How does British politics operate?

Understanding how the political system works can be very daunting. It isn't too difficult to get a handle on the basics and we've added a few resources below to help get you started. Taking the time to learn about the system will help you understand how you can get involved to influence and change it. There are many things the Green Party would like to change about modern politics but we need your help to do it.

An introduction to Parliament

This is a basic video explaining how parliament operates:

 


The Green Party would seek to change some of the outdated and unprogressive practices that are stagnating politics.

At the 2014 Green Party Autumn conference Caroline Lucas said this of Parliament:

"After four years at Westminster, people often come up to me now and ask whether I've got used to it...Used to it? The weird and wonderful traditions that make it a cross between Hogwarts and a Gilbert and Sullivan Comic Opera? The barracking and routine dishonesty? The way the lobbyists for the energy companies and arms companies swan around, knowing they’ve practically bought the place? I can reassure you, Conference, that, no, I have not got used to it."

For many of you who are disillusioned and disenfranchised voters the Green Party is the only party offering truly progressive reforms of our arcane and biased electoral system.

Electoral reform

One key policy that the Green Party supports is proportional representation. The archaic first past the post system in the UK continually delivers non representative governments and leaves smaller parties with little or no representation despite them having substantive levels of support. It leaves minority governments in command without a proportional representation in Parliament to keep them in check. In short it allows a minority government to act against the will of the majority of the people of the country and it also disengages people from feeling that there is any point in voting as a huge number of votes do not translate into proper representation.

More information on voting systems and electoral reform can be found here:
The Electoral Reform Society

Current Green Party policy on electoral reform can be found here:
Green Party Policy on Public Administration

Despite being produced in 1987 this John Cleese video (on behalf of the then SDP-Liberal Alliance) illustrates the problem with the first past the post electoral system.

 

 

It is striking to see how much hasn't changed since this video! Fortunately there are significantly more women at Westminster although they still only account for around 20% of MPs.
Read more about women in Parliament 

The Monarchy

The Green Party see no place in goverment for the hereditary principle. Read more on Green Party Policy here:
Green Party Policy on Public Administration

In addition to the above it is interesting to note that the monarch's power of Royal Prerogative was used to nullify a High Court decision in relation to the controversial case of the Chagos Islanders. For those who think the monarch has no power or does not exercise power this should be a wake up call as she did indeed overturn a ruling in the highest court of the country. The Blair government went on to to use the unelected House of Lords to overturn the High Court decision in a move that was entirely fiscal and political and not in the interests of justice. Watch the heartbreaking story of the Chagos Islanders.

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