Can the resurgent Greens prevail over the youth vote?
Omond says they are inspired by black feminist organizers and the teachings of Audre Lorde, a revolutionary poet, essayist and autobiographer known for her passionate writings on lesbian feminism and race. “These are the kinds of ideas that we need to be at the center of our national conversation about how we’re going to survive what’s to come,” says Omond. “Because what’s next is going to be overwhelming, even for the privileged cis white people.” They are going to have to learn from people who have lived and survived and even prospered while being excluded by systems of oppression.
Many young voters come into adulthood with a heightened awareness of how factors such as racism, capitalism, transphobia and climate change are affecting their lives. Once marginal, the popularity of the Green Party has fluctuated in recent years as voters search for alternatives: currently they are on a rebound, winning a total of 155 seats, including 99 wins, in the 2021 local election.
Young people, including those not yet of voting age, are about to inherit the world at a chaotic time. Even though we are sometimes put off by mainstream politics, we are politically engaged and not afraid to share our views on social and environmental justice.
In a sense, this is nothing new. But the young people of 2021 had a profoundly different set of experiences than previous generations, and therefore developed a very different set of political values to match the world they grew up in. If you are a young person, there is a good chance that capitalism has failed you, arguably more than the older generations. In many communities, social mobility has declined, housing costs are prohibitive, education has become increasingly expensive, and the labor market is more competitive than ever. On top of that, COVID-19 has changed the country’s social, economic and political landscape.
When you factor in the additional barriers created by white supremacy and patriarchy, it becomes clearer that young voters want political leaders who will listen and listen to the needs of the people they represent.
Omond and Womack’s liberation manifesto offers voters feminist and intersectional political leadership. Omond is the first openly trans, non-binary person to run for the leadership of a national political party. “Representation creates inspiration,” says Womack. Indeed, by having Omond represented as a co-leader, this team shows us that there is room in political leadership for trans voices where they have been ignored and under-represented for too long.
Denyer and Ramsay, meanwhile, hope to change the current structure of their underfunded discipline committee, which often places members in “very awkward positions for a long time.” They say the Greens’ can’t count on [underrepresented] individuals to do all the heavy lifting themselves ”, and recognize that sometimes learning and discussion is not enough.
In a world where one can feel like screaming into the void about experiences of prejudice as people try to deny its existence, it is heartening to hear politicians grappling with complicated questions about privilege, power and how our default assumptions have driven communities marginalized. important conversations.
Something the two teams share is the desire to make the Green Party a safe and welcoming space for all, especially since the party has recently been rocked by accusations of transphobia. For Denyer and Ramsay, this includes living a “nothing about us without us” principle and genuinely listening to the voices of the marginalized. Likewise, for Womack and Omond, the objective is “to make voices heard that are not represented and to try to bring the solutions that already exist within these communities to the heart of our political debate”.