On May 22, there will be an election for 10 members of the European Parliament to represent everyone in South East England.
The good news is that it will be a fair election, where every vote counts, because it uses a proportional system to allocate seats according to the number of votes cast. That means that there is no need to engage in any kind of tactical voting, which usually involves trying to guess who is best placed to keep out your least favourite party or candidate. Instead you can vote according to your conscience for the party that represents what you really believe in with every confidence that your support will translate into seats in the European Parliament.
The Green Party already has one hard-working MEP in Keith Taylor, who will be re-elected with just 10% of the vote, while just 15% of the vote is likely to get us a second Green representing the South East of England. As your MEP Keith is committed to pushing for social justice and environmental protection to be at the heart of EU decision making. Keith has been outspoken in his anger at the growth of poverty and inequality and has pushed for an economy which provides decent jobs, social security protection and strong public services. He has toured the South East highlighting the good work done by food banks while denouncing the need for them in one of the richest countries in the world and has been tireless in explaining why fracking is not the answer to our energy needs or to climate change. He has campaigned against privatisation in the UK and for reform of the banking sector.
Greens in the European Parliament believe that the UK should remain an active member of the EU, but that the EU should be reformed to develop a sustainable economy and a supranational force for social good – ie a social Europe based on international solidarity. The EU was formed in the wake of war in Europe and has remained a force for peace. It must remain a beacon for the defence of human rights and democracy, good welfare standards, decent housing, access to health and social care and, crucially, fairness and the common good.
So if you want to see Green MEPs in Europe fighting for the common good, for social justice and protection of the environment, you can have them. You just need to vote Green on 22nd May. It really is that simple.
Susan Murray, Lewes Green Party
Councillor Susan Murray, Green Party, Castle ward