World changers not interested in Parliamentary politics

Why is it that I find many of my friends who are such strong campaigners for social change have little to no interest in local state or federal politics?

People who care about forests, gender and identity politics, disability, mental and child care, human rights, indigenous issues, consumer society, and climate change, often zone out and switch off when I bring up the likely outcome of particular seats in elections, or the changing platforms of the major parties?

It’s probably because the two party system has conditioned them to not expect much, that continual let down after so many broken promises has led many to believe that change cannot occur at that level, leaving many so disillusioned as to not even vote, and focus on grassroots campaigning only.

I understand that disillusionment completely, but I believe ignoring this important sphere of influence does the relative causes a disjustice.

State and Federal legislatures are where the injustices of our society can be structurally repaired. They control the funding and the regulation of all the things that happen in our society, and properly directed can create and assist the change needed in and for our world.

Dr Karl once said on radio that politicians are like cushions. They take the shape of the last person to sit on them. This is why our major political parties resemble big business and reflect the desires of them. It is also why Activists and Campaigners putting pressure on Pollies can sometimes get results. I’m sure many people could cite examples of where an outcome was achieved from the applied specific pressure to one key politician.

This is why the Greens excite me. My experience in Tasmania has showed me a party that remains close to its members and supporters, reflects the views of progressive and community focussed people, and most importantly has ethics, philosophy and purpose. The disillusioned may think that the Greens are just another political party, perhaps they were let down by the Democrats in the past, but I want to tell all the people who care that the Greens are more than that, they are the Political arm of a movement, the movement towards the world that we all want to create, a world of respect, of harmony with the environment, of social justice, towards a livable world with happiness and fufilment the higher goal rather than endless growth and GDP!! Green politics is a global movement, with the same visions and ideals from Vienna to Venezuela, the United States to Uganda. A global manifestation of the new Ethic! The change we want to see!

The advancement of green politics and green politicians is our key to the levers to change the world!! Look at the backgrounds of the candidates and representatives. Many are Doctors, Teachers, Environmental and Social Campaigners, Human Rights Lawyers. More than half are women! All share the vision for a better world. They were us, they are us, and they want to help our causes because they are their own!!

Sometimes I get carried away in the detail. Poring over an Anthony Green elections blog post. Sometimes I break the data down into such small parcels that the relevance can be hard to see, yet it is all towards the goal.

Look at what Green politics has achieved in Australia. The Franklin runs free. The Tasmanian Wilderness World Heritage Area. The current Tasmanian government and its successes so far! The imminent end of native forest logging, the coming carbon price, the new make up of state parliaments about to be elected!! Real results and a maturity of the counter-culture movement!

This post might sound sentimental and emotional. I’m not ashamed of that. I dream of a better world that I know exists within our potential. I know we can achieve it. Through grassroots direct action and broad social change. Tasmania has taught me that anything is possible and that the only limitations are the ones we impose on ourselves.

It is with this spirit and ethos that I promote and support Green politics, because I believe in the power of people to change the world they live in, and I believe in the ‘new ethic’ of respect and justice, and to this end I will work every day of my life to make it happen.


One comment

  • Ok probably not the comment you were looking for, but I liked the previous background much better. This one’s too dark / grungy. :p

    On the more serious thrust of your post – I entirely agree. Activism is essential, but more often than not the change needed and sought via activism will ultimately come down to a political process. If there is a poor understanding of how to use the political process to achieve aims, and the realities that go with it, there’s a very strong chance of not achieving the stated change / goal etc.

    I often suspect that some activists see politics as having to get dirty and becoming corrupted etc. Two responses come to mind – a) all the more reason to be involved in campaigns to clean up politics as much as possible, and support the politicians who are walking that talk and b) in the meantime, inevitably you have to dance with the devil to get change, and politics is the main field for that.

    Speaking as a Green, there’s no shortage of activists in the party, still active, or having come from that base while now devoting most of their energies to political action. I don’t see a mirror of this in most community campaigns that align naturally with the Greens (although if you pay attention to the community campaigns working with Libs and the ALP the story is very different). It would be really good to see a much greater level of awareness and savvy amongst activists about the importance, reality / limitations and how to use the political process. I think we’d get a lot more results.

    cheers, green nerd


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s