Oct 27 2010
Progressives often claim that they will gladly support Greens when they see a Green campaign that can win. Well, here's a Green who can win and a chance to put your money where your mouth is:
Jeremy Karpen's clean-money Green campaign for the IL State Assembly is poised to pull off an upset victory against his Chicago Machine opponent.
Jeremy and his volunteers have already knocked on 7,000 doors and made 3,000 phone calls. Jeremy has earned enthusiastic endorsements from leading newspapers, unions, and voter groups.
At this critical moment, Jeremy needs to raise $3,000 to air a bilingual TV ad, “I support Jeremy Karpen/Yo Apoyo a Jeremy Karpen.”
Oct 22 2010
Grassroots supporters of Howie Hawkins' Green Party campaign for Governor of New York are holding an online “money bloom” today, Friday 22 October, with the goal of raising $10,000 for outreach and advertising.
We are trying to find 1000 people who will give $10 to help Howie Hawkins reach as many voters as possible with his message of a Green New Deal for New York.
Check out the Howie Hawkins Money Bloom and spread the word!
As anyone who watched Monday night's gubernatorial debate knows, Howie Hawkins is the true progressive candidate in the race, with detailed plans to enact progressive taxation, single-payer health care, green public works jobs with living wages, free SUNY/CUNY tuition, a ban on hydrofracking, marriage equality, legalizing marijuana, and electoral reforms such as proportional representation, instant runoff voting, and public campaign financing.
In contrast, Andrew Cuomo, the Democratic-Independence-Working Families candidate who leads Republican Carl Paladino by 23 points in the latest Marist poll, presented himself as a socially liberal corporate Democrat who will slash public services and fight unions more effectively than Paladino.
As Hawkins explained in his closing statement at the debate, his goal is to build a movement and establish the Green Party as New York's 3rd major party. If Hawkins gets at least 50,000 votes for Governor, the Green Party will win a ballot line in New York for the next 4 years, making it much easier to run Green candidates on the local level where Greens have had their greatest success in New York. 200,000 votes would firmly establish the Green Party as New York's 3rd major party.
On board yet? Head on over to the Howie Hawkins money bloom:
While Cuomo and Paladino presented harsh budget cuts and union-busting as the only solution to New York's $9 billion deficit, Hawkins pointed out an inconvenient truth: last year NYS collected $16 billion in stock transfer tax revenues from Wall Street – then rebated it in full. Hawkins proposed to keep the stock transfer tax, impose a 50% windfall profits tax on $20 billion in taxpayer-subsidized bankers' bonuses, and restore NY's income tax to the more progressive structure it had in the 1970s (which would increase revenue while lowering taxes for 95% of New Yorkers).
Hawkins' plan would allow NYS to close the budget gap and leave $25 billion left over for a state-owned Bank of New York and a green economic stimulus. Hawkins proposed “employment offices” where the unemployed could find jobs in fields such as renewable energy, weatherization, and mass transit. The Bank of New York would spur economic recovery by extending credit to small businesses, worker cooperatives, and New Yorkers who are unable to get loans from Wall Street.
On the issue of hydrofracking, the Green candidate also offered a clear alternative. Hawkins pointed out that the reliance of Cuomo's energy plan on natural gas belied the Democrat's “wait and see” rhetoric, while the Green Party supports a ban on hydrofracking, a natural gas mining procedure in which a toxic cocktail of chemicals are injected into groundwater.
Cuomo is virtually guaranteed to win this election. So the choice for progressives has become: do you want to give away your vote to a corporate Democrat who wants to balance the budget on the backs of working people? Are you so scared by a ranting Republican with no chance that you'll surrender your vote to an entrenched insider who will shaft students, labor, the working poor and the middle class to protect his Wall Street funders… the ones who broke the economy in the first place?
Or do you want to use your vote to build a party that shares your values, to show both parties that you're fed up with their corrupt shenanigans in Albany, to win a ballot line for the Green Party so Greens can build independent progressive power from the grassroots up?
