Green Party List Ranking

February 11th, 2014 at 2:00 pm by David Farrar

The Green Party Co-Convenor, Georgina Morrison, has e-mailed an explanation of their 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.

Regards
Georgina Morrison
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 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.

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14 Responses to “Green Party List Ranking”

  1. davidp (3,580 comments) says:

    I have some questions and maybe Georgina can address them.

    1. Is it just coincidence that the members have always ranking the co-leaders 1 and 2? Surely there have been occasions where other MPs have been popular and competent enough to have been democratically ranked higher than a co-leader?

    2. Is it just coincidence that members have democratically decided that one co-leader is always male, and the other female? I find it difficult to believe that there haven’t been times when the two best MPs have both been male, or both been female.

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  2. big bruv (13,718 comments) says:

    “The Green Party Co-Convenor, Georgina Morrison, has e-mailed an explanation of their list ranking process:”

    No need to go any further. Given this is from one of the stinking Greens it will be total bullshit.

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  3. Pete George (23,474 comments) says:

    It’s your comment that stinks bb.

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  4. jp_1983 (207 comments) says:

    How many Co-Conveners are there?

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  5. dime (9,849 comments) says:

    So just to get this straight.

    When the greens use a totally democratic process and get an overwhelming majority of chicks, its all good?

    BUT if a privately owned company chooses its board based on merit and its mainly dudes, then they are scumbag assholes?

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  6. Pete George (23,474 comments) says:

    When the greens use a totally democratic process and get an overwhelming majority of chicks

    When did they do that?

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  7. Peter (1,699 comments) says:

    Delahunty seems to be placed high on the list on a regular basis. If the members vote her into this high position, I can only speculate as to what occupies the hive mind on the membership.

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  8. Grendel (996 comments) says:

    it cannot be that good a process, look at who they have ended up with.

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  9. RRM (9,826 comments) says:

    It is a very democratic process.. is that really desirable though?

    Sometimes it is good to have a direction set by someone with a bit of vision… and sometimes it’s not.

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  10. Simon (697 comments) says:

    “What this is about, actually, is an attempt by a group within the Green Party to stack the next Green caucus with “Left of Labour” MPs.

    My performance as a candidate or as a potential MP was never at issue. My vision for what the party could do, and what it could become (which is widely shared within the Party) was a threat that had to be squashed. This was done by gazumping the party’s internal democratic process.”

    etc etc etc

    http://sophocrat.blogspot.co.nz/

    Whistleblower David Hay on the current Green Party leadership thuggery.

    Green democratic process an oxymoron.

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  11. Pete George (23,474 comments) says:

    RRM – a good point on whether “very democratic” is desirable generally (it obviously is for the Greens) or is the best way to get a strong list.

    Simon – I’d have thought it would be difficult not to stack the Green list with left of Labour MPs no matter how it was done.

    The problem with “pure” democracy, like socialism, is that human nature intervenes and overrules the ideals. Groups of people are naturally hierarchical and most people look for and follow leadership.

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  12. spanish_tudor (66 comments) says:

    She exposed her self-delusion and stupidity by the second sentence. The Gweens are not a “major party”.

    Otherwise, cheers for the explanation.

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  13. Aristophanes (5 comments) says:

    davidp – not sure about question 1 but the answer to question 2 is that Green Party Co-leaders are not set according to the list ranking but are elected separately by the membership at annual conference; and there is one male and one female position.

    jp – there are two co-convenors, the other is Pete Huggins

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  14. georgedarroch (317 comments) says:

    Is it just coincidence that members have democratically decided that one co-leader is always male, and the other female? I find it difficult to believe that there haven’t been times when the two best MPs have both been male, or both been female.

    The Greens constitution states that the party list may be no more than 60% of either sex, and in practice the list has been roughly zippered. Similarly, there are requirements for the South Island (no less than 20%), under 30 (no less than 10%), and Maori (I forget the exact number, it may be 15%). The list is shuffled a little by elected senior party representatives to ensure these and other considerations. You can debate this – no doubt some of you will find it all too ‘PC’ ensuring a rough reflection of the NZ population – but the reasoning is pretty obvious.

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