It's no joke!
Vote Green to keep the real jokers at bay.
To help - contact firstname.lastname@example.org
(I’ve stolen and hijacked this from Rupert Read of Norwich Greens and given it a shine )
Our electoral system is unfit for purpose. It was designed for a two-party system and it can’t cope with a multi-party system. We need to fix it and it’s time for electoral reform. It’s time to vote Yes to fairer votes. It’s time to vote Yes2AV, since the Alternative Vote is the change we need.
How is our current system broken? Being able only to crudely put an ‘X’ in one box just doesn’t work when you have three or more serious candidates standing for election.
In the 1950’s, 97% of people voted Labour or Conservative. That figure keeps dropping and dropping every year, not with just the Lib Dems but the dramatic rise of new political parties such as the Green Party and UKIP. We need a system that allows you to list your candidates by preferences, from 1 all the way down, so that you can vote for those who you support and against those who you oppose. AV is voting for who you really want to vote for – and being able to stop those you really don’t.
Our current system, called “first past the post,” (FPTP) means that you have to try to guess who is best-placed to win, and who you should vote for if you want to keep someone else out. The new proposed system, the “Alternative Vote” (AV) means that you simply list candidates in descending order of preference. AV really is as easy as 1, 2, 3.
That’s the core case for voting Yes and joining the countries that use AV in their national elections, such as Australia, India, and Ireland. AV is a modern system, an improvement on the antiquated, outdated First Past The Post system we currently have.
Think about it this way: If you go into a pub, and your first choice drink isn’t available, do you just walk out again? Of course not – you ask for an alternative, your second choice. But under First Past The Post, you don’t get a second choice!
FPTP means no second choice in the pub! But AV means a second choice if your favourite drink isn’t available – or even if it is but you fancy something different! Thank God that we don’t use FPTP when ordering at the bar!
For the same reason, we should stop using it for elections, too! FPTP is far too crude. But AV means greater democracy – it reflects your choices – plural - in the actual vote.
So: The case for voting YES is clear. What’s the case for voting NO? These are the two main lines I hear:
1) “AV is good for extremists”
This is simply a lie that right-wing newspapers and the Prime Minister, to their shame, are spreading in their desperation to stop electoral reform from winning the day. The truth is the opposite:
AV is a far worse deal for extremists such as the BNP, than FPTP. Which is presumably why the BNP are vigorously opposing it. That’s right: Nick Griffin and his dreadful little-Englander party of racists are campaigning for a NO vote on May 5.
Voting YES to AV – a system in which voters can in effect work together to make life harder for unpopular, hated parties – will help ensure that the BNP never gets elected to Westminster. Moreover, if AV were introduced in local government elections, it would lead to the defeat of virtually all BNP councillors anywhere.
Under AV, you need to get 50% of voters onside to win. The BNP hardly ever achieve that because a majority of voters hate them. The BNP have only ever got one Councillor elected with 50% plus of the vote. Under AV, most people wouldn’t even include the BNP in their list. AV would shut the door on the electoral prospects of the BNP.
The other argument that I hear is:
2) “To hurt the LibDems, vote NO”
The NO campaign, understandably (given that they seem to have no constructive arguments at all) are trying to turn the AV referendum into a referendum on Nick Clegg. This is an unacceptably cynical way to treat a hugely important constitutional question.
But it’s also wrong. The Lib Dems will not necessarily benefit from AV. Under AV, you can give your first preference to whoever you want to win. The Lib Dems might gain under AV in areas where they are weak, as they will no longer be perceived as a “wasted vote” in those areas. But AV will also make it possible if you want to to put the Lib Dems bottom of your voting-order!
Moreover, under AV, the Lib Dems will lose some first preference votes in areas where they are currently strong, as people will no longer be compelled to vote for them ‘tactically’ in order to cast a vote that is not “wasted.” Losing votes where you are strong loses you seats, but gaining votes where you are weak does not. Ironically, AV won’t actually be particularly good for Nick Clegg’s party! AV is good news for democracy – but not good news for Nick Clegg!
To sum up: AV won’t heal everything about our political system. But it is a positive step and it represents real progress. This electoral reform offers a once-in-a-generation opportunity to help revive British politics.
Are you totally happy with British politics as it is? Do you think everything is going just great? If so, maybe you should vote NO to change on May 5.
AV is fairer. AV allows you to express your preferences and to vote for who you really want to. That will help small parties such as the Greens. But at the same time, AV helps stop extremists (such as the BNP), by allowing you to place them bottom of your preferences. AV is the natural next step forward for British democracy.
1400 Hull jobs are expected to go. The unions warn this could rise to over 2000. Cuts include museum services where hours will be cut as well as opening times.
But the headline cut in Hull is surely the massive attack on Youth and Children’s Services. 1 in 5 young people in Hull live in poverty. 1 in 5 adults are unemployed. School attainment is amongst the lowest in the UK.
The Council cuts mean young people in Hull will be affected by:
Day Care Centres: NINE still threatened with closure …
Teaching Assistants cut: the Council has already made hundreds of TAs redundant and will cut back classroom support further.