Head to the Howie Hawkins Money Bloom and pitch in $10 or whatever you can afford to give progressive independents in New York a voice. Then spread the word – post it to your facebook wall, invite your friends, retweet (Howie Hawkins is on twitter as @HowieHawkins), blog, send emails, make calls, and shout it from the rooftops:
Howie Hawkins for Governor of New York! It's time for a Green New Deal!
Oct 13 2010
The Green Party candidate for governor of California, Laura Wells, was arrested Tuesday night after trying to attend the California gubernatorial debate between Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman. Wells had been barred from participating in the event, which was billed as an “eco-friendly debate” by sponsors.
“Laura Wells got arrested to help put the unemployed back to work, and to save the planet from climate change,” said Marnie Glickman, organizer of today’s debate protest and co-chair of the Green Party of Marin County, where the debate took place. “Wells stood up for the people whom Democrats and Republicans have forsaken: the unemployed, workers, children, and people whose homes have been foreclosed.”
Debate organizers say they excluded Wells from tonight’s debate because she did not poll at 10% or more. But in other states, Greens are included in debates. For example, in Arizona, U.S. Senator John McCain debated Green candidate Jerry Joslyn and two others on September 26th. In Massachusetts, Governor Deval Patrick debated Green gubernatorial candidate Jill Stein and two others on September 21st. The New York State gubernatorial debate scheduled for October 18th will include the Green candidate, Howie Hawkins.
Tonight’s event with Jerry Brown and Meg Whitman was billed as an “eco-friendly” debate, despite excluding the Green candidate for governor. “An eco-friendly debate without a Green is like an economic recovery without new jobs. It’s a fraud,” Glickman said.
The Wells for Governor campaign is backing the Green New Deal, which has been endorsed by more than 100 Green candidates across the country. It has ten planks:
* Cut military spending at least 70%
* Create millions of green union jobs through massive public investment in renewable energy, mass transit and conservation
* Set ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax to meet them
* Establish single-payer “Medicare for all” health care
* Provide tuition-free public higher education
* Change trade agreements to improve labor, environmental, consumer, health and safety standards
* End counterproductive prohibition policies and legalize marijuana
* Enact tough limits on credit interest and lending rates, progressive tax reform and strict financial regulation
* Amend the U.S. Constitution to abolish corporate personhood
* Pass sweeping electoral, campaign finance and anti-corruption reforms
For more information about the Laura Wells for Governor campaign, see http://www.laurawells.org/.
For more information about the arrest of Laura Wells, see: http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/blogs/nov05election/detail?entry_id=74454
Oct 07 2010
Jeremy Karpen is running for Illinois State Assembly in the 39th District, which covers Chicago's Logan Square neighborhood. Karpen first ran against incumbent Toni Berrios, the daughter of gambling lobbyist and Chicago Democratic machine insider Joseph Berrios, in 2008, earning 21% of the vote despite being massively outspent. This year, Karpen's strong grassroots campaign and commitment to clean, progressive politics have earned him endorsements from Independent Voters of Illinois, Chicago Progressive Democrats of America, and the Chicago Tribune.
In endorsing Karpen, the Chicago Chapter of Progressive Democrats of America called him “an advocate for single payer health care” and proclaimed that he would be “the progressive voice in the Illinois General Assembly”.
The Chicago Sun-Times endorsed Karpen over Berrios in 2008, but the Chicago Tribune endorsement was unexpected, since the Tribune had previously sided with Berrios. This year, the Tribune called Berrios a “loyal soldier siding with entrenched power in Springfield” and agreed with Karpen's statement that his election would “shake the foundation of the political machine”. The Huffington Post reported on the game-changing endorsement:
“'This one would be a big story, being able to win against the daughter of Joe Berrios, who is a symbol of the Democratic machine and everything that is wrong with the machine,' Karpen said.
In 2008, Karpen won 21 percent of the vote against Berrios in the same race. This time around, though, he's raised more money, organized more volunteers and is co-ordinating his campaign with Green Party candidates for governor and U.S. Senate.
And with the endorsement from the Tribune, the unlikely Green Party candidate is heading into October with momentum at his back.”
