Stroud has been a marginal seat now for as long as I can remember. At the last election, Neil Carmichael (the Tory candidate that has now lost the last few elections for the Conservatives) ordered two re-counts of the papers. In the end he lost to David Drew (the Labour and Co-operative candidate) by a difference of just 0.6% of the vote. So with New Labour’s slow self-destruction, many people from my home shire are rightly worried that we might end up with Mr Carmichael representing us.
With a Tory County Council and District Council, it is highly questionable whether Stroud would benefit from more of the same with a Tory MP. I tried to find out if Carmichael represented something new within the Conservatives; well judge for yourself: http://neilcarmichael.co.uk/about. As far as I can tell, it essentially says nothing. Stroud needs now, more than ever a fresh vibrant approach.
Both nationally and locally, the Conservatives and Labour have put me off politics. I find it hard work and dull to follow their increasingly blurring statements. This is why I believe that voting Green makes sense. Some people see it as a wasted vote (“he will never get in anyway”). I think, it’s a wasted vote if you end up voting for someone (or a party) that you disagree with on really fundamental issues.
I could vote Labour (David Drew) at the next election, but then I would be throwing my vote behind a party that has started illegal wars, increased tuition fees and have caused more chaos with our finances that any other post WW2 government.
I could vote Conservative (Carmichael), but then I would be showing support to a party who is happy to sit in political alliances with other parties who support the death penalty and are openly homophobic. I would be tacitly saying, that it is OK (and successful) for politicians to act and behave in the same smarmy way that Mr Cameron does. I would be saying good bye to public spending on vital services. I do not want to do this! I want to vote for what I believe in, both locally and nationally.
The Greens, are the only party who have always been opposed to the war in Iraq and Afghanistan (see http://younggreens.greenparty.org.uk/AboutUs/Policy/WaronIraq). They are the only party with a real economic policy that tackles the core of the economic crisis (see http://www.greennewdealgroup.org/wp-content/uploads/2009/12/The_Cuts_Wont_Work.pdf). They are the only party who have a real progressive social policy, that will work to reduce inequalities (see http://younggreens.greenparty.org.uk/AboutUs/Policy/CitizensIncome).
This combined with a candidate that I know and trust, means that on 6th May Martin Whiteside (http://www.glosgreenparty.org.uk/content/view/12/69/), the Greens candidate will be getting my vote. I hope he gets yours too.
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