If People Voted for Policies, the Green Party Would Win

4 December 2014

It's been a two-horse race for such a long time in politics, that most people think it's a waste to vote for anyone else. The British public has become apathetic to change and votes tactically, if at all.

This attitude has lead to our country being run by a government that only 36% of us actually voted for.

Let's do something else this time.

The Green Party policies are the most popular, according to Vote for Policies.

Almost half a million people have completed the survey at the time of writing. They chose their preferred policy out of a range of six, without knowing which parties they came from.

This site gives people a chance to see who they should vote for without prejudice. I recommend you give it a go for yourself.

It's probably as close to a blind test as we can get. Sites like this one are offering us a real chance to make voting about more than who makes the most noise.

Because that's what the General Elections mostly come down to: who makes the most noise. That's why Ukip is doing so well.

Everyday somebody from Ukip says something stupid or racist, sexist or homophobic. Everyday someone from Ukip does something awful. But this means that everyday, Ukip is on the tele or splashed across the front page of the dailies.

The Green Party doesn't say or do such atrocities. In fact, it's really quite sensible. It does good. But 'good' isn't news.

Opinion polls place the Greens in fourth place - but the results from the Vote for Policies survey show a much different picture:

Green Party 26.44%, Labour 20.12%, Lib Dems 16.87%, Conservatives 14.33%, Ukip 12.02% and BNP 10.22%.

Vote for Policies

So, if everybody loves Ukip so much, why is it brining up the rear with the BNP when it comes to policies?

Because it's a racist party with bad policies that most of the British public do not agree with.

Of the nine categories in the survey, the Green Party policies were voted best in four of them: crime, education, health and environment; and second best in four more: democracy, economy, immigration and welfare.

Ukip policies on the other hand are quite unpopular. Ukip finished third in one category: welfare; fourth in crime and economy; and fifth in the other six categories.

But despite most people preferring the Greens on paper, in real life we see the opposite.

I think a lot of it comes down to media coverage. In the run up to the European elections, we saw blanket coverage of Ukip. Everyday. All day. It was the Ukip Show for months. Almost never about its policies, of course, which would have been quite unpopular.

The party is total click-bait. The Green Party on the other hand isn't nearly as entertaining. Nobody is going to be outraged to hear about Caroline Lucas supporting her constituents and standing up for what's right. And outrage sells.

The Greens may or may not get the mainstream coverage it deserves in the run up to the 2015 elections, but members and supporters can start making noise of our own.

The Green Party recently passed 27,000 members. (Thanks the London Green Party for the image.) That's a lot of people. If we all started making noise, telling our social networks to at the very least check out Vote for Policies and see for themselves, then perhaps we could make a real difference.

We need to have faith. If everyone actually voted for the party whose policies they most agreed with, the Greens would have a real chance in the next election.

Of course, our electoral system is completely ridiculous and in the long run we'd be better to move to a system where people's votes were given the same weighting, regardless of where they live. But in the mean time, we just need to overcome the nation's apathy.

We need to vote for something we actually believe in.

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