Tuesday, 26 July 2016

Why I'm voting RON for Green Party leader. Plus my endorsements for GPEX elections.

So it's that time of the year again, elections for the Green Party executive (known as GPEX). Up for election this year are the positions of Leader or Co-leader, Deputy Leader(s), Chair, Campaigns Coordinator, Elections Coordinator, External Communications Coordinator, Management Coordinator, International Coordinator, Trade Union Liaison Officer, Finance Coordinator & Internal Communications Coordinator. That's a lot of positions to elect, 12. This includes leader(s) and deputy leader(s)! I'm going to give you my recommendations for who I'm voting for for each position. Hopefully you might find this useful.

Leader of Co-Leaders
So, the most public facing of all Green Party positions. This time around, Natalie Bennett has chosen not to re-stand and we have 5 candidates to choose from - Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley (for co-leaders), Simon Cross, Clive Lord, David Malone, Martie Warin and David Williams. I am voting for a 6th choice. To Re-Open Nominations (known as RON).

Why am I not giving my first preference to an actual candidate? Two main reasons. Firstly, the favourites to win are Caroline Lucas and Jonathan Bartley. I do not believe it is healthy for the Green Party to rely on Caroline Lucas for our success. Yes she is a great politician and public speaker. However, I don't want the party to be known solely for Caroline Lucas. It's not healthy for the party in the long run to be known only for one member, especially when that member steps down or retires.

Secondly, all the candidates are white, straight, able bodied and from mostly middle class backgrounds. With the exception of Caroline Lucas all the candidates are also cisgender men. This isn't representative of minority or oppressed groups in Britain. I want to see a wider more diverse range of candidates standing. There are no people of colour, no LGBT+ people, no people with disabilities, no young people, etc.

Deputy Leader(s)
So for deputy leader I am voting for, in the following order: Amelia Womack, Shahrar Ali, Kat Boettge, Andrew Cooper, Daniella Radice, Storm Poorun and finally Re-Open Nominations. Unlike for leader, I think we have fantastic candidates for deputy leader. We have people of colour, women, disabled people, working class people and young people standing. My preferences are to re-elect Amelia Womack and Shahrar Ali. They have both done a wonderful job of representing the party as a young woman and a BAME, which the party so desperately needs.

I am voting for Claire Phipps for chair, and giving John Coyne my second preference.

Campaigns Coordinator
I am supporting Chris Jarvis and Cadi Cliff for Campaigns Coordinator. I can't say I know much about Cadi, but I've known Chris for years and know he's extremely talented and experienced campaigner, both for the party and for other organisations. I endorsed him last year for Young Greens national coordinator. Very well worth your vote.

Elections Coordinator
Rob Telford is getting my vote for elections coordinator. Rob has been elected as a councillor in Bristol and has real experience of coordinating winning elections. This experience is vital for coordinating elections on a national level.

External Communications Coordinator
Matt Hawkins, Penny Kemp and Jennifer Nadel are standing as a jobshare for this role. Nobody else is standing so these people get my vote.

Management Coordinator
Again, Tom Chance and Liz Reason are the only candidates and standing as a jobshare so they get my vote.

International Coordinator
My choice for International Coordinator again goes to Jessica Northey and Derek Wall. There isn't a world I could imagine where I wouldn't vote for Derek Wall. He's been a member of the party for 30+ years and has always been a really strong advocate for eco-socialism and greater democracy in the party.

Trade Union Liaison Officer
A fairly new role and a really important role. I am giving my preference to Kieron Merrett. Kieron is the current secretary of the Green Party Trade Union Group, involvement in which I feel really important for the Trade Union Liaison Officer.

Finance Coordinator
I'm voting for Emma Carter, the only candidate for Finance Coordinator.

Internal Communications Coordinator
Sam Coates gets my vote for Internal Communications Coordinator. When I first joined the Green Party Sam was coordinator of the Young Greens, and has since gone onto do great things including being elected as a county councillor in Oxford. He's been on GPEx previously as Elections Coordinator as well as running the lead campaign for the Welsh Assembly elections in 2011. Really experienced and I'm confident he'll do a great job.

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