I became a member of the Ecology Party in the early 1980s, I have voted Ecology or Green at every election since.
There is one exception to this. In the last General Election, I voted for the first time tactically. I wanted to get rid of the Tory - so I, like many other Greens - voted for Tessa Munt. Imagine my joy when she was elected as the Wells MP... At last a 'Liberal Green' !
Imagine my horror, as I watched her voting record in the Commons... She voted for things I would have voted against; she voted against things I would have voted for... She sided with the Conservatives on all the majority of divisions; staying away on important 'green' votes... even voting 'pro-fracking' on the second reading of the Infrastructure Bill as recently as 8th December 2014 - to "enable the extraction of petroleum and geothermal energy from land at a depth of at least 300 metres below the surface without the permission of the landowner"
Indeed, Tessa Munt has hardly ever rebelled against the government in this parliament - I might as well have voted Tory... I would have got the same MP.
Now Tessa has the gall to say in her election blurb that a Green Party vote only helps the Conservatives... I would suggest that voting Tessa is exactly the same as voting Conservative.
She also suggests that the Green Party are directing their activists elsewhere as "they know they can't win" in Wells... I suggest she takes a visit to Wells or Glastonbury on a Saturday morning - she'll discover that the Green activists are alive and well, and out in force.
I, for one, will never tactically vote again. Indeed, the time for tactical voting is over – for voting ‘against’ what we don’t like! Now is the time to vote with your heart for what you truly believe in! I, for one, will be voting Green... Will you?
Jon Cousins is one of Glastonbury’s Green Town Councillors, Chair of Glastonbury Town Hall, and Prospective Green MP for Wells. A seasoned community activist, organiser, and green campaigner, he currently works with the co-operative movement in the UK and Europe.