3 May 2011

Red under the Bed goes green!


Best way of kicking the neo-Liberals is to make sure that the Green Party beats them, this looks increasingly likely in Scotland.

Noel Lynch kindly drew Red under the bed's post on why to vote Green in Scotland, to my attention:

Why I’ll be voting Green
As well as the referendum on our Westminster voting system, May 5th also sees elections to the Scottish Parliament. For those of you who don’t know, the Scottish parliament uses a system of Proportional Representation known as the Party List system. As in Westminster, we have a constituency to which one MSP is elected using the First Past The Post system. we then have a second ballot paper on which to make a second vote for a particular party to represent a region – in our case, the North East. Each region has 7 MSP’s that represent it. Calculating exactly how many of these MSP’s any one party gets is quite complicated but essentially, this system ensures that Parliament is a good reflection of people’s views, while tackling one of the major criticisms that other forms of PR attract; that people do not have a single MSP to represent them. We have one distinct MSP who represents our constituency, just as we do in Westminster. We also have 7 others who work for our region.

In the last Holyrood election, in 2007, I gave my second vote, for the regional list, to the Scottish Green Party. Unfortunately, in the North East, that was not quite enough to return a Green MSP to Parliament. However, I have been so impressed with the Green Party recently that I would give them my constituency vote next month if that was an option and I am also considering joining the party.

A common response when I mention that to people is along the lines of ‘are you a tree hugger?’ but ironically, it is not the parties directly ‘green’ policies that have attracted me. I care deeply about the environment and am constantly frustrated by the lack of political will to address issues that I was learning about 25 years ago in primary school. That was my main reasoning behind my vote in 2007. I have recognised for a long time that the Green Party are more than a single issue pressure group and their wider policies strike a chord with me. These policies – summarised here – offer progressive alternatives that I believe will make Scotland a better, and fairer, place to live. Policies such as the introduction of Land Value Tax and the commitment to protect social housing will ensure that we look after those most needy. The age old Green commitment to public transport could not be more welcome as successive governments in Edinburgh and London have done little to end our obsession with the car.


MORE HERE

1 comment:

Ben Courtice said...

I don't know heaps about the Scottish or UK Greens party, but I can understand lefties going to vote Green - it's also attractive here in Australia. And if you aren't convinced of any of the squabbling left groups (SSP, Solidarity, Respect, SLP??) then supporting the Greens might actually have an impact.

The tactical question for me should hinge on this: are the Greens simply the best of the parliamentary bunch? Or is there prospects to build a stronger progressive/left activist force from/within the Greens party?

If on the other hand voting Green is what socialists do only because they can't think of anything better, it's probably time to get the socialist left more organised...