2018: The Year Greens Showed They Can Win
Chris Alders of the Green Party of Canada has compiled a series of successes by Green Parties around the world in 2018 and I added a couple of more. The successes show Greens can win. My sense is that despite the structural obstacles we face in the United States, if we face up to our internal shortcomings and build a serious political party that represents movement issues, the working class, poor and middle class and is diverse by race, gender, and age, and clearly stands as the independent, opposition to the two Wall Street parties, we will start to win. And, once we start, momentum will rapidly grow because people want a viable alternative to two corporate parties they see as corrupt.
From November; It was a successful outing for the Green Party of California as results from 2018 United States mid-term elections indicated 10 Greens have been elected. Of that number, fully eight were re-elected. Among those were the Green Party Mayor of Marina, Bruce Delgado. Voters in the city accorded the Green Party incumbent more than 57% of the popular vote in a two-way race. The Green Party candidate said he wants to credit the volunteers that put in the effort to put up signs, make phone calls and go door-to-door. He said having that many helpers made it easier to focus on the campaign. "Because one person can't do what 91 can do and it's bigger than the sum of its parts," Delgado said. Elsewhere, in Contra Costa County, L. Esperanza Surls was elected to the Canyon Elementary School District Board and Jim Smith was re-elected to the School Board of Trustees, Canyon Township. In Humbolt County, Leslie Castellano of the Greens won election to Eureka City Council, capturing the seat to represent residents in Ward 1. Jacob Coan was re-elected as a Governing Board Member in Eureka. In Los Angeles County, Green Party Candidate Jose Lara, was re-elected as a Governing Board Member in the El Rancho Unified School District, City of Pico Rivera. Larry Bragman was elected to the Water District, Division 3, Marin Municipal Water District Board. In Napa County, Amy Martenson of the Greens was re-elected to the College Board of Trustees, Area 2, Napa Valley College.
From November; a resounding electoral victory for the Green Party of The Netherlands in the Groningen (population approximately 200,00) local government election. The Greens went all the way to 21% from the previous 9.7% to win the most seats on that city's Council. To be exact, thanks to the tremendous support of voters, the Greens have gone from four seats on Council to 11. This marks the 12th Dutch city that has been won by the Greens this year. Joy reigned supreme at Green Party headquarters. "This is unbelievable, we would not have thought it possible," said Green Party list leader Glimina Chakor when the final result was announced around midnight.
From October; Opposition MP and President of the Democratic Green Party of Rwanda, Frank Habineza, has been elected Vice President, Social Affairs Commission, for the Parliament of Rwanda. Habineza had no contender, and garnered 100% vote of the parliament (78 out of 78). He said after his victory that, "Together with others we shall work hard to advocate for the well-being of Rwandans." "With my education in military and security studies, I did a part in human security, which makes aware of human security problems like flooding, poor housing and many more," he commented after his election. Having been a Green Party presidential candidate and "committed to up-lifting the well-being of all Rwandans, they were glad and voted me," he said. The Green Party of Rwanda won the first two parliamentary seats in their history earlier this year in that country's national election.
From December; five Green Party of Luxembourg members are sworn in as Cabinet Ministers in that country's new coalition government. The incoming Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Justice is Felix Braz of the Green Party. Francois Bausch is the new Minister of Mobility, Infrastructure, Interior Security and Defence. Carole Dieschbourg of the Greens takes up the Sustainability, Environment and Climate portfolio, while Claude Turmes is the new Minister of Land Planning and Energy. The Green Party's Sam Tanson is now Minister of Housing and Culture.
