14 Apr 2011
Local elections: on the campaign trail
Slade campaign in Stroud
This week I've joined the campaign to elect Simon Pickering again - he is standing in Gwen's seat - see more here. It was good to have a chance to talk Green politics and explain why we need them more than ever - it is also easy to campaign for such an excellent candidate - Simon will bring a breathe of fresh air and passion to the Council chamber - it seems the Tories are not standing in the seat - rumour has it they didn't get their papers accepted in the time....see our Green party election leaflets here....
Photos: on the campaign in Mason Road, Slade
South West Green Party
In the South West we are fielding 237 candidates in around one-fifth of the available seats.You can see more here: http://southwest.greenparty.org.uk/region/southwest
Having polled only 1% last year, the Greens now stand at 6% in the region, largely at the expense of the LibDems who have seen their support collapse by 17%. At a General Election, the LibDems would lose 12 of their 15 seats here in the South West! In Stroud we have traditionally seen Greens get 20% of the vote and we are working hard to ensure we get that again and more!
Here's a quote I gave to local press: "Certainly with 6-in-10 feeling pessimistic about the region's economy next year, the Green Party is offering a positive vision of the future that voters see as a genuine alternative to the cuts forced upon us by uncaring local councils."
Green politics across Europe received a boost as a new poll indicated that the German Greens have overtaken the Social Democrats as Germany's largest opposition party. The figures from the independent poll put the party at 28%, and mean that if a national election were held today Germany would likely have its first Green Chancellor. In Germany at least it seems that people en masse are looking to the Greens as a real alternative. Our electoral system is nothing like as fair but there is evidence that polls here show that people are desperately concerned with the public spending cuts and the threatened job losses.
Penny Kemp, Environment spokesperson for the Green Party of England and Wales commented: "Greens have put forward plans to ensure that the annual £42 billion of tax avoidance is collected, a bankers windfall tax is put in place, and that jobs are created in the renewable energy sector and energy conservation. These jobs would ensure future energy security for Britain. We can do this without nuclear power, which cannot be relied upon, as recent events have shown."
And talking of electoral systems....On the doorstep I have also been talking about the need to vote 'Yes to AV' - see more on a previous blog here. What has concerned me is the lack of knowledge that this vote is even taking place - let alone what it means. It is vital we move towards a fairer system.