Online crowdfunder technology has helped Darren Hall on his way to represent the Green Party for the seat of Bristol West; strengthening his fight for a fairer society, improved health and tackling climate change head on.

Credit: Wikimedia Commons
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

As May 7th swiftly approaches, politicians will be spread across the media trying to entice your vote. Their election campaigns will see them fighting for the seat at the head of the table. But how are these election campaigns funded? It could be argued that the campaign with the most money stands the best chance of winning the election. But are the days of the wealthy few, and corporations who donate large sums of money to ensure the next government, changing? Well, that’s for you to decide, thanks to the introduction of online crowdfunding technology in to politics. This is a technology which has been successfully utilized by musicians, businesses and social enterprises across the globe as a way of generating grassroots support. In a political context, crowdfunding is a tool consciously intended to promote democracy, and small donations through social fundraising are likely to equal votes come Election Day. At least that is what Darren Hall; Green Party candidate for Bristol West is hoping, after the recent triumph of his own crowdfunder campaign. The Green’s smashed through their target of £7500 and raised £8395 through 198 donations and find themselves in a strong position to make sustainable change in Bristol West.

“Unlike the big three parties, the Green Party do not accept large donations from corporations or unions. We are empowered by individual supporters, by ordinary people, to work for the common good, so crowdfunding was the perfect choice” said Hall. The money raised through Darren Hall’s online crowdfunding will go to leaflet printing, producing a series of short films which summarize Green Party policies, recruitment of 200 volunteers and to rent a campaign office with a shop front for the election. The crowdfunder campaign successfully exceeded the initial funding target, and this additional support will be allocated to tackling “some of Bristol’s most intractable problems; including transport, housing and air quality” concluded Hall.

In the year of European Green Capital, and the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP21) due to be held in Paris, it will be interesting to see just how powerful this approach to an election campaign has been for Bristol West. Will Green Policy approaches to energy, sustainability and environment sway your vote come May 7th?

By Mark Nichols