The Green Party, at their annual conference in Birmingham, have voted to support a “yes” vote in any referendum on the AV voting system. I am delighted that the Green Party has been able to show a degree of pragmatism as well as a long-standing commitment to proportional representation.
The Green Party has for years been at the forefront of political and social thought advocating policies that although may not be popular are working for a better, fairer society. Examples of these polices include the citizens income, advocating a written constitution, or even suggesting that our lives may need to change in the fight against climate change.
Often the Green Party has been accused of being able to hold on to such ideals because they hold no real power house (ignoring their 2 MEP’s, 109 councillors, 2 members of the London Assembly and not to mention the 1st Green MP Caroline Lucas). This criticism holds an element of truth though; how workable the concept of the citizen’s income would be remains debatable. The support of a “yes” vote is illustrative however of the changing nature of the Green Party, towards a greater politically mature party. It is a clear illustration of Greens interacting and engaging with compromised politics whilst not loosing sight of their ideals.
The Green Party are slowly moving into a position where they are seen as a really credible force in British politics. Their membership has grown by 50% in the last 2 years alone, they have had a break through at national elections and they sit in the fourth largest grouping in the European Parliament. Increasingly while the other parties continue to change their minds about what they stand for, the Greens continue to stand up for real change. The Greens are moving into a realm of politics where their polices are coming under scrutiny; it is with relief that at the moment the uniquely democratic nature of Green Party policy development is holding up to such scrutiny. Equally, it is with relief that their policies are pushing towards a greater interaction with the political mainstream without loosing sight of their fundamental core values.