Voting begins on 25 July. Credit: Elliot Corner/Green Memes Commitee

Voting begins on 25 July. Credit: Elliot Corner/Green Memes Commitee

A number of Green Party members have expressed concern that several Executive members and activists of both LGBTIQ+ Greens and Young Greens have been rejected in their applications to stand in the upcoming Green Party Executive (GPEx) elections. Bright Green understands that this is due to a “two year rule” in which applicants who have been members of the Party less than two years must seek approval from the Green Party Regional Council (GPRC).

One concerned member stated that:  “It seems that precedence has been broken and there is a worrying lack of clarity to why several prominent activists in the Party have been rejected from being allowed to stand in the GPEx elections. This is both a significant change from the previous year and seems to underlay that being on an Executive position in either Young Greens of LGBTIQ+ Greens does not constitute sufficient knowledge of the Party or “appointability”. As a central tenant of the Green Party is in it’s Equality and Diversity work, it seems worrying that members activities in diverse groups have been ignored.”

In a statement to candidates GPRC explained that the two year rule was there for a ‘very good reason’: that it was there to ensure that applicants for GPEx have a “very good grounding in the Green Party and how it functions before they stand for election to the body which has management responsibility for the day-to-day running of the party.” 

Speaking to Bright Green, a representative of GPRC added:

This is what the Constitution says about who is eligible to be nominated as a candidate for GPEx to run the Green Party.

7vi) Candidates for the GPEx Chair and Co¬ordinator posts shall have been a member of the Party for the two complete years preceding the date of close of nominations…

Or, if they have been a member for a minimum of one complete year preceding the date of close of nominations, their nomination must be supported by a majority of GPRC members in attendance at a quorate official meeting of that body.

So as well as getting support from their friends, in order to become eligible when they have not been in the party for two years, conference has decided that these members have to get a majority vote at a GPRC meeting.  They need to present GPRC with compelling evidence that their rapid progress in understanding the Green Party’s philosophy, structure and culture had brought them to a position equivalent to people who have been members for 2 years; that those exceptional applicants are now fully integrated effective members of the Green Party, and should be made exceptions to the constitutional rule.  

This year two applicants were considered on June 26th, by teleconference, and one of these did gain a majority vote.  Three more which came on July 1st were considered at our weekend meeting on July 3rd. None of these gained a majority vote. This meant they remained ineligible, but they will be eligible by next year.

The Party does ask members to accept democratic decisions made by its elected bodies. We also ask members to trust those who they elect to represent them. If an individual acts wrongly, they can be held to account via our complaint system, but this needs actual evidence.

It is not good for the party for members to run down and detract the bodies they elect. We are all volunteers making decisions on your behalf. It is through conference that these rules are changed, not through facebook. Just as with Brexit, when you give people a vote you cannot then tell them that they voted the wrong way. We each make our own decision.”

However, GPRC is now facing calls for them to clarify how they judged the suitablity of a candidates Party experience, and clarification over the process of this decision and the full details of those who were and weren’t accepted by GPRC under the “two year rule” – especially considering that one rejected member was a mere 14 days from eligibility when their application was discussed and it has been revealed that the only approved application was from a member of GPRC. This, critics claim, is in contrast to multiple candidates below the two year requirement being approved in the last batch of elections.

The Green Party elections open on on 25th July and closes on 25th August, with a number of internal party positions up for grabs: find a full list here. If you have any concerns or questions over the election process, GPRC can be contacted at: secretary@gprc.greenparty.org.uk.

 

Bradley Allsop

About Bradley Allsop

Bradley is currently studying for his PhD in youth political engagement at the University of Lincoln and writes on democracy, political engagement and political psychology.