What's wrong with the green party?

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  • #1
Pythagorean
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Main Question or Discussion Point

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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  • #2
Evo
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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.
Just because they agree on some issues, doesn't make the candidate qualified to be President of the US.
 
  • #3
russ_watters
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Positions aside, party/candidate viability matters to me.
 
  • #4
Pythagorean
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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.
 
  • #5
lisab
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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.
 
  • #6
Evo
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@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.
I don't support any parties. I also said presidential election since that's what's coming up.

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.
Agreed.
 
  • #7
Curious3141
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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.
 
  • #8
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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.
 
  • #9
apeiron
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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.
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.
 
  • #10
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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.
It's also factually incorrect, because green party candidates have won local elections.

http://www.gp.org/elections/officeholders/index.php [Broken]
 
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  • #11
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It's also factually incorrect, because green party candidates have won local elections.

http://www.gp.org/elections/officeholders/index.php [Broken]


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)
 
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  • #12
Ryan_m_b
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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.
 
  • #13
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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?
 
  • #14
JonDE
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.
 
  • #15
cobalt124
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Another U.K. perspective:

...While I agree with much of what environmentalists stand for...All too often, they don't sound like scientists at all...
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.
 
  • #16
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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.
Beyond that, they seem too ambitious. They have unreasonable goals and they never seem to know how to achieve the goals.
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.
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.indiatimes.com/2012-07-17/india/32713281_1_political-authority-india-story-reforms
 
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  • #17
Pythagorean
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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.
 
  • #18
lisab
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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.
Good point...are they not taking money by principle, or by default? :wink:
 
  • #19
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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!!

http://www.spiegel.de/international/germany/caught-in-the-climate-conundrum-germany-plans-boom-in-coal-fired-power-plants-despite-high-emissions-a-472786.html


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:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_by_natural_gas_proven_reserves
 
  • #20
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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?
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.
 
  • #21
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.
Mostly because they're an environmentalist party, first and foremost. I greatly dislike environmentalists because they're the most unreasonable people I have ever met who still manage to be fundamentally correct. I suspect most other people feel similarly.
 
  • #22
Pythagorean
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I've honestly always thought the environmentalist tag was more of a stereotype. None of their talking points seem to have anything to do with the environment this year. I know it's part of their platform, but they seem to think political reform, foreign policy, and civil rights are more important than environment right now:

http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2012/ [Broken]
 
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  • #23
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There's something called "externalities" in economics. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Externality
As a person with master degree in economics I'm delighted that you are familiar with basic concepts. I think, however, that Naty1, who mentioned German case had something different in mind.

In Germany, after a mass hyseria, they switched off nuclear power plants which are inexpensive and produce no carbon dioxide. Because renewables were in short supply - they decided to increase coal share. Neither from perspective of short term economic analysis nor from avoiding long term outcomes of global warming that was specially reasonable.

Also photovoltaic is usually the most expensive energy source. Assuming that we rule out nuclear out of ideological reasons (because it's evil and against nature) then from renewables hydro power and wind power would be a more reasonable choice as the main source of energy.

Also when cost benefit analysis is applied then moving from coal to natural gas can on mass scale have much higher impact then a few expensive solar power plants.
 
  • #24
As a person with master degree in economics I'm delighted that you are familiar with basic concepts. I think, however, that Naty1, who mentioned German case had something different in mind.

In Germany, after a mass hyseria, they switched off nuclear power plants which are inexpensive and produce no carbon dioxide. Because renewables were in short supply - they decided to increase coal share. Neither from perspective of short term economic analysis nor from avoiding long term outcomes of global warming that was specially reasonable.

Also photovoltaic is usually the most expensive energy source. Assuming that we rule out nuclear out of ideological reasons (because it's evil and against nature) then from renewables hydro power and wind power would be a more reasonable choice as the main source of energy.

Also when cost benefit analysis is applied then moving from coal to natural gas can on mass scale have much higher impact then a few expensive solar power plants.
This was exactly my point a couple posts ago. "Environmentalists" are mental if they think we can reasonably solve our fossil fuel problem without massive increase of nuclear power. There's a reason France is by far the least-polluting first world nation - because 80% of its electrical grid is nuclear-powered. The Green Party supports the elimination of all our nuclear plants, which constitutes roughly 20% of our electrical grid. Thus it is on the wrong side of the environment. At least the Democrats are mostly open to the idea of nuclear plants.
 
  • #25
cobalt124
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...I believe scientists can never make good politicians...
The two roles are incompatible with each other.

...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.
Sadly, it seems you have to be "on the take" to get elected.
 

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