26 Jan 2014

How to win

Winning is not about politics, really. It’s bigger than that.

I keep a copy of the Green Party’s core values blue-tacked to my living room door. Partly as a reminder, partly for inspiration. Point number nine says “Electoral politics is not the only way to achieve change in society, and we will use a variety of methods to help effect change.” Winning is not about winning at the polls. It’s not about how many politicians we have, or how much money or influence. These things are useful, but a means to an end, not the end in itself.

I think this is one of the big problems with mainstream politics – the allure of power, being in power, having lots of funding, and feeling important has become the priority. Most mainstream parties don’t really seem to stand for anything, they just want to run the country. That’s not enough. A desire to be in charge is no kind of qualification, while people with no values, no beliefs, and no philosophy cannot be relied on to do anything aside from further empower themselves.

As a Green, ‘winning’ is not just about elections. Often it’s not about elections at all. It’s about winning the arguments and getting the real world changes that we so desperately need. Caroline Lucas is just one person, but her raised voice got illegal arms dealers thrown out of London last year. Win.

Closer to home, our Green councillors in Stroud co-operate with other parties to get changes. It’s not always obvious from the outside what work we’re doing, we may not get the credit for the Green Party that we might deserve, but that always comes second to getting the job done. Winning is about delivering real results for people, and the environment.

We believe in democracy and in participation. That means persuading people to vote is in many ways more important than persuading you to vote for us. Natalie Bennet’s appeal is that you vote for whoever you believe in. http://greenparty.org.uk/news/2013/11/08/natalie-benett-vote-for-what-you-believe-in.-no-thats-truly-radical/ If that’s us, lovely. If not, we’d still really like you to do it, to vote from the heart, to show up on the day. Green politics is not about the Green Party winning, it’s about all of us winning. It’s about finding better solutions and getting wider debates. It’s about putting evidence before superstition and compassion before greed. It’s about being political, not getting a few suits into cushy jobs.

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