My manifesto to #ReelectMaggie

I’m ambitious for the Scottish Green Party. Scotland needs us to be successful, and we must aim to fulfill that ambition. By 2021, I want us to be in position to be the main party of opposition. It’s not only possible. It’s necessary. Here’s how I think we can achieve this:

A bigger, better organised party

We need to keep building the Scottish Greens. In the limited time I’ve had to do what is a voluntary role, I visited local parties from Ayr to Aberdeen as Co-Convener. In the next year, I will:

  • Work with local parties to develop a recruitment strategy and support training to roll it out.
  • Ensure that we continue to be a key part of Scotland’s social movements: as the German Greens used to say, we need one foot in parliament, a thousand on the streets.
  • Support local parties to share the best ways of keeping members involved and active; with fun (cake-filled) meetings and lots of ways to engage.
  • Make sure we better accommodate the growing party by having more time to discuss motions at conference next year. It’s a real shame we didn’t get to so many this year.
  • Ensure that we develop proper, accountable line management structures for the growing staff team in the office. As we grow, we’ll employ more and more people, and we need to ensure that these staff are well treated, supported, and guided by our democratic structures.
  • Ensure we have a programme of cultural events at conference, following this year’s closing song, Freedom Come All Ye!

A more diverse party

I will:

  • Set up a working group into how we can better support BME people in the Scottish Greens to encourage more members from ethnic minorities to become candidates.
  • Work with the Green Party of England and Wales Greens of Colour group to bring best practice to Scotland.
  • Continue to push the party out of its traditional comfort zone to focus more on issues which affect a broader range of people.
  • Keep pushing the party to give equal profile to women as it does to men.
  • Support Rainbow Greens, Scottish Young Greens, Disabled Greens and the Women’s network, and do what I can to assist with the creation of other representative groups, including a group like the Green Party of England and Wales “Greens of Colour”.
  • Continue to push for our co-convener system to change to include non-binary people.
  • Support a dedicated staff member for the Young Greens: the Green Party of England and Wales employed one when they were roughly the size we are now, and it was key to their growth, soon paying for itself.

A party that wins elections

Over the next two years, we have our two most important elections coming up: Holyrood and local councils. As co-convener, I will:

  • Encourage local parties to adopt Target to Win as soon as possible so that they have the best possible chance of winning as many local councillors as possible in 2017, learning from the Green Party of England and Wales.
  • Ensure a bold Holyrood campaign, that doesn’t let the media to pigeon-hole us as they have in the past.
  • Support local parties to involve as many members as possible in canvassing. In the past, we’ve relied too heavily on press officers. We need to take our message to voters in person.
  • We need to dedicate proper resource to our online presence: our target voters get more news online than from the traditional media. To win, we need to reinvent the political party for the digital age.
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