Jeremy Karpen works as a therapist with at-risk boys and their families. He described his motivation for running in an interview with HuffPost Chicago: “Rather than being a janitor cleaning up the failings of the state, I'd like to be working on a legislative level, so when you give a referral to a family, you're making sure there actually is a mental health clinic, there is a hospital you can go to.” Karpen's platform calls for affordable housing, fully-funded schools, single-payer health care, affordable housing, and cleaning up Illinois' notoriously dirty politics. His campaign is funded entirely from individual contributions, while his opponent is busy shaking down her father's cronies and corporate interests. From the Huffington Post:
“Berrios has over $100,000 in her campaign coffers, donated from pharmaceutical PACs (she's the chair of the Biotech Committee), downtown lawyers (many of whom lobby her father about property taxes at the Board of Review), and a massive contribution from Joe Berrios himself. Karpen sends email blasts trying to scrounge up enough for his next mailer.”
A Green win against a corporate-sponsored Chicago machine insider would be a win for all progressives. Karpen needs money to get his message to voters and pull off an upset. Learn more about Jeremy Karpen's campaign and how you can help.
Oct 05 2010
When Ben Manski declared his candidacy for the Wisconsin Assembly, the Madison Capital Times wrote that the “veteran Green Party activist and nationally recognized advocate for democratic reform, [has] entered the competition in the west side district where he cut his political teeth.” Since then, the former national Green Party co-chair’s campaign has taken off. Manski has won endorsements from the Madison teachers union, student groups, Thom Hartmann, Progressive Push, and 21 local elected officials.
Progressive Push National Director Luis A. Cuevas wrote of Manski:
“Ben Manski is an outstanding candidate, the kind most needed to represent working families and progressive ideals in Wisconsin as well as our nation. We have very high standards, and don’t make endorsements in many races, but Manski’s record of proven activism speaks for itself… His goal is to empower the people of his district to take control of their lives, through participatory democracy, getting them involved in budgeting decisions, creating a better sustainable community where they can be sure that their children will inherit a better place to live. We urge all progressives to support Ben Manski, relentless, undaunted, and resilient, he is the candidate who best represents your values, we know he represents ours.”
A co-founder of Move to Amend, a national coalition seeking to overturn the Supreme Court’s Citizens United decision allowing unlimited corporate spending in elections, Manski is a longtime fighter for democracy. His platform calls for instant runoff voting, proportional representation, public campaign financing, passage of a Wisconsin Equal Rights Amendment, and legislation to abolish the legal fiction of corporate personhood. He supports progressive taxation, a state bank, legalizing and taxing marijuana, and single-payer health care for Wisconsin. Manski is also a strong advocate for building a green economy and reforming public education.
Leading Democrats, including Progressive Democrats of America National Director Tim Carpenter, are supporting Manski, not only because of Manski’s strong progressive credentials, but also because his Democratic opponent Brett Hulsey has worked for the coal and ethanol lobbies. A member of the Dane County Democratic Party’s Executive Committee said, “If Ben were 50% better than Hulsey, then I would support Hulsey because he is the Democratic nominee… but Ben is more than 50% better than Hulsey.”
Manski has raised and spent nearly $20,000, and needs another $25,000 to pay for printing, mailing and radio, tv, and print advertising by October 15th.
Sep 24 2010
Dr. Jill Stein is running an insurgent Green campaign for Governor of Massachusetts against 3 business-as-usual political insiders. Her platform reads like a progressive Christmas list. Now she has the chance to break this race open and show that clean, green, people-powered politics can succeed. If Jill Stein’s campaign can raise $125,000 in amounts of $250 or less by Friday 9/24 at 5 PM, it will qualify for 1-1 public matching funds.
The thermometer on Jill Stein’s website is rising rapidly. At 10:40 EST on Friday it shows $110,918, meaning Stein needs just over $14,000 to make it over the top. Supporters of her campaign have created a “Clean Money Tidal Wave for Jill Stein” facebook event, which is doing brisk business with 10,000 people invited so far.
Here’s why this is so important: progressives often talk about supporting independent progressive candidates, if a viable one comes along. Jill Stein is that viable independent progressive. She hasn’t taken a dime of corporate or lobbyist money. She was a leading activist for the MA Clean Elections public campaign financing law that the state’s Democratic establishment threw out after the people voted for it 2-1.
