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.
  • 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.

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 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. 

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 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.

Who can apply to be a BC Green leadership candidate?

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.

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