Green parties’ self-destruction

This video from Ireland says about itself:

In a scheme backed by the current Irish government [including the Irish Green Party who opposed the scheme before joining the government coalition], Shell want to install a gigantic refinery in a remote part of Mayo in North-West Ireland. Local people object, so the govt has brought in a huge force of police to intimidate them and try to stifle protest. However, people are worried enough by Shell’s record in other countries where they operate to continue the fight to make them transfer their refinery offshore.

From Climate and Capitalism blog:

How Three Green Parties Went Wrong

June 5, 2010

The experience of Greens in Ireland, Czech Republic and Germany shows that you can’t be a progressive force while selling your soul for a seat at the big man’s table. …

The Czech Greens had just started to make electoral headway achieving 6.3% in the 2006 elections, winning 6 of 200 Parliamentary seats. However, they used those votes to go into government with two right-wing parties, the Civic Democrats and the Christian Democrats, taking the education and environment ministries.

This year, after three years of association with corruption, mismanagement and instability, the Greens received just over a third of their previous vote and didn’t win a single seat. …

My last example, for sake of brevity (!) will be from Germany. Die Grünen is one of the largest Green Parties in the world and has its roots in the environmental, anti-nuclear and peace movements. Just to show that Green parties do not always go into coalition with the centre right in 1998 they went into a Red-Green coalition with the Social Democratic Party (SPD). …

That does not mean all went well, as before the ink was dry on the coalition deal we saw the launch of the Kosovan war courtesy of Mr Blair and Mr Clinton. The German government, including its bright and shiny Green Ministers supported the bombing. Understandably many previous supporters were disgusted and left the party. However whilst their vote dipped temporarily in the long term they were able to balance pragmatism with gaining electoral support.

The Greens also found the coalition difficult terrain to negotiate and many critics feel they were too ready to concede to the pro-business agenda of the SPD and could have, or should have, pushed for the dismantling of nuclear power stations more vigorously – it’s difficult to know what was possible within the confines of the alliance but what is clear is that the experience has left the German Greens with burned fingers and on a local level some areas have begun to consider center-right coalition partners.

Britain: While there is a long way to go for the Green Party, Caroline Lucas’s electoral triumph is hugely inspiring for party activists and the left as a whole: here.

The German Green Party has confirmed its coalition with the conservative Christian Democratic Union in the city state of Hamburg, thereby signaling its readiness to enter a coalition with the CDU at a federal level: here.

1 thought on “Green parties’ self-destruction

  1. Pingback: Daniel Cohn-Bendit, from Green to anti-democrat | Dear Kitty. Some blog

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