...and it's not because I'm hippie. Because I'm not. At all. OK? Glad we cleared that up.
My announcement that I was voting for the Green party at the European election on 4th June was met with a mixed response from the TAN community (the response was mainly a mixture of indifference and derision) so I thought I'd answer some of the criticisms in the form of a blog rather than lengthy comments to individual users (douchebags).
The problem with the Green Party is image. Even the mention of those words seems to conjure images of smug, middle class, Alfalfa munching Vegans, probably with hideous beards and corduroy trousers. Above all it has been dismissed for too long as a single issue party, concerned more with animal rather than human welfare, with trees more than progress and any other no good hippie shite you car to mention.
So, am I concerned about the environment? Of course I am, everyone should be. The impact human beings has had on the biosphere has been nothing short of catastrophic, to the point where we risk the survival of even our own species. Is that why I'm voting Green? No. The reason I'm voting for them is that of all the political parties in Britain today, they are the only one with policies that are even remotely in tune with my own libertarian socialist persuasions. Whether the issue be democratic reform
, the war on drugs
, public transport
, no other party comes close in terms of progressive vision.
But why vote for a party that can't possibly win you ask? Well the European Elections are decided by proportional representation and are therefore, actually truly democratic as every ones vote counts. Even in fourth place the Green Party can still secure enough votes to gain seats in the European parliament, or at least retain the two seats they currently hold.
As for the next General Election, I will also be voting Green. A wasted vote? Well let's see, at the last election my constituency polled the following:
- Lab- 19,831 votes, 56.21%
- Lib Dem- 6,312, 17.38%
- Con- 4,967, 14.08%
- Green- 2,544, 7.21%
- UKIP- 643, 1.82%
So due to the vagaries of our undemocratic and archaic electoral system, it would appear to the cynic that there would be no point in voting at all in such a safe Labour constituency. That's what they want you to think. You see, contrary to what some glossy Uncle Tom motherfucker over the pond has been telling people, change can only come from below. Change has never,
and will never
come from above. Minor parties can
influence government policy, one only has to look at the influence the fledgling Labour Party had on the Liberal government of the early twentieth century to see that the rising power of popular movements scares the shit out of the establishment
, and can result in real change. The fact is if we ever have serious electoral reform, such as a truly democratic voting system where every ones vote counts, then the Green Party will
play a major role in forming government policy, as they do in Scotland and in every other European country with any semblance of a functioning, modern and democratic system.
As for an all Green government, it's not as remote a possibility as you might think. The so-called Labour Party that governs this country no longer represents the Labour movement it was created from. It is my prediction (and hope) that one day the major Trade Unions that support this now defunct institution will withdraw their financial support and place their faith in a party that actually represents their interests. The Green Party would be the inevitable choice.
In summary, what I see happening today in British politics is both exciting an terrifying. People are finally waking up to the bullshit of neoliberalism and the convergence of corporate interests it represents. Things can go one of two ways; either we embrace a progressive reform agenda, or we sink into fascism.
Just remember this, if you do vote on the 4th of June, don't vote for the main three. You'll change nothing. And if you vote at the next General Election, don't pussy out, don't let them tell you you're wasting your vote. Vote against them again. And tell everyone you know to do the same.