The General Election on 7th May is the most unpredictable for a generation. No one really knows what the outcome will be but one thing is for certain: every vote will count.

The new multi-party system we have – illustrated by the 7-way leaders’ debate on ITV – almost certainly won’t be reflected in the number of MPs each party has in the new House of Commons. Our first-past-the-post, winner takes all voting system was fine when there were just two big political parties but it looks a bit ridiculous when there are 5 serious contenders for every seat.

I’m offering something different from the others: I believe in a fairer economy – that creates good jobs that pay at least the living wage. I believe in a public NHS – with no public money going into private profits. And I believe in a safe climate – taking real action on climate change to secure our children’s future.

I know others will say that this is all impossible – that we should think small, not big. That we shouldn’t be bold, ambitious or have a long-term vision for our country. But I couldn’t disagree more.

I’m standing in this election because most politicians don’t represent me or my values. They didn’t represent me when they introduced, then trebled university tuition fees (often while promising to keep education free). They didn’t represent me when they started closing SureStart children’s centres and libraries. They didn’t represent me when they took Britain to war in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Maybe they didn’t represent you either.

That’s why I joined the Green Party. Finally I’d found a political party that cared about the things I care about: about making life easier, not harder for people. Helping new parents with a free universal early education and childcare service. Making sure that every school is a good school with a balanced and enriching curriculum rather than an exam factory that stifle children’s potential and creativity. Scrapping undergraduate tuition fees and reintroducing student grants to ensure that universities do not become the preserve of a wealthy elite.

No one pretends that this isn’t going to come with a price tag. But we’re honest about that – if you’re in the super-rich elite, a tax dodging multi-millionaire or intent on wrecking our environment then watch out: we’re coming to get you and your ill-gotten gains!

You have a fantastic opportunity to get the politics you deserve. But only if you vote for what you believe in. Go on – be bold: vote Green.

Tom Sharman is the Green Party’s parliamentary candidate for Ealing Central and Acton in the General Election on 7th May. You can read the Green Party’s General Election Manifesto online on the Green party website.


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