Gill from Transition Exeter argues that working to improve democratic processes in our democratic system could be vital for protecting our environment and suggests an initiative…
Are we losing more than we’re winning? Transition Exeter wants to see Exeter transitioning towards a low carbon and socially just society; however more is being invested in roads than rail, buses and cycling; planning rules don’t favour decisions based on environmental sustainability and thousands of new houses which increase emissions are being added to Exeter without enough thought to sustainable transport; public services are being stretched or shredded and inequality nationally is rising. It is harder to promote sustainable lifestyles where some are too poor to have choices and others too rich to care.
This seems to reflect a trend to increasing influence of wealth over governments, through lobbying, political donations, social interaction and the revolving door between the worlds of corporations and governments. Many of the changes taking place are happening despite public opinion, such as the failure to fund health, social care and education adequately.
To have proper environmental protections it may be necessary to work to protect and develop democracy itself; so there is greater transparency, accountability and so that every vote counts, every voice has an equal chance of being heard.
Compass is an organization dedicated to supporting progressive politics in Britain (you can see more about it at www.compassonline.org.uk). Is anyone else interested in starting a local Compass group in Exeter to host political discussions without allegiance to any particular political party? If so, please get in touch: firstname.lastname@example.org