Frequently Asked Questions
If the Greens were in government, how would you run the country under the Canadian constitution, with one PM?
In the current Canadian conventions, there is a Prime Minister and a Deputy Prime Minister. This is how we would apply the co-leadership model.
After formalizing co-leadership in the Constitution, prior to each election period, we would discuss and agree which of us would assume the primary role of “Leader”, given the context at the time of the election. If the Greens formed government, this person would assume the role of PM, and the other would assume the role of Deputy PM. This is similar to the Quebec Solidaire model.
In addition, if we form government, we will immediately begin the process of electoral reform that is so necessary to the health of our democracy.
What happens if you disagree with each other?
We will always strive to reach a consensus by talking, listening, and respecting each other.
We have had disagreements before, and working through them has produced better results than if either of us decided alone. The experience has strengthened our mutual trust and commitment to working in partnership.
There will probably be other decisions in the future where we disagree. If we are unable to resolve a disagreement ourselves, we have established a mechanism to resolve disagreements, with 3 trusted advisors we would engage in this (hopefully rare) situation, who would work as a team to support our finding a way to resolve the disagreement.
The leadership, not the advisors, are ultimately responsible for the decisions made in this process. The public will not know who the advisors are, nor if this process has been used. If a decision has been made through the advisory team process, the co-leaders will stand by it and enthusiastically support it, so that the party can speak with one voice.
What is your opinion on the 2022 Virtual General Assembly motion regarding co-leadership? How would you like to see the constitution amended to allow for co-leadership?
The proposal (which members can view here) received a yellow light from the membership in a preliminary vote, indicating support for the idea (32.8%), some support with some reservations (32%), and some opposition (35%). It therefore moved to Part 2 of the VGM, and was sent to the workshop for discussion.
We participated in the discussion at this workshop. It was clear that while the vast majority of members in the room believed in the real potential of co-leadership, the general feeling in the workshop was that this specific proposal needed significant further development and detail before it could be approved as a constitutional amendment. Many supporters of co-leadership voted against the specific motion for this reason.
The workshop recommended that the proposal be referred to a constitutional review committee, with a mandate to research examples of other parties using co-leadership, and to recommend a comprehensive and detailed set of constitutional amendments to support a move towards co-leadership.
Questions to be answered as the party develops a proposal for co-leadership in our Constitution include:
1 – Diversity requirements. We believe that both co-leaders must demonstrate:
>> Women’s representation: at least one person who identifies as a woman, and one other person of any gender.
>> Linguistic diversity: at least one of the co-leaders must speak French at a native level of fluency, and at least one must speak English at a native level of fluency.
2 – Options for Electing Co-Leaders:
>> Coleadership pairs run on a joint ticket, or ‘the Belgian Greens model’. Our recommendation. Candidates among themselves should determine who is the “leader” under the Canada Elections Act. We believe this is the best way to build the essential trust between leaders from the start.
>> Two parallel competitions for the two co-leadership positions, or ‘the New Zealand Greens model’. We see advantages and disadvantages, and could accept this model if it is the choice of the members.
>> The ‘winner’ and ‘runner-up’ (2nd place) become co-leaders, or ‘the German Greens model’. While this model fits well with the unique history of the German Greens, this model is not recommended by some other parties that have used it, as it can produce unhealthy conflicts and competitive dynamics between the two leaders.
3 – Options for what happens if one elected co-leader resigns:
>> A new leadership election is called for an entirely new co-leadership pair. (Not recommended)
>> There is an election for one co-leader.
>> The remaining elected co-leader chooses an appointed co-leader. Only if the remaining elected co-leader then subsequently resigns, would a new leadership election be called.
4 – Will co-leaders have one vote on the Federal Council, or two? (We recommend one) How does this relate to other recent Council reforms?
5 – (Related but not essential to co-leadership): How often should leadership elections or reviews occur, and what triggers them? Should we keep our current system or move to an annual review at each General Meeting?