Jill Stein is the only candidate talking about replacing Romneycare with a vastly more efficient single-payer health care system. She is the only candidate calling for local green job creation, instead of the big corporate tax breaks and casino schemes that her opponents all agree on. On issue after issue, Jill Stein is unwaveringly progressive while her opponents pledge allegiance to the failed corporatist policies of the status quo.
If Jill Stein qualifies for matching funds, she’ll have a guaranteed place in the debates and a real war chest to spread her message of a secure, healthy green future. It will show that clean money campaigns can work – and that independent progressives are ready to support candidates who support them.
Make a little bit of history today. http://www.jillstein.org/
Sep 17 2010
On July 14th, Green Change announced the campaign for a Green New Deal, a 10-point program to create economic prosperity together with ecological sustainability.
Since then over 100 candidates for elected office at all levels have joined the Green New Deal Coalition.
The Green New Deal Coalition will cut military spending, create millions of green jobs, and revive the economy by protecting the planet we depend on.
Green Change is inviting all candidates, individuals and organizations that support a prosperous, sustainable future for America to endorse the Green New Deal.
To date, 11 candidates for governor, 11 candidates for US Senate, and 33 candidates for US House of Representatives have joined the Green New Deal Coalition.
All agree on the need to cut military spending, fund green public works, ban corporate personhood, pass single-payer health care, restore progressive taxation, ban usury, enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax, legalize marijuana, institute tuition-free public higher education, change trade agreements to improve labor, environmental and safety standards, and pass sweeping electoral, campaign finance and anti-corruption reforms.
These candidates represent a clean break with the failed policies of the past that have led America down the road to economic and ecological disaster.
The Green New Deal promises a brighter tomorrow for America – one that combines the New Deal’s promise of freedom from economic hardship with decisive action to protect our planet.
Jul 19 2010
In response to our nation's vast economic and ecological problems, Green Change has launched a campaign for a Green New Deal.
The Green New Deal is an ambitious program to create economic prosperity together with ecological sustainability.
We are building a coalition of candidates, individuals and organizations to support the Green New Deal – starting today.
Join the Green New Deal Coalition now.
Here are the ten policies you endorse by joining the Green New Deal Coalition:
1) Cut military spending at least 70%;
2) Create millions of green union jobs through massive public investment in renewable energy, mass transit and conservation;
3) Set ambitious, science-based greenhouse gas emission reduction targets, and enact a revenue-neutral carbon tax to meet them;
4) Establish single-payer “Medicare for all” health care;
5) Provide tuition-free public higher education;
6) Change trade agreements to improve labor, environmental, consumer, health and safety standards;
7) End counterproductive prohibition policies and legalize marijuana;
8) Enact tough limits on credit interest and lending rates, progressive tax reform and strict financial regulation;
9) Amend the U.S. Constitution to abolish corporate personhood; and
10) Pass sweeping electoral, campaign finance and anti-corruption reforms.
Will you help us turn these ideas into reality?
The first step is to agree on these ten priorities. The next step is to push for specific policies to make them happen.
We need your help. Share your ideas about a Green New Deal on the Green Change network.
Jun 01 2010
Not much has changed since Will Rogers said “We have the best Congress money can buy.”
Wealthy special interests still trade big campaign contributions for special treatment from Congress on a regular basis.
One example is BP, the corporation responsible for the Gulf oil spill, which has given over 6 million dollars to candidates in the last 20 years.
It’s time to change the system so that Congress will work for the people – not the big-money special interests.
Tell your members of Congress to support the Fair Elections Now Act today.
The Fair Elections Now Act would set up a public financing system for qualified congressional candidates.
Public campaign financing would break big money’s stranglehold on our government, by helping candidates to run competitive campaigns without taking money from corporate lobbyists and PACs.
Many of America’s problems can be traced to our poorly regulated campaign finance system – where candidates for Congress take money from wealthy special interests in return for political favors.