From October; A history-making result for the Green Party of Bavaria as voters in the German state elected a new legislature today (October 14, 2018). The Greens surged all the way to second place in party standings with a hugely impressive 19% of the popular vote. This also represents a massive gain of 10.4% over the 8.6% accorded them in 2013. This means the Greens will have close to 40 MPs in Bavaria, up from the 18 seats won five years ago. In achieving this result, the Greens convincingly defeated their longtime rivals, the SPD, by over 9%
From September; The old adage 'every vote counts' was never more in evidence than in the New Brunswick riding of Memramcook - Tantramar where Green Party of New Brunswick Candidate, Megan Mitton, emerged victorious, winning the seat by a mere 11 votes. The Greens took 38. 22% of the popular vote, beating the incumbent Liberal candidate in the process. Mitton's victory means the Greens now jump from one seat to three in the New Brunswick legislature. She becomes the first female Green Party member to win a seat in New Brunswick. Green Party Leader, David Coon, was re-elected in Fredericton South, while Kevin Arsenault captured the seat of Kent North for the Greens.
From October; It's been a successful return to the ballot for the Parti vert du Quebec. Voters in that province have accorded the Quebec Greens 1.69% of the popular vote, an increase of 1.14% from 2014's .55% result. The Greens ran 97 candidates, the second highest in the party's history. The outcome enabled the Greens to finish fifth in party standings out of the 19 parties that contested the election. All told, 67,451 Quebeckers voted Green Party, up an impressive 44,288 from 2014.
From November; It was a solid outcome for the Tasmanian Greens as voters in the Australian state elected new local governments. In Hobart, Helen Burnet of the Greens captured a highly impressive 35.80% of first preference votes in an 11-way race to become Deputy Lord Mayor. Bill Harvey of the Greens was also re-elected for another term as a Councilor in Hobart. In Launceton, Greens Candidate Tim Walker was elected to the 12th and last position on Council, the result of a 32-way race.
From October; A major advance for the Green Party of Luxembourg in that country's national parliamentary elections today (October 14, 2018). The Greens, who were part of a three-party coalition government at the time of dissolution, received a very, very solid 15.12% of the popular vote, up an impressive 5.02% from the 10.10% achieved in 2013. Over 533,000 people voted Green Party, enabling the party to win 9 seats, up three from the six members elected five years ago.
From October; More Green Party victories to report from local government elections in British Columbia. In the capital city of Victoria, two Green Party members were elected to City Council with Sarah Potts and Sharmarke Dubow winning seats. Both Greens finished in the top eight positions needed to claim victory in a field of 29 contestants. In the City of Saanich, Green Party member Ned Taylor took the eighth and final position on City Council by receiving 16,047 votes. In Richmond, Michael Wolfe won the election by garnering 13,627 votes, good enough for a solid seventh place.
From October; It was a history-making day (October 20, 2018) as voters in British Columbia's largest city elected three Green Party members to City Council. This is a gain of two for the Vancouver Greens as previously there was one elected Councilor. Adriane Carr of the Green Party was the top vote-getter with 69,885. Pete Fry of the Greens finished second overall with 61,925, while Michael Wiebe of the Greens finished a strong sixth with 45,700 votes. The fourth Green Party Candidate, David Wong, came close to winning a seat, winding up in 12th place (top ten were elected) with 40,990 votes.
From October; Huge gains are reported for the Green Party of Belgium as voters in that country went to the polls to elect new local governments. Incredibly, over 550 Green Party Councilors were elected. The Greens made significant gains in every part of the country. In the Districts of Wallonia and Brussels alone at least 9 cities have elected Green Party mayors, up from one mayor in 2012. The Green Party vote was way up in each of the 16 Districts. The Watermael-Boitsfort Greens saw an increase of 10.98% from 2012 as they garnered 34.57% of the popular vote. The Fauvillers Greens captured 61.21% of votes cast while the Ixelles Greens won a hugely impressive 33.05% of the popular vote. Enghien produced a Green Party result of 33.29%.
From October; It was an overwhelmingly successful day at the polls as the Green Party of Vancouver saw nine of ten candidates elected in local government elections. Included in this wildly successful outcome was the election of all three Green Party candidates to the Vancouver Park Board. As a matter of fact, the Greens finished one-two-three. Stuart MacKinnon led the way with 73,718 votes. Green Party candidate Dave Demers wound up second with 73,256 while Camil Dumont of the Green Party was accorded 65,447 votes, good for third place.
