The Green party has always been at the vanguard of experiments in ‘doing democracy’ better: giving more people a say in how we choose our politicians, making the results of elections more reflective of public opinion and ensuring our representatives are, well, more representative.
The Greens are firmly behind extending the vote to 16-year-olds, for example, and for switching to a more proportional voting system for Westminster – and local council – elections. The right to vote should, say the Greens, be based on residency, not nationality.
Obviously, any changes to the UK voting system would require a change in the law, and that isn’t in the Green party’s gift to give. But internal elections are already conducted according to these principles, and now, with elections to the European parliament just a few months away, we’re seeing an experiment in a new form of real democracy: a EU-wide, on-line ‘primary’ election for the Greens’ faces of the pan-European campaign.
Where all the other parties are choosing their lead candidates internally, the Greens have thrown the process open to every EU citizen aged 16 or over.