The BP oil spill disaster is just one example of the harm caused by big money in politics. The oil industry’s political contributions helped BP avoid having to install crucial safety features on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig that could have stopped the spill.
Outrageously, BP may avoid paying for the damage it caused thanks to a liability cap passed by Congress after the devastating 1989 Exxon Valdez oil spill.
It’s not hard to understand why Congress lets the oil companies have their way – the oil and gas industry gave a whopping $22.9 million to congressional candidates in 2008, and has already given $9.7 million in the 2010 election cycle.
Elected officials should be accountable only to the voters and the public good – not big corporations scheming behind the scenes to purchase political outcomes.
May 25 2010
On May 15th the Green Party of New York met in Albany to nominate candidates for statewide office. The Greens nominated Howie Hawkins for Governor, Gloria Mattera for Lieutenant Governor, Colia Clark and Cecile Lawrence for US Senate, and Julia Willebrand for Comptroller, as well as a number of candidates for state legislature.
Howie Hawkins, the Green candidate for Governor of New York, has been an organizer in movements for peace, justice, labor, the environment, and independent politics since the late 1960s. Hawkins is running on a Green platform with planks including: Progressive Taxes; Reform Albany; Full Employment; Health Care for All; Clean Energy (ban hydrofracking, support public power); Good Schools for All Communities; Economic Democracy for Economic Renewal (establish a state bank); Sustainable Green Economy; Organic Food and Agriculture; Affordable Housing; Retirement Security; Workers Rights; Fair Elections (proportional representation, instant runoff voting, public campaign financing); End the “War on Drugs”; Reproductive Freedom; Gay Marriage; Peace (recall the NY national guard); Criminal Justice Reform (abolish the death penalty); Regional Planning; and Local Government and Grassroots Democracy. Emerging details can be found at HowieHawkins.com/2010.
At his website, Hawkins elaborates on why he is running and his campaign goals:
The basic issue in this campaign is: Will our state government be for the people, or continue to serve the super-rich and the giant corporations?
We are running because we are on the side of the people.
We are running – we, not me – because I cannot win the goals of our campaign alone. I will not have the tens of millions of dollars for media advertising that the corporate-financed Democratic and Republican candidates will have. But organized people can beat organized money…
We are running to offer a real alternative to the two-party system of corporate rule. The Democrats have replaced the Republicans in the State House and the Governor’s Mansion, and in Congress and the White House, but little has changed. The two-party system is a very sophisticated scheme for presenting the illusion of real choice when both major parties are funded by the same corporate, financial, and real estate interests. Whether the A Team of Republicans or the B Team of Democrats are in the majority, it is still corporate power dictating policy.
The ongoing Wall Street bailout is the greatest transfer of wealth in world history. If our schools were banks, they would have been bailed out. Instead the creditor class of wealthy elites is making the borrower class of working and middle class taxpayers pay for the whole bailout for their bad investments through higher taxes, lower wages and benefits, and cuts in public services. The catastrophic destruction of our climate and oceans is accelerating, but the incumbent fossil fuel and nuclear corporations still capture far more government subsidies than clean, renewable energy. Whether it is job creation, health care, housing, or the environment, the government sides with the corporate vested interests against the broad public interest.
The progressives and independents who voted the Republicans out and the Democrats in are now taken for granted by the Democrats in power, because these voters have no where else to take their votes. We are running to give these voters a place to go.
50,000 Votes Wins a Green Party Ballot Line
One key goal of our campaign is to build the Green Party as a powerful, well-organized alternative to the corporate state’s two-party system. With 50,000+ votes for the Green gubernatorial ticket – a very achievable goal – the Green Party wins a permanent ballot line and reasonable ballot petitioning requirements for the next four years, enabling us to contest elections at every level as we continue to build our movement. We are building this campaign county by county to leave in place a grassroots party organization that can carry on the movement for our policy platform after the November 2 election.
Putting Our Solutions into Public Debate
A second goal of our campaign is to move the policy debate in New York. We are going to present before the public – and make the mass media and corporate candidates deal with – our platform of solutions to the problems we face: progressive taxation and revenue sharing, fully funded schools, full employment, single-payer health care, renewable energy, a state bank to finance a sustainable green economic revival, clean government, proportional representation, and more.
