The Progressive Alliance for Cornwall
“We believe that, Green, Labour, Liberal Democrat or Mebyon Kernow voters, have more in common with each other, than they have with the neo-liberal policies of the Conservatives.
A Progressive Alliance for Cornwall seeks to emphasise the commonalities between centre-left parties. There will always be clear policy differences, and distinct party identities, but where there is common ground, we seek to promote constructive dialogue, and work together on issues of common concern.
A progressive alliance for Cornwall also seeks to highlight our broken electoral system, that splits the centre left vote, allowing the Conservatives to secure dominant power on a minority of votes. In the last election, only one in four people voted for the Conservative government”
A newly formed Progressive Alliance for Cornwall is hosting its first public meeting on the 25th March on how progressive parties including the Green Party, Mebyon Kernow, Liberal Democrats and Labour can work together to oust the Tories. It will emphasise common ground rather than party differences and urge parties to work together to promote strong public services, a Green economy and real devolution for Cornwall.
They are also pro electoral reform. Coordinator, Gavin Barker said “The EU referendum showed that when people know that every vote counts, they come out in high numbers. We need a new voting system that builds on that; where the number of seats won better reflects the number of votes cast for a party, so that no vote is wasted.
At the last election the Conservatives secured absolute power with the support of less than 24% of the electorate; while five million votes gained by UKIP and the Greens resulted in just one seat for each of them.”
Speakers from both in and outside Cornwall will address these issues in the light of the EU referendum and Britain’s exit from the EU. They include Neal Lawson from the national think-do tank Compass which supports other grassroots progressive alliance initiatives and Owen Winter who campaigns nationally for Make Votes Matter and lives in Wadebridge.
Andrew George shared a platform with Caroline Lucas at Totnes over the weekend and both contributed to the book “The Alternative” which sets out the case for political alliances.
On their just launched website PAC describe themselves:
” We are a growing group of people, drawn from different political parties and no party, who seek to work for a kinder, more inclusive society, and to promote a progressive alternative to a Conservative government. We also seek to take a stand against the yawning inequalities which see an ever greater concentration of wealth, political and media power concentrated in the hands of a tiny elite, one whose narrow, self-serving agenda cascades right down to local government level. This is intolerable and a new kind of cross party politics is needed to combat the threat to our democracy and our wellbeing.
While we are members of Labour, Liberal Democrat, the Greens and Mebyon Kernow, we do not speak on behalf of our parties or make commitments and decisions in their name. We are here to forge informal cross party links, develop trust and explore common ground. In doing so, we hope we will trigger constructive conversations within and outside our respective parties.
This is about a more pragmatic, consensual politics that listens respectfully to difference, does not impose one point of view, speaks with honesty and acts with integrity. What matters is the greater good and a mature politics sees political parties as vehicles towards that end, not as ends in themselves.
Just as importantly we are here to assert progressive values of open-ness, tolerance, inclusivity and freedom of expression. We are outward looking and pro-European while affirming the right of nations and regions to determine their own future – and that includes Cornwall.
We see no conflict between Cornish identity and that based on race, faith, and ethnicity, for Cornwall is our home. It is where we belong. We believe that our different communities can and must come together to take back power and shape our own future”
Check out the PAC website: https://progressivealliancecornwall.com/
Their Vision Statement : https://progressivealliancecornwall.com/our-vision/
To register online and for updates on the conference programme go to https://progressivealliancecornwall.com/conference/