Monday, April 09, 2007

Why is there a Green Party?

I joined the Green Party because I believed that there is a fundamental difference between the Greens and other parties in the manner by which we addresses the problems of society today. There was a set of key values around which we could frame our discussion of those problems and which would guide the search for solutions.

The current state of the Agenda for our next General Assembly indicates that we have diverged a long way from that vision of the Green Party. There is not a single proposal from the Platform Committee that made it on to the agenda. Even those items which appear to be issues are being driven not by the working groups or by any caucus, but rather from the CC itself, placed on the agenda without proper examination from the grassroots of this party. I am suggesting that items such as the "Endorsement of Unity Blueprint For Immigration Reform", placed on the consent calendar should be given publicity and a chance for discussion before being placed on the agenda. I would hazard a guess that very few of the members of this party have heard about it let alone read it. It was not even mentioned during the KQED special report re: immigration this past week.
SIDEBAR:The KQED program is worth listening to. Most of the panel discussing the issue comes from those associated with ethnic media, such as Pacific News Service.
We need to solve the internal problems of the GPCA. The question is whether we can do that and still maintain the reason that we exist.


Anonymous said...

Thanks for raising the issue of water usage and protection - the oil of the future. The LA Times is already predicting a perennial drought for the southwestern states of the U.S. How we manage and conserve our water becomes a life and death issue. The Greens could be educating the public and pushing for meaningful conservation measures. The conference on May 2, 2007 is a good start.

Anonymous said...

based on your description of the GPCA Central Committee (CC), it may be time for the grassroots to wrest control from this disconnected body and begin the work to bring back democracy. One suggestion from the Riverside Greens is for the Green Party County Councils throughout the state to democratically elect representatives to replace the existing CC. The regional model and rotation of existing leadership seems to be creating a mini cabal that doesn't represent the people/Greens. And, perhaps an electronic forum could be utilized to increase the participation and eliminate costly travel to meetings hundreds of miles away.

Wes said...

If there is one law that seem to operate with out fail in economic and political issues, it is the law of unintended consequences. One good example of that is the California Initiative on term limits. One of the unintended consequences have been a the legislature's greater reliance on outside experts when crafting laws. Legislative staffs no longer have the ability to acquire the knowledge necessary to properly assess whether they are getting good input or are being manipulated by one special interest or another.

Another problem has been the greater use of the initiative process by those who know that they can not get their proposal through the legislature. Bypassing the legislature, they go directly to the people with high cost media campaigns where the message is never the truth well told. It has been a boondoggle for the advertising industry.

While the idea of a standing general assembly puts power closer to the grass roots, it also makes manipulation by those with the money to push a media campaign all the more a danger.