24 Apr 2007

France needs a great party of political ecology...

France needs a great party of political ecology, popular and united, so that the warnings which we give tirelessly and the good work that we do on the ground, finally translates into influence on the important choices which need to be made in our country, in Europe and in the world. Democracy is sometimes a bitter judge, but our struggle is beautiful and just: it will continue without slackening nor weakness. And this struggle begins again with the legislative elections, where we know that we will be able to count on Green voters, some of whom will already be regretting having denied us their vote this evening.



this is via Joseph on the Green Left list and should stimulate thought about the direction of the Greens in Europe:

Dominique Voynet, the French Green Party's presidential candidate, has released the following statement. Les Verts (Greens) gained 1.5% of the vote and the anti-globalisation candidate, Jose Bove, gained 1.3%.There is also an interesting analysis of the vote by leftwing journalist Doug Ireland.
http://www.zmag.org/content/showarticle.cfm?SectionID=74&ItemID=12650

Joseph Healy


France: 22 April 2007. Statement by Dominique Voynet


I thank the voters who gave me their support. I thank them for bravely resisting the media hype which they were bombarded with and for not letting their vote be dictated by opinion polls, the coverage of which replaced, day after day, any in- depth discussion during this first round campaign.

A majority of ecological voters, however, preferred to vote for the socialist candidate, even for the UDF candidate, to avert their fear of a repeat of 21st April 2002, or the fear that a right-wing candidate espousing increasingly extreme policies inspires in them.

I take note of this choice.

The socialist candidate must not, however, forget in the second round the diversity of voters who voted for her. I will vote for Ségolène Royal on May 6th. My support is without ambiguity: but ecological voters will mobilize themselves even more in a second round which shows every likelihood of being close, if she shows that from now she wants to be the candidate of a united front which does not exclude them.

In particular, I ask her to take into account in all matters of public policy the urgent matters related to climate change, to act quickly and reject a number of projects which will have a catastrophic impact on the environment in the fields of energy, transport, agriculture, waste and public health.

I ask her to restore hope to the millions of people who live in poverty or are financially insecure.

I ask her to really breathe new life into this country’s democratic life by committing to the transition towards a Sixth Republic which will once again give the Parliament and our fellow-citizens the ability to play a part in the choices on which their future depends.

I would like to finally thank the green activists for the support that they brought to me. We have taken part in an active, useful campaign.

But we must hear the message which was delivered to us today: France needs a great party of political ecology, popular and united, so that the warnings which we give tirelessly and the good work that we do on the ground, finally translates into influence on the important choices which need to be made in our country, in Europe and in the world. Democracy is sometimes a bitter judge, but our struggle is beautiful and just: it will continue without slackening nor weakness. And this struggle begins again with the legislative elections, where we know that we will be able to count on Green voters, some of whom will already be regretting having denied us their vote this evening.



Dominique Voynet

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2 comments:

Jim Jay said...

It seems to me that the French Greens need to think about why their vote has collapsed.

In the 1999 euros they achieved over 9% of the vote in the last Presidential vote in 2002 they achieved over 5% of the vote and this time they couldn't even muster 2% - this is really problematic.

There is a squeeze of course in that many voters of the smaller progressive parties voted for Royal rather than risk Le Pen getting into the next round - but that is not the entire explanation.

The LCR increased the numbers voting for it from 1.2 million to 1.5 million despite the worries of many left voters.

It seems to me that the Greens courting of respectability (including taking a cabinet seat in a neo-liberal government) and campaigning for a YES vote in the euro constitution referendum have helped to alienate them from the radical vote.

Without a reassessment - and possibly entering into thoughtful discussion with the likes of Jose Bove and the LCR - redefining themselves as part of a movement rather than attempting to be part of government. As it stands there is no particular reason to vote Green in France and, in my view, they need to use this result as an opportunity to reassess their direction of the last ten years.

Chris Brooks said...

Jim's damn right here. Us green have to start to work with the rest of the progressive movement, instead of putting our head in the sand. Most Green parties won't build links with the green left outside the worldwide Green Party organisation, not even with the Nordic Green Left... crazy.