2020- 2022 Policy Process | Green Party of Canada
Where GPC membership collaborates to develop our policies
G21-C010 Remove Requirement to Field Candidates in All Ridings to Allow Strategic Exceptions
To amend Green Party Constitution Article 4.1.1 to read as follows: "Fielding, endorsing, and electing members of the Party as candidates of the Party for election to the House of Commons and supporting their election”.
To give the Green Party more flexibility to field candidates strategically by prioritizing targeted ridings or engaging in cooperative electoral arrangements with other parties, by removing the constraint to run a Green Party candidate “in every riding.”
This would allow the Party to focus more attention on priority ridings or to enter into mutually-beneficial collaborative arrangements, in order to win more seats, achieve official party status and possibly hold the balance of power to address urgent Green priorities such as electoral reform, vigorous climate action and social justice.
Supporting Comments from Submitter
Green Party supporters are very aware that to win seats, a party has to reach a certain threshold of support in a riding. Vote splitting and strategic voting makes it harder for a small party to win seats under our first-past-the-post system. In order to win seats, the Green Party is obliged to focus its efforts strategically in winnable ridings, as it has always done.
A supplementary measure could be to negotiate mutually beneficial arrangements with other parties to avoid splitting the vote. The current wording of Article 4.1.1. makes it impossible to consider such collaborative arrangements, however much they might benefit our Party and the implementation of Green Party policy and values.
We have reviewed the
NDP of Canada Constitution, the Liberal Party of Canada Constitution and the Conservative Party of Canada Constitution and were not able to find any explicit requirement by other parties to field a candidate in every riding as a constitutional requirement.
Collaboration across party lines has been proven to work in the past. On the right, in Canada, the most common arrangement has been the outright merger of parties. This is what allowed the Conservative Party of Canada to form government avec years in the wilderness starting in 2011. Mergers of this sort have taken place also in British Columbia and Alberta.
However, the constitutional amendment proposed here is not about mergers. It covers cases of collaboration in which both parties would maintain their own identities. Examples of this type of collaboration also exist. One example was the recent Unite to Remain Alliance in the 2019 UK election, which
successfully increased the vote share of participating parties in ridings where collaboration was involved. In France, alliances are systematically negotiated in every election. In the last legislative elections in 2017, these alliances allowed smaller parties who were part of those alliances to win seats in rough proportion to their share of the vote.
Simulations conducted by the One Time Alliance for Democratic Reform and the Climate Emergency Alliance suggest that the Greens and the NDP could significantly increase their seat shares based on collaborative arrangements in key ridings.
Ecological Wisdom, Sustainability, Participatory Democracy, Social Justice, Respect for Diversity, Non-Violence.
Relation to Existing Policy
This proposal would amend Article 4.1.1.
List of Endorsements
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