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Friday, 13 May 2011

LGBT rights in Uganda

Ashford Green Party deplores the private members bill currently going through the Ugandan parliament. If enacted the bill would introduce the death penalty for same-sex couples, and would punish individuals or organisations which support LGBT (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual & Transgender) rights in Uganda. In addition the bill proposes to implement the death penalty for individuals living with HIV. In a country where around 5% of the population are HIV positive this will dissuade people from getting tested for HIV and could lead to a massive increase in the spread of HIV. Ashford Green Party does not believe we can sit by and allow state-sanctioned genocide to occur in a country which received £72.1 million in aid from the UK during 2009/2010. Ashford Green Party urges residents to write to their MP, Damian Green, to highlight this issue, and to sign the petition by visiting www.allout.org/petition/uganda/taf



Matt Stanley, Ashford Green Party.

Wednesday, 4 May 2011

YES to AV



Tommorow in the UK, there is a local election, and also a referendum on the Alternative Vote. Here's a Wikipedia page for it.

The Green Part recommend voting YES. Please do the same. This is the first time the voting mechanism in the UK has been subject to a referendum. This opportunity will never come again. It is a case of Now, or Never. The AV system may be imperfect, but it is certainly far better, and far more representative than the skewed First Past The Post System. If you vote "No", you're voting for a lifetime of gruel because you didn't get the EXACT cake you wanted.

In the UK, MP's get can elected with less than one person in five voting for them. They can be elected, practically for life. In one constituency, it has been held by the same party for 110 years - apart from when an independent clergyman ran in the 1920's. That vote is worth nothing. Stephen Fry - or Brian Cox - could run in this constituency, and if they weren't in that party, they'd lose. That vote is worthless. (Check yours here at the Voter Power Index).

The First Past The Post system is fundamentally flawed. It only ever allows the largest single minority to win. It is blunt and crude. In UK elections, where for example, most of the time, less than two thirds of the population actually vote - and therefore 20,000,000 don't, the First Past The Post System can see a person elected on less than 30% of the vote (Norwich South in 2010 won on 29.5% of the vote).

Only 1 person in 5 then, actually voted for the MP for Norwich South. Is this fair? Is this democratic? Is this the system that Cameron calls fair and simple? AV is no more complicated for X-Factor.. You rank your candidates in order of preference.

If you think AV is complicated, you are underestimating yourself. If you think First Past The Post is fair and right, you should realise democracy is not about a "winner", its about representing the wishes of the people. First Past The Post is only fit for Sports Day.

All the parties that support AV are those that are under-represented in Parliment. The current system polarises and simplifies political debate to Labour, Conservative, or Lib Dem. If you do not agree with their policies, you have no voice in our democracy. And plenty of people now have to exercise that complicated electoral doublethink in politics - knowing that the FPTP process does not work - so that they do not vote for who they want, but against who they do NOT want. Is that fair and simple? Not at all.

The parties that oppose AV are The Conservative Party. They know they do not represent the wishes of the majority of the country, but the largest single minority. Give yourself a voice. Let democracy actually work and represent us, instead of giving the largest minority all the power. Democracy isn't a race or a sport, and unless the people win, there is no winner at all.