GreenLeft

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This article is about the Dutch political party. For other uses of the term 'Green Left', see Green Left (disambiguation).
GroenLinks
Image:Groenlinks logo.jpg
Leader Femke Halsema
Founded March 1, 1989
Headquarters Partij Bureau GroenLinks
Oudegracht 312 Utrecht
Political Ideology Green Politics
International Affiliation Global Greens
European Affiliation European Green Party
European Parliament Group EGP/EFA
Colours Green and Red
Website www.groenlinks.nl
See also Politics of the Netherlands

Political parties
Elections

GroenLinks (GL, English: GreenLeft) is a Dutch Green political party.

Contents

[edit] History

[edit] Before 1989

Image:1984-GPA.jpg
1984 European election poster of the Green Progressive Accord of CPN, PSP and PPR

GreenLeft was founded as merger of four parties that were at the left of the main social-democratic Labour Party: the destalinized Communist Party of the Netherlands (CPN), the Pacifist Socialist Party (PSP), which was formed by the peace movement, the green Political Party Radicals (PPR), which was founded as progressive Christian party, and the progressive christian Evangelical People's Party. These four were often grouped as "small left". In the 1972 elections these parties won sixteen seats, in the 1977 elections they were left with only six. From that moment on, people began to plead for cooperation.

Since the 1980s these parties began to cooperate in municipal and provincial elections and legislatives, because a higher percentage of votes is necessary to gain seats in such elections. In 1984 the PPR, CPN and PSP formed the Green Progressive Accord that entered with one list in the European elections. They won one seat, which rotated between the PSP and PPR. Party-members also met each other in grassroots extraparliamentary protest against nuclear energy and nuclear weapons. More than 80% of the members of the PSP, CPN and PPR attended one of the two mass protests against the placement nuclear weapons of 1981 and 1983<ref>Lucardie P. et al. Verloren Illusie, Geslaagde Fusie? GroenLinks in Historisch and Politicologische Perspectief 1999, Leiden: DSWO-press; p.45 </ref>.

The cooperation between these parties and the ideological change that accompanied it also led to internal dissent. The ideological change that CPN made from revolutionary marxism-leninism to "reformism" led to a split in the CPN which led to the founding of the League of Communists in the Netherlands in 1982. Before the election of 1986 the CPN and the PPR wanted to form an electoral alliance with the PSP. This led to a crisis within the party: chair of the parliamentary party, Fred van der Spek who opposed cooperation was replaced by Andrée van Es, who favoured cooperation. Van der Spek founded his own Party for Socialism and Disarmament. The 1986 PSP congress however still rejected cooperation. Earlier a group of "deep" Greens split from the PPR, they would found the the Greens eventually. The Evangelical People's Party was founded in 1981 as a split from the main Christian democratic Christian Democratic Appeal, in its period in parliament 1982-1986 it was torn between the small left, the PvdA and the CDA

In the elections of 1986 all these parties lost seats. The CPN and the EVP disappeared out of parliament. The PPR and the PSP were left with two and one seats. The pressure to cooperate increased. In 1989 the PSP opened talks with the PPR and the PSP. Their initiative was supported by an open letter from members of trade unions, environmental movements and the arts which called for one progressive formation left of the PvdA. When it became clear that the CPN wanted to maintain its own communist identity the PPR left the talks. In the same year the Second cabinet Lubbers fell and elections would be held in the autumn of that year. The talks were opened again now with PSP, CPN, EVP and PPR. The PPR was represented for a short while by an informal delegation led by former chair Wim de Boer, because the party board did not want to come back on it leaving the talks. In the summer of 1989 the congresses of the four parties accepted the common program and list of candidates. An association Green Left (Dutch: Vereniging Groen Links; VGL) was set up to allow sympathizers who were not member of any of the parties to join. Meanwhile the European elections of 1989 where held and the same formation had entered under the name "Rainbow". On November 24 1990 the party GreenLeft was officially founded.

