Allow Voting by Remote Ballot in Rural Ridings for Candidate Nomination and Other Procedures
WHEREAS Bylaw 5 of the Green Party of Canada states that “The party will provide rules for the selection of candidates for Member of Parliament”, and those rules as set by Council in the document “Green Party of Canada Candidate Nomination Procedures” state in point 7.1.1 that to be eligible to vote a Member “is present at the meeting;”
WHEREAS “Participatory Democracy” is enshrined in the Constitution of the Green Party of Canada as one of the six founding principles of the Party, in agreement with The Charter of the Global Greens (article 5 of the constitution);
WHEREAS rural ridings in Canada are geographically so large that several hours travel are necessary for some members to reach a single physical location elsewhere in the riding, this being costly in time, money and carbon emissions;
WHEREAS the Central organization of the Green Party of Canada allows remote ballots by its Members on occasion of leadership reviews, Council elections and the approval of resolutions;
BE IT RESOLVED that voting procedures for the selection of a Candidate for Member of Parliament shall be allowed to take place by remote ballot so long as a single vote per eligible member can be reasonably ensured;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that votes by members in rural EDAs, be them to elect the executive or any other occasion where the members are formally consulted, can be operated via secure remote ballot.
The directive of the GPC Council that voting Members be present in person at a nomination meeting to nominate a Candidate works well in urban ridings, where the whole electoral district can be crossed in a half hour bus ride. The geographic reality of rural Districts makes it impossible to conduct voting procedures in any one location or even several locations within practical reach of a large proportion of the population. For example, see the maps on the Elections Canada web site for the Districts of Kootenay Columbia (BC), Northwest Territories (NWT), Kenora (Ontario), Avalon (Newfoundland and Labrador), to name just a few. The provision that members be present in person is not practical in Rural ridings and is not conducive to democratic expression. Recently the GPC allowed voting by remote ballot for the leadership review, this vote was managed by a third party. A visit to the web page of this third party (simplyvoting.com) reveals that a basic voting procedure for an EDA with around 200 members would cost around $200, well within the means of EDAs with even minimal fundraising. Furthermore a vote can be arranged on short notice and provisions made for telephone and paper ballots.