The Green Party Co-Convenor, Georgina Morrison, has e-mailed an explanation of their list ranking process:
I thought it would be useful to clarify the list selection process used by the Green Party.
In my view the Green Party has the most democratic list selection process out of the major parties. We are proud of the high level of member involvement.
It is largely members who draft the initial list and then all members subsequently get a direct say on that list. This initial list has not yet been developed, contrary to inferences on your blog.
Let me also be clear that there is no proposed list circulated by “party hierarchy” or leadership, such an action would be seriously frowned upon by members. The list selection process is one that is proudly owned by party members only. There is no parliamentary involvement in it.
All candidates seeking list ranking attend our election year candidate conference, which is taking place this Friday through Sunday in Auckland.
Each electorate sends delegates to this conference, which has the primary purpose of giving the delegates the opportunity to access the candidates. The number of delegates per electorate is determined by the number of members in the electorate. These delegates then go back to their electorates and discuss their observations of the candidates with branch members. Each delegate takes this feedback and ranks an initial list. There will be 132 delegate spaces at the conference.
In addition each candidate also gets to rank a list. There are 52 candidates.
Finally the key leadership roles in the party get to rank a list too. These positions are our Co-leaders and party convenors and policy convenors. However each person can only rank one list. Thus only the Co-convenors will submit a list as both the Co-leaders and policy Co-convenors are also standing as candidates. That means there will only be two lists from the party leadership.
In total there will be 186 lists submitted. 70 percent of those lists will be from electorates, 28 percent from candidates and two percent from party officials. STV (successive elimination) is the voting method used to determine the initial list that goes out to a members vote.
All members (who have been members for more than six months) are given the chance to rank a list. They are provided with the draft list for an indication of what the branch delegates and branch meetings thought of the candidates. STV (successive elimination) is again used as the voting system. The only influence the initial list has is that it is sent to all the members. Members can ignore it entirely if they wish. The final members list is the list that goes to the candidate selection committee and leadership group and may be subject to minor adjustments for gender, race, age and location. No candidate can move more than two places from where the party members ranked them.
As to the issue of a draft list in circulation, I can only assume that, if the list is genuine, it is nothing more than the individual musings of an individual member. Because we allow all members the opportunity to vote on our list it is not surprising that people are thinking ahead.
However for the list to be purported on your blog as holding some form of official significance is totally false and misleading. Let me be clear, there is never a list prepared by party or parliamentary staff at any point. The candidate conference later this week kicks the list process off and is driven by members the whole way. Your readers would be advised to wait and see what members decide when the list they rank is released later this year.
Green Party Co-convenor
It’s good to have the process explained in detail, and I agree it is more democratic than the other parties. I have been critical of National’s list ranking processes on several occasions, and think National’s list ranking doesn’t give sufficient weight to regional rankings.
I do note that the leadership group and candidate selection committee (the hierarchy) can “tweak” the list as voted on by members, and even a movement of two places may be the difference between being an MP or not. But I agree overall the Greens have a very good process. However the views of those in Parliament I am sure have great influence on the outcome (as they do in National) and I look forward to seeing (hopefully) both the draft list and the final list.
My thanks to Georgina for the explanation.