[edit] 1989-1994

Image:GreenLeft-1989.jpg
1989 election poster showing the old logo in which the pink lines and the blue spaces forming allude to a peace sign.

In the 1989 elections one list of PPR, CPN, PSP and EVP entered: Groen Links. The list was organized in such a way that all the parties were represented and new figures could enter. The PPR which had been the largest party in 1986 got the top candidate (Ria Beckers) and the number five, the PSP the numbers two and six, the CPN the number three and the EVP number eleven. The first independent candidate was Paul Rosenmöller, trade union leader from Rotterdam, the number four. In the elections the party doubled its seats in comparison to 1986 (from three to six) but the expectations had been much higher.

In the period 1989-1991 the merger developed further. A board was organized for the party-in-foundation and a Green Left Council, which was supposed to control the board and the parliamentary party and stimulate the process of merger, all five groups (CPN, PPR, PSP, EVP and the Vereniging Groen Links all had seats as ratio of the number of party members. Originally, the three youth organizations, the CPN-linked General Dutch Youth League, the PSP-linked Pacifist Socialist Young Working Groups and the PPR-linked Political Party of Radical Youth refused to merge under pressure of the government, who controlled their subsidies they did merge to form DWARS. In 1990 some opposition formed against the moderate, green course of the Green Left. Several former PSP-members united in the "Left Forum" in 1992 they would leave the party to join former PSP-leader Van der Spek to found the PSP'92. Similarly former members of the CPN joined the League of Communists in the Netherlands to found the New Communist Party in the same year. In 1991 the congresses of the four founding parties (PSP, PPR, CPN and EVP) decided to officially abolish their parties.

The Green Left had considerable problems with formulating its own ideology. In 1990 the attempt to write the first manifesto of principles failed because of the difference between socialists and communists on the one side and the more liberal former PPR-members on the other side. The second manifesto of principles which was not allowed the name manifesto of principles was adopted after a lengthy debate and many amendments in 1991.

Although the party was internally divided the Green Left parliamentary party was the only party in the Dutch parliament which opposed the Gulf War. A debate within the party about the role military intervention led to a more nuanced standpoint than the pacifism of some of its predecessors: the Green Left would support peace-keeping missions as long as they were mandated by the United Nations.

In 1991 MEP Verbeek announced that he would, as he had promised, leave the European Parliament after two and a half years to make room for a new candidate. He would continue as an independent and remain in parliament until 1994. In the 1994 election, he would run unsuccessfully as top candidate of the Greens.

In 1992 party leader Ria Beckers left the Tweede Kamer because she wanted to spend more time on her private life <ref>Van Schuur, W.H. et al. "Paul of Ina, Kanttekeningen bij de keuze van de politiek leider door GroenLinks" in Jaarboek Nederlandse Politieke Partijen 1994, Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties, 1994, p.248, see the site of the Documentation Centre</ref>. Peter Lankhorst replaced her as chair ad interim, but he announced that he would not take part in the internal elections.

[edit] 1994-2002

Image:GreenLeft-1994.jpg
1994 election posters showing the duo Rabbae/Brouwer. The text reads: the GreenLeft counts double

Before the election of 1994 the GreenLeft organized an internal election on the party's political leadership. Two duos entered Ina Brouwer (former CPN) /Mohammed Rabbae (independent) and Paul Rosenmöller (independent)/Leoni Sipkes (former PSP) and five singular candidates (including Wim de Boer (former chair of the PPR), Herman Meijer (former CPN; and future chair of the party) and Ineke van Gent (former PSP and future MP)). Some candidates ran in duos because they wanted to combine family life with politics. Brouwer, Rosenmöller and Sipkes already were MP for the GreenLeft, Rabbae was new, he had been chair of the Dutch Centre for Foreigners. In the first round the duos ended up a head of the others, but neither had an absolute majority. A second round was need which Brouwer and Rabbae won with 51%<ref>Van Schuur, W.H. et al. "Paul of Ina, Kanttekeningen bij de keuze van de politiek leider door GroenLinks" in Jaarboek Nederlandse Politieke Partijen 1994, Documentation Centre Dutch Political Parties, 1994, p.248, see the site of the Documentation Centre</ref>. Brouwer became the first candidate and Rabbae second, the second duo Rosenmöller and Sipkes occupied the following place followed by Marijke Vos, former chair of the party. The duo-top candidacy did not communicate well to the votes. The GreenLeft lost one seat, leaving only five, while the PvdA also lost a lot of seats.

