I have to say, I really am heartened for the future of the Green Party. After the inevitable shock announcement that Caroline Lucas would not be seeking a third team as Party Leader, I hoped for the best, but feared the worst.
The response from both outside and inside the party has been quite remarkable. In the manner of her announcement, Caroline (and by association, the party) have come across in the media as displaying an exceptional maturity. The sight of a party leader stepping down voluntarily and for the longer-term interests of her party has caught the public’s attention. Well, at least those who read the broadsheets, I suspect!
Within the party, after a mildly discernable fear that we might be losing our principal electoral advantage, there has been a remarkable opening up of debate and what the Leader and Deputy Leader roles could be under a new team, as well as some encouraging soul searching as to who might be stepping forward into the frame.
As I wrote after the announcement, it had felt very difficult to imagine the Green Party without Caroline’s commanding presence. Whilst her domination of the political weather has been beneficial, it doesn’t hurt us to be reminded that her approach and philosophy is just one amongst many within the Green Party.
I’d particularly like to recommend that readers visit the fascinating blog put together by Green activists Jim Jepps and Matt Sellwood called Green Party Elections, which is creating space for party members to debate this crucial internal competition and the issues that arise from them.
Over the summer, I suspect I will have quite a great deal to say about the elections, not least the currently overlooked internal elections for the rest of the Green Party Executive. Please consider subscribing to updates as articles are published, by signing up your email using the option to the right. As the candidates are announced, I suspect I will have very definite views on who I’d like to see in post…
As a candidate for GPEx last year, I know at first hand how much of a slog the next few months will be for candidates, so I’ll wish anybody putting themselves forward the best of luck now. Regardless of their political persuasion, we should thank them for providing an opportunity for us to examine our own views and take an active role in shaping the future for this party. Exciting times are ahead – we just need to grasp and make the most of them!