I've been meaning to write this post for ages, but, as always, timing is not my strong point. So here we are, the eve of the election, and I am finally sitting down to spell out exactly why I’ll be voting for the Green Party in the general election. If you’re interested, I’ll be voting Green tomorrow because:
- I can
For the first time ever, I can vote Green in a general election. Long gone are the days of choosing from three crappy and one racist party on the ballot sheet. Tomorrow I’ll be able to march into the polling station and vote for a party I actually like. The Green Party has candidates in over 90% of constituencies for this election. And this means, for the first time ever, most voters will actually have the chance to vote Green.
- Tactical voting is bullshit
I’m from Burnley, I was pretty much raised on tactical voting. Choosing Labour to keep the BNP out is as much a part of my being Northern as curry sauce, long vowels and the word ‘brew’. I have always voted tactically, believing it was my job to rectify our broken electoral system by giving up my vote to save the world from the BNP. But, you know what? No more. We were given a referendum on changing the voting system, and after a long campaign of misinformation by the major political parties, the country voted no. Fine. The major parties got what they wanted, and we’re still stuck in an unfair voting system. But don’t expect me to pick up the pieces anymore, I’m voting for whoever I want (spoiler alert: it will be the Greens).
- I’m not voting for myself
I don’t think we should be voting for the party who will see us, as individuals, better off after the election. This isn’t about individuals, it’s about society. To decide which party will take care of our society better, we must look to the most vulnerable members of society and how they will be affected by the policies of the future. How will the policies affect the children living in poverty? How will they affect the elderly who can’t afford to heat their homes? How will policies affect future asylum seekers looking for refuge? All of these questions are way more important than how my own bank balance will look after the election. I’m not voting Green for me, I’m doing it for all of us.
- I’m voting for myself
And yet, I am also being selfish by voting for the Green Party. Becoming a mother has totally changed the way I look at the world, and I automatically consider how politics can and will impact on my daughter’s future. She may only be three now, but in the not so distant future she will be heading to schools. Do the standardised testing and long hours favoured by other parties fill me with a warm and fuzzy feeling? No. I prefer the focus on learning through play, the later school starting age and the abolishment of SATS suggested by the Greens. I want my daughter’s education to be free, and I’m voting Green because they support free university tuition. I want my family to have access to the NHS, not a private healthcare system, and I believe the Greens are the only ones really willing to protect that.
- They are proposing real change
I find the back and forth of politics to be pretty tedious. One government takes two steps to the right, and the next takes two steps back to the centre right. Real change doesn’t really happen, and yet that is what we so badly need. Our education system is failing. Our public transport system is failing. Small changes aren’t going to fix that. What we need is for somebody to come in and totally revolutionise the way things work. We need to pick the country up, give it a big shake and then set it back down to see how we get on. That’s the only way we’re really going to improve, by being radical.
- I want to vote against austerity
Austerity is not working. Under the cuts introduced by this government, people are really suffering. And for what? So companies can continue to avoid paying tax, so bankers can continue to get bonuses, so MPs can enjoy pay rises? It’s simply not fair. And though other parties may be moaning about the cuts, they simply don’t seem willing to promise an end to austerity. The Greens have promised that, and so they have my vote.
- It’s not all about the next five years
One of the most frustrating things about politics, is that politicians seem to make decisions based only on their time in office. Long term goals are rarely reached, because it’s simply more important to please the people whilst in power. Who cares about what happens fifteen, twenty years from now? I care. The politicians may not be in office anymore, but I’ll still be here. And the decisions they make affect my future. I don’t want a politician who only cares about getting re-elected. I want politicians who are in this for the long game. The Green Party are working towards something real, a fairer and more compassionate society, and I want to be a part of that.
- We need a push to the left
With right wing parties like UKIP and the BNP winning votes in recent years, there has been a definite shift to the right in UK politics. All of a sudden, the major parties are fighting over each other to come up with right wing policies that will appeal to that electorate. If there is a surge in support for the Green Party, then the major parties will need to take a couple of steps back over to the left and come up with some better policies.
- Caroline Lucas
Caroline Lucas has been such an amazing MP. Where other MPs fail to turn up, fall asleep and chatter through debates, Caroline does her constituents proud. I have seen her speak in Parliament and she is nothing short of inspiring. She does her research, argues coherently and always makes her arguments well. She is the sort of MP I would love to have representing me in government. She is engaged, passionate and committed. She isn’t a career politician, she’s in politics because she wants to make a difference. She is compassionate, she attends demos, she supports public sector workers at the picket line, she is everything a politician should be. And I think we need more like her.
- I like their policies
Read All About It is late this week, my apologies, but it was my birthday so I hope you'll forgive me. Don't forget you can link up any news related posts here. Hopefully there will be a few of you writing about the election this week which will make for an interesting read.