It’s not as if Hull can afford more redundancies at this time, or that Hull doesn’t have enough unemployment! But this attack on communities and services cannot go unanswered which is why 5 Green Party members have put themselves forward as candidates:
Avenue Ward: Martin Deane
Newland Ward: Mike Lammiman
Myton Ward: TJ White
King’s Park Ward: Mark Gretton
University Ward: James Russell
- If you can help, please get in touch.
In the wake of yesterday’s historic march, Labour’s Edward Milibland announces his new campaigns:
The Labour Party leader, Ed Milibland, was very poor yesterday! His was the total hypocrisy of equating the 500,000 marchers (figure via police announced by Len McCluskey from stage) with apartheid and the civil rights movement, etc – WHILE he fails to share the ACTUAL policies the march was about!
A Real Alternative? Unbelievable, isn’t it? And major Unions think this is where hope lies?!?
Hull, on the other hand, was rather splendid. Somewhere around 17 coaches went, including the (Fire Brigade) FBU’s 3 from the area. (Twice the number of coaches that went for Iraq in 2003).
We had a great time. The demonstration was massive, very good-natured and determined. But we all know the battle goes on.
The message must get through: tax the banks, tax the ultra-rich, make the cuts history.
Update: After rumours of attack on Fortnum and Mason’s, a mob of tweed-clad old Etonians retaliate and vandalise Lidl in Slough. #mar26
Tw: The march was a total success – 500k. Pity the ‘alternative’ is cuts over 72 months instead of 54 months. Ed is not the alternative.
The biggest march this decade, to be held on Saturday, will have only one political party speaker: Ed Miliband.
Is Saturday’s huge demonstration really going to be a March for an Alternative? Or a march for more failed policies from a favoured party?
The TUC March for the Alternative on the 26th, calls for a Robin Hood Tax on banks, for closing tax loopholes and for policies for jobs and green growth.
Caroline Lucas MP, the one Green MP in Parliament, has been calling for these policies for over a year! And more: for an end to tax avoidance and evasion, for increased taxation of the rich, for closing tax loopholes for banks and big business, and not for destroying a million jobs through cuts but for creating one million jobs in green industries instead!
The policies the TUC March is calling for are from her manifesto!
But they’re not in Ed’s! Ed Miliband wrote Labour’s manifesto which called for these same cuts over 6 years, just not 4 1/2! How much history are people expected to forget to think that Labour are the answer?
Greens today call on the TUC and trade unionists to really fight the cuts, to put real pressure on politics and invite a greater representation of anti-cuts parties and politicians.
Letter to TUC
email@example.com, firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com
As a teacher, an active anti-cuts campaigner and a member of a political party, I am utterly dismayed to hear today that Ed Miliband MP is to be the only party political speaker from on 26th March.
I am ashamed and disgusted by this sectarian move to allow a platform to a leader of a political party who has been advocating almost the same cuts as well as supporting the privatization of our beloved public services for over a decade.
Caroline Lucas MP is a sane voice in Parliament who has been calling for the policies this March is promoting for over a year! For an end to tax avoidance and evasion, for increased taxation of the rich, for closing tax loopholes for banks and big business, for creating one million green jobs instead of destroying a million. The policies the TUC March is calling for could be from her manifesto! But they’re not in Ed’s!
Is this really going to be a March for an Alternative? Or a march for more failed policies from a favoured neoliberal party?
I write to urge you to reconsider your decision. The March is important but if it’s simply pro-Labour then it will then be the TUC which is selling out the people. The trade unions monopolising the anti-cuts movement for the Labour Party line would be a failure of pluralistic politics, and bowing to the conservative ideology of present Labour policies. It will be truly and simply un-trade unionist.
It will be a shame if the TUC acts in this manner. Please act immediately to provide a range of political representation for people who will really fight these cuts.
The Green Party doesn’t accept the current propaganda that it’s necessary to have cuts to pay off the deficit.
The deficit has been at higher levels in history without being used as an excuse to launch an attack on ordinary people across the country. This attack is the most blatant, at this time, after just paying up to a trillion pounds to the banks to bail them out.
In the General Election last year we attacked the parties and their plans for cuts. Since then after people arguably voted for a hung Parliament, we have seen the Lib Dems unashamedly sell out the voting population (and the others!), jump into bed with the Tories and prepared to destroy a million jobs.
Our platform last year, the Green New Deal, showed how we can raise billions of pounds by taxing simply where the wealth is in society. Instead we see a rise in VAT which taxes everyone and taxes the poorest disproportionately. Our plans create a million jobs in vital green industries like energy conservation and renewable production, instead of destroying tens of thousands of jobs in the health service and more in council services across the country.
The cuts are “Disaster Capitalism” as Naomi Klein might call it. The disaster is the deficit, and big business has spotted a way to make money from it. It doesn’t matter that maybe a trillion quid has been given to the banks. Nor that the deficit has been higher with no great problems. All that matters is that they convince us the cuts are necessary. It’s propaganda. Once the cuts are in then they can move in companies to take over parts of the NHS or social services roles. And make another killing…