Leadership contest FAQs

Leadership contest FAQs

COVID-19

Safety is our top priority throughout this contest.

We've reviewed and updated our leadership contest rules to adapt to the new reality. All leadership campaigns and riding associations are obligated to follow the Provincial Health Officer's directives. 
All official leadership events have been re-planned as online-only, including our debate. 

We will adapt as needed based on changes in directives from the Provincial Health Officer. 

While we had hoped to host three official debates, the reality of COVID-19 has dramatically reduced the amount of time we have to hold our leadership contest. Since the campaign period is only 38 days now, there is not enough time to organize more than one.

COVID-19 has had a drastic effect on the economy, work and personal finances. Since non-profits and political parties are struggling to fundraise during these times, we expect the same from leadership campaigns. Reducing campaign fees will help lower the burden on leadership candidates and their teams. 

 

COVID-19 has dramatically reduced the amount of time we have to hold our leadership contest.

BC has just started to re-open in late May/early June, and experts are worried about a second wave of COVID-19 in the fall. We don't know when the second wave will hit, but we want our contest complete ahead of it. 

As COVID-19 reached BC, we cancelled all in-person events, including leadership campaign events. Within weeks of that decision, we knew that wouldn’t be enough. 

To allow our MLAs to focus on a legislative response to the pandemic, as well as relieve the pressure on individual British Columbians, we decided it would be inappropriate to proceed with the contest.

General

A leadership contest is an election to choose the leader of a political party.

It is designed and administered by the political party itself, but must be compliant with certain rules determined by BC’s Election Act, such as the annual donation limit for individuals.

The party decides rules such as the date and length of the contest, how votes will be cast and what voting system will be used. The party also determines who is eligible to run as a candidate for leadership.

Here are some quick facts about the BC Green Party’s 2020 leadership contest:

  • 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.
  • One official debate will take place on September 1, 2020.
  • Voting will take place from September 5–September 13 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.

All leadership candidate applications have to be received by the leadership contest committee (the administrative body of the leadership contest) at the latest by July 27, 2020. This means that all applications, including applications submitted near the end of the application period, should be reviewed (and approved or declined) by August 17, 2020, fifteen business days after the application deadline. 

If at that time only one person has been approved as a candidate, the leadership committee will declare them the winner by acclamation and the leadership contest will come to a close. The debate will not take place, though it may be adapted for another purpose. 

Anyone seeking to run as a candidate can announce their intention at any time. This is an individual choice made by the leadership prospect and their campaign - the party does not determine dates for individual campaign announcements. 

However, applications from all individuals planning to run in the contest must be received by the leadership contest committee (the administrative body of the leadership contest) by July 27, 2020. 

After receiving an application, the committee reviews the applicant’s eligibility to run as a candidate and will approve or decline the application. The party will then list the new official candidate on the leadership contest website.

With the deadline to submit applications on July 27, we expect all last-minute submissions will have been approved or declined by August 17, 2020. At that time, the party will publish an official, full list of candidates seeking the leadership of the party.

An individual may stand as a Leadership Candidate for the Leadership Contest if they:

  1. Complete the Candidate Application to the satisfaction of the Leadership Committee, as outlined in Section 6 of the contest rules;

  2. Are a Party Member in good standing as of the date of application;

  3. Are eligible for election to the Legislative Assembly of British Columbia under the BC Election Act as of the date of application;

  4. Uphold the Six Core Principles of the BC Green Party.

Voter registration

Not everyone whose values align with the BC Green Party wants to become a member. But that doesn't mean they don't have an investment in the election of the new leader; the new leader is the person who will represent those values in the next general election.

So we have expanded the body of those people who can participate in selecting that representative.

When a non-member registers to vote, they have to agree to the party's rules and policies as a way of demonstrating that they are aligned with our values.

The integrity of the voting process is critical to the leader's mandate. One of the ways that the integrity could be compromised is if malicious actors register fake voters to "stuff the ballot box".

To avoid this, we need to be sure you are real and that we can contact you if necessary.

You are not obligated to receive communications from the party or be involved in any aspect of the party except voting in the leadership contest.

The integrity of the voting process is critical to the leader's mandate. One of the ways that the integrity could be compromised is if malicious actors register fake voters to "stuff the ballot box".

Allowing multiple people to sign up with the same email address makes it possible for malicious actors to sign up fake voters to vote multiple times. So emails need to serve as a "unique identifier" for every individual voter.

Voters who do not have an email address can register to vote by calling our office (1888-473-3686). When voting opens, they will be sent instructions for how to vote by telephone.

Voter registration as a supporter is strictly for the party's 2020 leadership contest. Once it’s over, your registration as a voter is null and void.

If you have chosen to receive other communications from the party (such as email updates or text messages) separate from the leadership contest, you will continue to receive those messages. You can unsubscribe from them at any time.

By default, the party will continue to retain your personal information after the 2020 leadership contest, but you can request that we destroy it instead by completing this form.

To understand more about personal information the party has collected from you or to understand your privacy rights, please visit our Personal Information Check-up.

