Peter Kellner’s piece (Jan. ’11) on how the Parliamentary Voting System and Constituencies Bill badly underestimates the effect that AV will have on the composition of the Commons.
Because it puts an end to the main form of tactical voting and to the ‘wasted vote’ argument, AV changes the expressed first preferences of voters. For example, the rise of the Greens in Australia has been predicated on growing numbers of Aussies voting Green even if and where the Greens have little chance of winning; voters can affords to do this, because their second preferences etc will still count.
If the AV referendum goes through, expect much more substantial changes to British politics (than Kellner has woken up to) – including an accelerated rise for the Green Party.
C’llr. Rupert Read, one of 21 Norwich Green Councillors
“We are concerned about the de facto militarisation of the Egyptian government, when what is really needed is a swift and clear promise of _democratisation_. We praise the bravery of those protesting against the dictatorial Mubarak regime. We call on our MPs and our government to exert the strongest possible economic and diplomatic pressure on the Egyptian regime to refrain from treating protesters with violence and brutality, and to concede forthwith the free and fair elections that are their main demand.”
Millions of brave Egyptians are right now facing a fateful choice. Thousands have been jailed, injured or killed in the last few days. But if they press on in peaceful protest, they could end decades of tyranny.
The protesters have appealed for international solidarity, but the dictatorship knows the power of unity at a time like this – they’ve desperately tried to cut Egyptians off from the world and each other by completely shutting down the internet and mobile networks.
Satellite and radio networks can still break through the regime blackout — let’s flood those airwaves with a massive cry of solidarity showing Egyptians that we stand with them, and that we’ll hold our governments accountable to stand with them too. The situation is at a tipping point — every hour counts — click below to sign the solidarity message, and forward this email:
People power is sweeping the Middle East. In days, peaceful protesters brought down Tunisia’s 30-year dictatorship. Now the protests are spreading to Egypt, Yemen, Jordan and beyond. This could be the Arab world’s Berlin Wall moment. If tyranny falls in Egypt, a tidal wave of democracy could sweep the entire region.
Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak has tried to crush the rallies. But with incredible bravery and determination, the protesters keep coming.
There are moments when history is written not by the powerful, but by people. This is one of them. The actions of ordinary Egyptians in the coming hours will have a massive effect on their country, the region, and our world. Let’s cheer them on with our own pledge to stand with them in their struggle:
Mubarak’s family has left the country, but last night he ordered the military into the streets. He’s ominously promised 0 tolerance for what he calls ‘chaos’. Either way, history will be made in the next few days. Let’s make this the moment that shows every dictator on our planet that they cannot stand long against the courage of people united.
With hope and admiration for the Egyptian people,
Ricken, Rewan, Ben, Graziela, Alice, Kien and the rest of the Avaaz team
Egypt unrest: Alert as mass protests loom
Egyptian government shuts down the Internet
North Africa: Will dominoes fall in the region?
‘Beginning of the end’ for Egypt’s Mubarak as son and wife flee
Amnesty International condemns the crackdown on demonstrations
Regular updates are being posted by Egyptian activists here:
ACCESS campaign for digital freedom in Egypt:
Listen to the remarkable double interview in this morning’s The World Today
programme on the BBC World Service.
The interview, beginning at about 26’4″ into the programme, is with two young
people: Ahmed in Cairo (whose phone is intermittently jammed by the
dictatorship) and Sanay in Tunis.
They express mutual support and solidarity. Their revolution is one.
Near the end of the interview, at about 30’48’, the BBC guy asks Sanay: “Do you think history
is on your side?”
And without a milli-second hesitation, she delivers the right answer:
“We are making history; people are making history!”
Today our six East Anglian writer-campaigners – Rupert Read, Mark Crutchley, Charlotte Du Cann, Marguerite Finn, David Seddon, & Trevor Phillips – launched the @OneWorldColumn blog an an online magazine, forum and news network for the region’s progressive organisations.
The One World Column was for six years a regular weekly feature in the Eastern Daily Press, commenting on issues including international development, poverty, globalisation, peacemaking, human rights, international relations and the environment. It also commented on local news from a global perspective. The column was written by a rotating team of six volunteer writers and also published on its own website. When the EDP terminated the weekly column, the writers decided to produce a blog and develop a partnership with progressive organisations with similar interests. Campaigning groups and charities will provide guest writers and news – and network the blog to their organisations’ supporters, creating a wide audience.
The blog was launched last night at a party at the East of England Production Innovation Centre (EPIC) in Norwich. The event was attended by forty guests from independent media, social enterprises, environment organisations, trades unions, charities and political campaigns.
One World Column blog will be:
– a focal point for news and comment on local events linked to global themes
– a link to progressive local NGOs and campaigns and their work – a fresh voice from East Anglia, completely independent of corporate media interests – a place where ideas and information are shared – a forum for guest writers on ‘one world’ themes, especially young writers
– a medium with audio-visual and other new elements, too.
…In a time of increasing global dangers and national political challenges it is important to bring local progressives into supportive partnerships. We want to establish a relationship with other independent media, like-minded writers, progressive campaigns, NGOs, artists and others throughout the region – to develop the One World Column as an asset for us all – reaching members and supporters of our organisations plus the wider public. Organisations can write to (explain how ) to be part of this venture.