Thursday, 4 June 2009

The Upside of Crisis - an election day essay...

 

There is great danger and great opportunity in the current political scandal facing Britain.  The danger is that we will never recover from a soured public perception whereby every politician, indeed the practice of politics in general, becomes seen as crooked and illegitimate from the start, where all political views are lumped together, and approaches to our problems homogenized.  Where the country's best brains run screaming from public service.  This danger has paralyzed many politicians throughout history, but now, with cataclysm looming for a globalized economy and our global environment, inaction simply cannot be tolerated. 

 

The up-side of crises, however, is that they present enormous opportunity, and I believe that there really is a once in a generation opportunity in the political upheaval facing this country: there is so much anger, not just about the expenses issue, but about the rotten Parliamentary system it symbolizes. If one looks at how unrepresentative the people are who supposedly represent us in Westminster—few women and ethnic minorities for example—if one looks at the many people who just don't think its worth voting anymore because the outcome of an election is known from the start, one sees a correlation between this disconnect with the public and the abuse of power.  

 

But trifling reforms to the MPs allowance won't do that, and even grander sounding 'codes of conduct' won't do that; what will start to do it is real electoral reform leading either to the election of politicians who really represent the population or in forcing those currently in office to start addressing those concerns, which of course they should have been doing all along.  We need to have a much fairer, proportional representation voting system so that the people in government look more like the people that actually elect them, not just men in grey suits, doing things behind closed doors that people don't understand.

And we need a political party that can actually make this change happen.  A party that is positive and thoughtful.  A party open to new ideas and everyone's views, with the strength of character to stand up for something, not just against everything.  We are really the only party to offer this: a positive alternative, a vision for the future, the strength of principles tempered by a willingness to listen.  Thus, the Green Party is best suited to lead the root and branch transformation of government, so people can feel proud about it again, so that public life is something honourable again. 

 

Here is a quick primer on some of the key political-reform and constitutional-change policies that the Green Party have been signed up to for years (not, as in the case of the other Parties, merely for days or weeks):

 

Proportional representation (we prefer Additional Member System (AMS) or Single Transferable Vote (STV))

Fixed term parliament - 4 years, except where government loses vote of confidence

Fully elected Second Chamber to replace House of Lords

Recall

Written constitution

State funding for political parties to eliminate corporate buying of politicians

Voting age reduced to 16

Radical decentralisation/localisation of power from Brussels and Westminster to localities

Elected Regional Assemblies

Remove all constitutional powers from monarch

Disestablish Church of England

Register of interests for MPs and senior civil servants

Expenses Transparency, in Brussels and Westminster!

Clamp down hard on corporate lobbying

Reduce power of Prime Minister, increase power of cross-party committees of MPs

Citizens Initiative for referendums.

 

The opportunity to begin this transformation is by voting – in the one election that we already have that is run by proportional representation - for the Green Party, today….

YOU HAVE 5 HOURS LEFT TO VOTE IN, PEOPLE!!

1 Comments:

Blogger Lynda said...

I just about managed to find the Green team on the huge Euro ballot paper!

Perhaps another time we ought to have Euro primaries then the main election - to sift out the less popular parties! Just an idea!

5 June 2009 at 09:55  

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25. 26. The Upside of Crisis - an election day essay... 27. 28.

29.

 

There is great danger and great opportunity in the current political scandal facing Britain.  The danger is that we will never recover from a soured public perception whereby every politician, indeed the practice of politics in general, becomes seen as crooked and illegitimate from the start, where all political views are lumped together, and approaches to our problems homogenized.  Where the country's best brains run screaming from public service.  This danger has paralyzed many politicians throughout history, but now, with cataclysm looming for a globalized economy and our global environment, inaction simply cannot be tolerated. 

 

The up-side of crises, however, is that they present enormous opportunity, and I believe that there really is a once in a generation opportunity in the political upheaval facing this country: there is so much anger, not just about the expenses issue, but about the rotten Parliamentary system it symbolizes. If one looks at how unrepresentative the people are who supposedly represent us in Westminster—few women and ethnic minorities for example—if one looks at the many people who just don't think its worth voting anymore because the outcome of an election is known from the start, one sees a correlation between this disconnect with the public and the abuse of power.  

 

But trifling reforms to the MPs allowance won't do that, and even grander sounding 'codes of conduct' won't do that; what will start to do it is real electoral reform leading either to the election of politicians who really represent the population or in forcing those currently in office to start addressing those concerns, which of course they should have been doing all along.  We need to have a much fairer, proportional representation voting system so that the people in government look more like the people that actually elect them, not just men in grey suits, doing things behind closed doors that people don't understand.

And we need a political party that can actually make this change happen.  A party that is positive and thoughtful.  A party open to new ideas and everyone's views, with the strength of character to stand up for something, not just against everything.  We are really the only party to offer this: a positive alternative, a vision for the future, the strength of principles tempered by a willingness to listen.  Thus, the Green Party is best suited to lead the root and branch transformation of government, so people can feel proud about it again, so that public life is something honourable again. 

 

Here is a quick primer on some of the key political-reform and constitutional-change policies that the Green Party have been signed up to for years (not, as in the case of the other Parties, merely for days or weeks):

 

Proportional representation (we prefer Additional Member System (AMS) or Single Transferable Vote (STV))

Fixed term parliament - 4 years, except where government loses vote of confidence

Fully elected Second Chamber to replace House of Lords

Recall

Written constitution

State funding for political parties to eliminate corporate buying of politicians

Voting age reduced to 16

Radical decentralisation/localisation of power from Brussels and Westminster to localities

Elected Regional Assemblies

Remove all constitutional powers from monarch

Disestablish Church of England

Register of interests for MPs and senior civil servants

Expenses Transparency, in Brussels and Westminster!

Clamp down hard on corporate lobbying

Reduce power of Prime Minister, increase power of cross-party committees of MPs

Citizens Initiative for referendums.

 

The opportunity to begin this transformation is by voting – in the one election that we already have that is run by proportional representation - for the Green Party, today….

YOU HAVE 5 HOURS LEFT TO VOTE IN, PEOPLE!!

30. 31. 32.