There are many safeguards in place to ensure the integrity of the voting process:

    1. Voter registration requires the individual to disclose their home address, phone number, and unique email address. This allows us to verify that they are who they say they are through computer analysis and by contacting them directly.
    2. Individuals must also confirm that they own the email address they have provided by clicking on a link sent to their inbox after registration. No one else will be able to use that email address to register. This helps to prevent one individual from creating multiple registrations.
    3. Staff at the BC Green Party head office are also monitoring voter registrations constantly. They will investigate and follow up on suspicious activity immediately.
    4. The Leadership Committee can expel registered voters if they are found to be fraudulent or acting in malicious ways.
    5. The Leadership Committee also expects most voter registrations to be facilitated by leadership campaigns in person (such as at events). In-person voter registration can only take place at small gatherings where physical distancing can be maintained as directed by the Provincial Health Officer. Where it does occur, it is very difficult to manipulate. 

Debates

The official leadership debate will be held on September 1st. 

The debate will be broadcast live online so that voters can watch wherever they are in the province.

No, if there is only one candidate by the time applications are due, the candidate will be acclaimed and will immediately become the new leader of the party.

However, the leadership committee may explore options for adapting the planned debate into an event for the public to get to know the new leader, such as a town hall or forum.

Voting

Anyone who supports the core values of the BC Green Party can vote.

There are two ways to vote:

  1. As a member of the BC Green Party. Your membership must be active and in good standing (all dues paid) by August 21 for voting by telephone and September 2 for voting online, and through to September 5 (the first day of voting). 
  2. As a registered supporter. You can register to vote by becoming a "supporter" for this leadership contest. By registering to vote as a supporter, you are not making any commitment to the BC Green Party - just simply taking part in the leadership contest.

Many people nowadays want to be engaged in political processes (such as a leadership contest), but choose not to become a member of a political party. For example, many people see membership in a political party as an outdated form of political engagement. Others cannot be members of a political party because their jobs require them to remain publicly non-partisan.

Still others may be open to joining a political party as a member, but first want to see how the political process works and if there is a fit with our party and new leader. Enfranchising British Columbians who want to support a leadership candidate that aligns with their values is a way for them to "get their feet wet" in our democratic processes.

We are an open, inclusive party founded on a core principle of participatory democracy. We believe we should be taking down barriers to political engagement, and allowing non-members to vote is one way we can do that.

Registering non-members to voter is also a way for the party to grow its support base and interest new folks in our work.

First, make sure you are registered to vote by August 21 for voting by phone, or September 2 for online voting. That means that you are either registered as a “supporter” or you are a party member in good standing (your dues are all paid up).

The vast majority of voters will vote online using a system called SimplyVoting. This is a secure Canadian system used by political parties, unions and local governments across the country.

Voting will take place from September 5, 2020, 1:00PM–September 13, 2020, 11:59PM. 

Registered voters who have an email address will be emailed their voting credentials by September 5. With those credentials, you will log into SimplyVoting and mark your preferences.

Those who do not have an email address must register to vote by August 21 and will be mailed their telephone credentials by post on August 28. Telephone voters will call the number provided, enter their credentials and enter their preferences.

Once you have submitted your ballot online or by phone, you cannot return to change it.

The results will be announced on September 14. 

Each voter has a single vote that counts equally toward the final result (There is no “weighing” votes by riding).

In a contest of more than two candidates, the party will use a single ranked ballot (“instant runoff voting”).

Ranked choice voting (RCV) describes voting systems that allow voters to rank candidates in order of preference, and then uses those rankings to elect candidates who best represent their constituents.

RCV is straightforward for voters: rank candidates in order of choice. Voters can rank as many candidates as they want, without fear that ranking others will hurt the chances of their favorite candidate...

If a candidate receives more than half of the first choice votes, they win, just like in any other election. However, if there is no majority winner after counting first choice votes, the race enters the runoff phase. The candidate with the fewest votes is eliminated, and voters who picked that candidate as ‘number 1’ will have their votes count for their next choice. This process continues until a candidate wins with more than half of the votes.

From FairVote.org

In a contest of two candidates, the party will use a simple one-choice ballot (“first-past-the-post”) as ranked balloting is redundant.

Telephone voting is available for those without an email address.

Telephone voters will be mailed their voting credentials by post on September 5. They will call the number provided, enter their credentials and mark their preferences.

As long as you are registered to vote (you are either a member or supporter), you can vote, no matter where in the province you live or whether you have an active riding/regional association or not.

Other

This is a great question.

We encourage you to reach out to the candidates to ask them questions like this. This question will also likely come up in one of the debates.

In short, nothing. The agreement (called a confidence and supply agreement, or "CASA" for short) will remain in place.

If new leader is a current BC Green MLA, then they have already signed CASA and agreed to keep it in place until the next scheduled election in October 2021.

A BC Green Party leader (whether they have a seat in the legislature or not) cannot force members of caucus who have already signed CASA to break the agreement.

Thanks for your interest in getting involved! Leadership candidates will be grateful for your support.

Candidates will likely have their own campaign websites where you can sign up quickly to volunteer.

As candidates register with the party, we will also post their contact information on our website.

All leadership campaigns are obligated to follow the directives of the Provincial Health Officer. While gatherings of less than 50 people are currently permitted, all attendees must be part of one another's expanded bubble. With this in mind, we believe it is unlikely that candidates will be traveling significant distances because of provincial health directives to prevent the spread of COVID-19. Most events will be held online, which makes them accessible to British Columbians, no matter where they live.

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