After the elections, Brouwer left parliament, she was replaced as party leader by Paul Rosenmöller and her seat was taken by Tara Singh Varma. The charismatic Rosenmöller became the "unofficial leader" of the opposition against the cabinet Kok because the main opposition party the CDA was unable to adept well to its new role as opposition party. Rosenmöller set out a new strategy: the GreenLeft should offer alternatives instead of just rejecting the proposals made by the government.

In the elections of 1998 the GreenLeft more than doubled its seats to eleven. The charisma of the charismatic "unofficial leader" Rosenmöller played an important role in this. Many new faces entered parliament. Femke Halsema, a political talent who had left the PvdA for the GreenLeft in 1997, Kees Vendrik and Ineke van Gent. The party began to speculate openly about joining government after the elections of 2002.

The 1999 Kosovo War divided the party internally. The Tweede Kamer parliamentary party supported the NATO intervention, while the Eerste Kamer parliamentary party was against the intervention. Several former PSP members within the Tweede Kamer parliamentary party began to openly speak out their doubts about the intervention. A compromise was found: the GreenLeft would support the intervention as long as it limited itself to military targets.

In 2001 the integrity of former MP Tara Singh Varma came into doubt: it was revealed that she had lied about her illness and that she had made promises to development organisations which she did not fulfill. In 2000 she had left parliament because as she claimed, she had only a few months to live before she would die of cancer. The TROS program "Opgelicht" (In English "Framed") revealed that she had lied and the she did not have cancer. In 2002 she apologised on public television and claimed she suffered from mythomania.

In the same year the parliamentary party supported the invasion of Afghanistan after the terrorist attacks of september 11 of the year. This invasion led to great upheaval within the party. Several former PSP members within the Tweede Kamer parliamentary party began to openly speak out their doubts about the intervention. Under pressure of internal opposition, led by former PSP members and the party's youth organization DWARS, the parliamentary party changed its position: the attacks should be cancelled.

[edit] 2002-now

Image:GreenLeft-2002.jpeg
2002 election posters showing Rosenmöller. The text reads: GreenLeft for a new balance

The 2002 elections were characterized by change in the political climate. The rightwing political commentator Pim Fortuyn entered politics. He had anti-establishment message, combined with a call for restrictions of immigration. Although his critique was oriented at the second cabinet Kok, Rosenmöller was one of the only politicians who could muster some resistance against his message. Days before the election Fortuyn was killed by an animal rights-activist. Just before the elections Ab Harrewijn, GreenLeft MP and candidate also died. Before and after the elections serious threats were made against Rosenmöller, his wife and his children. These events caused considerable stress for Rosenmöller. The GreenLeft lost one seat in the election, although it had gained more votes than in the 1998 elections. Before the 2003 elections Rosenmöller left parliament, citing the on-going threats against his life and those of his family as the main reason. He was replaced as chair of the parliamentary party and top candidate by Femke Halsema. She was unable to keep ten seats and lost two.

In 2003 the GreenLeft almost unanimously turned against the Iraq War. It took part in the protests against the war, for instance by organising its party congress in Amsterdam at the day of the large demonstration, with an interval allowing its members to join the protest.

At the end of 2003 Halsema temporarily left parliament to give birth to her twins. During her absence Marijke Vos took her place as chair of the parliamentary party.