Building Independent Power
We won’t be completely satisfied unless we win the office. But if that turns out to be beyond our reach in this election, every vote we win and every person we recruit to the movement builds our power. Our power is based on our political independence from the corporate interests and their political representatives in both corporate parties. Our votes cannot be taken for granted. We will make the politicians and the policy debate in the media and in our communities deal with our solutions. We will lay the foundation for winning future elections.
Gloria Mattera, a Brooklyn health care worker and activist who ran for Brooklyn Borough President in 2005 to oppose the incumbent’s abuse of eminent domain to benefit private corporations, received the party’s nomination for lieutenant governor.
Colia Clark, a veteran of the Civil Rights Movement who worked with Medgar Evers and SNCC, was nominated as the Green candidate for the US Senate seat currently held by Charles Schumer. Immigration reform will be a key focus of the Clark candidacy.
“As US Senator from New York, I will work tirelessly with my colleagues in the Senate and on Capitol Hill to address the failing economy, failing schools, failing infrastructure, crisis in energy, health care, food production and other areas of the USA socio-political economy,” said Ms. Clark.
“The right of immigrants to live, work and have their families visit is a human right. NAFTA, CAFTA, Project Hope and other infringements on the right of workers in other nations is unacceptable and as Senator from NYS I will work on all fronts to cancel these hideous instruments of corporate power,” added Clark.
Clark said she was strongly opposed to Sen. Schumer’s proposal to require a new social security card that includes bio-metric information like finger prints for every U.S. citizen. Clarke compared this to the slave passes that Africans in USA enslavement carried up to 1865.
“The right to privacy, the right to move about the nation freely without police intrusion is quickly becoming an endangered right. Any remnant of slave pass laws/ Apartheid pass laws must be challenged and defeated in the interest of freedom for NYS and the nation,” Clark added.
Cecile Lawrence, a resident of Apalachin in Tioga County who has been active in the movement against hydrofracking and other health issues, will run for the Senate seat to fill out the term of Hillary Clinton.
Lawrence said that “We need to end the U.S. occupation of Iraq and Afghanistan now and return the troops home in early 2011. The U.S. must cease its drive for empire and domination of the planet including the embeddedness of its military forces with corporations whose drive for access to the resources of other countries lead to the destruction of their environmental and socio-economic health. Corporations must be stripped of the artificial personhood granted them by an accident of the U.S. Supreme Court, resulting not in human personhood but in god-like status, since they never get sick, and can never die. Reform Wall Street, getting rid of the practices that led to the idea of ‘too big to fail.”
Active in the fight against hydrofracking for natural gas in the Southern Tier, Lawrence added that “the focus of my campaign will be on health in all forms, the health of individuals, the health of the soil, air and water, the health of all life forms, the health of society. This goal cannot be met without the elimination of for-profit health insurance companies, the complete renovation of our food system, which has led to astronomical rates of obesity nationwide, and the elimination of this country’s attitude of control over other countries.”
“We need to cancel all subsidies to CAFO’s (concentrated animal feeding operations) and rapidly phase out their existence nationwide. Transfer those subsidies to the development of small scale organic, permaculture, or biodynamic methods of farming at the state level. We should transfer all current federal subsidies to coal, gas, oil and nuclear to the development and installation of solar, small-scale wind farms disconnected from each other, ground source heat pumps and yet to be invented methods. We must ban all offshore drilling for gas and oil in U.S. waters,” stated Lawrence.
Julia Willebrand, a long time environmental leader from Manhattan, was nominated to run for State Comptroller, a position she received 117,908 votes for 4 years ago.
Other candidates petitioning to be on the Green Party ballot include Anthony Gronowicz (NY-7) and Hank Bardel (NY-13) for US House of Representatives, John Reynolds for State Senate (NY-33), and 5 candidates for State Assembly: Walter Nestler (NY-76), Carl Lundgren (NY-82), Trevor Archer (NY-83), Daniel Zuger (NY-85), and Mike Donelly (NY-119).
