The Greens are breaking ground yet again. They’re the only party willing to take the logical stance needed on the environment (being so committed they even get arrested for it), they’re the only party that injects real democracy into its proceedings, and now they’re the only party that is actually fighting for the young.
This youth manifesto is more than a political gimmick- it shows that the Greens are not just another political party, not just doing what they do for more votes. We’re not in power yet but we’re already trying to change our society for the better, and this youth manifesto is one step towards that. Students and young people are the least represented demographic in British politics, and the very existence of this manifesto, along with the policies in it, are a bold statement of the Greens intention of changing that.
With a blend of what they have already done, and now intend to do, this manifesto highlights that the Greens are the only ones offering a fair and bright future for all. Conservatives talk of things getting better, but ignore the pain and suffering of the most vulnerable. UKIP offer exiting the EU as our panacea, but really will just leave a more divided and isolated world in their wake. As for Labour and Lib Dems, it’s quite difficult to know what they stand for anymore, let alone what the future would look like under their watch. And none of them are fighting for young people like the Greens are.
Take the “Fair Pay Campus” campaign, to ensure university staff are paid a fair wage. This is not just for fairness sake, but also out of a recognition that properly treated and fairly paid staff will also help students get the most out of their degrees. By fighting against the commercialisation of education, investing in more social housing (creating yet more jobs along the way), offering training in key sectors (rather than simply condemning and punishing the unemployed), and a housing policy that is distributed evenly throughout the country, the Greens are offering a holistic set of policies and opportunities that young people simply will not have from other parties.
The Greens alone understand the threats we as a species face and put tackling them at the forefront of their policies. The current political elite may not live long enough for climate change to affect them too badly, but the young people of today will. Only the Greens understand this, have a counter to it, and also see it as a chance to create more jobs and prosperity for us at the same time. Their pledge to invest more in renewables will create more jobs, put us at the forefront of a growing industry, and help reverse the negative effects we’ve had on the planet.
And finally, the Greens youth manifesto offers solutions to one of the biggest problems in British politics at the moment- apathy. This is particularly pronounced for young people, with 18-24 year olds consistently showing the lowest levels of electoral turn-out. By bringing in proportional representation, giving more powers to local councils and thus localising democracy, and giving 16 year olds the right to vote, the Greens are offering solutions to growing discontent amongst the young today with how politics works.
A vote for the Greens is a vote for a healthier world, a more equal society, and a more accountable and democratic government. A vote for the Greens is a vote for a future.