Defending the local environment and democracy

In December we were asked by The Political Medway two interesting questions on political events in 2018 and our future campaign.  Please see answers below by Green candidate for Peninsula ward, Clive Gregory:

What political event from 2018 do you feel was most overlooked?

In June we were the only local party which held a campaign stall for ‘Demand Democracy Day’ arranged by the campaign group ‘Make Votes Matter’ as part of their cross party campaign for a change in the voting system to Proportional Representation. This is important because currently the vast majority of people are left without a voice as political parties are elected on a small proportion of the vote. This can and does result in complicit actions by politicians susceptible to the lobbying of their rich donors, leading to the continued rise of wealth and power of corporations and the stripping away of protections for ordinary people and our natural environment.

We would also like to see Medway Council adopt a proportional voting system and bring in other changes to make the Council more democratic. Recent developments, particularly those affecting those living on the Hoo Peninsula, show that the Council is not and has no intention of listening to the vast majority of local opinion. It’s time all local people were represented and not just those who favour the dominating party.

A reform to the voting system was well supported by shoppers in Strood Town Centre where we held our stall. Unfortunately there was and continues to be little engagement in furthering our democracy in this way by the bigger parties.

What is your vision for your party heading into the 2019 local election campaign?

We aim to be at the forefront of defending the environment and democracy. However as a small party locally we need to focus our energies which are currently (and for the last few years) centred on the disastrous proposals by Medway Council in the Local Plan consultation. The latest proposal to build a new town on the Hoo Peninsula will do little or nothing to provide truly affordable housing locally, will destroy valuable green spaces, and completely fails to acknowledge or respond to the reality of climate breakdown. This is a reflection of the national and international agenda, an agenda which we will seek to challenge in our local campaign for the good of people and the planet (locally and elsewhere).

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