What is a leadership contest?

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.
  • 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) Interior/North.
  • 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.

Why is the application period so long?

Equity and diversity are important to us. 

Many groups in our society have been (and often continue to be) disadvantaged or disenfranchised in the democratic process. Research has shown that many people who identify with these groups need more time to consider a run in politics, because there are more barriers or challenges that they face. We want this leadership contest to be as accessible and supportive as possible to people who want to add their voices, so we have deliberately established a long application period for prospects to explore a potential campaign.

What happens if there is only one candidate?

All leadership candidate applications have to be received by the leadership contest committee (the administrative body of the leadership contest) at the latest by April 15, 2020. This means that all applications, including applications submitted near the end of the application period, should be reviewed (and approved or declined) by April 30, 2020.

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. 

Debates and other scheduled events will not take place, though one of them may be adapted for another purpose. The party’s annual convention in Nanaimo from June 26-28 will go ahead without the leadership contest components.

When will we know who all the contestants are?

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 April 15, 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 its website and on a media release.

With the deadline to submit applications on April 15, we expect all last-minute submissions will have been approved or declined by April 30, 2020. At that time, the party will publish an official, full list of candidates seeking the leadership of the party.

Donate Get Involved