From October; A significant electoral improvement for the Vancouver Green Party on the Vancouver School Board. Voters there elected three Green Party candidates yesterday (October 20, 2018) as part of local government elections in British Columbia. Former Green Party Board Chair, Janet Fraser, was re-elected with the most votes of all candidates, coming in at 75,237. She'll have Green Party company in the persons of Estrellita Gonzalez, who wound up second by earning 58,480 votes, and Lois Chan-Pedley, who received 48,509 votes, good for a solid seventh place finish (nine seats were available).
From October; For the first time ever, Burnaby, British Columbia will be carrying a Green Party tune when its new City Council convenes. Former DOA lead singer, Joe Keithley, has been declared elected, winning the eighth and final seat by a 225 vote margin over his nearest competitor. Keithley became the first Green Party member to win in Burnaby as 17,425 people voted for him. He was quickly followed by Green Party candidate Christine Cunningham, who was elected to the Burnaby School Board with 22,024 votes, good for sixth place. Emily Zhang of the Green Party came a close ninth, with over 17,000 votes. Elsewhere, Josie Osborne was re-elected for a third term as Mayor of Torfino, garnering a whopping 85% of the popular vote in a three-way race and Ryan Windsor will serve a second term as Mayor of Central Saanich after winning by acclamation.
From October; The results are still coming in but it's been a history-making day for the Green Party in the German state of Hesse. Voters there have accorded the Greens a stunning 19.7% of the popular vote, up a hugely impressive 8.6% from the 11.1% 2013 result. The gains for the Greens came at the expense of both the CDU and the SPD. The Greens will likely see their seat count go from 14 to 27 in the state legislature. "Hesse has never been as green as it is today", said the Hessian top candidate Priska Hinz on Sunday evening about the best election result the Greens in Hesse have ever achieved. She thanked the green campaigners: "You've all helped us to have such a great election result, so it's a lot of fun." Co-head candidate Tarek Al-Wazir added: "We can be proud that we have gained so much trust from the Hessians in what we have done over the past five years..." Al-Wazir: "The election result is an assignment for us to continue in the #Energy revolution, #Agrand turnaround, #transportation turnout.It is an assignment to defend this open society that we are proud of!"
From November; For the first time ever, the Maryland Green Party has a member of the Maryland state legislature. The Green Party has its first lawmaker in Annapolis as outgoing Democratic Delegate Shane Robinson declared he is switching party affiliations. "I think the Green Party allows for broader and more radical thinking on some of these issues that are so critical to humans on the planet today," Robinson said in a phone interview an hour after officially changing his party registration. "Now that I'm leaving elected office … I'm looking to be in a party that more accurately matches what I would like to see the world become for my children and every generation that comes after them." Representing District 39 (Germantown and Montgomery Village) in the House of Delegates since 2010, Robinson, 41, said he felt "a little constrained" on issues such as climate change, social justice, grassroots democracy, decentralization, and emphasizing a "peacetime economy." "I could try to continue to work within [the Democratic Party] and make it better [and] I think that's a reasonable approach [but] because of my personal views being more aligned with the Greens, I want to be true to myself here and switch parties," said the two-term delegate, who leaves office on Jan. 9. Tim Willard, the co-chair of the Montgomery County Green Party and a 2014 and 2018 candidate for the County Council, wrote the "the Maryland Green Party is glad to welcome Del Robinson into the party. We are working hard to build a genuine alternative to the major parties. We are growing around the state and are now the second party in Baltimore City," he added in an email Monday evening. "With major unsolved problems such as climate change, as well as ongoing social justice issues, the Green Party will continue to work for real change."
