Rob Telford’s statement for the position of Green Party Executive (GPEx) Elections Coordinator

IMG_5240All political parties exist to stand in elections, and the Green Party is no exception. We are one party, driven by a passion for environmental and social justice, but we operate as hundreds of distinct local parties. This needs some coordination!

Proven track record of elections management
As a former councillor and a current ward and constituency campaign manager for Bristol Green Party, I have the skills necessary to help build an effective national strategy for winning elections at both council and Westminster levels. An active participant in the 2015 Bristol West parliamentary campaign which produced our largest swing (26.8%), I have also coordinated target ward campaigns in successive years in four different council wards, standing twice for election myself. This year, I was the election agent for eight of the 10 Bristol West council wards.

Building our national strategy
I am a supporter of progressive parties working together wherever possible, and – as a current council member of the Electoral Reform Society – I am excited by the idea of a pro-proportional representation agreement between Greens, Labour, Lib Dems, Plaid Cymru and SNP at the next general election. However, the decision of whether to stand Green candidates in elections must be made by local parties, not by our national leaders or executive. With this in mind, I will urgently initiate a comprehensive survey of local parties’ views so that we can develop a practical national negotiation strategy supported by a democratic mandate.

Improving communications
We need a comprehensive, pro-active plan for all forthcoming by-elections, so we can encourage members to campaign in them through email communications. I will establish a shareable local elections calendar, so we develop a stronger emphasis on supporting each other across the country, not just in our localities. We must also find new and innovative ways to communicate our electoral successes to national and local media, and I will work with the External Communications team on this.

Internal committee reform
As its convenor, I will work through Conference to reform Elections Committee so that regional election coordinators are directly involved. I will ensure that the committee meets bi-monthly (via Skype) and will establish regular progress reporting on how local parties’ electoral strategies are progressing, to ensure GPEx, and staff to have up to date data to hand when making strategic and executive decisions.

A presence in your community
I am passionate about helping small, growing and more established local parties to form effective strategies that produce electoral success over four- to five-year periods. I have previously given canvassing training and advice to a range of local parties and at regional events, sharing my understanding of the range of factors we need to master; from data collection to body language. I want to get out and directly help with election campaigns. Natalie Bennett has shown effective leadership at a grass roots level is down to physical presence and tireless work, and I want to follow her fantastic example.

Please give me your first preference on the ballot paper.

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6 thoughts on “Rob Telford’s statement for the position of Green Party Executive (GPEx) Elections Coordinator”

  1. I like a lot of this: especially ideas on improving communications and organisational matters. I am all for local parties deciding whether to stand a candidate if there is a progressive alliance, but am concerned that too many people who currently have some power locally won’t wish to stand aside. So ultimately, I say we should be advised by GPEx and will need to collaborate and make sacrifices unselfishly should this eventuality happen. But I am convinced overall: you are my first preference for sure!

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  2. I like your statement Rob. Your qualities that you would bring to the Post seem excellent.
    Here in the North East members will get together in Newcastle for a day on 16 July. For part of the day we plan to present all candidates statements to members for their information, although I know that we will get them soon afterwards in the booklet. There will not even be any physical or live online leadership hustings up here.
    I am pleased that you offer to collate forthcoming by-election details. This is greatly needed up here. Some have been missed by our many new local parties still getting up to speed.
    Will this be just for principal authority, mayoral, pcp & parliamentary or will it include parish, town & community by-elections?
    Many thanks Andy,
    Gateshead.

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    1. Hi Andy, thanks for your comments. It’s good to hear you’ve got the Newcastle event to use for a bit of GPEx chat. It would be up to the local parties how much information they give – the more information, the more likely people will come from further afield to lend a hand with local elections!

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  3. Rob

    I like the statement, particularly on the importance of local parties making decisions regarding the standing of candidates in an alliance situation. I also like the idea of sharing more election info across the country, I have always liked the idea of parties twinning where they can learn from each other. 2 psrties may be geographically seperated but in similar position s electorally.

    I wish you the best with your campaign.

    Stuart McQuillan

    North Somerset

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