Thursday, 18 March 2010

The Green Party

The Green Party of the United States was created in 2001 from the Association of Green Parties and they are:

- Grassroots activists

- Environmentalists

- Advocates for Social Justice

- Nonviolent resisters

- Regular citizens who’ve had enough of corporate-dominated politics

The ‘About Us’ page on their website offers a clear description of their ideologies and explains that:

The Green Party of the United States is a federation of state Green Parties. Committed to environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organizing, Greens are renewing democracy without the support of corporate donors. Greens provide real solutions for real problems. Whether the issue is universal health care, corporate globalization, alternative energy, election reform or decent, living wages for workers, Greens have the courage and independence necessary to take on the powerful corporate interests. The Federal recognizes the Green Party of the United States as the official Green Party National Committee. We are partners with the European Federation of Green Parties and the Federation of Green Parties of the Americas.

This is the link to their website:

The Ten Key Values of the Green Party outline their stances on significant issues such as Grassroots Democracy, Social Justice and Equal Opportunity, Ecological Wisdom, Nonviolence, Decentralization, Community-Based Economics and Economic Justice, Feminism and Gender Equality, Respect for Diversity, Personal and Global Responsibility, Future Focus and Sustainability.

Their opinions on these issues are not far different from many other left wing groups we have looked at however unsurprisingly, based on their name, there is a much stronger focus on the environment. The Green Party supports

a sustainable society which utilizes resources in such a way that future generations will benefit and not suffer from the practices of our generation. To this end we must practice agriculture which replenishes the soil; move to an energy efficient economy; and live in ways that respect the integrity of natural systems

I was interested to find an opinion piece by Cynthia McKinney – 2008 Green Party Presidential Candidate - on The Independent’s website from this Monday 15/3/10. A link to the piece is below:

I found this piece useful in offering the view of a prominent member of the Green Party on the Obama administration. However, I was surprised at quite how critical she is of Obama, considering the number of similarities between what his administration campaigned for and the Green Parties views.

Regarding our previous blog posts regarding US Senators, I should mention here that Ralph Nadar, who has run for President four times and twice with the Green Party, has been mentioned as a possible candidate for Senator in Connecticut.


  1. I find the green party really interesting, and if I was living in the US. I think I would vote for these guys.

    I read on thier website that they are the strongest party after the Democrats and the Republicans, making them what could be a 3rd potential party of U.S. politics. Looking at their elected officials, they have a fair few in Council positions, proving that they are successful on a local scale and certainly have the economic backing they need.

    Identifying themselves with European Green Parties and organisations makes them appear internationalised and less 'American' possibly, because their views are disrtingushied dominantly elsewhere in the world.

    It is also interesting how they have moved a little away from the environmentalism position. Whilst they still support it they are lacthing on to other issues that are far left. Being advocates for 'Social Justice' expands their reach to citizens and neutralises their historic radical environmentalist image.

  2. I was surprised to see just how far the US Greens have moved away from their focus on the environment. Having looked at their website, the environment appears marginalised as an issue on their current list of highlighted activities with US military activities, international human rights and criticism of big business and government all very much favoured.

    They are very pro-glocal and, interestingly, anti-collectivist from the political perspective. They defy the label of 'socialist' because of this key difference in emphasis but, that notwithstanding, they are as close to a 'socialist' party (in the British sense) as I've seen in the USA.

    I had a look at the British Green Party site just to see how they compare. Although our 'Greens' have also adopted a more generalist approach to social issues, they are still much more focused on the envronment.

    Considering the difference in attitude by the mainstream toward environmental issues between here and the USA, it isn't that surprising that the US Greens must adopt a diverse agenda to enlist the support they need to give them a political voice.

    I also noted how they (as with all political organisations) use US ideological ideas of individualism, freedom and democracy. For the Greens the unreconcilable conflict between the 'rights' of the individual and the 'rights' of society is addressed by their emphasis on developing the local economically, politically and socially. A concept which has also been proposed by 'Red Tory' Phillip Blond and also advocated by David Brooks - in an article in this week's New York Times - as an alternative ethos within the USA:

  3. I also was a little surprised to see the American Green Party getting involved in other issues. I feel this is because stereotypically the public view the Green Party as having one agenda. This environment is what they are known for but evidently they are involved in other issues. I feel this is critical for the Green Party as in order to gain more votes and positions the Green Party does have to widen their appeal. Many American would see a vote for the Green Party as a wasted vote. This is because they are extremely unlikely to get into power in the United States. America is a two party system and that is unlikely to change. However, if the Green Party continues to expand their ideas and gain exposure a seat in the Senate or Congress may be on the cards.

  4. Thanks for all your comments!
    It is true that the Green Party have stopped focussing so much on their environmental beliefs and I think is smart if they want to become real players in America's two party system.
    As I mentioned in my post, the name Green Party alone makes it obvious that they are focussed on environmental issues and consequently I don't feel that they need to spell it out any further.
    In a post Inconvenient Truth America, people know what they can do to help the environment so I don't feel it is necessary for the Green Party to emphasise it any further in a campaign.
    I completely agree with Annie when she says that 'in order to gain more votes and positions the Green Party does have to widen their appeal'. Something it appears they are doing well.
    We have seen ways that Grassroots activism and public donations have been successful with Obama so I do feel that in the future there might be a place for the Green Party...


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