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Dumfries Climate Kitchen

MAY 2024: PREPARING FOR ELECTIONS – POLITICS & CLIMATE

With a general election looming, how do we elect the decision-makers our planet needs?

📣 Friday 17th May, The Stove Café, Dumfries High Street

We were delighted to host a brilliant discussion and debate about how politics might – or might not – help et us out of this mess… if only we can choose the right party to vote for!

Ian Gasse, a local historian who has published numerous books on the history of the organisation of the working class into the trade union movement, particularly in Dumfries, discussed the dilemma of addressing climate-related issues in our current electoral system. The ‘first-past-the-post’ system makes it difficult for progressive parties to gain a stronghold in a political sphere that often sees their votes split, leaving us in a situation where the Conservatives dominate, particularly in a context like Dumfries & Galloway, both now and in the past.

Iain McDonald, our Liberal Democrat candidate for Dumfries & Galloway, spoke of bringing an honest and open approach to politics, while acceding there are limits to what any one representative can do about a topic as broad as climate change.

Julie Douglass, our in-house Climate Kitchen boffin on all things politics, touched on a range of themes around alternatives to conventional politics such as direct action and protest.

Our evening culminated in a group discussion of what questions we really want our election candidates to answer in order that we can confidently put an X in the right box. Using the Ketso technique, which helps groups to deliberate on what issues are most important to them, Ben Hobman of Nith Life (also a Stove group that meet monthly to protect and celebrate our river Nith) helped us distil our thoughts and concerns into a series of questions we’ll be putting to our representatives. We’ll post the questions here shortly.

So, WHAT’S NEXT?

First, let’s put the climate emergency firmly on the agenda of ALL our election candidates! Write a letter to your candidates telling them what’s REALLY important to you if they want your vote. The general election has been announced for THURSDAY, 4TH JULY so we really have no time to waste!

Below is a list of the candidates – and their contact details – who are standing in Dumfries & Galloway for election this year.

Don’t know where to start with contacting your local candidates? Well the best thing to do is JUST START a conversation!

… But the second best thing is to come along to our June Climate Kitchen event, General Election Part 2 on Friday 21st June 2024, where we will hopefully be hearing from some of our candidates about their climate pledges, and we’ll get chance to pose our questions to them together.

So if you believe democracy might work – and let’s face it, with so much hanging in the balance it’s got to be worth a try, then we’ll see you at our next Climate Kitchen event!

Scottish National PartyTracey Littletracey.little@dumgal.gov.ukCouncil HQ English St Dumfries DG1 2DD
Scottish GreensLaura Moodie  laura.moodie@scottishgreens.org.uk19b Graham Street Edinburgh EH6 5QN
Conservative & Unionist PartyJohn Cooperjohncooperdg@gmail.com2 St Andrew Street Castle Douglas DG7 1DE
Labour PartyJames Wallacehello@wallace4dg.co.uk18 Buccleuch Street Dumfries DG1 2AT
Liberal DemocratsIan McDonaldgallowaylibdem@gmail.com3 Queen Elizabeth Drive Castle Douglas DG7 1HH
Heritage PartyDavid P Griffithsscotsheritage4219@gmail.com25 George Street Whithorn DG8 8NS
Reform UKCharles Anthony Kealdumfriesandgalloway@reformuk.com83 Victoria Street London SW1H 0HW

Image credit: (C) Rui Vieira / Pa Photos / NTB

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