Green Party of Canada: Lower Your Entrance Fee for the Leadership Race!

Green Party of Canada: Lower Your Entrance Fee for the Leadership Race!

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brandy baker started this petition to Green Party Members

The Green Party of Canada just announced this morning that it is charging candidates for the leadership race a $50,000 entrance fee. This is an extremely small party of 20,000 members all across Canada and it is charging a higher entrance fee than the NDP did in 2017 (NDP charged $30,000 in 2017; $15,000 in 2012). In their previous leadership race (2006), the GPCA only charged $1,000. 

The $50,000 fee is designed to limit the number of candidates as well as the range of ideas and it also shows that the Party leadership are afraid of a turn to eco-socialism, a turn that could open the Party up to communities that have been historically underrepresented in the Green Party such as working class people, immigrants/New Canadians, youth, and others whose voices are not heard in Canadian politics. If this astronomical fee is allowed to stand, many in these communities will not be able to participate. Going forward with this fee shows an astounding level of political tone deafness towards most people who cannot afford to buy political access. If the leadership fee is $50,000, what else in the Party will be inaccessible to most working people? 

Many have called the traditional leadership of the GPCA "Tories on bikes" and this insistence on a play to pay $50,000 membership fee shows a glaring elitism that proves this statement correct. One of the tenets of the Green Party is grassroots democracy: the Party is supposed to be bottom-up, not top-down, and this  fee shows that the current GPCA leadership does not want to operate any differently from the other top-down political parties in Canada. It will remain a largely white, upper-middle class party if barriers such as this fee remain. 

We call on the Green Party of Canada to lower this fee to make this race more accessible to those who do not have the wealth and connections of the 1%. We understand the importance of candidates having the ability to fundraise, but this requirement is much too high. In the words of leadership candidate Alex Tyrrell: 

"Canadian politics is already dominated by special interests, big money and the 1%. The Green Party is supposed to do politics differently. We are supposed to be against big money in politics. We are supposed to be democratic. We are supposed to be able to debate a wide variety of opinions and points of view before deciding who should lead the party forward into the future."

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