Like all Green Party candidates, the New York Green Party’s 2010 candidates pledge not to accept money from corporations and corporate-sponsored PACs.
You can learn more about the Green Party of New York’s 2010 campaigns and how you can get involved at the GPNY website, http://www.gpny.org/ .
May 11 2010
We need swift action to prevent disasters, like the BP oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico, caused by corporations that offload their huge financial, ecological and human costs on us.
A Clean Earth Act would:
-Prevent disasters by banning new offshore drilling, new nuclear plants, and mountaintop removal mining;
-Hold corporations responsible with strict liability (full financial liability) for oil spills, nuclear meltdowns and other environmental disasters;
-Crack down on polluters with tough enforcement of environmental laws; and
-Prevent climate change-caused disasters with science-based greenhouse emissions reduction targets.
It’s past time for strong government action to prevent environmental disasters – including climate change.
Corporations must be held accountable for the financial, ecological, and human costs of their negligence.
May 07 2010
Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, won a hotly-contested race in Brighton Pavilion to become the Greens’ first-ever member of parliament. Lucas thanked supporters for “putting the politics of hope above the politics of fear.” In the election at large, Labour and the Liberal Democrats lost seats while the Conservatives gained; however, the Conservatives failed to win a majority, making it possible that Labour and the Liberal Democrats will form a governing coalition.
In the second constituency targeted by the Greens, Norwich South, Adrian Ramsay came in fourth despite doubling the Green vote from 2005 to 14.9%. Despite the loss, Greens pointed to recent local victories as evidence that they’re on track to take power in Norwich by 2011, which would mark another first for the party. In the third targeted seat, Lewisham Deptford, Darren Johnson took 11.1%, and Tony Juniper managed 7.6% in Cambridge.
At The Guardian, George Monbiot commented on Lucas’ election to parliament:
It’s a massive breakthrough, not only because she’s a brilliant, charismatic, humane politican who will enrich parliamentary life, but also because it proves it can be done, even under our antiquated political system.
Unlike many European countries that elect their parliaments using proportional representation, UK elections use first-past-the-post voting, contributing to electoral chaos. From The Guardian’s live election coverage:
A hung parliament is virtually inevitable. With more than 500 seats counted, the BBC is predicting that the Conservatives will end up with 306 seats, Labour 262 seats and the Lib Dems 55 seats [325 seats are needed for a majority]. The Conservatives are currently on 37% of the vote, Labour on 28% and the Lib Dems on 23%.
The Guardian reports that the Liberal Democrats may demand a switch to proportional representation as a condition for supporting one of the larger parties in coalition. The Greens, who won 8.7% of the vote in last year’s European elections, also support proportional representation.
After learning of her historic victory, Caroline Lucas gave the following statement:
“The emphatic support of voters in Brighton Pavilion show that they do want to support a party whose values represent fairness, social justice and environmental well-being. They have shown that they are prepared to put their trust in the Greens, despite the overwhelming national media focus on the three largest parties and a voting system that is fundamentally undemocratic. I feel humbled by their trust in me, and I am excited by this vote of confidence and I’m looking forward to the challenging task of fully representing the voters of Brighton.
“This victory is no accident: it is the result of the hard work and commitment of thousands of Green Party members and supporters not only in Brighton but from right across the country over the past months and years. It is their work and support that has helped deliver this win, and the victory is as much theirs as it is mine.
“Thanks to the confidence that the voters of Brighton Pavilion have shown, Green principles and policies will now have a voice in Parliament. Policies such as responding to climate change with a million new ‘green’ jobs in low-carbon industries, fair pensions and care for older people, and stronger regulation of the banks will be heard in the House of Commons. I will also use my influence as an MP in the city of Brighton & Hove to push for affordable housing for the city, a new secondary school for the city, and greater backing for the city’s creative industries.
“Finally, as this election shows, the first-past-the post voting system used for general elections is utterly discredited. I will be strongly backing calls for a referendum to replace it with a form of proportional representation that properly reflects the needs and views of 21st century voters. If a form of proportional representation is introduced, the Green Party is confident that its true level of support nationally can be represented properly.”
Originally posted on Green Party Watch