Archive for ‘Proportional Representation’

June 16, 2017

Thank you voters – General Election Count 2017

We would like to thank everybody in Medway who voted with their hearts last week for a Green future in the General Election.  We had anticipated a lower vote this time due to tactical voting by people trying to overcome the limitations of the ‘first past the post’ electoral system.  While out canvassing, many people told us that although they would prefer to vote Green and intend do so in local elections, they would be voting Labour this time in an attempt to defeat the Tories. Unfortunately this didn’t actually change much locally.

Nationally, while we welcome the big shift towards progressive politics, we are left with a minority Tory government who will go to any lengths to retain power, including an irresponsible deal with the DUP, a party with controversial views on climate change, abortion and gay rights. Yet more people voted for progressive parties! Also of note is that while the DUP received fewer votes than the Green Party, they now have ten MPs while we still have only one!

Our current electoral system is inherently undemocratic by failing to reflect the true opinions of voters.  The Green Party will continue to fight for a fairer voting system in which everyone’s vote counts.

Locally, we are undeterred and looking forward to continuing our various campaigns in the coming months and years to allow more of you to see what Green politics is about.

photo (5)

Clive, Sonia and Bernard, our candidates after votes had been declared

May 27, 2016

Time to reform our unfair voting system

Written by Steve Dyke (First published in the “Party People” column in Medway Messenger on 13th May).

In April seven candidates competed in a House of Lords by-election following the death of a hereditary peer.  Anyone could stand – if they were a Liberal Democrat and had inherited a peerage.  The entire electorate was the THREE current Liberal Democrat hereditary peers.  Seven candidates, three voters.

The winner can now vote on laws and propose amendments.  He can claim £300 a day for turning up and has the job for life.  All simply through being chosen by a couple of his mates. An extreme example of how ludicrous and out of touch our electoral system can be.

However one central aspect of the system affects us all more directly: the ‘first past the post’ method used for general and local elections.  This method may have been OK in the era of two partypolitics but in our modern multi-party political landscape it is unfair and not fit for purpose.

Less than a third of those on the electoral register voted for our three Medway Tory MPs.  Everyone else find themselves represented by people who do not generally share their views and who seldom depart from the party line.  Medway Council is similarly unrepresentative, with a Conservative administration who got only 43% of the votes but 66% of the council seats.

Many people are fed up with not getting what they voted for, others don’t vote at all.  Democracy suffers as a result.

It doesn’t have to be like this.  Last week’s elections for the Scottish, Welsh and London Assemblies produced fairer results by including a form of proportional representation.  Under such a system votes for those perceived as ‘smaller’ parties can make a real difference – for example Scotland now has six Green MSPs.

Everyone’s vote should count and we badly need a reformed, modern electoral system that ensures this.

February 21, 2016

Make politics fairer say Medway Greens

Medway Greens have called for fairer and better policed politics.
This is in light of the revelations by Channel 4 News that The
Conservative Party may have broken electoral spending rules in the
Rochester and Strood by-election in 2014.

Clive Gregory, former Green parliamentary candidate in the Rochester
and Strood by-election says:

“The claims of illegal spending put further light on how unequal the
battle is. It seems the £100,000 limit on expenses, intended to
produce a level playing field, may not have been enough for the
Tories, who have allegedly put themselves above the law and any sense
of fair play. We are never going to take the corruption out of
politics unless we remove the power of big money.

“Added to the effect of financial imbalance, the communication of
ideas and solutions which differ from those of the powerful is made
much harder by our first past the post electoral system.  As well as
meaning that millions of voters are unrepresented, this broken
electoral system squeezes out grassroots political movements
orchestrated by ordinary people in favour of the money men.  Electoral
reform isn’t just about an attempt to get some form of true democracy,
it’s also about reducing corruption and making things more difficult
for those that can spend huge sums swaying elections to their
advantage; an advantage that consequently works for the richest and
most powerful members of our society”.

Mary Smith, Medway Green Party Treasurer and Election Agent adds:

“I have been watching the re-run of ‘The Pallisers’ and the
similarities are frightening.  It seems the only thing that has
changed in 150 odd years is that over-spending is now illegal; but
no-one seems to be policing it.  Channel 4’s news item was well put
together and seemed to make a good case.  However, as it takes some
considerable time to make an investigation of this depth, I would very
strongly suggest that the one year limit, within which legal action
can be taken, is not nearly long enough.

“As often happens, the person or persons prepared to spend the most
money gets the result.  Ironically, in this case they didn’t.

“However we will never know how much impact the money spent on the
by-election had in raising the profile of the previously little known
Conservative candidate and her subsequent General Election success”.

June 6, 2015

500,000 people (and five political parties) call for proportional representation #fairvotesnow

In association with this, there has been some discussion locally about the wisdom, or not, of the Green Party working with Ukip on this issue.  Of course we oppose xenophobia in any form, but should parties work together on important issues such as this, that have cross party support? Comments welcome.