17 May 2017
Last week Green MP candidate for Reading East Kizzi Johannessen called for all three progressive parties to unite behind a single candidate, opposed to a hard Brexit and committed to voting reform. Unfortunately, the Lib Dems and Labour have refused this real chance to beat the Tories in Reading East.
Kizzi Johannessen, who finished in second place in Redlands Ward at the last elections said “Not once in 2005, 2010 or 2015 have the Tories had enough votes to beat a united, progressive opponent, so we appealed to the other parties to explore a joint push behind a single candidate.
“We were prepared to stand aside for the greater good if one of other parties would do so too. The arithmetic of this only works if two stand down and everyone gets behind a single candidate.
“Regrettably, both the Lib Dems and Labour have stuck to their dinosaur positions and have opted to fight even potential allies. And for what? Just to come slightly higher up on the list of losers!
“Predictably, there’s the usual talk about ‘offering voters our unique policies’ and doing this ‘in the interests of democracy’, but it just locks us into the same old grey politics of tribal division, while the Tories rub their hands with glee.
“In contrast, voters are telling us every day that they don’t care who it is – Labour, Lib Dem or Green – they just want a unity candidate to get the Tories out!
“What we’re seeing here is a sad failure of courage and imagination. The older parties should be responding to what voters want, instead of sticking to old, unsuccessful habits. Today’s situation calls for a new and different kind of response. It calls for a new kind of politics. Let’s hope the penny drops one day for the Lib Dems and Labour.”
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