Top Lothians region Holyrood candidates Robin Harper and Mark Ballard joined their Scottish Green Party colleagues today to launch the manifesto for the 2007 parliament elections, presenting the party’s vision for Green government in Scotland.Â
With many polls pointing to the possibility of Greens holding the balance of power after the election, the manifesto is built on seven key pledges that will be the priorities for Green MSPs during the next session of Parliament.
The party is putting climate change top of its agenda, backed up by a broad set of policy proposals designed to reduce emissions every year and secure the economic and social benefits of a low-carbon economy. This includes a Â£100m fund to support imaginative community initiatives to cut emissions. Greens also promise to keep key public services in public hands, and end the ASBO-only approach to young people by providing opportunities for ‘social behaviour’. Greens in government will:
- Tackle climate change, cut pollution every year.
- Deliver world class public transport, not road and airport expansion.
- Support local business and social enterprise, regulate supermarkets.
- Keep the NHS and water public, reverse rail privatisation.
- Say No to Trident and nuclear power, invest in renewable energy.
- Tackle poverty, provide warm, affordable, energy efficient homes.
- Stop demonising young people; defend civil liberties and promote equality.
Top Lothians list candidate and party co-leader Robin Harper said:
“The real difference between the Green Party and the other main parties is that we are the party that makes a serious effort to identify the root causes of Scotland’s social and environmental problems. The others have added the thinnest layer of green camouflage – offering the people of Scotland mere gimmicks and sticking-plaster solutions.
“If the next Executive doesn’t take the hard choices needed to tackleÂ climate change then it’ll be 2011 before we can vote them out of office – yet the science of climate change is telling us we must make these choices within the next four years.
“In other words, the current generation of voters and politicians are the last generation that can truly take action to tackle this crisis. So if the people of Scotland want to live in a sustainable and socially just nation, as I believe they do, they’ll have to act now and first vote Green on the 3rd of May.”
Mark Ballard, second candidate on the regional list, urged the Scottish people to turn out on election day and back the Greens’ vision for Scotland. He said:
“If you have voted Green in the past, there could be no more important time to do so again. If you are voting for the first time, or just considering voting Green for the first time, I urge you to back our vision for a socially just and internationally responsible Scotland, built on a high-tech, high-skill, low-carbon economy.
“Whether or not the polls are right to suggest we could hold the balance of power in the new Parliament, one thing is for certain: unless more Green MSPs are elected in a month’s time, the ScottishÂ Executive and Parliament will continue to drift on the issues that matter to the country. The only way to ensure that Scotland’s government takes climate change and social justice seriously is to first vote Green on the 3rd of May: not a protest vote but a progress vote.”
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Notes to editors
1.Â Â Â The manifesto is available online from the party’s website, and print copies are also available on request.
2.Â Â Â Additional Green pre-manifesto documents “Climate Crisis – 12 Steps To A Low Carbon Economy” and “Quality of Life – Green Agenda for Social Change” have been published in recent weeks and are also available from the party’s website.