Some might argue that democracy in the UK is merely a shadow of the concept, with a vote to decide our government once every four years and not much of a chance to make ourselves heard in between. Some might say that the UK political scene has not facilitated real democratic choice for a long time with two dominant parties taking up all of the space and not offering much in the way of differing opinions and policies. Some would even say there is no point engaging with mainstream politics in the United Kingdom anymore. And I could agree with them all.
But. I believe that a vote every four years is better than no vote at all and we would be foolish to decide to turn our backs on our political landscape. Furthermore, I believe that the time has come when more and more people are becoming disillusioned with the status quo. Since 1935, the Prime Minister has come only from the Labour or Conservative Party. That’s 80 years of political stagnation. 80 years of the elite steadily gaining more wealth and power. 80 years of life getting increasingly tougher for the average joe. 80 years of rising tuition fees, of inflated house prices, of national debt. 80 years of our natural resources being plundered without due care, consideration or preservation.
Enough is enough.
Finally as a nation we are waking up and finding our voice. We don’t have to put up with it. There are other options. The SNP, Green Party and UKIP have received far more coverage and support in the run up to the general election than ever before. People are realising that they are valid options. The membership of the Green Party has rocketed as people are starting to embrace the possibility of real change. The possibility of having a government that cares about it’s citizens and is committed to looking after them and the world they live in.
Don’t get me wrong, I don’t live in a fairytale world in which we’ll happily wake up with a Green government on May 8th and go skipping into the sunset. I’ve been keeping an eye on the polls. I know how unlikely Natalie Bennett becoming the Prime Minister is. But. Every Green Member of Parliament is going to be another voice for the people and for change as decisions are made. They will be a breath of fresh air, rustling leaves, cutting through 80 years of stagnation. Every Green MP elected is a step in the right direction and a two fingers up to the status quo. A Green vote is not a wasted vote. The only wasted vote is an unused one. So shake off your lethargy, your apathy and on May 7th make sure you get out and vote. Get involved with your future. Whatever you think of our democracy, engage with it. How else do you expect things to change?