| How the sausage is made|
The Green Party (officially known as the Global Greens) is an international political party - or perhaps more accurately a group of loosely-connected parties around the world. Although specific policies of "Green" parties vary from country to country, the central ideology common to all of them is environmentalism.
The Green Party of the United States (GPUS)
In the United States, the Greens are a third party and about the same size as the Libertarian Party, meaning... they got 1.07 percent of the Presidential popular vote in the 2016 election, and 0.2 percent in 2020. (Compare that to the LP's 3.28 percent and 1.2 percent, respectively.) Greens don't know how to vote, or if they do, they treat math as some sort of oligarchical conspiracy. (They're greens. Shouting "rigged!" is their go-to strategy for everything.) And they seriously wonder why they can't even win seats in local state congresses, which even the Libertarians have managed to do.
It seems like the Greens have no idea how to actually stay on topic. Second, they get all their info on vaccines from The X-Files and on nuclear power from House of Cards.[citation NOT needed]
Its basic positions, known as the Ten Key Values, are:
- Grassroots democracy
- Social justice and equal opportunity
- Ecological wisdom
- Community-based economics and economic justice
- Feminism and gender equality
- Respect for diversity
- Personal and global responsibility
- Future focus and sustainability
- Marijuana decriminalization
which is promoted by some.
On the local level, state Green parties have had success electing mayors, city council members, municipal government members, and state representative (in 2012, they elected Arkansas state representative Fred Smith). There are about as many Green officeholders as Libertarian one, despite the Greens having about half as many members. In 2009, fifty Greens were elected. In 2012, the number of Greens elected was in the 30s.
Ralph Nader was a notable candidate of the Green Party, although he openly refused to join the party. His presidential run during the 2000 elections was hugely successful, as he garnered almost 3,000,000 votes and may have had a spoiler effect by taking liberal swing-state voters away from Al Gore. His 97,488 votes in Florida were 96,951 more than the official difference between George W. Bush (2,912,790) and Gore (2,912,253). His runs in 2004 and 2008 as an independent did not attract similar support. However, he still beat the official Green candidates by a large margin.
Jello Biafra (of Dead Kennedys fame) ran on the Green Party ticket once, and he openly admitted he was a "gadfly candidate." Although he did offer some policy positions, at least, such as a "maximum wage" of $100,000.
In the 2012 elections, physician Jill Stein was the nominee, getting around 397,000 votes, or one-third of 1% of the popular vote. 2016 primary candidates for the party include Sedinam Curry, William Kreml, Kent Mesplay, and Jill Stein, only 3 of whom sound like anagrams. On June 22, 2015, during an appearance on Democracy Now!, Stein formally announced she would seek the Green Party's 2016 presidential nomination. Remember when the "Green" Party, whose main issue was environmental protection, stole the election from a man who would've been the most environmentally-friendly head of state in the history of the world? Looks like Stein and this new Green Party didn't get that memo. They even cite 2000 as an argument for protest voting in their official platform.
Greens call the spoiler accusation a dishonest weapon used by major parties to eliminate competition from smaller parties.
PZ Myers accuses Stein of promoting anti vaccine hysteria and Bo Gardiner also criticises her refusal to state clearly that commonly used American vaccines are safe. Actually, Jill Stein's views are more nuanced than that: although she engaged in a bit of mercury woo surrounding vaccines, Stein has said that "As a medical doctor of course I support vaccinations". However, Stein has claimed that her real problem was with "the Food and Drug Administration being controlled by drug companies", saying that "Monsanto lobbyists help run the day in those agencies and are in charge of approving what food isn't safe". This is even though most Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee members work in academic or medical institutions, not drug companies, as the Washington Post pointed out.
She has also expressed a willingness to collaborate with Bernie Sanders, by allowing him to head the campaign ticket but his endorsement of Hillary Clinton as the Democratic presidential nominee has killed this deal. Sanders has urged his voters to tactically vote for Clinton against Trump, stating that if there were any chance of a coalition government (such as in many European countries), he might have a different view on whether to vote for Stein. Following Sanders' support for Clinton, searches for Jill Stein went up online, and donations to her campaign increased by
over 9,000! nearly 1,000%.
In response to being accused of being a possible spoiler for the Democratic Party Stein has defended her position by saying that it's more important to focus on stopping Hillary Clinton and neoliberalism because those policies would eventually result in fascism, so if someone like Donald Trump gets elected then it was apparently inevitable anyways. In 2020 their nominee Howie Hawkins briefly revived these fears, but they turned out to be unfounded as the Democratic base was too scared of the prospect of "four more years" to desert Joe Biden, even if they really didn't like him.
