This year I’m voting for what I believe in

Someone recently asked what they should say to people who question the point of voting Green if they can’t be sure their vote will count. In a system of politics that has for so long been dominated by the two old parties, what chance have the Greens got? But a vote for the Greens is never wasted if it means voting for what you believe in. And what else should you be voting for?!

If you support the austerity agenda of George Osborne, then by all means vote Conservative, Liberal or Labour – because they are all promising to make more cuts if they win the election.

If you believe that private companies should be running the NHS, and leeching money away from patient care to line the pockets of corporate investors, then vote Labour, UKIP, or Conservative because they all agree with you.

If you agree that British Sovereignty should be surrendered to multinational corporations by signing up to TTIP then vote UKIP or Labour or Conservative, because they do too.

But if you don’t believe in those things, why would you vote for a Party that does? If you don’t want this green and pleasant land blighted by fracking or an NHS having money sucked out of it for the benefit of a handful of millionaires, why would you keep voting for them?

Some people vote tribally, because they’ve always voted that way. Maybe their parents voted the same way before them. I spoke to someone on the doorstep yesterday, a long time Labour supporter with their poster in his window. He looks back at the Labour Party that founded the NHS. He derided Ed and New Labour, he doesn’t like their policies, but is still going to vote for them regardless. If that’s you… think again.

If you vote Labour be clear – you are voting to support TTIP and fracking and austerity and to “only” allow private companies to line their pockets with 5% of the money they take from the NHS. Is that REALLY what you want to vote for?

Some people vote “tactically” for policies they don’t agree with just because they are less unpalatable than some others they don’t like. But if you never vote for what you actually want you’ll never get it.

I’ve looked at the Party policies, I’ve looked at the track records of the different parties. I’ve chatted to each of the parliamentary candidates. This year, I’m voting for what I believe in. I’m not voting because I’m afraid of what other people might vote for.

I believe in Poppy Hebden-Leeder, in Natalie Bennett and the Green Party.