My kids love to know who my wife and I are voting for and we want to be a family that talks about this kind of stuff around our dinner table. So we told them “this year, we’re firmly nailing our green colours to the mast”. They didn’t know what that meant, so we told them – “we’re voting GREEN”!
I’ve read a surprising amount of the manifestos of each of the parties this year. Before doing so, I was highly inclined not to vote at all as I feel the political class/system is so out of touch with real life and there seems to be little radical voice in the arena. However, I have become hopeful that the Green party really are standing for some hugely important issues and offering a real alternative.
Here is my summary of why I am voting green:
A New Politics – Caroline Lucas has not been afraid to challenge the status quo. I believe we must find an inclusive, love based politics if we are going to find a new and reimagined future together. I believe the Green party are truest to this hope. I also love the gentle, gracious, intelligent and firm leadership of Natalie Bennett – for me, she was outstanding in the leaders’ debate and held her nerve in the face of the ‘old boys club’. As a feminist, I am passionate about seeing women fully instated in leadership, not just ‘talked-up’. The leadership we are seeing from Natalie and Caroline is of a different order from the brash, bullying, testosterone-fuelled alternatives.
Healthcare – It might surprise some, as a GP that I say this, but for me the Greens have a serious and well thought through health policy. Their health policy is more holistic and more just (for those who need health care the most) than any of the other parties. I have to say, both Labour and the Lib Dems are also saying some great stuff, but overall, the Greens are willing to shift the conversation to where we need it to go – from an illness model towards promoting health and wellbeing.
Education – Our children have become commodities of the economic state. I love that the Greens are talking far more holistically and compassionately about the future of our children.
Environment – It needs hardly be said, but this issue is actually going to kill us and we need some people in government who are going to help us make some massive changes to our energy supplies and the ways we are choosing to live. Their view is comprehensive and holistic. The raping of the earth’s resources and high CO2 levels are far more dangerous than the threat of terrorism. We must face this hard truth and act now.
Defence and International Development – Here we have a dual policy that makes sense. Stop our own hypocritical nuclear arsenal and make for positive peace by tackling poverty in the developing world.
Economy – Huge fresh creation of new jobs in making the world more beautiful through green technologies, massive investment back into the public sector and encouraging those of us more able to be less self-protective and share the greater burden of taxation, rather than crushing the poor whilst the rich get ever richer. I also like that they will hold banks and big business to better account.
Immigration – There are too many awful lies being peddled about asylum seekers and refugees. I believe in open borders and intercultural rich diversity. I believe in interdependence and love, not fear, independence and hate.
Justice – A fresh look at the criminal justice system, with a move towards restorative justice is from my perspective the only way to go.
Voting – I refuse to be told that my vote will be a wasted vote. I am fed up of the arrogance of the system that tells me there are only two alternatives. The old politics is over. We are entering the day of coalitions and finding our way to a wholly different kind of political system. I am voting Green, not to be tactical, not to be pig-headed, not out of fear, but because I believe they genuinely hold the brightest torch for the things that matter the most not for me, but for everyone. We cannot vote out of selfish self-protectionism. We must position ourselves for the future generations and the future of this planet. That is why I am voting GREEN!
I waver between voting Green, a tactical vote for Labour or not voting at all. I see that the Labour candidate is being parachuted in from Manchester; since they feel that there’s nobody capable of representing the constituency that actually lives here, they’ve lost any hope of getting my vote. So it’s Green or a spoilt ballot paper. But, now I’m already feeling bad because that might mean I’m letting in David Morris and I really don’t want him to get elected again. Seems like I’m back to ‘I dunno’.
Yep… Those were a lot of my thoughts also…
Tough one Andy . As a former Green Party member who actually stood for election locally in the past, you’d think I wouldn’t hesitate to vote green , particularly as I can’ t fault your analysis.
I might have to hold my nose and vote labour to keep the Tories out whilst voting Green in the local election ( though our wonderful Silverdale ward candidate Rex Ambler will be mortified if he does get elected ! ) .
I know, but if everyone in the borough who actually believes in the Green Party policies actually chose to vote Green, we might get a Green MP….. At least the Green candidate is local, whereas the labour one is being shipped in from Manchester, I believe….. How on earth can we have a more devolved local politics if our own MPs don’t even know our areas…. I would have voted for you every time!!