Votes should be earned09 December 2019
There is a sense of entitlement that seems to be at the heart of the Labour Party at the moment. The fact that they are the ‘incumbent’ party of the progressive and left wing of politics seems to give some members a sense that they are owed our vote. The idea that just to keep the Tories out a vote for Labour is the only way. Anything less – a vote for Green or Lib Dem seems to be seen as a betrayal.
People feel betrayed
This thinking ignores the fact that many people feel betrayed by a party that should be streets ahead in the polls, with a Conservative government that has cut our public services to the bone and screwed up the biggest political and economic issue of our generation, Brexit.
The expectation that if you are ‘left-leaning’ or progressive in your politics you must vote Labour, when MPs have left their ranks, continuing accusations of anti-semitism and their Brexit fudge over the last three years, just doesn’t stack up.
Our first-past-the-post system of voting leaves many of us voting for parties we feel uncomfortable with but, rather than accusing the Unite to Remain candidates of ‘splitting the vote’, the Labour Party needs to look long and hard at itself and wonder why so many people are disenchanted with it.
Good leadership earns votes
Votes should be earned by good leadership and good ideas, not simply expected because we ‘hate the other side’. The Labour Party have good ideas, most of which I support, and Greens and Liberal Democrats have very similar policies (in fact many are stronger in some areas) but they have not shown good leadership in opposition.
In all the elections I have ever voted in, this is the one that could change the way we do politics. Greens, like Carla Denyer in Bristol West, will earn every vote because everyone who votes Green is making a choice to challenge the mainstream; and to do so means looking deeply at what she has to offer. We should vote for what we believe in and maybe, just maybe, politics will really change for the better.