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Greens Call for "Clean Campaign" as Election Called

Author: 
John Freeman
With the General Election announced for 6th May, Green Party candidate for Lancaster and Fleetwood Gina Dowding has joined her Party nationwide and issued a challenge to General Election candidates of other parties to sign up to a Clean Campaign Pledge.

Variations of the Pledge have been used in previous by-elections and local elections and have met with support from various parties elsewhere, such as Norwich (by both Green and Conservative candidates). They have also been used in elections in the US and Canada and other countries.

Candidates taking the pledge will commit to fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around the issues that concern local voters; o tell the truth about what we stand for and have achieved, and about what others stand for and have achieved; to refrain from personal attacks; not to mislead the public about who is likely to win and to make only honest and reasonable promises.

The Pledge also calls on those who sign up to be honest about public spending and to publish online details of all donations of more than £1,000, in line with Electoral Commission rules.

The Liberal Democrats have a national version of the Pledge (PDF format) which declares their candidates should never lie to the electorate or make statements about our opponents without evidence to support them.

"I have always believed in campaigning in a positive and informative way, based on my record and policies," says Gina Dowding, Green Party General Election candidate for the Lancaster and Fleetwood constituency. "I hope we can have a mature and respectful political debate in what is likely to be a close contest for the Lancaster and Fleetwood seat at this General Election.

"Clean election campaigning is an important part of cleaning up politics, but if elected as MP I also pledge not to abuse the expenses system, to retain my home in Lancaster, to hold regular surgeries for residents to raise issues with me and to respond promptly to communications from residents.”

"Public regard for politicians has never been lower, and it is crucial that we help regain the public's trust in politics," adds Jon Barry, the Green Party Election Campaign Team manager. "Honest and responsible campaigning by political parties is an essential part of this."

"Voters are tired of negative campaigning, of insults and innuendo," he continued. "Greens in this consituency will continue to campaign on the issues that matter to local people including the economy, health, education and climate change not on hypocritical and petty point scoring which is too often a feature of old-style election campaigning.

"We very much hope the other candidates will sign up this week to this pledge."

The Clean Campaign Pledge:


We, the undersigned, pledge:

• To fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around the issues that concern local voters.

• To tell the truth about what we stand for and have achieved, and about what others stand for and have achieved.

• To refrain from personal attacks.

• To make only honest and reasonable promises.

• To be honest about public spending.

• To publish online details of all donations of more than £1,000, in line with Electoral Commission rules.

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