From November; A sitting Conservative Party Deputy Cabinet member for Waveney Council in England has resigned that position to take out a membership with the Green Party of England and Wales. Caroline Topping, who represents the people of Beccles South on the Council, made the decision because she says, "I want to be able to speak out." Topping's action means the Greens now have three members on Waveney Council. She joins Green Councillor for Beccles North, Graham Elliott, and Suffolk County Councillor for Beccles Division, Elfrede Brambley-Crawshaw. Topping said the switch will allow her to fight for members of her community who have become victims of Tory austerity. "I feel much more closely aligned to the Green Party on important local issues and I very much share their core values, especially with regards to fostering community spirit, encouraging younger residents to get involved, supporting the elderly and people who are suffering with mental health issues. I have no doubt that this was the right decision to make, and it is great to feel passionate and excited again about my role in the community."
From November; The Green Party of Germany is at a historic high in the latest national public opinion poll. The Greens have vaulted past the SPD into the second place position at 24%, just three points out of first place. The sensational result comes as the German Greens have achieved major electoral breakthroughs in the latest two state elections in Bavaria and Hesse. The data, pulled by the polling firm Forsa from October 31 to November 2, 2018, was derived from over 2500 respondents.
From November; a highly disturbing development out of Turkey. The passports of Eylem Tuncaelli and Naci Sönmez, the joint spokespersons of the Green Party of Turkey, were confiscated as the pair prepared to board a flight from Turkey to Germany, the independent news site Bianet reported. Tuncaelli and Sönmez were on their way to Berlin to attend the European Green Party's three-day conference when their passports were confiscated, preventing them from boarding the plane. "Though we do not have any international travel bans, our passports were seized and we were arbitrarily prevented from leaving. This very incident has become an indicator of new Turkey and the news regime for us," Bianet quoted Sönmez as saying. The Green Party published a statement on the incident vowing not to be intimidated by the government's "unlawful practice" preventing the pair from leaving Turkey. "These obstacles, unlawful practices will only help us to close the ranks in our struggle for democracy and law," Tuncaelli said in a tweet. Turkey's treatment of critical voices and civil society activists has been under the spotlight this month after the detentions of 13 scholars and activists for participating in protests in the nationwide Gezi Park protests, which began as environmental demonstrations before ballooning into a nationwide anti-government movement in the summer of 2013.
From December; Final results of the state election in Victoria, Australia are revealed and the Greens up their representation from two seats to three from 2014. Voters in the constituency of Prahran re-elected Sam Hibbins of the Greens with 57.55% after vote distribution. All toll, state-wide the Greens came in at a very respectable 10.72%.
A couple not on his list:
In November Iceland elects leader of Left-Green Movement
Katrin Jakobsdottir, the 41-year-old chairwoman of the Left-Green Movement, has been elected Prime Minister of Iceland. One of the most well-liked politicians in Iceland, Katrín, a former education minister and avowed environmentalist, has pledged to set Iceland on the path to carbon neutrality by 2040. As Iceland's fourth prime minister in only two years, Katrín will take office at a time when national politics have been tainted by public distrust and scandal. A democratic socialist, Katrín is viewed as a bridge-building leader that may lead the country towards positive, incremental change. "She is the party leader who can best unite voters from the left and right," said Eva H. Onnudottir, a political scientist at the University of Iceland, according to the New York Times. "Because this coalition includes parties from the left to the right, their work will be more about managing the system instead of making 'revolutionary' changes."
In November 2017
The leader of Iceland's Left-Green movement has become the country's new prime minister at the head of a broad three-party coalition that could restore a measure of political stability after a succession of scandals.
Katrín Jakobsdóttir, 41, a popular former education minister who is considered to be Iceland's most trusted politician, took office on Wednesday after formally signing a new government accord with the center-right Independence and Progressive parties.
She told local media the administration's focus would be on greater investment in healthcare, education and transport infrastructure, sustaining Iceland's economic recovery from the 2008 financial crash, and improving gender equality and LGBT rights.