sub-discipline of both chemistr ...
"), will not only meet to nominate candidates for public elections, but also regularly (at least once a year) to adopt political resolutions, select party officials or to amend their statutes. Generally, the party organizations themselves and also their representatives (such as the chairperson, called
party leader In a governmental system, a party leader acts as the official representative of their political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the me ...
, and other board members) play a much more prominent role in German politics than they do for example in the US or UK, where the parties are mainly represented by their members and leaders in parliament or (if applicable) government.


See also

*
Political parties A political party is an organization that coordinates candidate A candidate, or nominee, is the prospective recipient of an award or honor, or a person seeking or being considered for some kind of position; for example: * to be elected to ...
* List of political parties around the world *
Party leader In a governmental system, a party leader acts as the official representative of their political party A political party is an organization that coordinates candidates to compete in a particular country's elections. It is common for the me ...


References

* * Conventions (meetings) {{politics-stub