As I mentioned I'm supporting Jayne Forbes for national chair of the Green Party. Recently I conducted a quick interview with her about her GPEx candidacy which I thought you might find interesting.
What do you feel the main priorities of GPEx Chair should be?The Chair of an organisation takes on a number of roles, the major role is that of ensuring the smooth and timely working of the organisation. For the Green Party, particularly in this important election year, this means we need to have a clear strategy for achieving the highest number of Green candidates in the 2010 General Election, thereby giving more people the opportunity to vote Green.
As Chair it would be my role to ensure that the officers on GPEx are enabled and supported to fulfill their jobs to achieve this. The previous GPEx have set up a good base from which we can operate with plans for an office move, a new database and the recruitment of a fundraiser and a Head of Media Relations . It is evident that we still have much to do to professionalise the party, such as developing a clear, long term strategic plan, with budgets, so that incoming GPEx members know what is expected, and, as Chair I would welcome any ideas to improve our ways of working.
A number of areas I know cause problems and could easily be solved, in particular, to improve communications between GPEx and members. For example, I would wish to set up a GPEx News page on the GP website, which would publish the agendas and minutes and also encourage members to contribute their views.
You've been a member of GPEx before, what did that experience teach you?The work of GPEx officers is hard and time consuming, however it is also rewarding to know you have contributed to the success of the party. All members of GPEx do this with great commitment. Given this strength of commitment, there can be robust discussion on a diverse range of issues, in order for us to be successful, we need to treat each other with respect.
GPEx must focus on fighting a successful campaign.
You were also chair of the excellent World Development Movement, is there anything you learned there that would be worth importing into the Green Party?The Chair needs to ensure there is clarity of vision and strategy and that everyone plays their part in contributing to meeting the strategy. All areas of the plan need to be fully discussed and agreed, details need to be attended to. It is vital that funding is sufficient and that systems are strong and fully understood by all.
This coming year could be the breakthrough year for the Greens, with the fact we've built up substantial bases in a number of areas. How do we spread that success to other parts of the country without taking the focus away from our target seats?The more people who have the opportunity to vote for us, the greater our strength. This is a virtuous cycle as it will encourage greater success for our policies.
I have seen this at the Greater London Authority, where our success in electing Green members onto the GLA resulted in pressure on the former Mayor, who then implemented greener policies than he would otherwise have done. Therefore it is important to encourage a much bigger slate of candidates, in order to do this we need to provide more financial support to those areas which have not traditionally stood candidates, while at the same time remaining focused on our target to win strategy.
If you want to know more you can visit Jayne's campaign site here.