Wednesday, 5 May 2010

Vote for Policies!

Thank you to all of you who have been following our campaign over the last couple of months. It's been really, really exciting and rewarding - and for me as Parliamentary Candidate a huge privilege to be able to represent the Green Party, and its radical policies, in Islington North.

As Greens we often find that we start the electoral race with one hand tied behind our backs for two reasons: first, because people feel that a vote for us won't really count and secondly, because people aren't too sure whether we have good policies outside the environmental field.

But in this exciting general election campaign, we have been able to address both those concerns head-on.

Every Green vote really will count this time, because for the first time in living memory people are getting serious about the need for electoral reform. When it comes to putting pressure on whoever forms the next Government to introduce truly proportional representation, the Green Party will need to argue that its total number of votes nationally means that it should no longer be shut out by the voting system. The strength of that argument depends crucially on the total number of votes cast for the Green Party across all the constituencies where it has candidates. If we can't make that argument, there's a real danger that this once-in-a-generation opportunity will either be missed altogether (under the Tories or a Tory/Lib Dem pact) or will simply be used to create an exclusive 3-party system to replace the existing exclusive 2-party system (by the introduction of the Alternative Vote system under Labour or a Lab/Lib Dem pact).

So, this is one general election where you can vote for what you believe in and be a catalyst for real change.

As for our policies, don't take my word for it - go and have a look at the truly fantastic Votes for Policies website. Over 260,000 people have now completed their survey, which lets you pick the best policies without knowing which party they come from. Last time I looked, the Green Party was the clear winner nationally - and even here in the traditional Labour heartland of Islington North, it was neck-and-neck between me and Jeremy Corbyn based on a sample of over 600 people.

So tomorrow, please do vote for what you believe in. In 2010 more than ever before, every single Green vote counts.

PS And as we've often said before, however you decide to vote in the General Election, please vote Green in the Council elections to help Katie Dawson keep her seat on Islington Council - and hopefully to elect some more Green councillors so we can achieve even more.

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