Audrey Young reports:
Green Party supporters feel so strongly about how the party list is ranked they have put an ad in today’s Herald before their annual meeting in Christchurch this weekend.
This is pretty extraordinary for members of any party, let alone the Greens who claim they make their decisions by consensus.
If party members are placing advertisements in newspapers, it suggests they are not too enamoured about the party’s internal communications.
Some members want a constitutional change saying that a ballot of members must be taken into account by the executive and they are publicly urging delegates to vote for the remit, Remit 2.
The constitution at present says the party executive ranks the list.
This surprises me, as I always thought the members ranked the list – in fact the Greens often boasted that they did.
According to co-leader Russel Norman, in reality a conference of activists comes up with a draft list which is given out to members with ballot papers.
The ranking is then based almost entirely on the members’ ballot, he said, apart from one or two occasions when it has been altered for gender, ethnic or geographic balance.
But that is still the Executive having the final say, rather than the members. Now there is nothing wrong with that, but it is useful to understand that the members ballot is not final.
ACT have been having a similar debate. They have a board ranking and a member ranking and what they have been debating is do you have the members ranking first and the board ranking last/final; or do the board ranking first and then the members ranking final after that.
He said some members wanted the practice formalised in the constitution.
I have not read the exact change proposed, but you have to wonder why there would be controversy and the need to run public advertisements, if it was as simple as formalising existing practice.
He was not sure whether the wording proposed for the change was the best.
This is code for “I am against this, but don’t wish to say so”Tags: Greens, list ranking