Why the Green Party Lost My Vote
So, it’s a big day here in the UK. Okay, it’s no bigger or smaller than any other day, but there are some local elections going on, and I found myself falling victim to my own lack of research. I know, I know, I’m a hypocrite, but hear me out. For most people who read my posts I think it’s pretty clear that I have liberal tendencies, so when it came time to cast my ballot, I was stuck between two choices, one of them being the Green Party (of England and Wales). And when push came to shove, I couldn’t remember whether the Green Party’s stance on alternative medicine.
This has been a big point of rage for me in the past. The area in which I live hosted a ‘green’ weekend a couple of years back and included in education about the environment and talking about sustainable development was a big emphasis on alternative medicine over modern medicine. Now what’s green about that? There was the organic farming issue too, but that’s a topic for another day.
This alliance between environmentalism and anti-science that can’t for the life of it see that it’s anti-science, is also something that the Green Party advocated until 2010. To simultaneously quote the past leader Caroline Lucas and Skeptical Voter: ‘Talking about complementary and alternative medicine practitioners in Brighton she stated that “Green Party would fully integrate their services and expertise into NHS treatment plans, not only improving patient choices but helping to boost this important sector of the local economy”. On the issue of evidence she wrote that “Complementary and alternative medicine may be written off by drug companies and other sceptics as ‘mumbo jumbo’ medicine, but recent evidence strongly contradicts such claims.”‘
In 2010 however, this anti-scientific stance was removed from their website and Lucas’ blog, but the damage was done. Though you can’t find anything about this on their Wikipedia page (serves me right for using that for a resource, I suppose), The Guardian and other sources still have articles up discussing this stance, and their removal of it from their official stances.
Ah, Green Party, on so much we agree, but not on this. Given that they now claim to support medicine based on its ‘scientific evidence’, I still can’t help but wonder how much they mean that, when their view about what the evidence shows in the past has been so obviously skewed.
As a minority party, and one based around ecological and environmental concepts of all things, the exclusion of a reasoned approach to what medicine should be provided could do more harm than good. In my case, it made me change my vote, despite the Green Party candidate waiting outside the polling station and smiling at me when I went to cast my ballot. Alas, you may be polite, but I’m not voting for etiquette, I’m voting to ensure the issues I care about get addressed.