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Cornwall Greens: The climate and our democracy are the biggest losers of this election

Cornwall’s Green Party is calling for people of all parties to see the general election result as a call to arms to defend our climate and reform our “dysfunctional” electoral system.

Karen La Borde, who stood for the Green Party in Camborne and Redruth, said: “The real losers at this election are our climate and our democratic system.  It is grim beyond measure that the Conservative Party is planning to spend more than three times more on building new roads than on reducing carbon emissions.

“The next five years are crucial if we are to have any hope of avoiding catastrophe for the climate system that we all depend on. It’s up to all of us now to push as hard as we can for action at the scale and speed necessary to address the planetary crisis we are facing. The Green Party will be at the forefront of that fight, and we will work with people of all parties and none for stronger action so that we can leave our children a planet worth living on.

“We’re glad that we were able to keep the climate emergency at the front and centre of the election campaign in Cornwall.  And we’re also buoyed up by the fact that so many people told us they’d be voting Green at the Council elections in 2021. There is much that can be done at local level, and having a Green in the room where key decisions are taken can make all the difference.”

Tom Scott, the party’s candidate for Truro and Falmouth, said:

“Nationally, the Green Party saw the biggest percentage increase of any political party. The Green vote was up on 2017 in every seat where we stood in Cornwall, and in Truro and Falmouth we doubled our vote. This was despite widespread tactical voting for larger parties: we’ve spoken with so many people who told us they’d love to have voted Green but felt that they had to vote tactically this time to try to stop Boris Johnson. We understand this – our antiquated first-past-the-post voting system sometimes makes it hard for people to show their support for the party they truly believe in.

“But tactical voting didn’t work. Despite almost half the people of Cornwall voting against the Conservatives, the only people representing us at Westminster will be Conservatives. Nationally, a 1.2% increase in the Conservative vote gave the party an additional 47 seats, and it will now be able to push through a hard Brexit despite the fact that a majority of people voted for parties that were against Brexit and/or for a People’s Vote.

“We hope this will concentrate people’s minds on the urgent need to reform our dysfunctional electoral system so that it properly reflects the way people actually vote.”

Tom, an academic with a special interest in social media disinformation, also commented on the way in which some parties had conducted the campaign:

“I was expecting to see some underhand tactics, given that many of the people behind Vote Leave’s thoroughly dishonest campaign in 2016 were also involved in this election. But it was even worse than I’d anticipated. Carefully constructed lies and fake news stories spread by armies of bots and sockpuppet accounts – these are techniques reminiscent of those used by Vladimir Putin.

“No less than 88% of the ads pumped out by the Conservative Party have been flagged by independent fact-checking organisations as factually untrue. We urgently need to tighten up the rules that should protect our democracy from this sort of voter manipulation.”