Campus Greens is the party's student organization, which is composed of students and teachers of universities, colleges, and high schools.
The Green Party seems to be fascinated with nature woo. Examples include:
- Their platform states opposition to modern medicine and education in favor of the "Great School" (nature, of course) and the "Great Hospital" (once again, nature)
- Support for publicly funded homeopathy and alternative medicine (dialed back in recent years)
- Opposition (in their Canadian incarnation) to water fluoridation
Stein has also called for "a moratorium on GMOs and pesticides until they are proven safe", and said of GMO producers: "these guys are corporate criminals, they’re climate criminals, and they are food criminals, and they ought to be in jail". Stein has also promoted the idea that wifi signals harm the brains of children.
Healthcare policy: A comparison
Greens support a wide range of health care services, not just traditional medicine, which too often emphasizes "a medical arms race" that relies upon high-tech intervention, surgical techniques and costly pharmaceuticals. Chronic conditions are often best cured by alternative medicine. We support the teaching, funding and practice of holistic health approaches and, as appropriate, the use of complementary and alternative therapies such as herbal medicines, homeopathy, naturopathy, traditional Chinese medicine and other healing approaches.
The Green Party supports a wide range of health care services, including conventional medicine, as well as the teaching, funding and practice of complementary, integrative and licensed alternative health care approaches.
The Green Party in the UK
Despite their media portrayal, there are three different Green Parties in the UK: The Green Party of England and Wales, The Scottish Green Party, and the Green Party of Northern Ireland. All of these work closely together at the UK and EU level. The Green Party in Wales appears to be steering itself towards becoming a separate party too.
There is currently just one Green MP in UK parliament, as well as six Green MSPs in the Scottish Parliament, and their votes enabled the Scottish National Party to form a minority administration, rather than a hung parliament after the 2007 elections. In England, the Green Party has 18 county councilors and sends two representatives to the European Parliament.
Despite the Green Party's good intentions regarding the environment, they have some stances that may hinder research and development in some areas of biology. For example, the Green Party press officer Scott Redding claimed that "animal testing may be more harmful than helpful." In regards to GM crops, Redding claimed that "we draw a distinction between the application of a technology, which we believe has been proven to be socially destructive" and went on to say "we do not accept the self-serving claims of multinationals that GM crops can solve world hunger, the fuel crisis and any myriad of global problems," as it is infinitely more important to remain ideologically pure than to save lives with golden rice.
The Green Party has a unique history for something now perceived as firmly left-of-center if not dangerously Marxist. It is a descendant of the PEOPLE Party, founded in 1972 by former Conservative Party councilor Tony Whittaker and his wife, Lesley. They had read a worrying article in Playboy magazine about overpopulation. Initially, most of its members were right of center and more focused on the imminent destruction of the human race than the environment. The new PEOPLE Party attracted a few sympathetic members, most prominently Edward "Teddy" Goldsmith, editor of The Ecologist magazine, and a member of the Clermont/Mayfair Set that also included his younger brother James Goldsmith, Lord Lucan, and John Aspinall. Initially, the environmental movement regarded it with suspicion, and the party squabbled internally over the direction. Still, gradually it moved towards mainstream environmentalism, in 1975 changing its name to the Ecology Party, and in 1985 becoming the Green Party.
The Australian Greens have policies that are seen as being aligned with the values of European-style social democracy, and within the old territory of the Australian Labor Party before the latter's shift to the right in the 1980s and 90s. Their platform includes expanding publicly-funded universal health care and funding for public education, free higher education, wealth redistribution, expanding the social security safety net (including a Universal Basic Income), electoral reform, an Australian Bill of Rights, taxation reform including adequately taxing the profits of multinational corporations that operate in Australia, and ending tax-payer subsidies to big mining companies . As of February 2020, they hold 9 senate seats and 1 lower house seat at the federal level.
