Monday, September 8, 2008

Elections, elections, elections

So, I guess I should go through the results of the other elections before I collapse into sleep...

First the postal ballots for GPEx... (turnout 34.7%)


Jim Killock 914
James Humphreys 1,592
RON 34

Equality and Diversity...

Shahrar Ali 579
Maya De Souza 1,547
Linda Duckenfield and Lyndsay McAteer 396
RON 27

External Communications...

Tracy Dighton-Brown 1975
Richard Eden 505
RON 54

And the other election result I have to hand... SOC!

There are five posts for this rather important internal committee that essentially overseas much of the democratic process of the party. There were nine candidates of whom four were elected before RON kicked in.

The four were Payam Torobi, Mark Hill, Pippa Lane and Jim Jepps - which means only one of the previous five has continued into this year - and he has to step down in Spring unfortunately as he will then have been on the committee for three years.

A radical, feminist party

After a workshop with a guest speaker on the final day of the Green Party conference today, I asked the speaker (who had better remain nameless since I didn't ask her if I could quote her) how different she'd found it to other party conferences that she attended. "You're a lot more radical," she said.

And of course she's right. You start to regard such radicalism as "normal" after a few days at conference - and not realise how views about basic fairness and equality are still regarded as radical in the "outside world".

But sometimes it can be very pleasing. I moved, with the support of our new leader Caroline Lucas, among many others, the following emergency motion:
The Green Party conference notes that in October Westminster MPs will be voting on an amendment to the Human Fertilisation and Embryology bill to extend the 1967 Abortion Act to Northern Ireland. It notes that women in Northern Ireland, through the rulings of the parliament in London, have suffered daily discrimination in having to travel to England to pay for an abortion. It notes that it is the poor, the young and the otherwise disadvantaged for whom this presents the most difficulties, but that for all women this means delay that results in abortions that are carried out later than would otherwise be necessary.
Conference calls on MPs to support amendments extending the same access to abortion that has been available to women in England, Scotland and Wales to the women of Northern Ireland.

That motion was not only passed by conference, but passed by an overwhelming majority, with only a very few hands raised in opposition.

It's not an easy topic to raise and get attention paid to. As soon as you mention any issues associated with Northern Ireland a great many journalists and political types roll their eyes and change the subject, and then if you combine that with abortion – a subject that tends to sink into conversations of uncomfortable silence – you're really fighting a battle.

But the Green Party is prepared to take on the difficult issues, the challenging issues - one reason why I'm involved with it, when I can't imagine being involved (and never have even previously considered getting involved) in any other party.