Real culprit is 'the silly voting system'

Linden Road, Hebden Bridge.

THERE'S been a bit of a fuss about the Greens being excluded from the education debate at Todmorden High.

Steph Booth wonders, quite reasonably, why I didn't ask earlier to be included on the panel.

The first reason is that I only found out details of the event from Hilary Myers in January (by the way, I'm grateful to Hilary and to Craig Whittaker for asking the National Union of Teachers (NUT) to include me.)

Secondly, I thought that I could strengthen my case for inclusion by making a good contribution to the Lightcliffe debate on February 2.

I won't deny that I feel some personal frustration at this situation, but there's a much bigger issue at stake.

Although the NUT have been inflexible, the real culprit is the ridiculous voting system we've been lumbered with since the 18th century.

This, and the national media's fixation on the Westminster village, makes people think that only three parties "count".

Bear with me for a few numbers.

In the 2005 General Election, 19, 808,143 (from a total of 44,110,782) members of the UK electorate did NOT vote for the three "main parties".

At last year's Euro election, where people had more choice, that number rose to a cool 36,654,902.

That's 36 and a half million people whose views won't be represented in Todmorden on March 11.

Don't blame the NUT, blame the silly voting system.

And vote to change it at the General Election!

KATE SWEENY

Green Party Parliamentary Candidate, Calder Valley