Green Parties in other countries have had varying degrees of success. Kenyan GP member Wangari Maathai was awarded the Nobel Prize for Peace in 2004. In New Zealand, the Green Party, after winning seats in 3 major elections, supplied the ruling left-wing Labour Party with "supply and confidence" votes during Labour's 9-year reign and implemented many of its own policies despite having a dope-smoking, skateboarding, Rasta as a senior Member of Parliament. After New Zealand's 2017 election, the Green Party again supplied the Labour Party with "supply and confidence", in exchange for multiple ministerial positions, including climate change and conservation. The Irish Green Party become the fourth largest party in the Dáil Éireann, in the 2020 election, ever since their recovery in the last two Irish general elections.
Germany's The Greens, after being created as a ragtag band of hippies, treehuggers and Marxists (and some more unsavory types who mostly left early on) in the early eighties, had become strong and influential by successfully blending environmentalist, socially progressive, interventionist and economically neoliberal positions, especially in the late nineties to mid-noughties when it formed part of the government. After the conservative party (CDU) made some big mistakes in 2011, the Green Party in Germany came in as second in the regional elections in Baden-Württemberg and now has the position of "Ministerpräsident" (something like a Governor) in Baden-Württemberg. As of 2016, they still hold that position (by coming in first in the state election in 2016, a historic first for a third party in Germany) and speaker of the House, having nominated the first Muslim to that position in German history. As the current polling suggests, they'll become the new major party in German politics.
In the Canadian province of Quebec, the Green Party is known for supporting anglophone rights. In the 2011 election, the Green Party of Canada won its first seat ever; and within by the end of the decade, the party gained two more seats in the 2019 election.
Finland's Green League is minor (20 parliamentary seats out of 200 as of 2020) but has been in government multiple times. Their presidential candidate, Pekka Haavisto, finished second in the 2012 presidential election, receiving 37.4 percent of the votes despite the obvious hindrances of being openly homosexual and having an Ecuadorian spouse.
A strange quirk of pretty much every Green party is that, despite being "green", they are among the most ferocious opponents of nuclear power, despite the science behind it. Theories for this opposition vary - conservatives tend to allege that this shows they are not really concerned about the environment but are simply watermelons - i.e. ex-Marxists seeking a new cover. A more pragmatic explanation is simply that the Green community tends to be out of touch with science, as seen above. Fortunately, some of them seem to be coming around to the benefits of nuclear power, with the Finnish Greens leading the way.
- Electoral results of the 2016 presidential election on Wikipedia
- "Exclusive: Green Party’s Jill Stein Announces She Is Running for President on Democracy Now!", Democracy Now!. June 22, 2015.
- "Stein Goes After Clinton Email Scandal", MSNBC 8.23.16.
- I thought he was supposed to be the stable normal one? It’s bad to be confined to one choice — but at least there’s no ambiguity about who is the better candidate
- Dr. Jill Stein Responds to Vaccine Controversy By Saying She’s Just Asking Questions
- Willingham, Emily. "There's Nothing Green About Jill Stein's Vaccine Stance". Forbes.
- LaCapria, Kim (July 30, 2016). "Is Green Party Candidate Jill Stein 'Anti-Vaccine'?". Snopes.
- David, Weigel (July 29, 2016). "Jill Stein on vaccines: People have 'real questions'". The Washington Post. Archived on July 30, 2016. Retrieved July 31, 2016.
- "Meet Jill Stein, the Green Party Candidate for President," NBC News
- Secular Talk (July 27, 2016). "Bernie Sanders on the Green Party & Jill Stein". – via YouTube.
- Cahill, Tom (July 13, 2016). "Donations to Jill Stein Explode Nearly 1000% Since Sanders' Endorsement of Clinton". US Uncut.
- Pseudohistory about Nazi Germany for bonus points
- "Green Party Platform, Chapter II: Social Justice".
- Ban on artificial water fluoridation products. At least the Canadian party does.
- "Power to the People Plan". jill2016.com.
- Gardiner, Bo (July 27, 2016). "Dr. Jill Stein Is Anti-Science, Bad for the Environment, and Deserves Her Anti-Vax Label". Friendly Atheist.
- BBC Council Election Results 2009
- BBC European Election Results 2009
- The Green Party answering questions regarding its science policy in The Guardian
- A dope-smoking Rasta? Really?
- Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand § The Green Party in Government
- Austria backs green agenda with new coalition deal. BBC News, January 2, 2020.
- Canada Votes 2011: Green Party Leader Elizabeth May Speaks on Getting a Seat - May 2nd 2011
- Has the Green Movement lost its way?
- If Nuclear Power Is So Safe, Why Are We So Afraid Of It?
- The green movement is not pro-science
- Finland’s Green Party goes nuclear