BC Green Party leadership contest rules released; Olsen named interim leader

THE B.C. Green Party on Friday released the rules for its upcoming leadership contest.

 Sat Harwood, Chair of the party’s Provincial Council, said that the rules were developed with equity, diversity and accessibility as central values.

“We believe those who seek to form government should lead by example,” Harwood said. “We have designed our 2020 leadership contest on the same foundation of leading with our value.

“That is why these leadership contest rules extend the vote beyond formal party membership to any British Columbian of 16 years or older who wants to support a leadership candidate (and does not actively support another political party).

“It is our hope that the 2020 B.C. Green leadership contest can be an opportunity to participate in an important democratic process for those who would otherwise be uninterested, disadvantaged or excluded.”

Highlights of the leadership contest as set out in the rules include:

  • Expanded voter base to include those aged 16 and up who wish to support a candidate but do not wish to become a party member. Full membership in the party is already free for youth aged 25 and younger.
  • The spending limit for each candidate is $300,000, excluding fees paid to the party.
  • Three debates will take place after April 30. A debate will be held in each of the following regions: (1) Vancouver Island, (2) Lower Mainland, (3) rest of B.C..
  • Voting will take place from June 15-26 primarily online, with a secure telephone option for those without access to the internet. The party will use ranked ballots for a contest of three or more candidates, or first-past-the-post for a contest of two.
  • Fees paid to the party will total $16,000, plus a compliance deposit and 25% of additional contributions.

The party also announced today that its Provincial Council has appointed MLA Adam Olsen (Saanich North and the Islands) as interim leader for the duration of the leadership contest, January 6 to June 27, 2020.

“I’m honoured to accept the role of interim-leader once again. The work that our caucus has carried out over the past two years is incredibly important to me,” Olsen said. 

“I want to acknowledge and thank my colleague and friend Andrew Weaver for his leadership. This is an incredibly exciting time for the party; the 2020 leadership contest is an opportunity to champion our values, open up our organization, welcome new voices, and build the next era of politics in BC.”

An interim leader has all of the duties and responsibilities of a permanent leader in terms of party activities. As per the party’s by-laws, the interim leader may not run for the party’s permanent leadership position.