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News What's wrong with the green party?

  1. Sep 19, 2012 #1


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    Why don't you support them? At least, statistically, you don't. If you do, then I'm equally interested in hearing why you support them. I find myself agreeing with them on a lot of the issues the more I look into them.
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  3. Sep 19, 2012 #2


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    Just because they agree on some issues, doesn't make the candidate qualified to be President of the US.
  4. Sep 19, 2012 #3


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    Positions aside, party/candidate viability matters to me.
  5. Sep 19, 2012 #4


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    Could you guys be more specific about what's wrong with the party (including what might be wrong with candidates)?

    @Evo, Presidential election isn't the only way to support a party. You can support more than one party if you want; you don't have to vote for a candidate just because they belong to a party you support.
  6. Sep 19, 2012 #5


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    I know very little about the greens, to be honest. But I associate them with environmentalists. While I agree with much of what environmentalists stand for, it's how they say it that *really* bothers me. All too often, they don't sound like scientists at all, but rather like cheer leaders or - worse - preachers. My gut reaction to most environmentalists: I don't trust them - same reaction I get from slick salespeople.

    All IMO.
  7. Sep 19, 2012 #6


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    I don't support any parties. I also said presidential election since that's what's coming up.

  8. Sep 19, 2012 #7


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    I suppose a lot has to do with strategic voting. This applies whether you support the Greens, the Libertarians or some other "fringe" party (i.e. any one other than the Dems and the Pubs). If one judges that the candidate one truly supports really doesn't have a chance in heck of winning the election, then it seems like a waste to vote for him/her. One might compromise by voting for a second choice from the "mainstream" parties. The problem is that when everyone (or even most) people start thinking this way, it becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
  9. Sep 19, 2012 #8
    there's no point voting for the green party, especially for the presidential election, because they'll never win

    yes, I know this is circular logic. I am a lazy citizen and not proud of it, but also a little realistic, I think.
  10. Sep 19, 2012 #9


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    The way I see it, politics is divided between the micro and macro view - the local and the global in terms of spatiotemporal scale in systems-speak. And Green/Left/Conservative policies sound right because they address the long-term, society-wide, view, while Liberal/Right policies sound correct also because they address the short-range, personal view.

    So you have the eternal problem of two poles for policy - a global stress on the need for stabilising co-operation, and a local stress on the need for creative freedoms - and the struggle is to find a party with a political model that balances both these natural tensions.

    Green politics is well-developed where I live - New Zealand - and with proportional representation, Green MPs have 12% of the seats in Parliament.

    But the Green Party arose out of progressive roots and so has the problem that much of its base thinking is well to the left in terms of local economic freedoms. But as a new younger generation is taking over, a better balance is emerging.

    We also have here the emergence of the "blue-green" movement. So that is a version of green policy coming from the neo-liberal side. And there are ministers in our current right-of-centre government that have been champions of it. Even our major business lobbies have rebranded themselves to endorse sustainability as a political philosophy - http://www.sustainablebusinessnz.org.nz/news-and-info/executive-insight

    Again, as green politics matures, there is a balancing of the needs for global social collaboration which gives you your long-term policies, and the equal need to foster local individual creativity, which is the focus of the short-term policies.

    So from a political theory point of view, there is some really interesting thinking here about how to be green in a practical sense. The debate has moved a long way from the preachy do-gooders towards a rational and evidence-based approach.

    Unfortunately, being a small country afloat in a large and turbulent world, NZ has very little chance to put good ideas into effect. For instance, we created a "Rolls Royce" emission tradings scheme because it seemed the world might take carbon gases seriously. But that has been put on ice effectively because the world isn't ready for action.

    Anyway, my point is that "green" politics will fail if it is just about the global constraints on individual action (even if those constraints are necessary in a finite world). Any political system that is too one-sided is going to fail - neo-liberalism, with its entire focus on local freedoms, is another example.

    But it is quite possible to design political structures that aim to get the best of both worlds - maximising intelligent behaviour both at the local and global levels of society. And green politics is based on the recognition that there are indeed hard global limits, in terms of ecology, resources, population, climate change, peak fossil fuel, etc, which have become a necessary part of political decision making.

    Of course, I can already hear the immediate response - human technological ingenuity means there are no environmental limits in fact. We can invent our way out of any corner.

