I spent a long time deliberating over what to do. Vote the Tories out by voting Lib Dem in my constituency? Believe the message ‘Vote Tactically: The Tories are a Threat To Democracy’? Or realise the irony of that gigantic sign: the message is, in itself, a threat to democracy. If the Lib Dem candidate cannot ‘get in’ using means other than persuading people that she is the lesser of two evils, what kind of state is our democracy in? The words ‘I am going to vote with my heart’ seemed to float around whimsically as if there is no other option: if not voting tactically, vote with the heart. There is no other option. As if voting with the heart is the opposite of intelligence: vote tactically or you are stupid.
My decision to vote MotherWorld was neither tactical nor stupid: it combined my heart with my head; what I know of the world now as well as what I want for the world in the future. I decided to reject short-term thinking (which is all modern politics seem to be about ‘’who cares what happens… as long as Boris isn’t Prime Minister!’’). I chose to think as I believe we always should: seven generations ahead.
In seven generations, how could this country be different? If we still have these lame old political parties bickering and conniving, telling lies about each other and slandering the personalities, that would be a sad state of affairs. What if we had a political party that left all that behind? A party that put different values at the forefront: caring for each other, nurturing the world and all its beings, strengthening community, the health and well-being of the people, and equality for all (in its fundamental sense: equality in diversity such that there is no need for the world ‘equality’).
Some may think this is a dream, but I do not, and if it turns out to be a dream, then I am glad I voted for that dream. I highly doubt that Susie will become MP for the Wells Constituency this time around, but what if no one voted for her at all? What if next time around, she decides not to run because there is zero support for her? What if, by me voting this time, it means next time she gets more votes, and more, and more, until MotherWorld becomes a huge party, rivalling the big ones? What if, one day, MotherWorld is the political party, and politics as we know it now ceases to exist? My vote is my energy, and one of the few ‘powers’ I am legally allowed in this world, so I would rather put my energy behind something I wish to come to pass.
Now, I can see an argument here: if we are to believe the climate change scientists and environmental groups, then thinking ‘seven generations ahead’ is completely pointless. Our prerogative should to ‘get rid of’ greedy politicians who will not make the changes necessary to save the planet. I say to that: if we are to believe the climate scientists then no political party can save the world. Not even the Greens. It is too late to mitigate the situation drastically, although it is of course still worth doing everything we can to try and do so (that is another debate and not my main point here)… what I mean is: no political party can or will go far enough to do what is needed.
We need to acknowledge that if the human race is going to survive, what we need is Deep Adaptation: adaptation as well as (perhaps even more than) mitigation is what will save us now. Our world is going to look radically different in a very short space of time. For me, voting tactically is pointless because in the short term, we can’t change much. And while Tessa Munt may do way more for the people and the environment than James Heappey, ultimately neither can do enough.
Therefore what we need is to come together as a community, and what a community needs are the values of caring, nurturing, spirituality, love, strength, courage. I voted for MotherWorld because they bring the values we need right now, not only those we need in seven generations’ time. If climate change turns out to be grossly over-exaggerated as some believe, then the above mentioned values are still those that we need to bring to the forefront, now and always.
My partner also decided to vote for MotherWorld, and when I asked him why, he said ‘because I don’t like any of the others’. This is an unfortunate sentiment shared by many, which often results in people not voting at all. I am infinitely grateful that in my constituency I got a chance to vote for a party I actually believe in, not just the lesser of 5 evils. So maybe the answer is simply this: don’t like politics? Vote radical!
But his comment reminded me of an argument that people often use to persuade people to vote (especially women): the Suffragettes sacrificed so much to get women the vote, not to use it would be to disrespect them and all they went through. I have recently realised, however, that the fight for votes for women was not only about the vote. The vote represented the only source of power that was obviously reachable for those women. As now, it seems to be the only source of power that we as citizens have.
For the Suffragettes, they wanted the vote because it meant that they could change society: create better conditions for workers, better schools and provisions for children, equal pay and conditions for women, better health care for all. They saw a million ways the country was struggling, and knew that it was women who could change it: most of the men (especially the men in parliament) simply did not seem to care. The vote meant change, and change meant a move towards women’s values: care, nurturing, health, equality, community. Do these words sound familiar? I see the formation of the MotherWorld Party as the next step in the fight for the universal wellbeing of all, in this country and beyond. I think the Suffragettes would be delighted at its prospects.
Finally, I need to say an apology: this article may have made people think differently about the vote today, and I wish I could have written this earlier to have helped. But honestly, I have been so confused about what to do and who to vote for: I changed my mind a hundred times. It has only been in the last 24 hours I realised who I needed to vote for, and only now I have tried to articulate it (20 minutes before voting closing time!) Apologies to Susie too!
Well, I for one am at peace with my vote, I know I voted with my heart, head, beliefs and values, I put my X where my mouth is, and I pray that everyone in the country sleeps peacefully with their decision tonight.