Much is being said about the rise in the “fringe” parties in the run up to the 2015 general election. One of these is the rising popularity of the Green Party. Founded in 1985 it pins its hopes of success on the central theme of the environment and the protection of it.
Currently in the UK there is only one Green Party MP (Caroline Lucas). A recent poll placed the Green Party at 11% – an astonishing success story. Will these opinion polls actually translate into people voting for the party though?
UKIP at one stage did poll a higher rating than the Greens their support base seems to have dwindled recently.
In Brighton and Hove where the Green Party have their one party led council they’ve got one of the worst records in the UK on recycling. Bizarrely to me this doesn’t sound like they as a party are capable of holding ANY political office. The one agenda they should be seen to support they’ve FAILED.
Other policies that they are championing in this election include :-
- Environment and climate change -> Do you consider them capable? See above.
- Pro – European -> In stark contrast to the “other main fringe party”.
- Allow people to choose their own patterns of work.
- Radical tax proposals -> Including making inheritance tax and the tax on giving financial gifts charged before death.
- Abolish student tuition fees -> statistics have proved that the new student loan scheme HASN’T made more people from less well off backgrounds go to university. Go figure…
- No airport expansion.
- Membership of a terrorist organisation will be allowed.
There are just a few. A great article is here -> http://blogs.spectator.co.uk/coffeehouse/2015/01/welcome-to-the-bonkers-world-of-the-green-party-manifesto/
So we shall see if this recent surge is anything credible after the 7th May. Personally I think they’re bonkers.
Many people believe that the UK Independence Party (UKIP) has just sprung out of no where over night. Truth be told they’ve been in existence for a long time, since 1993 to be exact. I want to explain why I think this party is proving to be such a success story – not just in the UK but in the EU as well.
To many today Nigel Farage is the public face of this party. In my opinion an excellent public speaker with that good old “banter factor”. To many though he is a blithering idiot with semi racist and homophobic views. This is unfair as there is no evidence to support this fact. The electorate clearly seen through the media hype over him as the success of UKIP a has been astronomical over the last 10 years.
Today UKIP has 2 MP’s in the House of Commons – a remarkable result. The British public aren’t racist or homophobic so why have they achieved such great successes? The current share of the Westminster vote by UKIP is around 59% (Clacton by-election) and in 2011 they were polling around 5% of the vote. So why do I think UKIP have been so successful?
I think they as a party offer a real alternative to the boring “main three” parties. Their number one policy is the exit of the UK from the EU. It’s not that UKIP doesn’t like Europe, or Europeans, it’s the fact that they don’t want the UK to be burdened with the costs and bureaucracy that comes with being in the EU. Immigration now plays the modern version of their once single policy manifesto – in the UK this topic is red hot.
Disclaimer; All views are my own and do not represent those of my employer.
My simple thoughts on TV debates, the UK political “scene” and compulsory voting.
The General election in the UK is scheduled to take place in May. This is the first election to come about after David Cameron passed the fixed term parliament law. It is also the first election in a long while where the incumbent party is a collation. The last TV debates we held in 2010 and featured Gordon Brown, David Cameron and Nick Clegg. These proved to be very popular but I can’t help think that it’s yet another import from the USA. PERSONALLY speaking I think that they increase the nations image driven attitudes to politics. Poor old Ed Miliband came a cropper over this with his famous bacon sandwich eating PR disaster.
He was subjected to hours of abuse on TV and radio and millions of tweets somehow liking his ability to eat a bacon sandwich with his ability to manage the NHS. TOTAL MADNESS?
This year David Cameron has decided that he won’t take part in the proposed TV debates. He said, as a compromise, he will if the Green Party are allowed to participate (http://www.theguardian.com/news/reality-check/2015/jan/14/david-cameron-tv-leaders-debate-explainer). Some say this he because he is running scared of the UKIP leader, Nigel Farage. Personally I think that we should try to focus our collective energy on trying increase the levels on engagement with the political process. As a libertarian the idea of compulsory voting is one that initially I didn’t like but on further thought we must consider this as a viable future to secure a truly democratic society. I think that compulsory voting will encourage the political elite (read the political parties and their leaders) to deliver on their promises.
TV debates form part of the process that parties use to engage with the general public. As a nation we’re driven by endless discussions about image and appearance. I’m a firm believer in engagement and that it is a two way street. If we’re forced to engaged with the political process (via compulsory voting) then the political establishment will be forced to engage with us. A win win for all.
Disclaimer – All views are my own and do not represent those of my employer.