Tuesday, 30 September 2008
Voters have a progressive alternative to Labour
As the Green candidate for the by-election in Haringey's Alexandra ward, I have spent much of the past week canvassing the streets for support. If there is one thing that I have learnt, it is that disillusioned Labour voters genuinely do want the option of voting for a progressive centre-left party. This, by definition, excludes the Liberal Democrats.The unfolding global financial crisis has exposed the vulnerabilities and follies of neoliberal global capitalism. Therefore, many of the assumptions and truisms around which the three main political parties have converged have been effectively disproved. However, Greens have been arguing for years that neoliberal globalisation is economically and environmentally unsustainable.Unsurprisingly, all three of the grey parties are beginning to gesticulate in a vaguely leftish fashion. However, the voters aren't buying it. Many Alexandra ward residents are educated and well-informed professionals who are able to make independent judgements about politics and current affairs. They are even sometime characterised as 'Guardian-reading North London intelligentsia' to quote one local newspaper.Knocking on doors can sometimes be a challenging exercise for a candidate. Still, I have been inspired to keep going by the large number of disillusioned Labour voters that I have met during the campaign. They desperately want to be a able to vote for a party that prioritises sustainability and quality of life issues over GDP growth. Furthermore, it hasn't escaped their notice that the Lib Dems have espoused privatisation and tax cuts.I will have to wait until next week to find out if they are actually prepared to walk into a polling booth and vote for me. However, they have the option of a progressive centre-left alternative to Labour.