Green Party seeks 'progressive alliance'
Thursday, 4 May 2017
Calderdale Green Party has selected its candidate for Calder Valley. It is Kieran Turner, a resident of Todmorden. The Party has the intention of standing in Halifax but the candidature there remains open.
Calderdale Green Party had previously decided to seek out interest in a local progressive alliance with both Labour and the Liberal Democrats and on 23 April, a letter was sent out to both Calder Valley and Halifax constituency parties which suggested:
Calderdale Green Party has voted to support a Progressive Alliance for the purpose of electing a centre/left candidate committed to a significantly more proportional system of representation We would therefore propose that we talk urgently to each other about the possibility of such an alliance for the following reasons:
- The country needs a fairer electoral system in which every vote counts in order to rebuild trust in the political system.
- Without such a system, the proposed boundary changes may well enable the Tories to rule the country with a minority of votes.
- There is widespread support for PR in centre/left parties such as the Labour Party, the Liberal Democrats and the SNP. The TUC and others are in favour.
- Proportional representation is already used successfully in Scotland, Northern Ireland and Wales and in many other European countries. We believe such an alliance would be in the best interests of the people of Calderdale and look forward to hearing from you as soon as possible with a view to meeting to take this forward.
The Hebweb understands that no reply to this has been received from the Liberal Democrats and that both Calder Valley and Halifax Labour parties have rebuffed the idea. A letter from the secretary of Calder Valley LP on 1 May, which the Hebweb has seen, notes that:
In your email you raise the important issue of proportional representation. We hope that you will understand that as a democratic party, we are unable to make any policy decisions without a clear mandate from members and from the Labour Party nationally.
However, as there are members in Calder Valley who would welcome the chance to discuss the issues raised by consideration of different forms of democratic representation, we will certainly hold discussions on this in the future.
Michael Prior, a member of the local Green Party, told the HebWeb, "This appears to suggest that Labour has no policy on proportional representation which seems an odd defect. Perhaps all will be revealed in the manifesto".
Meanwhile, the Calderdale Green Party is pursuing the idea of some kind of alliance by making direct personal approaches to both Holly Lynch, the sitting Halifax MP and Josh Fenton-Glynn, the newly adopted Labour candidate in the Calder Valley, based upon the Ealing constituency where the local Green Party has withdrawn from standing following assurances from the local Labour MP about her future policy stance.
In 2015, Labour had a majority of 428 in 2015 in Halifax whilst in Calder Valley, the Conservatives had a majority of 4,427.