Thursday, May 11, 2006

Factions are not just a Green thing.

When I lived in New Jersey, Christine Todd Whitman became the governor and, among other things, cleaned up a significant portion of Democratic Political Machine corruption. She did not last long enough as head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) under during "W's" first term. I still follow what she is doing.

Whitman is now the driving force behind a PAC called "It's My Party Too." This was established to cure what she, and many others, feel to be the one cause of the failure of Congress, especially this Congress, to come to grips with America's problems. This was expressed in an OpEd she recently penned.

Just like GPCA, the Republican Party is divided and the best descriptions seem to be "acrimonious" and "self-righteous." These characteristics have always been at the heart of political divisions. But I don't think that they have ever been quite so strongly so as now. Whitman entitles her Op Ed "Meaningful Dialogue Sadly Lacking". In her case, it is the interaction of the Religious Right, the power politics of Tom Delay, the popularized propaganda of Rush Limbaugh and Michael Savage and the Balkanized nature of the blogosphere with idealogy enforcing sites like The Free Republic where the only thing that is not Free is the ability to hold a different opinion.

I question whether, like the Republican, the GPCA has lost the ability to hold a "meaningful dialogue" over solutions to California's problems, which should come before the GPCA's problems.

5 comments:

Steve Loebs said...

It is interesting that Christine Todd Whitman would make that kind of statement considering her recent acceptance of the job as a PR hack for the nuclear power industry.

http://www.ens-newswire.com/ens/apr2006/2006-04-24-10.asp

The last thing that I want to see the Green Party become is something that Christine Todd Whitman would approve of!

One of the key reasons for the forming of Green parties worldwide is our opposition to nuclear power. This is one idea that 'factions' have not formed over. Until now, Wes?

Supposing that you agree with her and advocate for nukes -- and I do not know that you do -- you should have the right to do so within the party and be represented in proportion to your numbers of likeminded Greens.

Wes said...

I am not sure which statement Whitman made that you find interesting. I find it interesting that you avoid the point of the post and take off on another tangent to criticize Whitman for something else rather than to comment on the fact that she see that nature of politics today is to encourage fational divisions, whether in the Green Party or any other.

So, then to take your case, if I were supporting something, along with 6 million others from Massachusets, then where is my power.

You seem to dislike geographic districting. Still, geography is the biggest determining factor for local problems, and I still agree with Tip O'Neil that "all politics is local." Who cares the most about the California Delta, resodents of Lathrop or of San Juan Capistrano? Who cares more about agricultural inspections at the border, residents of Fresno or of San Francisco?

Given a system with intelligently defined bio-regions and multi-seat elections, then maybe proportional representation will deliver answers to my problems.

The latest edition of Hich Country News has a short OpEd called "Take a blockhead to lunch." It is about the same thing, the self-righteous, conformity demanding nature of political discourse today.
We keep hearing that civic life these days is deeply polarized, and it is. Why is that? Because we fundamentally disagree on the basic issues, or because we’ve let shouting, blaming and scapegoating become the way we do politics? Is it because our beliefs clash at their very core, or because the frenzy and fear purveyed by our crassest media and worst politicians have made us desperate for a set of beliefs and like-minded people to cling to, however incomplete or flawed they may be?

Try it some time.

(Sorry, HCN is not totally free. But everyone should subscribe anyway.)

Steve Loebs said...

Allow me to clarify, Wes.

You wrote of Christine Todd Whitman's OpEd piece about the lack of meaningful discourse. I thought it was interesting that she would 'dis' the PR spinning, sophistry and acrimony of pluralistic politics and then hypocritically take a top position with the nuke industry PR org. In other words, she loses her credibility when she becomes the very thing that she has previously criticized. I guess the money was too good to pass up?!?

Whitman also loses credibility from the Green POV since she is the former EPA chief and is now a PR hack for the nuke industry. That is the reason why I also brought this up.

Again, to clarify: Christine Todd Whitman has NO credibility on enviro issues or on her comments about political discourse.

The next issue you bring up is the one of geography vs likemindedness as it pertains to political representation. If geography happens to correlate on particular issues with likeminded folks, then by happenstance it is an okay reason for representation. However, there is much info from the field of political science that clearly shows the best way to provide optimal representation is by grouping voters by like mind instead of artificial geographic boundaries.

The Green Party advocates stronger representation and that leads us to supporting proportional representation systems over our current weak representation system.

Hope this helps clarify.

Wes said...

Steve,
Let me ask another question? It appears that, after the next Plenary, it appears that of 13 GPUS Delegates, eight will be members of GDI. Do you define that as proportional? If so, as proportional to what? On what basis?

Steve Loebs said...

It would appear that on this issue it has become beneficial that Greens, like myself, requested that the Ventura plenary be postponed and not violate our bylaws.

Now, you and any others will have sufficient time to recruit candidates for the GPUS delegate seats.

You see, Wes, we Greens for Democracy and Independence (GDI) are not about forcing our ideas disproportionately on other Greens. We want real democracy and independence from the major parties.

I am less likely to be elected to the delegate seat if we have more candidates and fuller representation, I admit. I will gladly reduce the probability of my being elected in order to realize an optimal form of internal democratic process.