News on Greens in elections around the world over the last few weeks….
– are campaigning towards their election on 5 May. The Parliament (called Holyrood) is a proportional system and the Greens have a list of candidates for each of the 8 electorates. Go here <http://www.scottishgreens.org.uk/people/show/5> to have a squiz at their lead candidates. They are running on about 6% of the vote which is a big jump from the 2% they polled in 2007.
They aim to get the balance of power and are pitching for people to make the Greens their 2nd vote on the list. They are also targeting disillusioned Liberal Democrat voters and are offering them free membership <http://scot.gr/w/sgpjoinfree.pdf> ! They have three major campaign pledges:- keeping tuition free , investing in public services through fairer taxation, and insulating every home in Scotland. Here is their Official Party Broadcast <http://www.youtube.com/user/scottishgreens> which all parties are granted, but the Greens they decided to let 26 community activists say something rather than one person. Its scenic little film that gives a feel for the issues they are working on.
– are campaigning in the lead up to their national election which is happening on 2 May. A big focus in the last few weeks has been on leader Elizabeth May being included in the leaders TV debates. Elizabeth used to be included in leaders debates, even though the Greens do not have an elected MP yet, but this time the TV Executives have excluded her. The Greens are fighting back to “Let Elizabeth Speak” with petitions <http://www.demanddemocraticdebates.ca/?> , rallies <http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=k1xMQ7bo8uM&feature=related> and even a legal challenge. See this article <http://www.thestar.com/opinion/editorialopinion/article/971294–the-debate-s-over-system-has-to-change> about the controversy.
But the big battle in Canada is for the Greens to get their first seat in national Parliament – they have a 1st past the post voting system and an appointed upper hous, so its not easy. Elizabeth is the best chance and she is running neck and neck in the polls in the northern suburbs of Vancouver against the sitting Sports Minister, Gary Lunn.
Last week the Party released their election platform <http://greenparty.ca/files/attachments/green-book-2011-en.pdf> and budget based around 3 themes of smart economy, strong communities and true democracy. This week their election advertisement <http://greenparty.ca/video/2011-04-09/special-preview-our-environment-ad?> is being launched.
– a few weeks ago the Greens polled almost 26% in one of Germany’s states, Baden-Württemberg and so now they will be the lead partner in a coalition government with the Social Democrats (Germany’s Labour party). Because the Greens polled ahead of the Social Democrats, Greens Leader Winfried Kretschmann <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Winfried_Kretschmann> will most likely become the Green Party’s first regional “minister president” (State Premier).
– bad news for this Green Party that was the big loser in the February national elections. Their vote dropped from 4.7% vote to 1.8%, and their seats in the Irish parliament reduced from six to zero. Last week the Irish Greens went to a European Greens meeting, to discuss the lessons learned by the party of their experience in Government and how they plan to rebuild. Party Secretary, Dan Boyle made a statement <http://www.greenparty.ie/en/news/latest_news/irish_greens_meet_european_counterparts_to_discuss_rebuilding_the_party> where he said the party needed to build said that “there is no doubt that we paid a price politically for endorsing unpopular policies.”
04/11/2011 – 12:00