On the 22nd to 25th of May EU citizens are going to the polls, in the much anticipated EU elections. The outcome will shape EU policies for the next four years. Here E3G’s Bryn Kewley share his views on why his vote will be green.
The Green Party employed me for about 6 months when I first moved to London. To be honest I probably spent the first 5 getting to grips with energy policy, strike prices and wasn’t actually much use. But I learnt a lot and I met many of the people who run the party, although they probably had no idea who I was.
A couple of things struck me in those brief months. Chief among them was quite how crazy it all was, policy writing, parliamentary work, press releases flying around the office and a general sense of the absurd. What I have since learnt is that just beneath the surface, all political parties are like that. In an increasingly short-termist political sphere driven by news bulletins and social media, events command political sentiment more than considered policy. Parties have to be constantly reacting to the newest thing and it is easy therefore to lose the long term vision in the midst of a conveyor belt of incidences and reactions.
This is where the Green are different. What binds this party is not Eton, it’s not property in Chelsea or even pontificating over glaringly out-of-date ideas. What binds this party is principle. From what I’ve seen they are always willing to put what is right first. Something quite remarkable for politicians. Caroline Lucas’s campaign against topless images on page three of Murdoch’s Sun newspaper being a prime example of their willingness to stick their neck out for what they believe.
Of all parties which would you never ever expect to hear a racist remark from? And from which have you heard plenty? Knowing this who is most likely to promote a tolerant and acceptant society?
If events are the weather, policies are the oscillating political tide. They do change, but only slowly and give a good indicator of a parties intentions. Comparing Green Party policies on education, transport and health with others, they appear closest to modern British values. And if you’re wondering what exactly these values are, why not discover your own political leaning or even see which parties have policies you support.
All this being said I won’t tell you who to vote for. In the end variety gives us resilience and helps us question our assumptions. All I ask is that you read up, make an informed choice and stand up to be counted. Happy voting