Green Party in England and Wales
The latest report from the independent Power Commission calls for major electoral reforms to boost political participation, as voters becomes increasingly disengaged from the mainstream political parties.
Peter Cranie, Green Party Elections Co-ordinator, comments: "Tony Blair has developed a presidential style leadership, making major, controversial decisions without public support, including going to war with Iraq and backing the insidious take-over of the NHS and state schools by private companies. This has contributed to the alienation of the electorate, particularly young people, who feel that their trip to the ballot box is ignored.
"We welcome the Power Commission's recommendations, which offer ways to engage potential voters and reflect many of the Green Party's principles. A more responsive voting system is vital, and the introduction of the single transferable voting system in which every vote counts like to combat declining voter turn-out. The Green Party have long used this system, including in the recent party-wide vote for the Green Party Chair. We have also supported the campaign to lower the voting age to sixteen, on the grounds that sixteen-year-olds can marry, join the army and pay taxes and therefore have a right to political representation. The Greens are likely to have around fifty young people aged under twenty-seven standing in the local elections and are championing Britain's youth as citizens with an interest in politics and serious opinions that central government needs to recognise.
"The report also calls for tighter restrictions on the funding of political parties. The Commission's suggestion that donations should be capped and all meetings between ministers and businesses should be listed will create more transparency and force political parties to resist the influence of corporate interests. The Green Party does not accept corporate sponsorship of any kind, allowing us to be a truly independent party, which refuses to compromise our principles and values."
The Green Party call for the government to take serious note of this report and put into place the reforms needed to revive our failing political system. The public are interested and are engaged with the issues of the day but without urgent measures to get citizens voting, the legitimacy of British democracy is at stake.