In advance of the General Election on Thursday 12th December, we look at each of the main political parties in Scotland and why they want your vote. In this article, we look at the Scottish Green Party:
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Action to tackle the climate emergency is obviously the central pillar of the Scottish Greens manifesto at this election. They are campaigning in 22 seats around the country, from a total of 59 Scottish Westminster seats.
This election is dealing with so-called ‘reserved’ matters – items which only Westminster has a say over, not the devolved administrations in Edinburgh, Cardiff or Belfast. This includes foreign policy, defence, benefits & social security, the constitution, trade and industry and immigration among other themes.
The NHS, education, local government, law and order, planning, housing, social care and the environment are examples of issues which are devolved to Scotland and therefore not likely to change immediately as a result of this Westminster election. The impacts of Brexit and independence will, however, have a significant impact on all aspects of life here and that’s why they feature so heavily in media reports.
On policy, the Scottish Green Party oppose Brexit and want the people of Scotland to benefit from being full members of the EU. They advocate for any Brexit deal being put back to the population in a second EU referendum with ‘remain’ as an option on the ballot paper.
They support Scottish independence and would push for the Section 30 order to be granted by Westminster so IndyRef2 could happen.
The Greens would introduce proportional representation for all elections, extend votes to 16yo, abolish the House of Lords and replace it with an elected second chamber, and support the devolution of further powers to the nations.
The environment features heavily in their manifesto of course, with the Greens calling for action to reduce our carbon emissions by 80% by 2030, permanently banning fracking, phasing out North Sea oil and gas extraction and ending nuclear power in Scotland.
They also say a ‘Green New Deal’ would create 200,000 Scottish jobs by supporting the development of renewable fuel sources, public ownership of the national grid, devolution of industrial policy to local communities and regions, and greater investment in public transport. The party has a long term aim of free public transport for all.
The party are against NATO membership and want Trident cancelled, instead moving the armed services to a defence and peacekeeping role to aid international humanitarian efforts.
In terms of LGBTI equality, the party included a number of commitments in their main election manifesto, including:
- Supporting reform of the Gender Recognition Act for transgender rights.
- Ensuring that tolerance and acceptance are part of the curriculum and cultural fabric of the nation.
- Standing against any repeal or watering-down of the European Convention of Human Rights, European Social Charter and the Human Rights Act.
At the time of publication, the Scottish Green Party were the first to have all their candidates standing in this election (22) sign the Equality Network’s LGBTI pledge.
The Greens have also been strong advocates for trans rights, launching a fully inclusive Women’s Pledge recently. It recognises that women have ‘shouldered the burden of austerity choices’ and explicitly states its support for self-declaration for transgender people, an issue which has seen other parties get into some difficulty.
The party’s LGBTI wing, Rainbow Greens, were contacted and provided this statement:
For LGBT+ people and their allies, the Scottish Green Party are the best party to vote for in the upcoming General Election.In our Westminster 2019 Manifesto, we have stated that we believe that LGBT+ rights must be protected and extended. The Scottish Greens want to ensure that the European Convention on Human Rights and the European Social Charter are enshrined in UK and Scottish law. We also oppose any effort to repeal the Human Rights Act of 1998.On top of that, the Scottish Greens also support reform of gender recognition legislation and procedures, in line with international best standards. We are the only party in the Scottish Parliament who are committed to the reforming the Gender Recognition Act 2004, which will allow trans people the right to self-determine their legal gender rather than go through a long-winded and degrading process where a faceless panel decides for them.Also, The Women’s Network of the Scottish Green Party recently launched their Women’s Pledge where they promise to include lesbian, bisexual, and trans women in their fight for an equal society. The Women’s Pledge also supports self-declaration for trans individuals and the recognition of non-binary genders.Finally, the Scottish Green Party have selected several LGBT+ candidates to stand in the election: Guy Ingerson in Aberdeen North, Elaine Gallagher in Glasgow Central, Dan Hutchison in Glasgow South, and Ben Parker in Edinburgh South West. There’s also a record number of trans and non-binary people standing for election across the UK and more than half of them are standing on behalf of the UK’s green parties.If you want a country that cares about and protects its LGBT+ population then #VoteGreen2019!
Pink Saltire are profiling the 5 main Scottish political parties in the General Election. Check our website for coverage of the SNP, Lib Dem, Labour and Conservative commitments.