Green Manifesto 2010 Government: It’s Ours
Government is vital, but it’s got a bad name, and the expenses scandal was the last straw. Untainted by the ‘Westminster bubble’, and with a great track record in local, Scottish and European politics, the Green Party will restore faith and trust in Government.
Government is important because it can do things that other parts of the system can’t do. We rely too much on the private and voluntary sectors for the provision of public goods and services.The private sector is dynamic but tends towards short-term stakeholder interests.The voluntary sector is a tremendous source of good, but it sometimes lacks resources and influence. So while we back the private and voluntary sectors, they will not achieve a fair and sustainable society on their own.
Only the Government can make laws that bind us all. It sets the framework for the private and voluntary sectors, and it sets its sights on the long-term public good. It is our guarantor against sectional interests and the Green Party will revive its good name.
The Government is ours but right now it feels remote and out of touch. It spends our money but we have no say in what it spends it on.That is why the Green Party would initiate a revolution in participation and legitimacy, starting with the immediate introduction of proportional representation for all elections.
Bringing government to the people
• Bring in proportional representation (PR) using the Additional Member System for Parliamentary elections and introduce fixed term Parliaments. Only the 200,000 votes in marginal seats really counted in the last election – that’s less than 0.5% of those eligible to vote. Make everyone’s vote count.
• Introduce the right to vote at 16.
• Reform the House of Lords to become a fully elected body chosen by proportional representation. But to promote its independence, members should only be elected for one fixed term of ten years, with half the house being elected every five years.
• Manage MPs’ expenses through an participation independent body.
• End the corrupting effects of big private and Trade Union donations to political parties, and bring in a fair system of state funding.
• Ensure that all lobbying, and in particular corporate lobbying, is registered and fully disclosed.
• Revive local government,with the introduction of proportional representation and with grassroots democracy spreading through the use of smaller community and district councils. Such authorities should have enhanced powers, and in due course new tax-raising powers.
• Referenda on local government decisions if called for by 20% of the local electorate.
• Recall referenda on MPs, and other representatives if 40% of electors request it.
• Move towards a written constitution with a Bill of Rights.
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