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Last Updated: Saturday, 5 November 2005, 18:55 GMT
Greens enjoying political climate
Green MSPs
The party points to its successes at Holyrood
The Scottish Greens have emerged as a "major new force in politics", with a decisive role to play in the future, according to their co-conveners.

Robin Harper and Shiona Baird delivered upbeat messages to delegates at their two-day conference in Dundee.

The party said it was expecting to hold the balance of power at Holyrood at the next election and win council seats for the first time.

At the same time, the party launched its biggest ever cash appeal.

Delegates at the Bonar Hall have been told that the Scottish Greens remain on course to secure a breakthrough by winning council representation.

The party said its seven MSPs and committed activists have made an impact on the Scottish political landscape.

Even with our limited numbers in parliament we have been making a difference and injecting a heavy dose of reality into political debate
Shiona Baird
Party co-convener

It cited the MSPs' role in the Scottish Executive's defeat on identity cards, their highlighting of the dawn immigration raids issue and continued pressure over the M74 extension.

North East MSP Ms Baird said: "Greens are emerging as a major new force in Scottish politics, particularly given the prospect that we may well hold the balance of power come the 2007 elections.

"We need to bridge the growing gulf between politicians and the people they represent and work for - and that means the new politics that we were promised with the Scottish Parliament, not the stale politics of the old parties."

Ms Baird said her party has exposed the Labour and Liberal Democrat coalition's lack of commitment to energy and climate change.

She said: "Even with our limited numbers in parliament we have been making a difference and injecting a heavy dose of reality into political debate.

Robin Harper
This ambitious strategy sets us the toughest fundraising target in our history
Robin Harper MSP
Scottish Greens co-convener

"We are leading the fight against climate change and Scotland's appalling record on pollution."

Robin Harper, MSP for the Lothians, began the party's biggest push to swell its election war chest.

"Greens have achieved an extraordinary amount on limited funds in the past," he said.

"When it comes to using resources wisely we practice what we preach and the 2007 elections will be our biggest opportunity yet."

Mr Harper added: "This ambitious strategy sets us the toughest fundraising target in our history.

"We should aim to double our campaign budget to elect Greens at every level across Scotland, and I know the party is up to that task."

Activists agreed a coalition policy for Holyrood, based on parties being able to speak freely on any issue.

The motion was passed despite some members being critical of the current Labour-Liberal Democrat partnership.

They argued the coalition forced the parties to take decisions they did not agree with.




SEE ALSO:
Call for action over air quality
03 Nov 05 |  Scotland
Greens turn on economy yardstick
22 Sep 05 |  Scotland
Cyclists saddle up for campaign
14 Jun 05 |  Scotland


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