THANK you to everyone who voted Green in the general election and for helping Ellie Chowns in North Herefordshire achieve one of the best Green results in the country.
We’d also like to commend our opponents on their campaigns and to thank Herefordshire Council officers for their very efficient administration of the election.
It was tough for us to see the Green vote squeezed by tactical voting both locally and nationally.
But, despite this squeeze, the Green Party gained more than half a million votes across the country. Regrettably that won us just one seat – Caroline Lucas was returned as MP for Brighton Pavilion with a much increased majority.
In contrast the Democratic Unionist Party, which looks set to prop up Theresa May, had 10 MPs elected on fewer than 300,000 votes.
This is another clear indication of the unfairness of the First Past The Post voting system used to elect MPs.
A system that means millions of votes are wasted and which leads people to vote tactically instead of for their best candidate.
A system which can allow the Conservatives to form a government when only 29% of the electorate voted for them.
Under a Proportional Representation system, as used, for example, in Germany, parliament would more closely reflect the wishes expressed by voters, and far fewer votes would be wasted.
As a way of countering the unfairness of the voting system, Greens across the country sought in this election to make alliances with other progressive parties.
Green candidates stood aside in dozens of marginal seats to help better placed progressive candidates, Labour or Liberal Democrats, to win. We took a hit for democracy and made a difference.
Unless progressive parties build on this and continue to work together, making local tactical alliances and pushing for electoral reform, the country will be stuck forever with a parliament that is not representative.
This is a dreadful prospect and we invite all who share this concern to become politically active and fight for change.
DIANA TOYNBEE Hereford & South Herefordshire candidate
ELLIE CHOWNS North Herefordshire candidate
The Green Party
published in Hereford TImes and Ross Gazette w/c 19 June 2017