Sunday, 26 April 2015

Five smaller parties fighting for your vote

Below is an article from The Week magazine. The number of political parties registered has massively grown since the last election. The breakdown of the two party system continues a pace. It will herald the end of first past the post, the House of Lords as we know it and the UK as we know it:-

A look at the parties campaigning for unicorns, a Minister for Men and the legalisation of cannabis.

In the closest general election in a generation, smaller parties on all sides of the political spectrum are fighting to get their voices heard.

Here are just some of the lesser-known parties standing in next month's election and their manifestos:

Pirate party

The Pirate movement first started in Sweden in 2006, launching three years later in Britain. It is fighting to strengthen civil liberties, protect internet freedom, increase transparency and promote free speech.

It launched what it's calling Britain's first crowd-sourced manifesto, which it assembled on Reddit. Its policies include removing CCTV from public places, the publication of all government documents and scrapping university tuition fees. "Although the Pirate party’s membership is small, my online life tells me these are indeed the political worries of a generation," Channel 4 News editor Paul Mason writes in The Guardian.

The Pirate party will be fielding six candidates across the UK.

Justice for Men and Boys (and the Women Who Love Them)

The anti-feminist party was founded by former Tory consultant and author of Feminism: The Ugly Truth, Mike Buchanan. He argues that men are under-represented in politics, compares feminism to Nazism and regularly hands out "lying feminist of the month" awards to women's rights campaigners.

Its manifesto promises to limit women's access to abortions, criminalise male circumcision, create a Minister for Men and Equalities and stop "subsidising sperm banks for single women and lesbians" so as not to "encourage" fatherless families. "I guess our target demographic is more men than women," concedes the party's leader.

Justice for Men and Boys is fielding three candidates in adjacent constituencies near Nottingham.

Monster Raving Loony party

Set up in 1983, it's often referred to as the longest-running joke in British politics. The Monster Raving Loony Party famously elected a cat as its co-leader and wants to make unicorns a protected species. Jokes aside, they argue that they serve a vital democratic function by allowing people to cast a genuine protest vote.

They haven't yet published their full manifesto, fearing the other parties will steal their policies. But the Loony party says it will reduce national debt by selling castles back to the French, will deliver a three-way referendum on the EU (In, Out, or Shake It All About) and will cancel stamp duty ("stamps are expensive enough so we shouldn't have to pay duty on them"). However, "beneath the gags, the party is disappointingly sane", writes Tom Rowley in the Daily Telegraph.

The Loony party is fielding 15 candidates across the UK.

Liberty GB

The far-right party was founded in 2013 by Paul Weston, a former Ukip and British Freedom Party member who was arrested last year on suspicion of religious or racial harassment.

He has branded the entire religion of Islam "savage, backward, and intolerant", but denies being an Islamophobe - instead calling himself an "Islamo-realist".

In its manifesto the party pledges to halt all immigration into the UK for the next five years, evict all foreigners from council homes, ban all Muslims from holding public office and repeal the Human Rights Act.

Liberty GB will be fielding three candidates across the UK.

Cannabis is Safer than Alcohol (Cista)

Founded earlier this year, Cista is fighting for a review of Britain's cannabis laws. It was set up by Paul Birch, the co-founder of social media company Bebo, who is personally bankrolling all of the candidates and is a regular cannabis user. He would prefer his children took cannabis over a glass of wine, he recently told the BBC.

Its manifesto pledges to convene a Royal Commission to undertake a fundamental review of Britain's drugs policy and hold a Global Medicinal Cannabis Summit in London in 2015. It argues that its proposals will "do less harm, reduce human suffering and minimise the damage caused to the victims of drug-related crime and consumers of drugs".

Cista is fielding 32 candidates in London, Scotland and Northern Ireland.

Read more:



No comments: