This St David’s Day I can't help but reflect on our proud history of rising up and rebelling in Wales.
From the Chartists, the Suffragettes and the Rebecca Riots, throughout history we have campaigned for representation of people in our country and to progress politics.
I believe we have found ourselves at a point in history where politics isn't working – and unless things are changed, it will compromise all our futures. The recent spate of MPs crossing the floor has shown that our two party system doesn’t work. Having to pick between blue and red is too simplistic and doesn’t reflect the complexity of the issues of our day.
The first past the post electoral system means that not every vote is counted equally. In the 2015 General Election, for example, the Green Party got 1.1 million votes and one MP while the Scottish National Party got 1.6 million votes and 56 MPs. This leaves people feeling abandoned by politics, like it’s not worth voting at all. We need electoral reform to makes votes count and end the duopoly of the House of Commons.
Our country is crying out for new ideas, and our big Green vision can deliver that and more
The two party system is broken. We need to radically overhaul our archaic voting system and move to a fairer and more representative politics. A politics that gives voice to the all of the people who have been disenfranchised by the Westminster deadlock. We once again need a radical move to a fairer voting system and equality. Without that in place, it will by harder to overturn politics as usual.
Because ‘politics as usual’ doesn’t cope with the biggest challenges facing us. There is no better illustration of that than our current climate crisis. Unless we take advantage of this window of opportunity, we have just 12 years to curb the worst effects of climate change – something that's at the forefront of so many of our minds when unseasonably warm weather has turned parts of Wales and the UK into a tinderbox. Yet despite this, the Westminster Government has signed off on airport expansions and fracking while refusing to back the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon.
We have also been failed by current politics when our opportunities are stifled by society because of our age, gender, race ability and sexuality. The major parties are too caught up in their infighting to be able to envision an economy and a society for the 21st century.
We need a vision for Wales. A vision of how we build a country that addresses our current environmental emergency. That means backing the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon and other major clean energy projects. It means investing in insulating houses to make Welsh homes warmer, cosier and more energy efficient. And it means backing a transport revolution in our country.
We need major investment in green industries across Wales. We need a South Wales metro system, a modern nationwide efficient transport network, and a move away from the reliance on diesel, petrol and old-fashioned road building. That’s why I want to represent Newport West and all of Wales as the Green Party MP for Newport West. Our country is crying out for new ideas, and our big Green vision can deliver that and more.
Right now, I believe that Wales is ready for a Green rebellion.