I have previously written a blog on the importance of voting covering the basics of the three major parties within the UK’s political system. With only a matter of weeks till the election I think it only fair that I explore an alternative option for those looking for something different, that steers away from the two party dominated system that we have become so accustom to. There are an array of third parties however, as the SNP and Plaid Cymru are nationalist parties I have decided to not cover them as the majority of the UK cannot vote for these parties. I refuse to promote either UKIP or the BNP in my writing as they represent only the few and wish to isolate members of our flourishing community with their masked hatred.
Instead I am choosing to discuss the party that claims they are for “The Common Good”, a party that is seemingly for everyone – The Green Party.
I myself had fallen victim to the notion that a vote for a third party may be a wasted vote. But this is a mind set of the past, it is no longer a Conservative vs. Labour competition in Parliament and the third parties have received great success in recent years. Let us not forget that the Lib Dems who only came to fruition in 1988 shared a coalition with the Tories following the 2010 election. And most recently Nigel Farage and the UKIP party were (unfortunately) able to rise up and gain 12% of the vote in the 2015 election, the third highest proportion of the vote after the Conservatives and Labour parties. Their success led to such a shake in politics that previous Prime Minister David Cameron held a referendum on Britain’s position in the EU to fight off UKIP’s advances. These are changing times. The third parties are powerful and able to get into office and effect policy. So perhaps it is time for us to shake off our prejudices and give the Green’s a vote, change is possible but people have to be brave enough to take that leap of faith.
The Green party are definitely a vote for action. And contrary to popular belief they have a stance on an array of issues not just the environment. Within their ‘General Election Priorities 2017’ they state the following,
We want to create a confident and caring Britain. One that spends its wealth on our health; that inspires children, supports students, and listens to parents; that stands by teachers; and stands up for what it believes in.
They go on to expand these points with a focus around housing, the NHS, young people, citizens rights and the environment. You can find the complete list of priorities here. Key points from this proposal are: rent controls and the introduction of 500,000 new affordable homes. Greater government funding in the NHS and the equal funding of mental health with physical health, a referendum on the terms of Brexit once agreed with the EU – if we don’t like it we don’t leave. The scraping of tuition fees and an investment in renewable energy.
Much of what they propose aligns with the ideologies and pledges of Labour, but with Labour suffering such division currently it does bring into question what party can best implement change and get policy passed through the commons without backbench rebellions? Perhaps it is Green.
For more information on the Green party including representation in your constituency, what they stand for and how to get involved click here.
This blog is purely to inform and no matter what party you choose to vote for it is important that you simply vote on June 8th, the voice of the youth is getting lost: school leavers registered to vote in England has dropped by 25% in the last three years* so make sure you register to vote here.
*According to the Guardian