5 May 2015
Diana Moore says:
This has been the largest campaign that Greens in Exeter have ever undertaken. It has been exciting but hard work and I appreciate all the efforts that members - both longstanding and the many new members who have joined the ‘Green surge’ - together with many more supporters, have put in.
I have been impressed with the turnout and issues raised at the various hustings across the City, the number of schools engaging in mock elections and the (overwhelming) number of emails and phone calls.
However, one issue over the course of the campaign has particularly shocked me: the extent to which honest voters have been asked to collude in so-called tactical voting and the targeting of potential Green voters in particular - despite opinion polls which show this isn’t a marginal seat. Exeter Green voters have also been a focus for the vote swap trick too. Your vote is too precious to hand over to someone you don’t know in a deal which is always in their favour. Natalie Bennett, Green Party leader, has rightly often said these approaches have led us to the failed politics we have today. Ed Miliband, in the leader’s Question Time last week, blew this tactical voting argument out of the water when he said that Labour won’t do a deal with the SNP to form a coalition government. He would rather have a right wing Tory led coalition government than a coalition of progressive anti-austerity parties. More failed politics. We so desperately need compassion, co-operation and electoral reform.
The Green Party’s manifesto sets out a bold vision for change with the imperative to tackle climate change, end austerity which is hurting so many people and create a fairer and more stable economy. I have been delighted at people’s response to this message and our policies. The independent Vote for Policies results for Exeter continue to show the Greens are in the lead in Exeter when it comes to policies. People are increasingly confident about voting Green – I’ve even had one person shout down the street: ‘I’m voting for you!’ We are in this for the long haul; we can bring about the change we want to see.
Caroline Lucas has exerted significant pressure as a single MP with many major achievements on animal rights, an advocate for public services and a strong challenger to austerity and the fossil fuel industries. Caroline has demonstrated it’s not just numbers at Westminster that matter, its quality too. A Green vote is a confident vote which reinforces the case for electoral reform to a proportional one and sends a very clear message that voters are demanding real action on climate change and an end to austerity.
Despite First Past the Post we know there will be a lot more Green Party councillors elected across the country. I hope we secure our first here in Exeter - in St James, perhaps in other wards too. A Green vote in the City elections this week will help our chances of more than one councillor now and be a strong foundation for more Green councillors in future years.
A vote for the Green Party in Thursday’s General Election and in the City Elections is a vote for the common good. The change we want to see -now.
Listen to Diana Moore on an eve-of-poll interview on Radio Exe, Wednesday 8-9pm 107.3FM or listen on-line
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