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Building for Success: The Green Deputy Leader Contest

By Luke Walter. Luke’s blog, The Plural Progressive, can be found here.

The Green Party leadership contest is now in full swing. Whilst Caroline Lucas MP is standing unopposed, Adrian Ramsay, the Green Deputy Leader, is being challenged by former-Principal Speaker, Derek Wall.

I have been asked by supporters on both sides about who I would vote for. The honest truth is, at present, I will not be voting for either one. Not that I have anything against the candidates but, neither one has said how they will help the party to flourish and to win more support and, more importantly, to win local representation.

Both are focussing on their own profiles, the endorsements they have and their media appearances. Whilst having this kind of experience is important in terms of maintaining credibility and receiving favourable media coverage, to me, the Deputy should be the General of our grassroots activists and should articulate a strategy for the party, not a vision for the nation.

Jim Jepps has already started the process of addressing the ‘Leadership Question’ and some of the comments on the blog have contributed to the debate. I, for one, would like to see the Deputy take on a more prominent strategic role in the party, not only in local elections, but also in membership recruitment, fundraising and local party development.

In this respect, the Deputy should work closely with the Local Party Support, Internal Communications and Elections co-ordinators on GPEX, to focus their full attention over the next two years on winning a seat in every county. To date, we have yet to achieve this. We need a smaller team drawn from GPEX members, led by the Deputy, to re-energise activists and organise for success.

We know from experience that local parties grow by winning elections. We also know that it only takes a handful of committed activists to win an election. But, what local parties sometimes lack is national leadership. And this is the crux of the question.

I’m relishing the opportunity to ask the candidates to put forward a strategy to achieving the above. To date, candidates have only talked about vision. Vision is fine, but we have to go beyond that. I want to know how the candidates intend to build local parties capable of taking the fight to the other three and capable of winning elections.

This election should be about the future, and building local parties for the future. If neither one of the candidates can articulate a strategy to achieving this, then I will have no hesitation in voting for the third candidate.

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2 Responses

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Becky Wright, Jane Watkinson and Luke Walter, Broad Left Blogging. Broad Left Blogging said: Building for Success: The Green Deputy Leader Contest: http://wp.me/pXkBd-2j […]

  2. Jason Kitcat says:

    Clearly the leader and deputy have an important role to play in that strategic thinking… but one could make an equally strong (if not stronger) case that organisational and membership capacity building should be led by the party chair, executive officers and the chief executive. Shouldn’t we be asking them to be laying out their plans on these issues?

    I know we Greens like to be different, but isn’t there merit in the leadership duo being the political front-line whilst the other officers work more on everyday organisational nuts and bolts? This is the approach taken in all the other political parties that I know of.

    Similarly in firms you have a CEO focussed on more external matters and a Chief Operating Officer more on the internals.

    The roles and responsibilities need to be spread out. Party chair, for example, is a critical role not being discussed in the midst of this leadership blogosphere debate.

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