Leading article: A Green vote is not wasted

Share
Related Topics

The Green Party has been on quite a journey these past two decades. In the 1989 European elections, the party won an astonishing 15 per cent of the national vote. Two Brussels seats followed in 1999. And on 6 May Caroline Lucas has a strong chance of becoming the Greens' first representative in the Westminster parliament, as the party's leader contests the constituency of Brighton Pavilion.

The Greens unveiled their election manifesto yesterday in their top target seat (one of 300 they are contesting nationwide). Their economic proposals – which include abolishing prescription charges and increasing income taxes – are less than convincing. But, as one would expect, their proposals to reduce national carbon emissions demonstrate a radicalism that puts the larger parties, which all claim to be serious about preventing runaway global warming, to shame.

The reintroduction of the fuel duty escalator, imposing VAT on aviation fuel, subsidised train and bus fares, cuts to road building, new taxes on pollutants, free insulation for homes – these are the sort of policies, painful though many would initially be, that are necessary to generate the radical shift in our behaviour needed to reduce our carbon emissions. The Greens deserve credit for having the courage to put them in their manifesto.

Just as we should not fear the consequences of a hung parliament, we should not be afraid of representation from some of the smaller parties in our national parliament. And voters should certainly not swallow the line put about by the larger parties that a vote for a party like the Greens is wasted.

We should learn from experience of political systems beyond these shores. The Green Party in Germany was a coalition partner in Berlin between 1998 and 2005. It is no coincidence that Germany is now a world leader in the production of renewable energy. If Britain were to implement serious electoral reform, creating a fairer voter system (and the prospect of a hung parliament brings that tantalisingly close), our own Green Party's great journey could be just beginning.

React Now

Latest stories from i100
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Business Development Executive / Digital Marketing Executive

£26000 - £35000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A luxury beauty house with a nu...

Recruitment Genius: Housekeepers - Immediate Start

£8 per hour: Recruitment Genius: This company are currently recruiting new exp...

Recruitment Genius: Head Concierge

£25000 - £28000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This award winning Property Man...

Recruitment Genius: Content, SEO and PPC Executive

£20000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: A fantastic opportunity has ari...

Day In a Page

Read Next
 

Clean energy should be our mission to the moon

Martin Rees
Angela Merkel and David Cameron say goodbye in the Bundeskanzleramt after their meeting in Berlin, Germany, 29 May 2015  

The complacency of Europhiles could lose them the referendum

Steve Richards
On your feet! Spending at least two hours a day standing reduces the risk of heart attacks, cancer and diabetes, according to new research

On your feet!

Spending half the day standing 'reduces risk of heart attacks and cancer'
Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Liverpool close in on Milner signing

Reds baulk at Christian Benteke £32.5m release clause
With scores of surgeries closing, what hope is there for the David Cameron's promise of 5,000 more GPs and a 24/7 NHS?

The big NHS question

Why are there so few new GPs when so many want to study medicine?
Big knickers are back: Thongs ain't what they used to be

Thongs ain't what they used to be

Big knickers are back
Thurston Moore interview

Thurston Moore interview

On living in London, Sonic Youth and musical memoirs
In full bloom

In full bloom

Floral print womenswear
From leading man to Elephant Man, Bradley Cooper is terrific

From leading man to Elephant Man

Bradley Cooper is terrific
In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

In this the person to restore our trust in the banks?

Dame Colette Bowe - interview
When do the creative juices dry up?

When do the creative juices dry up?

David Lodge thinks he knows
The 'Cher moment' happening across fashion just now

Fashion's Cher moment

Ageing beauty will always be more classy than all that booty
Thousands of teenage girls enduring debilitating illnesses after routine school cancer vaccination

Health fears over school cancer jab

Shock new Freedom of Information figures show how thousands of girls have suffered serious symptoms after routine HPV injection
Fifa President Sepp Blatter warns his opponents: 'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

'I forgive everyone, but I don't forget'

Fifa president Sepp Blatter issues defiant warning to opponents
Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report

Weather warning

Extreme summer temperatures will soon cause deaths of up to 1,700 more Britons a year, says government report
LSD: Speaking to volunteer users of the drug as trials get underway to see if it cures depression and addiction

High hopes for LSD

Meet the volunteer users helping to see if it cures depression and addiction
German soldier who died fighting for UK in Battle of Waterloo should be removed from museum display and given dignified funeral, say historians

Saving Private Brandt

A Belgian museum's display of the skeleton of a soldier killed at Waterloo prompts calls for him to be given a dignified funeral