Recently, the British Green Party released their new manifesto in anticipation of the May parliamentary elections. The Greens are said to have a greater chance of winning a seat in Parliament this year than ever before, especially in the Brighton seat where their leader Caroline Lucas is running, and they are running a record number of candidates. The manifesto includes a higher minimum wage, a thirty five hour work week, a move to a zero carbon economy, a living wage, more localized government with referenda and recall, and much more. You can read it for yourself here.
A commentator at the Guardian writes:
The Green party is positioning itself, politically, as a radical alternative to the near-identical policy platforms trotted out this Thursday on ITV. The Greens are now aiming their message not just at the growing numbers who care about the environment, but those concerned about social justice as well. Given the extent to which New Labour has moved to the centre, this will hold powerful sway among disenchanted one-time Labour voters, as well as with more radical left-wingers (note that Beatrix Campbell, a former Communist, is standing as a Green candidate in Hampstead and Kilburn). Meanwhile, taxes on airplanes and the other environmentally-focused policies appeal across the political spectrum: climate change, in Britain at least, is not exclusively a concern of leftist voters.
Here’s where the local elections come in. As they often see voters expressing dissatisfaction with the ruling government, and as seats on the local council are won ward by ward, these elections offer much more scope for boosted Green support to show itself. And if the party makes significant gains in local councils, it will be in a strong position to lobby not only for better environmental policies, but for, say, higher council taxes, higher local education spending and so on – particularly if the Conservatives mean a jot of what they say about empowering localities. So, in the end, the wider appeal of the Green manifesto could come to matter a lot.
And here’s another fanciful thought. If the Tories do fail to win a majority this election, but only lack one seat, and Green leader Caroline Lucas takes Brighton Pavilion – what then?