Isaac Davidson at NZ Herald reports:
The Green Party has been accused of silencing its grassroots members by making it more difficult for local branches to have a say at the party’s annual meeting.
Members voted at the Greens’ annual conference in Christchurch last weekend to limit which remits or issues would be able to reach the floor at annual meetings.
Under previous rules, any proposal could be debated at a meeting if it had 12 signatures from financial members.
Local branches must now get approval from two other branches, one of them from another region, if it wants to debate issues relating to the party or its executive.
One party source said the effect of the rule change would be to wipe out any debate on grassroots-sponsored remits at the Greens’ conferences
The requirement that the backers of any remit would have to get the endorsement of a branch in another region would require driving hundreds of kilometres around the country to lobby other members.
My observation is that over time, the Greens are going the way of the other political parties.
Green Party Mt Eden branch convener Jeremy Hall said in the party newsletter Te Awa that there was irony to Greens’ holding a conference on democracy because its rule changes would make it near-impossible for branches to raise issues and participate in the internal democracy of the party.
He added: “It will turn branches simply into volunteer units to just do fundraising, leafletting and campaigning, where their input into how the party is run will no longer be welcome.”
And vandalising billboards!