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UK Green vote quadruples, Tories win with 37% in “broken” two-party system

p caroline lucasIn the United Kingdom’s May 7 2015 parliamentary election, the UK Greens quadrupled their national vote from 265,000 in 2010 to 1,140,000 (4%) in 2015.

Despite this huge increase in votes, the Greens held steady at one seat in parliament, coming in second in four other races. Former party leader Caroline Lucas not only retained her seat in Brighton Pavilion, but saw her margin of victory over Labour quadruple to 15% (42% to 27%).

Party leader Natalie Bennett told the Independent, “The fact that we have achieved over one million votes yet not been rewarded with more MPs draws into sharp focus just how unfair and outdated our winner-takes-all voting system is. The fight for a fairer, more democratic voting system – one which recognises the will of the people rather than entrenches the established order – begins today.”

From The Guardian: ‘”Lucas was swift to point to what she said were the failings of a “broken” electoral system, one that handed her party just one seat for its million votes. She said: “It is only proportional representation that will deliver a parliament that is truly legitimate, and that better reflects the people we represent.”’

The Conservative (Tory) party won 51% of seats in parliament, despite winning a weak plurality of 37% of the national vote. The election was a disaster for the UK’s other main parties, with the leaders of Labour and the Liberal Democrats resigning, and the UK Independence Party leader losing his seat.

Conversely, the Green Party grew from about 12,000 members to about 63,000 in the months leading up to the election, surpassing the Liberal Democrats and UKIP and signaling the party’s rise as a national force.

Highlighting the national frustration with the UK’s obsolete two-party system, dozens of world-reknowned Britons signed a letter supporting Caroline Lucas’ reelection campaign, including “Planet Earth” narrator David Attenborough, folk singer Billy Bragg, UN peace messenger Jane Goodall, actor Jeremy Irons, human rights advocate Bianca Jagger, former Friends of the Earth director Tony Juniper, Queen guitarist and astrophysicist Brian May, and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke.

The letter reads, in part: “Over the last five years Caroline has eloquently addressed many of today’s most pressing issues – from accelerating climate change to sustainable farming, from human rights to a just and sustainable economy. This leadership matters all the more at a time when the mainstream parties are finding it so hard to address these challenges properly.”

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UK Green leader’s election message: Create a humane society that meets everyone’s needs

Natalie Bennett writes in The Independent:

Election 2015: The Green Party can create a humane society that supports everyone’s needs

You have a chance to vote for what you believe in, rather than the old, tired approach of voting for the lesser of two evils

p natalie bennett darren hall

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This election offers an opportunity for you as a voter. It’s a real chance to change our politics, to support a new kind of society that works for the common good, while living within the environmental limits of our one, fragile planet.

On Wednesday night I was in Bristol West, with hundreds of enthusiastic Green supporters committed to electing Darren Hall as their first Green MP. I’ve heard lots of political correspondents scoff over recent weeks when I said we could win the seat, but they were expressing astonishment last week, when an Ashcroft poll showed we’d added 21% to our 2010 vote. The momentum is running our way, and the excitement on the streets is obvious.

And I’ve seen that excitement around the country, in the midst of a “selfie frenzy” in Sheffield Central, in queues of well-wishers in my own constituency of Holborn and St Pancras, and of course in Brighton Pavilion, where voters have seen the huge achievements of our first Green MP, Caroline Lucas.

It’s the same excitement that’s seen Green Party membership more than quadruple in the past year, making us much larger than the Lib Dems or Ukip.

This is an election like none before. It is a multiparty election in which there’s a chance to vote for what you believe in, rather than the old, tired approach of voting for the lesser of two evils.

Continue Reading

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First Green elected to provincial legislature in Prince Edward Island, Canada

p peter bevan bakerFrom the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

Peter Bevan-Baker has made P.E.I. political history by winning the Green Party’s first seat in the P.E.I. legislature.

Bevan-Baker was winning his district with an 900-vote lead over incumbent Liberal Valerie Docherty, who was at 1,001 votes with 11 of 12 polls reporting. Bevan-Baker dominated the district, taking 54 per cent of the votes.

With his win, it appears the party’s strategy to put all its efforts and resources toward getting him elected was a good move.

In this, the third election for the Green Party in P.E.I., the small-party tactic of putting all their resources behind Bevan-Baker had reasonable precedents. It worked for federal Green Party Leader Elizabeth May, and recently in New Brunswick and B.C., where David Coon and Andrew Weaver, respectively, won their seats. Continue Reading

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UK Greens release viral “boy band” video spoofing other parties

p uk coalition green party adThe Green Party of England and Wales has released a party political broadcast satirizing their four main rivals by portraying the leaders of Labour, the Conservatives, the Liberal Democrats, and the UK Independence Party singing in harmony as a boy band named “coalition”. The video has gotten over 300,000 views on Youtube in its first day.