When she returned to parliament, Halsema started a discussion about the principles of her party. She emphasized individual freedom, tolerance, selfrealization and emancipation. In one interview she called her party "the last liberal party of the Netherlands"<ref>"de laatste links-liberale partij van Nederland" in "Halsema kiest voor liberalisme." in NRC Handelsblad, 11 October 2005.</ref>. This led to considerable attention of media and other observers, which speculated about an ideological change. In 2005 the party's scientific bureau published the book "Vrijheid als Ideaal" ("Freedom as Ideal") in which prominent opinion-makers explored the new political space and the position of the left within that space. During the congress of February 2006 the party board was ordered to organize a party-wide discussion about the party's principles.

During the European Elections congress of 2004 the candidacy committee proposed that the chair of the GreenLeft delegation, Joost Lagendijk, should become the party's top candidate in those elections. A group of members, led by member of the Eerste Kamer Leo Platvoet submitted a motion "We want to chose". They wanted a serious choice for such an important office. The party's board announced a new electoral procedure. During the congress Kathalijne Buitenweg, also MEP and candidate, announced her candidacy for the position of top candidate. She won the elections from Lagendijk. This came as a great surprise to all. Especially for Buitenweg who had not written an acceptance speech and read out Lagendijk's.

In May 2005 MP Farah Karimi wrote a book in which discussed in detail how she had taken part in the Iranian Revolution, because this information was already known by the party board this did not lead to any upheaval. In November 2005 however the party board asked member of the Eerste Kamer Sam Pormes to give up his seat. Continuing rumors about his involvement with guerrilla-training in Yemen in the 1970s and the 1977 train hijacking by Moluccan youth and allegations of welfare fraud were harmful for the party, or at least so the party board claimed. When Pormes refused to step up, the party board threatened to remove him from the party ranks. Pormes fought this decision. The party council of March 2006 sided with Pormes. Party chair Herman Meijer felt forced to give up his position. He was succeeded by Henk Nijhof who was chose by the party council in May 2006. In November 2006 Pormes left the Eerste Kamer, he was replaced by Minderman.

Image:GreenLeft-2006.jpg
2006 election posters showing Halsema. The text reads: Grow along, GreenLeft

In the 2006 Dutch municipal election the party stayed relatively stable loosing only a few seats. After the elections the GreenLeft took part in 75 local executives, including Amsterdam where MP Marijke Vos became alderwoman.

In preparation of the 2006 elections the party held a congress in October. It elected Halsema, again the only candidate as the party's top candidate. MEP Kathalijne Buitenweg and comedian Vincent Bijlo are last candidates. In the 2006 elections she lost one seat.

[edit] Name

The name "GroenLinks" (until 1992 spelt "Groen Links" with a space between Groen and Links) is a compromise between the PPR and the CPN and the PSP. The PPR wanted the word "Green" in the name of the party, the PSP and the CPN the word "Left". It also emphasizes the core ideals of the party, environmental sustainability and social justice

[edit] Ideology & Issues

[edit] Ideology

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The core ideals of the GreenLeft are its program of principles the GreenLeft<ref>it can be downloaded here</ref>. The party explicitly places itself in the tradition of leftwing parties that are freedom loving. Four principles form the guiding principles of the party

  1. the democratic rechtsstaat, which ensures individual freedom and equal political rights;
  2. an ecological balance, in the knowledge that natural resources are limited;
  3. a just distribution of power, knowledge, property, labour and income, within the Netherlands, but also on a world scale;
  4. the resistance to exploitation and suppression of groups and peoples.

Halsema, the current political leader of the party, has started a debate about the ideological course of GreenLeft. She emphasized the freedom loving tradition of the left and has chosen freedom as key value. Her course is called left-liberal by herself and observers,<ref>"Halsema kiest voor liberalisme." in NRC Handelsblad, 11 October 2005.</ref> although Halsema herself claims that she does not want to force an ideological change.

