The Scottish Green Party has welcomed confirmation that the general election is to be held on 6 May, and leading Green candidate Robin Harper has issued a challenge to General Election candidates of other parties to sign up to a Clean Campaign Pledge. According to the bookmakers, it is now odds-on that Green MPs will be elected for the first time in the UK. Candidates taking the pledge will commit 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 Clean Campaign Pledge reads as follows:
We, the undersigned, pledge:
- To fight a clean, positive and honest campaign around the issues that concern the public.
- 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 comply in full with the Electoral Commission's rules on donations.
Robin Harper, who will contest Edinburgh East for the Greens, signed up to the pledge first and said:
"The Scottish Green Party will be campaigning for sustainable jobs in a stable economy, and for the protection of crucial public services from cuts and privatisation, whilst protecting the environment. This is a crucial election. People have been badly let down by a significant number of their representatives; it's time for a fresh start. We are therefore calling on candidates to adopt the Clean Campaign Pledge. Public regard for politicians has never been lower, and it is crucial that we help regain the public's trust in politics. Honest and responsible campaigning by political parties is an essential part of this.
"Voters are tired of negative campaigning, of insults and innuendo. Greens across Scotland will continue to campaign on the issues that matter to local people, including the economy, health, education and climate change. We very much hope the other parties will sign up this week to the pledge we're suggesting. We need a mature and respectful political debate in this contest. Clean election campaigning is an important part of cleaning up politics. The Scottish people deserve a battle of ideas, not a battle of spin and misrepresentation."
The full list of Scottish Green Party candidates is here.