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In the third instalment of our general election series, Amy Heley tells Epigram why students should vote the Green Party on 8th June…

Molly Scott Cato is a Green MEP for the South West of England and Gibraltar, an economics professor, and a life-long campaigner for the Green Party. She is now hoping to make history by becoming Bristol West’s first Green MP when the country goes to the polls on the 8th of June. Bristol Green Society are thrilled to have such an impressive candidate standing up for the rights of students and young people. As an MEP and Green Party speaker on EU relations, Molly has experienced the Brexit process first hand.  She has been working tirelessly in the European Parliament to defend the rights of all people and has vehemently resisted Theresa May’s plans for a hard Brexit. Molly Scott Cato is the voice of opposition that our country is desperately lacking.

Bristol West is your chance to have your voice heard by voting with hope instead of fear

With 11 councilors, Bristol Green Party is the largest local party in the UK, and it only very narrowly missed out on electing an MP for Bristol West in 2015. In the last general election, the Green party obtained the biggest swing in this constituency’s electoral history. We won 27% of the vote, finishing in second place; a fraction behind Labour and sending the Liberal Democrats to a distant third. The Tories stand no chance in this progressive and forward-thinking constituency. In short, Greens can win in Bristol West. If you’ve always believed in the Green message, but have felt bewildered by our undemocratic First Past the Post system, Bristol West is your chance to have your voice heard by voting with hope instead of fear, with a meaningful Green vote instead of a tactical vote for another progressive party.

Green Party members and local representatives are ambitious and successful. Bristol Green councillor Carla Denyer the perfect example of Greens being proactive, as she successfully campaigned with other activists for the University of Bristol to pledge to divest from fossil fuels, which is an outstanding step towards environmental justice and future economic security. At a national level, we simply need more representation for the Green Party. We are hoping to double our parliamentary presence, with Molly Scott Cato joining Caroline Lucas’ outstanding voice of opposition in the House of Commons. Greens are pushing a ‘radical’ agenda, which in reality are measures that would simply bring social justice to the heart of British society. We are fiercely pro-refugee and consistently challenge the hateful rhetoric around migrants that dominate the UK’s political agenda. We are fighting for a fair Brexit, with the chance for voters to have their say in the final deal with a ratification referendum. We pledge to scrap nuclear weapons and use the money to better our public services. We believe in a benefit system that works for all, and aim to ultimately establish a universal basic income because, in the 5th richest country in the world, food banks should not be in such high demand. We are proud to have consistently demonstrated unwavering support for the rights of LGBTQIA+ people, minority ethnic groups, women and disabled people.

For students, the Green Party’s policies are particularly relevant. The Green Party has long been advocating lowering the voting age to 16, as we believe that young people deserve a say on their own future. Molly Scott Cato has vowed to scrap tuition fees, because education is a fundamental right, and privatisation is an ideological choice, not an economic necessity. Furthermore, Bristol University is no stranger to the mental health crisis that faces young people in today’s society. Molly has made mental health a priority, and will ensure more funding is available to support our students and NHS services. The Green Party will not compromise on freedom of movement in the Brexit negotiations, unlike Labour. Young people are at the heart of Molly’s MEP work on Brexit and will always be a Green priority.

In Molly Scott Cato, Bristol West has a capable and hard-working candidate with a brilliant track record. Let’s make history on the 8th of June! Please register to vote on before the deadline on the 22nd May. If you won’t be here for the election, it’s important to consider registering for a proxy or postal vote. Bristol West is a unique and exciting opportunity for us- the whole country is watching and here, your vote counts.

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