Watch the video here:

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Watch the UK 7-way party leaders debate with Green Party leader Natalie Bennett

p Natalie BennettOn Thursday April 2nd, leaders of the United Kingdom’s largest political parties took part in a 7-way debate, including David Cameron of the Conservative Party, Ed Miliband of the Labour Party, Nick Clegg of the Liberal Democrat Party, Nigel Farage of the UK Independence Party, Nicola Sturgeon of the Scottish National Party, Natalie Bennett of the Green Party and Leanne Wood of Plaid Cymru.

Watch the debate here:

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Why UK Young Greens membership has grown 1000% in 1 year

p uk greens vote yes scotlandFrom the Huffington Post:

At the end of 2013, the Green Party had a meagre 1,300 youth members; the number has since surpassed the 14,000 figure – a monumental increase in such a short period of time.

The party has been so successful amongst the younger generation a YouGov poll at the end of January showed it was polling at 29% and tied for first place with Labour for the youth vote – ahead of the Conservatives, Lib Dems and UKIP. As of 15 January, the party has more members than UKIP.

So what is drawing British youths to a group failing to even make it onto Ofcom’s major party list? Continue Reading

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Monbiot: The fear-based two-party system is collapsing

George Monbiot recently wrote a piece for the Guardian about the impending collapse of the UK’s two-party system, and the attempts of the neoliberal establishment parties to shepherd their traditional voter bases back into the flock through fear campaigns. As the UK, like the US, uses the obsolete first-past-the-post voting system, the unraveling of the UK’s long-standing two-party system should be of special interest to US Greens.

From the Guardian:

p monbiot guardian politics of fear

Here is the first rule of politics: if you never vote for what you want, you never get it. We are told at every election to hold our noses, forget the deficiencies and betrayals and vote Labour yet again, for fear of something worse. And there will, of course, always be something worse. So at what point should we vote for what we want rather than keep choosing between two versions of market fundamentalism? Sometime this century? Or in the next? Follow the advice of the noseholders and we will be lost forever in Labour’s Bermuda triangulation.

Perhaps there was a time when this counsel of despair made sense. No longer. The lamps are coming on all over Europe. As in South America, political shifts that seemed impossible a few years earlier are now shaking the continent. We knew that another world was possible. Now, it seems, another world is here: the sudden death of the neoliberal consensus. Any party that claims to belong to the left but does not grasp this is finished.

Syriza, Podemos, Sinn Féin, the SNP; now a bright light is shining in England too, as the Green party stokes the radical flame that Labour left to gutter. On Tuesday morning, its membership in England and Wales passed 50,000; a year ago it was fewer than 15,000. Continue Reading

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European Greens congratulate Syriza on victory in Greek election

From the UK Green Party:

GREEN Party MEPs Keith Taylor and Molly Scott Cato have issued a joint statement this morning after Syriza won yesterday’s General Election in Greece.

The Greek Ecologist Green Party, part of the European Green Party, took part in a joint election campaign with Syriza, which now sees them join a left coalition government in Greece. Continue Reading

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13 Reasons the UK Green Party is Surging

p Natalie BennettAhead of the upcoming UK general election, the UK Greens have been climbing in the polls and surging in members to become the UK’s 4th largest party by membership (after Labour, Conservatives, and the Scottish National Party). UK Green Party member Adam Ramsay touches on some of the reasons for the UK’s Green Surge:

After thousands of new members have joined this week, the Green Parties in Scotland and England and Wales now have more than both UKIP and the Lib Dems. Farage’s party has 41,943, the Lib Dems head of membership tells me that they now have 44,680. On Wednesday, the Greens gained 2,000 members across the UK and overtook UKIP. Today, Thursday, so far, they’ve gained more than 2,000 more. As I write, Scottish Greens + the Green Party of England and Wales are at a combined total of 44,713.

In 2003, there were around 5,000 signed up Greens across the UK. That’s about the same number as has joined this week. What’s caused this growth, which has now so dramatically accelerated?

1) the debates

There’s something strange about British politics: an obsession with process. A huge portion of people feel that the exclusion of the Greens from the election debates is unfair. For those who vote Green, or were thinking about it, being told that their chosen party isn’t significant is almost a personal affront. Hundreds of thousands signed a petition calling on the Greens to be included. Some clearly decided that they’d go one step further, and sign up. Continue Reading

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Vancouver elects 4 Greens to city government

From the Canadian Broadcasting Company:

The Green party is celebrating what it called an historic win in Vancouver’s civic election, a vote that saw the largest Green caucus ever elected assert its place on council and the city’s park and school boards.

Four of the party’s seven candidates were given the nod from voters on Saturday in an election with the highest turnout in more than a decade.

“This is a huge win for the Greens,” said former Green party leader and re-elected Vancouver city councillor  Adriane Carr. Continue Reading