    Again, a true green political model would acknowlege this localised creativity. A green system would of course want to maximise our ability to invent our own futures. But green politics remains rooted in a systems view where the local and global have to go hand in hand. Neither a complete shut-down on consumption, nor a complete trusting to ingenuity, are an answer. However that still leaves the very real problem of designing a political system that can deliver the appropriate balance of behaviours in a society.

    The polarities may define the extremes that constitute the system, but the system itself is about the functional interaction of these extremes. So rather than voting for the extremes, you want the opportunity to vote for the healthy functioning of the system.
  11. Sep 19, 2012 #10
    It's also factually incorrect, because green party candidates have won local elections.

    http://www.gp.org/elections/officeholders/index.php [Broken]
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  12. Sep 19, 2012 #11

    whoopsies, I guess that's what I get for both speaking in absolutes and having tunnel vision on the topic (was only really thinking about the presidential election)
    Last edited by a moderator: May 6, 2017
  13. Sep 20, 2012 #12


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    This is from a UK perspective but personally I would vote for the greens (there are a few issues that we disagree on such as nuclear power but we're more in line than most parties) but because of district voting like in the US it's pretty much always a wasted vote.
  14. Sep 20, 2012 #13
    I'm not sure what are the stances of US green party (so excuse them in case if they are brighter than those greens in Europe)

    Because in the quiz there were no questions concerning nuclear power or GMO? Thus such party could start loosing its support among more scientific minded people if proper questions were raised?
  15. Sep 20, 2012 #14
    I would like to make a counter argument to all those that are saying that voting for the green party is a wasted vote.

    Do you think your one vote is going to change the outcome of the election? It might on local levels, but it is extremely unlikely to change anything where there are over 1 million votes. Since your one vote wont really matter anyways, you might as well give it to the person that you think deserves it the most.
  16. Sep 20, 2012 #15


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    Another U.K. perspective:

    Agree. The Greens are both scientifically and politically naive IMO. How would they cope with defence or foreign policy? I would never vote for them, though glad that they can wield some influence in that their good policies will be picked up by the larger parties and implemented. That is the best they can hope for. Glad they got their first seat in Parliament though.

    Didn't know the U.S. had a Green Party, I thought U.S. elections were constitutionally a two horse race.
  17. Sep 20, 2012 #16
    Beyond that, they seem too ambitious. They have unreasonable goals and they never seem to know how to achieve the goals.
    Some are scientists in the Greens but even then I believe scientists can never make good politicians. They just seem incapable of implementing any kind of policy. I would prefer Obama, Romney, and most infamous politicians over someone who has a Phd. Germany is an interesting exception but then if you look at India: http://articles.timesofindia.indiat...281_1_political-authority-india-story-reforms
    Last edited: Sep 20, 2012
  18. Sep 20, 2012 #17


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    Most of the criticisms about the green party sound reasonable, though I don't know enough about them to know the truthfulness of the premises.

    Their current presidential candidate is a physician (MD I believe). Listening to their pep ralleys, they're kind of banal. Supporters claim that their candidate isn't "on the take" from big business, but I guess it's also a question of whether they've actually refused offers or just aren't big enough to be offered anything.
  19. Sep 20, 2012 #18


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    Good point...are they not taking money by principle, or by default? :wink:
  20. Sep 22, 2012 #19
    Aside from splitting the vote, I tend not to support many green issues because they are too often ill conceived ...like wind and solar power. Why should my tax dollars support an uneconomical energy strategy?
    Germany, for example, has recently announced some 23 new coal fired plants ....because wind and solar proved unreliable and too expensive.........duh!!


    On the other hand, maintaining clean water and addressing acid rain in reasonable ways are great objectives.

    Alternatively, things like sequestering oil and natural gas in the US and preventing their utilization means a weakened and dependent country. We can't have much influence if we are ourselves are struggling economically.

    As a possible practical solution: Why shouldn't the US and Canada provide relatively clean natural gas to Germany?? Together, they have more than any other country. I'm not entirely sure, but so far environmentalists seem to have stifled gas production in the US...

    But 'proven gas reserves' is limited by government access/permit approvals...so the supply is not reflected here:

  21. Sep 22, 2012 #20
    There's something called "externalities" in economics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality

    The carbon released into the atmosphere has an external cost associated with it which isn't taken into account in pricing. If power companies had to pay the mitigation cost for the increase in carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, coal and gas would be much more expensive.

    Plus, oil and gas WILL run out one day. Whether it's 50 years from now or 500, there will be a major supply crunch, and some might say it's better to get a handle on such problems now rather than try to deal with it as it occurs.
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