Sunday, November 11, 2007

Two paths.

In a departure from my normal practice of posting about fundamental questions for which I believe that the Green Party offers the best answers, I am going to post about the questions facing the Green Party of California for which we have not yet found an answer. I am speaking of the various types of people who gravitate toward holding some office in the GPCA, their approach to how to fulfill the needs of the party and the way in which those needs are not being met.

It is easiest to talk from my own personal experience. I came to the party because it offers the best solutions to what I feel to be very important problems: social justice, the end of racism and the protection of the plant from the willful wrath of humans. When I do speak out, or act, I do so in support of getting our party to take some positive action in these regards. This would be the attraction of helping a Working Group like the Green Issues Working Group.

It appears to me that there are others who approach their roles as providing the best way to support the party in general. Anyone who works toward a helping more Green Party Candidates win electoral office would fall in this group. What they do is not directly in support of any one issue, it is an effort to make the party stronger and more capable of affecting change.

The key here is that these are both example of people working to affect change.

In contrast, there are others, hopefully motivated in the same manner as I mentioned above, who choose to work a bureaucrats, focusing on parliamentary procedures, following the letter, if not the intent of bylaws or general assembly designations, and doing so with a stridency that is often astounding. Unfortunately, this method of working seems always in defense of the status quo and is antithetical to change.

It seems that the work that gets done, gets done in spite of the nominal leadership, not because of it. Things happen because individuals show initiative and take responsibility. I don't want to sound like I grew up reading Ayn Rand, as there are many ways leading and it does not require a Randian hero. I did grow up in an era when the Summer of Love was a real event, not ancient history, and that was a generation that felt the world was changing and that they were the agents of change.

Well, the world did not change all that much. The bureaucrats still control almost everything. And we still have an opportunity to make a difference. To begin with, we can ignore the bureaucrats and just get on with the job. It is really easy, because the bureaucrats have not real power to enforce anything.

Here are some ideas about where this can be put in place.

The Grassroots Organizing Working Group had nominal responsibility for producing the Green Focus newspaper. Since that paper no longer has an editor, it is not longer being published. Those who are currently named to the editorial board for the Green Focus need to just pick things up, decide what to do, name a new publisher and run it like a real newspaper. Most of us on the board were there because we were writers / contributors. We need to be more than that.

The Green Issues Working Group has become completely non-functional. If issues, and the way that we deal with them, are important, then someone needs to get out the jumper cables and jump start that group. The focus has to be on finding the pressure points where the Green Party, as a party, can make a difference. It can be done. It requires only someone who is willing to devote the time and to provide the leadership to make it happen. It the current leadership of GIWG can not get this done, then those Greens who are working on making the GPCA a player on any issue need to just start coordinating their own work, as some are doing, until we find replacements.

But when the bureaucrats start to focus on why things can't be done, then it is time that those bureaucrats are replaced. The right leadership will focus on why things can be accomplished, on what has to be done to satisfy the needs of the party and then figure out a way to make it happen within the context of respect for all the individuals who are working their butts off to make this party function.

This is a bit of a rant. I did not name the people I had in mind. I wanted to focus on the attitudes.

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