Green Party working towards candidate announcement

The Green Party will be making moves this weekend towards announcing a federal candidate for next year's election.

The Green Party will be making moves this weekend towards announcing a federal candidate for next year’s election.

The Conservatives, the Liberals and the NDP have already announced their chosen candidates, but there is still work to do for the environmentalist party.

Celeste Kitchen, Green Party Electoral District Association board member, says the new federal electoral boundaries require the party to reorganize, delaying the announcement of a candidate. She says she hopes everything can get worked out at the party’s AGM on Saturday.

“The change in the electoral boundaries result in our new riding losing the Nelson area and gaining the South Okanagan,” she said.

“The AGM in Penticton will lay the ground work for the process of nominating a candidate by building a larger executive which will be part of the infrastructure needed to run a candidate.”

First, the riding has to form a committee to govern the coming nomination.

“A nomination committee will need to be in place for facilitating decisions that arise regarding choosing a candidate,” she said.

Even though the AGM hasn’t happened yet, Kitchen says the party hasn’t been sitting on their hands.

“Green Party (GP) candidates who have run previously, GP members and those interested in the GP or have values similar to the GP platform, are approached when their abilities, interests and profile (match) what makes a good candidate,” she said.

“Discussion with friends and at events are also opportunities for discovering a future candidate.”

Kitchen says the party may even look out of the riding for potential candidates, if the need arises.

“We’ve usually had a locally chosen candidate but if one can’t be found, the GP may find someone who is not local,” she said, adding that the financial burden of running a campaign could be a deterrent to local people who want to run. “Being short on funds, our candidates have run by generously assisting. This does, however, cause difficulty campaigning competitively.

“Certainly, funding effects running a candidate. We are and will continue to be creative in our work regarding running a campaign.”

Kitchen says it is easy for SOWK voters to be green, based on their national platform, but she hasn’t seen it translate to party participation in the past.

“Our platform has six mandates: ecological wisdom, non-violence, social justice, sustainability, participatory democracy and respect for diversity.” she said.

“With a platform like this, it is easy to be Green. Both in Penticton and in Castlegar (the party has) been generally received with enthusiasm, however, after votes are counted, not as much as we had hoped.”

Kitchen wants to turn the perceived enthusiasm into votes with research, a new riding executive and promoting party membership, capitalizing on the federal success of party leader Elizabeth May.

The AGM begins at 1:30 p.m. on Nov. 22 in Penticton at the Shatford Centre with the focus of the meeting on the 2015 federal election and preparing the party within the new electoral boundary.