1. Social Justice
The Green Party fights for the rights of the most vulnerable and excluded groups in our society. We want to tackle the high levels of deprivation and poverty through commitments such as the living wage. We resolutely oppose racism, sectarianism, homophobia, misogyny and other forms of social injustice. We stand against so-called ‘austerity’ measures imposed on the least well-off, and the running down and privatisation of our public services. We believe that today’s excessive wealth inequality is not only morally wrong but is also detrimental to the stability and well being of the whole of society. For us social justice does not begin and end at the border: we are committed to fair trade and ethical foreign policies. We are committed to tackling climate change, not least because of the impact that it will have on the poorest and most vulnerable people. The Green Party is committed to equal rights for all in our society.
If everyone in the world lived like the average person in Northern Ireland it would take 3 planets to sustain us. The Green Party is the only party which recognises the urgent need to change our economic model to make it compatible with the constraints that we face. We can do this by incorporating the external and long term costs of our actions into decision we make today. We have a vision for an efficient, resilient, smart economy which is is not so dangerously exposed to outside shocks. For us it is not the economy versus the environment: protecting the environment can make economic sense.
3. Grassroots democracy
For the Green Party, democracy is not just a matter of casting a vote every few years; we want to see decisions in the interests of local, inclusive communities being taken by those communities. This means supporting our democratic structures through public funding of political parties, transparency in party political donations, and decision making at the lowest effective level. We believe in the need to raise the level of organised engagement in public life and to transform our democratic structures to make them more direct, participatory and legitimate.
The Green Party is strongly opposed to corruption and cronyism – we are the only party in the NI Assembly which doesn’t accept corporate donations and the only party in the Assembly which publishes all donations we receive over £500.
4. Nonviolence & Peace
The Green Party is committed to the principle of nonviolence. If we are to learn to live together in all our diversity we will need to work towards a fundamental change in the way we structure our institutions and relate to each other. The promotion of a politics of nonviolence means not just bringing and end to this or that particular conflict, but dismantling the structures and conditions that lead to conflict. This requires implementing measures to eradicate poverty and inequality; respecting diverse cultures; examining the context of conflict from all sides; and a commitment to resolving political differences by exclusively nonviolent and democratic means. Peace is not just the absence of violence; it is a willingness to resolve conflict in a constructive manner with a spirit of good will, generosity and respect.
Finally, the principle of nonviolence means living as nonviolently as possible towards our whole ecosystem, including other creatures capable of suffering. In short, nonviolence underpins everything the Green Party in Northern Ireland stands for.