Less than two Months to go to the European Elections - Greens pledge to put trust back into politics - "Outdated deposit system" challenged [Media release]
Two months ahead of the European Elections, the Green Party is pledging to put trust back into politics by running a clean campaign and maintaining high ethical standards when elected.
Politicians have been hammered in recent weeks by a string of allegations on expense claims that go right to the top, including Cabinet Ministers. By association this has a danger of bringing the whole political process into disrespect, which could impact on voter turnout.
Cllr. Rupert Read, Lead candidate for Eastern Region at the June 4th European elections said
"We recognise the harm being done to politics in general by the expenses allegations. But not all parties are the same. The Green Party has shown that it is possible to have elected politicians who both work hard and behave ethically. Our two current MEPs Jean Lambert and Caroline Lucas are respected for the way they have conducted themselves over the ten years they have represented London and the South East regions.
"A number of MEPs from other parties, including here in Eastern Region were elected on a wave of anti-EU sentiment, including them making corruption allegations. Yet some of those very same MEPs have been under investigation for serious allegations of defrauding the taxpayer through their expenses claims. And I believe people have every right to question just how effective some of those MEPs have been in representing their constituents in terms of their actual attendance and work.
"If elected, I pledge to uphold the high standards that electors expect. The Green Party stands a good chance of gaining MEPs in 2 months time. Voting Green is a positive choice for voters seeking to once again be able to trust their elected representatives."
Outdated deposit system challenged
As part of the European election campaign in Eastern Region, the Greens will be protesting against the outdated deposit system. The Greens will be welcoming £1 donations from the public to help pay for the £5000 deposit to stand candidates. The Greens have long been critical of the deposit system for elections which they regard as a "tax on democracy". The deposit system has stifled the development of new parties in the UK but has not prevented extremists from standing. A fairer system would be one based on nomination support - where a threshold number of signatures from the public would be needed to secure a candidate or list of candidates, making it harder for extremists, but being a better test of broad support in order to stand.
It is now two months to go before the next major round of elections in the UK on Thursday June 4th at which voters will have the opportunity to elect their MEPs for the next 5 years and County Councillors (where these elections are held).
This will be a major electoral test for all parties, but polls show that, increasingly, voters are becoming fed up with the "main" parties and are looking for an alternative.
The Green Party has consistently secured its highest nationwide vote share at the European Elections, with more than a million people voting Green in 2004. Every voter in Eastern Region and the UK will have Green candidates to vote for.
The Green Party in Eastern Region is working hard to secure its first MEP, to join the 2 Green MEPs who have held seats in London and South East regions since 1999, when the proportional voting system was first introduced.
The Greens are also working to increase their number of County Councillors and will be standing candidates across the region, with a full slate of 75 being expected in Essex.
At the time of the 1999 elections, there were just 2 Green Party Principal Authority Councillors in Eastern Region. There are now 28, with the Green Group on Norwich City Council becoming the official opposition in 2008. There are now Green Councillors in every county in the region. Since 1999, membership of the Green Party in the region has also risen.