Spiegel Online reports on the growth of the Green Party in Germany at the expense of the Social Democrats. According to Spiegel, the Greens and Social Democrats are struggling for the “New Center” in German politics. In a quote that could apply to some US cities, Spiegel writes
In many major cities, it has already risen to become the second-biggest political party.
The article also covers the German Green Party’s efforts to connect with voters via their own Internet radio station.
In what may be the most telling quote, a German voter addresses the current financial problems, and the traditional party approach.
“There’s not so much money left, so it needs to be spent intelligently,” says Katharina Blumenstock, a gynecologist in Cologne. “The development of electric cars is more important to me than the Opel bailout. We need to invest in the future.” She says she trust the Greens most to find the right path out of the current financial and economic crisis.
Much more, from New Zealand, Ireland, Argentina, Belgium, Scotland, Palestine, and many more can be found by clicking this article’s headline.
In an article at Stuff.co.nz, New Zealand’s Prime Minister has courted some controversy for declining to support a referendum designed to repeal that nation’s “anti-smacking” law. This law, proposed by New Zealand’s Green Party, forbids corporal punishment, but allows the police and prosecutors wide latitude in enforcement. The proposed referendum has also brought the Greens to propose changing the rules governing referenda to require that they be clearly worded.
The Irish Times is reporting that the Irish Green Party is coming in for “heavy criticism” for agreeing with coalition partners Fianna Fáil’s plan to remain in the Brussels-based European Defence Agency (EDA). Green Party leader Dan Boyle points out, in their defense, that the Greens placed limitations on Ireland’s involvement in EDA’s actions where none had existed before.
The Green Party of England and Wales has explained how voting Green can keep racist British politicians from winning election to the European Parliament.
Peter Cranie, the Green Party’s leading candidate in the recent North West England Euro-election, was just 0.3% short of denying a parliamentary seat to racist BNP (British National Party) leader Nick Griffin when the votes were counted last Sunday night.
New Zealand Greens have welcomed Dow Chemical’s acknowledgment of responsibility for toxic waste improperly disposed of 20 years ago, but challenge polluters to pay the full cost of the pollution they cause. In this particular case, Dow has offered to pay $50,000 to help cover the cost of the clean up of Marfell Park in New Plymouth. The Green Party has demanded that they cover health care costs for people effected by the pollution.
New Zealand’s Greens are also in the news because of their support for an “Emissions Trading Scheme”. They are also covered because they are calling for a slow down in adoption of Tasers by the police force, pointing to the case of a man in Queensland, Australia, who was subjected to 28 Taser shocks at the hands of police there. More on that same story can be found here
Tri-City News is reporting that the Green Party in British Columbia is looking for candidates in New Westminster-Coquitlam.
The European Greens are among a number of groups across Europe calling for the European Union to take global climate change seriously.
Philippe Lamberts, who is also a MEP for the French-speaking Belgian Green Party Ecolo, said: “The leaders again expressed their desire to tackle climate change as a matter of urgency but in reality they have produced nothing of substance. EU leaders have again refused to agree on firm commitments (for example, to reduce emissions by 25-40 percent compared to 1990 levels) and have, as they always do, postponed any decision on emission reduction targets until the next meeting.
Scotland’s Green Party has called that nation’s government plan to address climate change inadequate and too vague to be of much use.
The Green Party in Gloucester England believes that it is on the verge of electoral success based, in part, on their recent European Union showings at the polls.
In the Czech Republic the Green Party has chosen a new leader to carry them into October’s elections. Martin Bursik resigned the party leadership after what was seen as a poor showing in that nation’s EU election results, and Deputy chairman Ondrej Liska, a former Education Minister, was elected to lead the party.
One of the globe’s newest Green Parties, in Azerbaijan is making plans to participate in local municipal elections as part of a coalition of close to 20 political parties.
Latin America’s environmental campaigners have grown tired of their government’s unwillingness to tackle problems from economic sustainability to social justice, education and health. Now they have come together under the banner of Global Greens and are pushing to expand their influence. In an echo of what Ralph Nader said when he first entered electoral politics as a candidate, Chilean Green Party leader Félix González said
environmental activists lobby political authorities to adopt their proposals, but this method of exerting influence has come to a dead end. So they created this party, which “sooner or later will govern the country,” he said optimistically.
In Spain, Los Verdes campaigners Elliot and Natalie Sampford have resigned from the party largely because their local and regional chapters have endorsed government plans to relocate a waste recycling center.
I do not agree with the alternative location proposal for the recycling depot which was put forward to the Town Hall by Los Verdes without, I would point out, any prior consultation with the residents directly affected. The proposal fails to protect either the quality of life of the residents or the environment of the area. It is an unacceptable compromise of principles.
Ireland has seen the selection of that nation’s only Green Party mayor. By a vote of the city council members, Malcolm Noonan was elected mayor. In his acceptance speech he called for direct elections of Kilkenny’s mayors in the future.
New Zealand’s Green Party was also in the news because of their support for plans to insulate close to 1 million substandard homes. Green Party energy spokeswoman Jeanette Fitzsimons said that this plan must be expected to outlast the current government, staying a part of government plans until the job is done, regardless of who wins which elections.