Former deputy leader and spokesperson for the Green Party, Shahrar Ali, argues why he is best suited to lead the party into a new era - and vows to turn policy supporters into Green voters.
What can I bring to the role of Leader of the Green Party?
By serving as primary spokesperson for the Party and helping to present our campaigns, I would demonstrate our vision of a better world for all, where:
1. The few aren’t allowed to squander the finite resources of the many;
2. Merit and equal opportunity count above privilege and nepotism;
3. Political goals are reset towards basic needs and collective, long-term social goods;
4. Our precious planet is preserved for future generations and other species;
5. Discrimination in all its vicious forms is abated through law and education – whether on grounds of race, sex, sexuality, age, or disability
Voters are regularly surprised by how much commonality they find between their own priorities for change and what Greens have to offer – when presented with blind surveys of political parties’ platforms and policies.
My role will be to help turn that surprise into reality by being bold about our distinctive politics – which embraces both climate action and social justice.
If elected Leader, the Green Party will be unapologetic about the need for radical change.
We will shine a light on the hypocrisy of sustainable communities abroad being made to suffer the consequences of rising sea levels caused by the West’s overconsumption.
We won’t kowtow to the illogic of supposedly non-negotiable public bail outs – nor let corporate media attention spans call the shots – when advocating for transformation of our economic system. We will persuade sympathisers and provoke detractors into new pathways for social and global change – at the ballot box and beyond.
In 2015, I served alongside Natalie Bennett as one of two Deputies in what became our best ever general election result. Having seen us pull over a million votes, and save over a hundred deposits on a first-past-the-post electoral system, I was horrified to see how our subsequent strategy led us down the blind alley of Progressive Alliance sell out.
In 2017, we squandered our hard fought political capital for next to nothing in return. I repeatedly warned against the strategy and can be trusted, as Green Party leader, not to sell ourselves short.
The party needs a clean break from the architects and advocates of PA talk, both inside and outside the party – who, even now, continue to wishfully misdiagnose the scale of the damage done or reasons for it – or both! If we don’t learn from our mistakes, with requisite humility, we are bound to repeat them.
The single leader option is also more democratic. Voting for me members can get more of their preferences counted to determine which deputies pair up in a leadership team of three; rather than to have the co-leaders pair decided for them with only one deputy.
Our true progressive alliance is with the future generations, other animals and species we share this beautiful planet with – none of whom are in a position to press their claims upon us to leave as much and as good for them to enjoy as we do today.
I will seek to overcome this collective failure of imagination by presenting the Green Party as the radical alternative we are – with the aplomb that befits a membership united in their passion for step change of the right sort.
No other party is as well-placed to Bring Power to Truth. No other party is as united as we are in their resolve to tackle the pressing issues of today and tomorrow.
This piece is part of a Left Foot Forward series on the Green Party’s current leadership election. Voting opens on the 30th July and closes on the 31st August, with the results announced in September. LFF is taking pieces from all the candidates.
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