Every member of the ACT Greens will now have a say in who leads the party in a move they believe will help extinguish potential power plays and factional fighting.
Convenor Michael Brewer said “grassroots democracy” was at the heart of the global Greens movement and this strengthened the power of every member.
“In the other parties, the power plays and lack of transparency in their preselection and leadership decisions flow through to the way they govern,” he said.
“Forget factional dealings and parachute politics; in the ACT Greens, every member gets a say.”
Usually, the leader is decided by party members who have been voted into the Legislative Assembly.
The ACT Greens is currently headed up by Attorney-General Shane Rattenbury, who said he would be honoured to become the party’s first “democratically elected” leader.
“We’ll have that leadership ballot later this year and I’ll certainly be putting my hand forward,” he said.
“[Members] work a lot of our policy initiatives, they’re very involved in the organisation of the party, and it’s a logical extension that they should vote on the leadership, rather than the party room deciding it.”
Other changes to the ACT Greens’ constitution include the creation of a deputy leader position.
This position will only be available when there are more than two Greens MLAs in the Legislative Assembly.
The constitution states if the member-elected leader of the party is not a woman or gender-diverse person, the deputy must be a woman or gender-diverse person. This rule does not come into effect if it is not possible due to the genders of the elected MLAs.
The existing leadership arrangements will remain in place, with the first party-wide vote on the ACT Greens leader and deputy leader to be held in the coming months.
This will be after lead candidates are preselected for the October 2024 ACT election.
The current ACT Greens members are Kurrajong MLAs Shane Rattenbury and Rebecca Vassarotti, Murrumbidgee MLA Emma Davidson, Yerrabi MLA Andrew Braddock, Ginninderra MLA Jo Clay and Brindabella MLA Johnathan Davis.