Monday, January 11, 2010

A breakthrough for the Greens in the UK?

The Independent reports that the UK greens may be on the verge of a breakthrough: a poll in the seat of Brighton Pavilion shows Green candidate Caroline Lucas with a significant lead and a good chance of increasing it. If the poll's results are echoed on election day, Lucas will become the UK Parliament's first Green MP.

That's good news, but the article also mentions in passing that

The UK remains the only major European country which has never had Greens in its national legislature.
And there's an obvious reason for this: the UK is the only major European country which does not use some form of proportional representation in its legislative elections, instead clinging to an outdated and unfair first-past-the-post system. As a result, the sorts of parties which are a part of everyday political discourse elsewhere in Europe - such as the Greens - are shut out and silenced, and political choice reduced effectively to a "choice" between NeoLiberal Labour and NeoLiberal Tories. And that is no choice at all.