In making recommendations about future Governance, we have tried to balance members’ requirements for as much direct democracy, i.e. one person one vote as possible, while ensuring structures will be accountable and can work.
We think there three distinct functions of the Party:
- a melting pot of opinions and views – essential to have as wide and direct input from members as possible to capture and define appropriate work streams that progress Party business via the Task and Finish Groups.
We have therefore recommended a relatively large Council with a mix of 10 directly elected members and, to keep the Council to a manageable size, balanced this by filling the remaining places by representatives of various groups.
We have defined representatives for some established groups, for example, the Young Greens, but where groups may wish to define their own constituency, this has been left open. For example, we have deliberately not defined representatives from formally constituted Affiliated Groups who represent marginalised communities, including the current liberation groups, so this can be open to new representative groups coming forward.
To make the Party more nimble
We have recommended that this Council should be able to make provisional decisions between Conference, but that any such decisions will have to be ratified by Conference. This retains a directly democratic check on any decisions made.
We have recommended that at the autumn Conference, which is the supreme decision-making forum, all members should be able to have an input and that secure online voting should be piloted, to engage members who are unable to attend in person.
The political stuff
One of the imperatives of the Party is to enable its political representatives to be able to respond on the hoof (e.g. during an interview), bearing in mind they represent members.
The Political Executive must therefore be small enough to able to make political decisions quickly in a fast-changing environment e.g. the latest Brexit changes, without having to do a massive consultation exercise. But the Political Executive must be big enough to be representative. We think our recommendation meets this balance by including representatives from across the party and by requiring them to adhere to The Philosophical Basis which is the foundational guide for the party.
The legal and financial stuff
We should not take the risk that we will always be able to elect volunteers into roles that require specific knowledge, skills and experience to operate in the world of finance and legal. We want to encourage our members with financial, management and legal skills and experience to come forward to be on the board. These are often the people who would not want to put themselves forward for election. And there should be a proper recruitment process for the board members.