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Irish Greens Leave Fianna Fail Coalition

The New York Times is reporting that the Green Party in Ireland has abandoned the governing coalition, leaving it without a majority.

The Greens’ leader, John Gormley, said Mr. Cowen’s flurry of moves to keep himself in office had ruptured the “trust” on which the coalition rested.

“Our patience has reached an end,” Mr. Gormley said.

The loss of the six Green votes in the 166-seat lower house of the Irish Parliament left the Cowen government without a majority. It also put the government at high risk of being voted out of office this week before securing passage of legislation to authorize steep tax increases and spending cuts required by the International Monetary Fund and the European Central Bank as part of the bailout plan.

In a statement at the Green Party of Ireland’s website, Gormley states:

It has been a very rare privilege to serve in government. It would of course have been preferable if our time in government had not coincided with the worst economic downturn in our nation’s history. It has meant having to take the most difficult decisions that any party could have faced.

We did so it was because it was the right thing to do.

I am proud of our many achievements in the areas of planning, renewable energy, energy-standards of buildings, water conservation and other environmental areas. I’m proud that we gave rights to gay couples through civil partnership, and that we persisted in our belief that education and the arts should be protected. These two areas are absolutely vital for our economic recovery.

I regret obviously that we did not have more time to complete our other legislation, which is very well advanced.

There’s a link at Ballot Access News to an article at The Journal which claims to have the Green’s “Statement in full”.

The BBC is reporting

Green Party leader John Gormley: “The Irish people have begun to lose confidence in politics”

The Republic of Ireland’s Green Party is pulling out of the ruling coalition, a move expected to bring forward the general election due on 11 March.

The Greens’ announcement wipes out the ruling coalition’s two-seat majority and puts into question the passage of a vital finance bill.

We had reported earlier here that the Irish Greens would remain in the government until the passage of the finance bill mentioned above, and that Greens were willing to remain in government to push for adoption of climate change legislation.

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Green Party news round-up

The Irish Times is reporting that the Irish Green Party has forced the governing party, Fianna Fáil, to hold a vote on ending the hunting of male deer, or stags. The article says that the Green Party forced a vote on the issue by negotiating it with Fianna Fáil during talks aimed at preventing a government collapse. Apparently now some Fianna Fáil members of the Teachta Dála, the lower chamber of the Irish Parliament, want to be free to vote to retain the stag hunt; in essence saying that they want to ignore the terms their leaders committed to earlier.

Meanwhile, in Canada, the Prime Minister has suspended parliament for two months, and The Star is quoting Green Party leader Elizabeth May saying

“We need to kick and scream at this insult to democracy – because that is what it is. We need to support each other, efforts by other parties, non-political leadership,”

This move by the Harper government will kill a committee probing the transfer of Afghan prisoners by Canadian troops. The closing of parliament also shuts down vocal opposition to his conservative Continue Reading

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Irish Greens stay in government, win policy concessions

On Saturday, a conference of Irish Green Party members voted to stay in government with the center-right party Fianna Fail. The vote was based on approval of a revised program for government that Green negotiators worked out last week with their much larger coalition partner. The decision comes at a hard time for the Irish Greens. Many voters on the left who supported them are angry over their participation in a center-right government, and their failure to pull out after several high-profile Fianna Fail corruption scandals. Fianna Fail supporters tend to oppose the Greens’ agenda. One thing seemed clear to everyone in Ireland – if the Greens had chosen to pull out of government and force an election, both parties in the Continue Reading

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Irish Greens demand changes to “bad bank” proposal

The Irish government is a coalition in which the Irish Green Party plays a small but essential role. The Irish government is considering a proposal, the NAMA, which would put assets from bankers and developers into a “bad bank” designed to dispose of these poorly performing investments.

Now the Belfast Telegraph is reporting that the Irish Green Party leadership is telling the other coalition partners that there must be changes to the NAMA to make it acceptable to the Green Party’s members or expect the government to fail.

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A bit more on international Greens

As has been reported here at GPW over the past few days, the Irish Green Party membership is not happy with their government, even though the Greens are part of the governing coalition. Part of the difficulty is the government proposal to bail out Irish bankers, speculators and developers, known as NAMA. Party chair Dan Boyle has put the chance of snap elections at 40%, but Environment Minister John Gormley has ruled out early elections.

At the same time, the Socialist Workers Party in Ireland plans to lobby a Green Party conference on September 12th, which is being held to hear from Green Party members and their concerns about the NAMA program.

In Canada, the National Post is reporting that recent polls put the Green Party at 9.9% as the Liberal and Conservative Parties run neck and neck. Green Party leader Elizabeth May may have an early run for office if the current minority Conservative Party government looses a no confidence vote.

The Standard of St. Catherines reports that Greens, and other political candidates, would prefer to keep the current election schedule instead of holding elections as early as November.

“Look, if it happens, I’m ready to go,” said St. Catharines Green party candidate Jennifer Mooradian. “But this isn’t the time. No one I am talking to right now wants an election. I think people want to see Ottawa get on with the job.

In Austria, the Greens are proposing that deserters from Hitler’s Nazi military be given “full rehabilitation”. An article at Monsters and Critics quotes Austrian Green parliamentarian Albert Steinhauser saying:

“With this bill, the republic and its representatives would declare their view of desertion in a historical context.”

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Irish Green says collapse of government is possible

According to a report at Business World, Irish Green Party leader Dan Boyle says that the Irish government may not make it to the end of the year without calling for snap elections.

Mr Boyle said he thought the probability of an election in the next six months was “40:60″.

BBC News has a more comprehensive report. It shows that the Green Party is maintaining it’s support with the Irish voter at 3%, while it’s coalition partners are seeing a drop in support. The same poll shows that 85% of Irish voters are unhappy with the government. According to Boyle, the government’s bank bail out plan is at the core of this dissatisfaction.

Meanwhile, the Irish Times reports that a recent poll shows that a 3/4 majority of Irish voters want a change in government. 17% want to stay with the current coalition government. Even 74% of Greens polled want a new government, even though the current government includes Greens in the governing coalition.

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Greens in Ireland call for grassroots decision on “bad bank”

The Irish Emigrant says that rank and file Greens are calling for Green Party members of the Irish government to oppose a proposal, called the National Asset Management System, risking the collapse of the government. The Irish Greens are a minority partner in the government. The NAMS, according to Channel 4 news, faces opposition from a number of grassroots Greens, with four regions calling for an emergency convention to reject the proposal. If one more region joins in the call for the convention it will be held, in accord with party rules, and if a 2/3 majority demands Green Party opposition, it could bring about the collapse of the proposal, and the government.

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International Green Party news update

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.
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