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All of Edinburgh Council is up for election on May 3rd, using the Single Transferable Vote (STV). Meadows/Morningside ward is electing four councillors. Remember, EU and Commonwealth citizens can vote in this election; if you’re not on the electoral roll, you have until the 18th of April to get on it by phoning the Electoral Registration Office on 0131 344 2500,
Save the internet!
The internet is under threat. In January this year, Wikipedia went blank for a day, to protest against proposed new laws. Wikipedia, which prides itself on its political neutrality, felt it had to do this because these laws would have shut it down. In Britain, the last Labour government passed the Digital Economy Act, which will force ISPs to disconnect their customers from the internet on mere accusation of file sharing. Because everyone in a family will be disconnected, this amounts to collective punishment -- which in wartime would be a war crime. Labour passed this law. The Tories, Lib Dems and SNP all support it. The Pirate Party is different. We say: repeal the Digital Economy Act scrap the ACTA Treaty no-one should be disconnected from the internet unless they’ve been found guilty of a criminal offence after been given a fair trial no collective punishment: so no-one to be disconnected from the internet because another member of their household has broken the law
About the Single Transferable Vote
In an STV election, you write “1” against the candidate you most like, then “2” against your next preference, and so on until you have no more preferences among the candidates. If your 1st preference isn’t elected, your vote is transferred to your 2nd preference. This means you can vote for the Pirate Party and be confident it won’t be a wasted vote -- give us a “1” and if we don’t win, your vote still counts for your next choice.
Our candidate: Phil Hunt
Who are the Pirate Party?
The first Pirate Party was founded in Sweden in 2006, on a platform of encouraging the spread of culture and knowledge on the internet, rebalancing copyright and patent law, and respecting privacy. Today there are Pirate Parties in over 40 countries worldwide, and there are 21 Pirate parliamentarians: 2 in the European Parliament and 19 in German state parliaments. Pirate Party UK was founded in 2009. Our website is at http://www.pirateparty.org.uk/. Pirate Party Scotland is the Scottish unit of Pirate Party UK. Phil Hunt is the Pirate Party candidate in Meadows / Morningside ward. He’s a computer programmer and internet entrepreneur. He’s lived in the ward since 2003, and resides in Spottiswoode Street, just south of the Meadows.
Affordable Housing for all
Edinburgh Pirates support a policy of affordable housing for all. Any Edinburgh resident will be able to apply for a council house and be guaranteed one within a year. There will be a wide range of types of house and flat to choose from. Once the tenant have lived in their home for a period, they'll be able to buy it. The money raised will go to building more council houses to make sure there are enough. How much will it cost the council to do this? Nothing, because the cost of the housing will be reflected in the rents.
If you want to save the internet, you need to vote Pirate this May. Of course, Edinburgh Council can’t fix this problem, but if the Pirate Party do well, it will make the other parties take notice.
Say NO to internet surveillance
David Cameron and Nick Clegg want to monitor everything you say on the internet, every email your receive, and every website you look at. And they want you to pay for it through higher internet bills. Labour are cynically opposing this, even though they proposed the same thing when they were in power. Say NO to the Tory and Lib Dem plans to create a Big Brother society -- vote Pirate.
Give us your vote, ideally a “1” but failing that a “2” or “3”.
How to contact us
For more detail on us and our policies, see http://edinburgh.pirateparty.org.uk/ Got any questions for our candidate? Want to joint the Pirate Party or deliver leaflets for us? Email email@example.com or phone 07930 631730.
Published and printed by Phil Hunt, 14/1 Spottiswoode St, Edinburgh.
Trams: the nightmare continues
Even the staunchest defender of Edinburgh Council would not describe the trams as an unqualified success. The council spent a year digging up Leith Walk, all in vain because they couldn’t afford to run the trams to Granton. They dug up Princes Street, only to have do it again because they hadn’t laid the tracks properly the first time. Originally costed at £375 million, the cost is now expected to be over £1 billion, and Edinburghers will be paying it off for decades.
We need to reform politics
Back in 2009, the MPs’ expenses scandal was the top news story. For example Sir Peter Viggers spent £1600 of your money on a duck house, and charged it to parliamentary expenses. Bad as this was, the far bigger scandal is when rich donors bribe politicians in return for favours. As Tory treasurer Peter Cruddas put it “If you're unhappy about something, we will listen to you and put it into the policy committee. It will be awesome for your business.” The going rate for dinner with David Cameron is £50,000 -- the Tories are so blatant they openly advertise this on their website. The other big parties are just as bad. Cash for improper influence is a crime. We will press for all donors and recipients of political bribes to be prosecuted. In the long term we need to get money out of politics, by banning large donations to political parties altogether. Peter Viggers’ Duck House
Tram roadworks on Princes St
It’s fair to say that the ruling Lib Dem and SNP coalition have presided over a complete fiasco. Are these really the people we want in change of Edinburgh Council’s billionpound-a-year budget? The Council leader, Lib Dem Councillor Jenny Dawe, is standing for election in Meadows / Morningside ward. For some reason her leaflets don’t mention the trams; obviously an oversight on her part. The Pirate Party wouldn’t have built the tram line, but we realise it’s too late to scrap it now. Instead we must do everything we can to make sure it is successful. This means: Integrate the trams with other transport. A single ticket should be valid for all Edinburgh's buses, the tram, and train journeys within Edinburgh. And re-route buses so their stops are near tram stops. Give people lots of reasons to make tram journeys: build housing, workplaces, and leisure facilities alongside the tram route. This particularly applies to the western part of the tram line, between the airport and the bypass.
Edinburgh needs to be governed more openly and democratically. all council meetings to be televised and downloadable from the internet; transcripts put online all information held by the council to be put online by default, including all council contracts above a certain value a “liquid democracy” system to make local democracy more responsive recall elections for all councillors
Because Westminster elections are held under First Past The Post, typically the voter only has a realistic choice between two parties. This prevents people from having a real choice. Incidentally, isn’t it odd that the Conservative and Labour parties support competition in business, but do their best to stifle it in their own sphere? Just another example of how the big parties are self-serving hypocrites.
Other transport policies
Edinburgh needs a city bicycle sharing scheme, like London and Paris have Consider re-opening the Edinburgh South Suburban Railway A city-wide taxibus service combining the cost of a bus with the service of a taxi All bus stops should contain a bus route map. A small change that would make the buses easier to use. Bus lane cameras should be put on the bus, not on the road, so that a driver can only be caught on camera and fined if he is actually impeding a bus.
The Pirate Party will institute proportional representation for all elections, to give voters a real choice, and force politicians to take the voters seriously.
Votes at 16
16 and 17 year olds are affected by decisions that politicians make, so they should be entitled to an equal say in electing those politicians.