12 May 2017
Carlisle and District Green Party have decided not to stand their candidate for the Carlisle constituency in the General Election, as part of a wider effort to prevent a Conservative landslide.
Party members have voted with an overwhelming majority not to field their candidate, Dr Helen Davison, after a detailed consultation and discussions. Members feel strongly that the implications for the people of Carlisle and the country and for the enviroment of a further Tory government are too severe and damaging for the anti-Tory vote to be split. And even though neither Labour or the Liberal Democrats locally have been willing to enter into any form of electoral alliance to work together against the Tories, the local Green party decided that ultimately the public good far outweighs any party egos in this election.
Helen Davison, party chair and the selected candidate said:
“It frustrates me immensely not to be able to stand to promote the real promises for a better future of Green policies. But our local party has realised there is something much greater at stake in this election. The prospect of a further Tory government with an increased majority doesn't even bear thinking about. Their policies are for the few very rich, not the vast majority of people. And in Carlisle we are feeling the cost of their policies to our huge detriment already; increasing difficulty getting to see your GP, an already overstretched hospital which will be put under more pressure if their planned downgrading of services in Whitehaven and closure of cottage hospital beds take place. Mental health services at breaking point, whilst mental ill health increases as a direct result of Tory policies. Schools' budgets being cut to the point where the cuts are now directly affecting pupils's education, especially those with additional learning needs. Our councils have less and less funds to carry out essential services. Public transport, rather than providing a real service for people gets cut in the name of profit margins. And services for the poorest and most vulnerable in our city are being cut, with far too many people needing to use food banks. This in one of the richest countries in the world? It's obscene. Tory austerity measures are down to political ideology, not necessity.”
“We would ask people to think what has Conservative MP John Stevenson actually done for the people of Carlisle. And what has he done to support all the residents and businesses in the city that were flooded? He has been noticable by his silence on the floods. At a time when bold action should be taken to tackle climate change to prevent the risk of future flooding getting worse, he and his government has instead made policy decisions which will increase the rate of climate change.”
“Given our unfair and outdated first past the post voting system there is only one voting option in Carlisle which has any chance of preventing the Tories getting back in. And so we have stepped down and offer our support to work with Labour and all others locally towards the areas we have in common, including a future for Carlisle without a Tory MP.”
“That we even need to consider not standing shows the ludicrous and unfair nature of our first past the post voting system. It works when there are two parties, but not when there are several, as the Lib Dems, UKIP and Greens are all very aware. Considerable numbers of people vote for us but do not get fairly represented in parliament and many people end up voting tactically, not for the person they necessarily want but rather against the one they really don't want. It's time to change this so that everyone feels that their vote will count. And also one which ultimately will encourage parties to work better together.”
“So we call on the Labour party in particular to join the fight for electoral reform and for proportional representation, a much fairer voting system, so that in future we get a much more representative parliament and all people wherever they live will feel that their vote counts.”
Sign up for local Green Party news