Following Isaiah Berlin Halsema distinguishes between positive and negative freedom<ref>Halsema, F., “Vrijzinnig Links” in De Helling 15:2</ref>. Negative freedom is according to Halsema the freedom citizens from government influence; she applies this concept especially to the multicultural society and the rechtsstaat, where the government should protect the rights of citizens and not limit them. Positive freedom is the emancipation of citizens from poverty and discrimination. Halsema wants to apply this concept to welfare state and the environment where government should take more action. According to Halsema the GreenLeft is undogmatic party, that has anarchist tendencies.

[edit] Issues

The 2006 election manifesto is called "Groei Mee" (English: "Grow along")<ref>Groei Mee</ref>. It emphasizes the international cooperation, environmental policy, a new model for the welfare state and the multicultural society.

International cooperation is an important theme for the GreenLeft. The party considers itself a cosmopolitan party. This leads to the following proposals:

The GreenLeft wants to stimulate innovation to address environmental issues and states that durable alternatives should be developed.

The GreenLeft tries to offer an alternative for what it sees as the social demolition of the Second cabinet Balkenende and the conservatism of the SP and the PvdA. It seeks to create welfare state which is oriented towards the weakest groups in society, children of migrants, single mothers, people who don't have a permanent contract and disabled people. The GreenLeft wants to offer all these people a job, because it sees social participation as something valuable. This economic model is based on the economy of Denmark.

  • The GreenLeft proposes to lower the tax on labour. They claim this, by making labour intensive production cheaper, would improve employment, and increase the lowest incomes. Furthermore, they claim this labour intensive production is more environmentally friendly than capital intensive production.
  • The party wants everybody who is unemployed for over a year to enter in a participation-contract with government. Together with the government a fitting occupation is sought for the unemployed person. This can be a job, but also an education or volunteer work. The person will receive at least minimum wage when he is occupied by such a participation-contract
  • The GreenLeft seeks to make it easier for people to go on leave and to combine childrearing with a job.
  • The party wants to support the weakest groups in society, by investing in education and especially vocational training.

The GreenLeft emphasizes individual freedom, the multicultural society and the rechtsstaat. Therefore the party wants to:

  • Combat discrimination especially where it concerns ethnicity and especially on the labour market; minorities should be better represented in the police force
  • Legalise the production, consumption and trade in soft drugs.
  • Limit the use of preventive searching and the use of AIVD information in trials; and undo the duty to be able to identify oneself all the time.
  • The party wants to democratize the Dutch political system, and is against the monarchy on principle.
  • The GreenLeft is a staunch defender of the Dutch laws on euthanasia, abortion and same-sex marriage.

[edit] Representation & Support

[edit] Overview

In this table the election results of the GreenLeft in Tweede Kamer, Eerste Kamer, European and provincial elections is represented, as well as the party's political leadership: the fractievoorzitter, is the chair of the parliamentary party and the lijsttrekker is the party's top candidate in the general election, these posts are normally taken by the party's leader. The party's membership and the party chair is represented as well.

