The Green Party of Germany.....came out with an interesting report and apology yesterday. The report was a fairly thick piece (at least 250 pages). The topic? During the last election, the suggestion came up over the Greens having a relationship from years ago with pedophilia groups.
The Green Party agrees.....in their beginning....there was this connection to a small faction within their newly founded group, which pushed for expansion on adult-child relationships. Kinda shocking but at that point in organizing....I doubt if the Greens had a grasp of everything on the agenda.
The original Green Party came out of West Germany around 1980. As the Wall came down, there was a East Germany variety of the political effort.....called Alliance 90. In 1993, the two groups came together. It's safe to say that both groups had splinter organizations within them....favoring certain topics (like nuke energy or anti-nuke missiles) more than the average Green-minded voter.
For this report, the Greens went back to the early membership and tried to understand how adult-child relationships got started. What they found.....was a platform suggestion by one fringe group within the effort, which simply suggested that as long as a relationship was safe and non-violent, then relationships with minors should be without any legal pitfalls. The platform suggestion didn't really go anywhere, but it got widely circulated and some people signed the platform petitions without really reading the entire document (yep, Germans do the same stupid stuff as Americans.....sign without reading).
If you looked at environmental political activity from the 1960s....up through the 1980s....and past the Wall coming down.....you come up with three different variations (my suggestion of Greens version 1.0, 2.0, and 3.0).
The early version of Greens version 1.0 was a wild crowd who talked mostly anti-cruise missiles and anti-NATO. This crowd was never going to get past one-to-two percent of the national vote. The news media would cover them for various reasons, but it never made much sense....considering the low voter interest.
The Greens version 2.0 was a more thoughtful crowd, and had expanded it's list of political topic to around a dozen significant ideas. They were still anti-NATO, anti-cruise missiles.....but they came around to be pro-recyclables, pro-wind energy, pro-farm, and a number of items which interested the more intellectual of the voter crowd. They staged party meetings with less hectic or chaotic discussions. This Greens group would attract somewhere near four-to-five percent of the national vote.
So, we come to today's Green (3.0). They probably have at least forty-odd political topics or platforms. These include immigration, pension reform, jobs creation, and the economy. There are still a handful of Greens who dress in the traditional 1970s garb and will jump on nukes whenever possible. But the average Green today can attract seven-to-ten percent of the voters in significant elections.
The Greens of the 1970s would never have been suggested as a partner in state or regional politics. Today? The CDU of Hessen has teamed up with the regional Green Party, and given a portion of state cabinet posts to the Greens. It's an odd relationship but the right-leaning CDU has found a couple areas where they are in agreement, and can find mutual interests.
One area of the CDU-Green effort has been the ongoing project to expand the Frankfurt airport. Local hostility is still brewing over the noise levels of the airport, and the Greens have been active in forcing some changes to lessen the noise situation. The Greens have been pushed into looking at the airport from a business prospective......it hires a large segment of the Frankfurt population and you really don't want to do anything that might jeopardize the ongoing operation, or it's expansion. For a Green to find common ground in this....would have been unthinkable a decade ago. So, they've come a long way.
All of this goes back to the early days, and how this report fits into the process of change. The Greens of today sit down and examine political impacts. Being radical.....doesn't really mean that much. You need to have an end that fits neatly into the whole argument. Just being pure Green.....isn't really much of an achievement anymore. Yeah, maybe they've flipped a bit and are more of Green-Lite.....but still, they lean that way.
So the apology is in written form and and supposed to mean something. Maybe that's the end of this mess with the stains that go back three decades ago.