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Last Updated: Wednesday, 13 April 2005, 15:19 GMT 16:19 UK
UK voters' panel: Christopher Williams

MEET THE PANEL
Christopher Williams
Name: Christopher Williams
Age: 21
Lives: Oxford
Works: Student
Current voting intention: Green Party
In 10 words or less:
"Pragmatic, realistic, caring, responsible and Green"

I sincerely hope the Green Party will cover some issues of major importance which the main three parties are completely ignoring.

Firstly, I hope to see the Greens campaign for more aid and more reform of trade rules to help development in the Third World.

If we call the UK a civilised country, we can't sit by and do nothing about world poverty.

I would really like to see the Greens emphasising climate change and the environment in general.

Recent research suggests the situation is ever more urgent.

Even the government's chief scientific advisor believes climate change is a bigger threat to the world than terrorism.

VOTERS' PANEL
I hope the Greens will push for much more energy from renewable sources, energy efficiency and much better public transport and tax on aircraft fuel.

On the economy, I would really like to see the Green Party proposing reforms in favour of small businesses rather than multinational corporations.

I also want them to push the government to focus less on economic growth and more on our quality of life.


Your comments:

It's such a shame that more people don't think like this. Instead of focusing people's minds on the big issues that confront the human race, parties simply attempt to out-do each other with catchy slogans and inward looking short term policies. The Green Party has a global agenda, beyond the petty bickering and minor variations in the management of subsidised capitalism offered by Labour and the Tories.
Adam Corner, Cardiff

What I like most about Green policy is the idea of localism, in which production is controlled and distributed within autonomous and sustainable communities. This removes the need for major commuting and outsourcing of goods and services to large external organisations like importers, banks, supermarkets or even governments and is actually concerned with real goods and wealth rather than simply shifting around money and paperwork in an unsustainable process of debt, subsidies, interest and profit. They propose mutually owned credit unions to take the place of vulture-like banks.
Martin, Reading

I think the Green Party will get a big student vote as we seem to care more for the environment as it's out future. It seems harsh but in the real world if we cancel and wipe poverty out then the global economy will fall apart, they lent the money, they pay it back.
Elizabeth, UK

I always believed voting for the Green Party was pointless as they would never get in. I no longer think this way. I will vote Green this May. We must shed our old views of politics and start looking at what is going on in our country and start taking responsibility for ourselves and see that we can all do our little bit to improve things for ourselves and our children.
Jo Parham, Bristol

Green on the outside, red on the inside.
A, Stamford

The Greens' opposition to nuclear energy is a sad betrayal of the environmental cause they claim to uphold
Andy S, London
I agree that none of the main parties are really dealing with environmental issues, preferring to hide their heads in the sand. Unfortunately the Greens' opposition to nuclear energy is a sad betrayal of the environmental cause they claim to uphold - that's really the only way the world can reduce its dependence on fossil fuels in the short to medium term. Especially as we don't have a lot of time left, if any.
Andy S, London, UK

Chris, it's nice to see a fellow young person reject the anti-environment, anti-people policies of the big three. I would, however, question whether the Greens have the capability to reach out to disaffected Labour voters. Maybe Respect are a more rounded alternative.
Hanif Leylabi, Newcastle, UK

I completely agree with Christopher but the Greens also need to convince the wider public that they are not just a single issue party and that they have policies on the economy, immigration, health and education if they are to break through the first-past-the-post system and get their first MPs.
Baz, Derbyshire, England

Congratulations on taking a brave stance and backing the Green Party. If only more people would vote for the party that represents them, as opposed to the least offensive of the big three. Their only fault is their opposition to nuclear power, which is cleaner than our current fossil fuel generators. It's a shame they have stuck to this outdated anachronism.
EEW, Birmingham, UK

I have some sympathy with the Green Party and I believe global warming is the most important issue facing the world today. But the Greens won't get anywhere until we have a fair voting system based on proportional representation, and the only way to get that is to vote Liberal Democrat.
Geoff Payne, London, England

Climate change is the number one challenge and has hardly been mentioned by the major parties
Simon Helmer, Stourbridge
Spot on about climate change. This issue is the number one challenge and has hardly been mentioned by the major parties - this needs to become a mainstream issue as it will affect every single person in the country. With regards to poverty and the Third World Gordon Brown and Tony Blair have been taking a lead amongst world leaders in addressing this issue - this has been a step in the right direction.
Simon Helmer, Stourbridge, UK

Unfortunately, the Greens are neither a party of small or big business. They are completely anti-business, failing to realise that because of all business, whether small or multinational, we actually have wealth to redistribute and to put into healthcare, education and, among other things, prevention of environmental destruction. As for reform of trade rules, a good idea but any suggestions of more protectionism will lack credibility.
Nathan James, Liverpool

Well done Chris. Let's stop burying our heads in the sand and have action, not words on climate change, world poverty reduction and most important, sustainability. If we haven't got sustainability then education, health and school dinners don't matter a jot. We won't have a country left for our kids to enjoy.
L Taylor, Lincs, UK

"I also want them to push the government to focus less on economic growth and more on our quality of life." My questions: If they did this, where would the money come from? It's economic growth that generates extra money for these environmental improvements. Why is it that the stock answer to all environmental problems is we (the people) can pay more? Flat rate charging hits the low paid the worst and has almost no impact on the rich. If we are going down this road lets have a system that hits everybody equally. Why should I get priced out of a holiday whilst the well off, like the Blairs, still get theirs?
David Price, Tamworth, UK

Unfortunately while the majority of people, like David Price, equate quality of life with money it will be very difficult for the Green Party to make any headway with the voters. Socially responsible parties like the Green Party encourage a less materialistic view of life and this I applaud. I hope I live to see the day when a majority agree and are prepared to do something about it.
Karen, Southampton, England

Christopher, I just hope you've had a look at the rest of the Green party's policies (try the BBC's excellent party comparison table) because I'm not sure they'll actually appeal to your ideals. There is a mainstream party which is also environmentally conscious, the Lib Dems - it's a key aspect of many of their policies, and they might actually be a better 'fit' for your other issues!
Em, Newcastle, Staffs, UK

I completely agree with you that the Green Party should work on the fields you mention, but that doesn't mean that other parties don't have to do the same. Poverty and climate change should be on everyone's agenda. On top of that, you write that there should be more focus on our quality of life, but it shouldn't just be ours. We have the means and the responsibility to give people all over the world a chance for a better life. I wish the Green Party all the best, but even if they don't get a seat in Parliament, these issues should not be forgotten.
Dorien Keizer, The Netherlands





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