4 reasons the Greens are not a wasted vote
If you’re unconvinced by Green policies, this article isn’t for you. If that is you, I’d suggest you start by looking here, here, and here. Instead, this is for the growing segment of the British public that are convinced by the Green Party, but are scared of ‘splitting the left vote’, of ‘letting Cameron in’, or that their ‘vote will be wasted’, if you decide to vote Green.
For those being swayed by such arguments, let us be clear: you are being duped, and here’s why:
- The poisoned well – Labour is an impediment to progress
In a cruel twist that would truly break the hearts of its founders, the Labour Party is now the single biggest threat to progress in the UK. It is unfair to say that there are no differences between Tory and Labour, but it is accurate that they still broadly support the same system that is rapidly pushing us over the edge into social and environmental chaos.
Many of its members may be good people fighting a worthy fight, but within Labour, a party still slavishly tied to the old way of doing politics and the deity that is neoliberalism, they are fighting blindfolded and with a hand behind their backs. Their incessant mantra of ‘splitting the left vote’ is their last defence against the tide of progress they are unwittingly holding back, adding fuel to a cart inches away from toppling off the cliff.
Labour seem to be spending more time attacking the Greens than the Tories not because we’re bad for the country, but because we’re bad for Labour’s electoral success. Their bombardment of bile that we have had to recently endure is driven from self-serving priorities, not altruistic concern, and indeed they are now so lost they are deliberately attempting to halt the rise of the most progressive party in British politics since flared trousers were in fashion.
We simply cannot wait for Labour to rediscover its soul. Maybe Labour will slowly go back to its roots, maybe it will begin to overcome the rottenness at its core, but maybe’s are not enough. Inequality is a ticking social time bomb, made infinitely more difficult by the rapidly diminishing time-frame in which to deal with climate change. For a long time Labour has had no time for change – now, change has no time to wait for Labour.
- Your candidate doesn’t have to win for your vote to make a difference
Already we’ve seen what even a small increase in polling figures can do to Westminster, whether in the brilliant final week of Scottish Independence campaigning that sent the Big Three into near-meltdown, or the hideous regression we’ve seen in British politics in response to the rise of UKIP.
Politicians lost their fear of the electorate some time ago, and the entrenched loyalty of voting for Labour or Tory come what may is to blame. It has given these parties a blind arrogance, but as they begin to see once more, what they are confronted with terrifies them.
By voting for the Green Party, you are making a difference, even in the safest of Tory heartland seats, because you are sending out a powerful message: that it is time for change. Somewhere along the line we’ve forgotten the power in voting, trading in meaningful ballot papers for sterile betting slips. Your vote doesn’t ‘count’ if you manage to vote for the winning party- your vote counts if you use it to make a statement about what you want your society to be, what values you think we should fight for. There’s nothing ‘tactical’ or clever about voting for a party that has been disappointing you for decades.
- When people vote for policies…
When people vote for policies, the Greens come out on top, even if Tory heartlands. Try it for yourself. This also reflects the large amount that would vote for the Greens, if they thought they could win. This shows, clear as day, the only thing holding us back now is our own fear, happily latched upon by Labour. Indeed it is all Labour has to offer us now: our own fears, magnified and reflected back to us. This is a feeble shadow of a party that was once able to offer us the welfare service and NHS whilst we were still reeling from the most destructive war in human history.
This is why attacks launched on the Greens policies simply aren’t working, because when you insult our manifesto, you also crush a large chunk of the British public’s aspirations and dreams too. People are tired of being treated like children and told that what they hope for ‘isn’t feasible’ or is too idealistic, because every day they see that these changes aren’t ideals, they’re necessities.
- The Snowball Effect
If people could overcome their ties with Labour and their fear of the Tories, then the Greens would walk into office in less than four months’ time. We’ve seen, over the last fortnight, just how quickly a grassroots movement like the Greens can gain traction and attention. We’ve seen, when given an appropriate vehicle for it, just how quickly people are prepared to commit to and fight for a better future. Even little old you, reading at your computer screen now can make a difference – and this is the most powerful message that the old elite are desperate to tell you isn’t true.
At its heart is a dangerously different idea that we haven’t seen for some time – you can change things. Grassroots, democratic movements are springing up across the globe and snowballing magnificently to regain power from archaic institutions – and our very survival depends on us doing the same.
We are on the edge of a truly new brand of politics that can effect change in hours, not years. We’re truly on the cusp of breaking through decades of dogma and regression, of righting ancient wrongs and of healing the rift between people and politics. We are truly at an historic juncture, which really leaves you with one question come May 7th.
When history came knocking, did you answer?