Are the Greens sell-outs?

Bryce Edwards has written an important and thoughtful critical analysis of the Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand’s recent election campaign: Have the Greens Sold their Soul?

I don’t agree with all he says: the whole point of billboards

is to be simple and raise awareness of a ‘brand’ – hopefully with some positive associations. They’re not places to detail policy, and using them well – as a brand tool – is not, in itself, selling the Party’s soul.

But there is certainly room to ask some hard questions about how far the party should go in its quest to be ‘mainstream’, or even if that should be a goal. Arguably, the Party has become more ‘mainstream’ in each of three elections it has contested since 1999, and the electoral benefit of that movement is – at best – unclear.

Another useful area Bryce touches on is “professionalisation”. In part, I think this reflects the inevitable development and maturing of the Party as an organisation in the context of Parliamentary and electoral politics, but I suspect there has been a failure – not just of the Greens as a party, but also of non-party greens – to strengthen and extend a politically aware and active green movement through our society (David’s posts here and here are relevant on this last point).

Anyway – it’s thought provoking and worth a read, I reckon.

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