THE BLOG

Vote for Real Change

07/05/2015 09:01 BST | Updated 06/05/2016 10:59 BST

Voting should be an opportunity. May 7th should be your chance to have a say in how your country is run - how your children will be educated, what your community will look like, what path your career will take. It's a chance to select someone to represent your view and work towards creating the world you want to live in.

But in the UK, our outdated electoral system has turned us into cynics. Our Parliament is designed so that one party can rule alone, challenged only to an occasional shouting match by the second-largest party. We are raised to believe that elections are a two-horse race: that if only two parties are likely to win, only two parties are worth voting for.

In 2010, that doctrine fell apart. A third party found itself in a position of influence and suddenly, new options were on the table.

Five years later, people are hungry for real change. The age of the two-party system is over. Alternative parties have broken through, proving themselves in the leaders' debates and gaining thousands of new members while the Establishment parties flounder.

While Labour and the Conservatives have been stuck in a Westminster bubble, fighting over who will be toughest on migrants, who will cut spending furthest, and who has the most statesmanlike leader, the Green Party has surged to become the third-largest party in England and Wales.

In this election, we are the only party that wants a politics that works for the benefit of everyone, not just the wealthiest or the most powerful. A vote for the Green Party is a vote for real change, a vote to end the politics of fear, a vote to end austerity.

Our vision of a different way of doing things has seen us polling at our highest-ever levels, and swelling our ranks to more than 62,000. And when I talk to our new members, it's clear they're joining us full of hope.

They know that the time for change is now, that this election really is an opportunity to send a message. Now is the time to tell the next prime minister that you want a public NHS. It's time to demand action on climate change. And it's time to insist that our economy be redesigned, so that it works for the many, not just the richest few.

On May 7th, your vote can send that message. The more of us who take that bold step to demand that the minimum wage be a living wage of £10 an hour, that higher education be free to all who want it, and that our railways been returned to public hands so that profits are reinvested to improve services, the greater the opportunity we have to hold the Establishment parties to account.

Green MPs will fight to improve society for the common good. They will stand against the austerity consensus, advocating investment in public services that would create thousands of jobs and bring vital improvements to our infrastructure. They will oppose every move to privatise our health service, and they will stand firm against plans to frack our countryside.

This election is unlike any other. British politics is splintering, but what most of us can agree on is that change is desperately needed. This Thursday is your chance to make it happen.