Election: Just vote Green already

Sam Rhodes 5 May 2015

TCS is giving campaigners for the parties most likely to win the parliamentary seat in Cambridge a chance to make a last pitch to students. For the Labour piece, go here, and for the Lib-Dems, check here.

You might not think it, to judge by their repeated night-time visits to windowless Lion King echo chambers, or their terrifying propensity to enjoy themselves in parks on Sundays, but Cambridge students are apparently quite clever.

Clever enough to solve Rubik's cubes blindfolded. Clever enough to win Oscars for playing even cleverer Cambridge students. Clever enough to win more Nobel prizes than most countries of the world combined.

But for all their brains, the key question is: are they sensible enough not to totally cock the whole human life thing right up for everyone?

You'll hear a lot about 'what the real choice is' at the polling booth this Thursday. Ignoring for a moment the silliness of trying to reduce the voting habits of 30 million people to one simple binary, it's pretty clear what the real real choice is on 7 May. You can vote Green. Or you can vote to really twat things up like a right muppet.

Our economy's broken. The Lib Dem-Tory coalition has ingeniously decided that the world's sixth largest economy works just like an individual household budget, so they've spent the last five years doing the equivalent of starving the youngest child in order to save a few bob to spend on weapons of mass destruction. It's so stupid that over 80% of economists, including Nobel Prize winner Paul Krugman, think it's been a mistake. Somehow, the Greens are actually with the economists on this one. And no one else is. Only a Green vote would end the inhumane austerity experiment and begin the long process of unfucking the economy.

Our electoral system's broken.  You vote blue but get yellow, they back the reds in coalition, and it works out alright because the reds have nicked their spending plans off the blues after all. The SNP probably won't get as many votes as the Greens. But they'll get so many more seats that the woman responsible for saving us all from terrorists is warning us they pose the greatest threat to our lives as Britons since a well-spoken man married an American back in 1936. A Green vote is a vote to ditch the First Past the Post silliness, rationalise the electoral system and give your choice some weight.

Our society's broken. The most powerful people in Britain care so little about our country that they habitually avoid tax, then threaten to up sticks and move their operations to a sunbleached penguin corpse floating somewhere in the South Atlantic if we dare to ask for them to fulfil their duties like everyone else. But other political parties are more worried about all the great people who come here from abroad and have the absolute cheek to do nasty jobs we don't want, top up the state's finances and enrich our culture. A Green vote is a vote to stand with people of all backgrounds against those who are really tearing at the fabric of our society.

Our planet's broken. To everyone's surprise, two centuries of digging shit up and burning it has turned out not to be the permanent solution to humanity's problems after all. Our addiction to limitless consumption on a limited planet is causing untold harm to the little blue dot that we call home. Half of all the wild animals kicking around in 1970 have been snuffed out. Hurricanes, floods, droughts, and all the death and famine they bring with them are already being amplified by global warming, and evidence suggests that even earthquakes like the tragedy that struck Nepal last week may get more frequent as the climate changes.

For those reasons and countless others, more and more Cambridge students are coming together in a modest effort not to absolutely balls everything up for the whole world. The Green Party in Cambridge has seen its membership more than quadruple in the last year (finding an eighth badge was pretty tough), and every day the Young Greens welcome new volunteers for the election campaign.

Just yesterday I was out with students from Hills Road Sixth Form College, sharing their enthusiasm for an equal and sustainable society with the people of Cambridge. It's pretty moving to watch teenagers, some not even old enough to vote themselves, give up their spare time to inform the public about how to not totally fuck everything for the next billion years. They demand a politics of passion, of hope, not of bean-counting and endless squabbling for the centre ground. They know what a century of tactical voting has left us with.

And that's what it all comes down to. Don't let anyone try to persuade you that you should feel guilty about sticking to your principles and having some aspiration. The only wasted vote is a vote you don't believe in. And if other parties like Labour or the Lib Dems have let you down and refused to offer an inspiring vision of a world that isn't completely baboon-sphinctered, the blame lies solely with them.

Meanwhile, the Greens are going to keep on doing what we do best: campaigning for social justice, real equality and a healthy planet. We'll be out spreading the word every day this week. And we'd love for you to join us.