Year TK EK EP PS Fractievoorzitter Lijsttrekker Party chair Members
1989 6 3 2 32 Ria Beckers Ria Beckers Leo Platvoet unknown
1990 6 3 2 32 Ria Beckers no elections Marijke Vos 15.900
1991 6 4 2 36 Ria Beckers no elections Marijke Vos 14.971
1992 6 4 2 36 Ria Beckers no elections Marijke Vos 13.548
1993 6 4 2 36 Peter Lankhorst no elections Marijke Vos 12.500
1994 5 4 1 36 Paul Rosenmöller Ina Brouwer and Mohammed Rabbae M. Lucas 12.500
1995 5 4 1 37 Paul Rosenmöller no elections Ab Harrewijn 12.000
1996 5 4 1 37 Paul Rosenmöller no elections Ab Harrewijn 11.700
1997 5 4 1 37 Paul Rosenmöller no elections Ab Harrewijn 11.873
1998 11 4 1 37 Paul Rosenmöller Paul Rosenmöller M. Brouwer 13.821
1999 11 8 4 77 Paul Rosenmöller no elections Miriam de Rijk 13.855
2000 11 8 4 77 Paul Rosenmöller no elections Miriam de Rijk 14.314
2001 11 8 4 77 Paul Rosenmöller no elections Miriam de Rijk 15.037
2002 10 8 4 77 Paul Rosenmöller Paul Rosenmöller Miriam de Rijk 18,469
2003 8 5 2 51 Femke Halsema Femke Halsema Herman Meijer 20,503
2004 8 5 2 51 Femke Halsema no elections Herman Meijer 20,709
2005 8 5 2 51 Femke Halsema no elections Herman Meijer 21,383
2006 8 5 2 51 Femke Halsema Femke Halsema Henk Nijhoff Unknown

[edit] Member of the Lower House of Parliament

After the 2006 elections the party has seven representatives in the lower house of parliament:

  1. Femke Halsema
  2. Kees Vendrik
  3. Wijnand Duyvendak
  4. Mariko Peters
  5. Ineke van Gent
  6. Naïma Azough
  7. Tofik Dibi

[edit] Members of the Upper House of Parliament

After the 2003 elections the party has five representatives in the upper house of parliament:

  1. Diana de Wolff, chairperson of the parliamentary party
  2. Leo Platvoet, vice-chairperson of the parliamentary party
  3. Jos van der Lans
  4. Tof Thissen
  5. Goos Minderman

[edit] Members of the European Parliament

After the 2004 European Parliament elections the party has two representatives in the European Parliament:

  1. Drs. K.M. Buitenweg, and
  2. Drs. J.J. Lagendijk

Together with Bart Staes from the Belgian party Groen!, they form one transnational delegation. GroenLinks MEPs are part of the Greens/EFA.

[edit] Municipal & Provincial Government

On the municipal level, the party provides 7 mayors (out of 414), in smaller municipalities such as Bloemendaal, Diemen and Wormerland, these are also appointed by the Minister of the Interior. The GreenLeft did perform particularly well in the 2006 municipal elections, losing several of its more than 400 seats. In the formation of municipal executives it was more successful and the number of municipal executives the GreenLeft was part of grew with 50%. It is part of the municipal executive of several larger cities notably Nijmegen, Utrecht, the Hague, Leiden, Rotterdam and Amsterdam, where former MP Marijke Vos is alderwoman. The GreenLeft has 70 members of burrough-level legislatives, 53 in Amsterdam and 17 in Rotterdam.

On the provincial level, the GreenLeft provides one Queen's Commissioner (out of 12) in North Holland. Queen's Commissioners appointed by the Minister of the Interior. The GreenLeft is part of the North Holland provincial executive. It holds 51 seats in provincial legislatives.

In the following figure one can see the election results of the provincial election of 2003 per province. It shows the areas where the GreenLeft is strong, namely the urban areas like North Holland and Utrecht. The party is weaker in rural provinces like Friesland and Zeeland, but also strong in the rural Groningen, where the Communist Party of the Netherlands, one of the founding parties of the GreenLeft was very strong.

Province Votes (%) Result (seats)
Groningen 8,4% 5
Friesland 5,4% 3
Drenthe 6,7% 4
Overijssel 5,3% 3
Flevoland 6,4% 3
Gelderland 6,6% 5
Utrecht 9,9% 6
North Holland 10% 7
South Holland 6,3% 5
Zeeland 5,5% 2
North Brabant 5,2% 4
Limburg 5,6% 3

[edit] Electorate

The electorate of the GreenLeft is dominantly urban, and well-educated. More women than men vote GroenLinks. The party scores best in cities with universities, as it is popular among students and young people. The babyboom-generation, the people who were young in the 1960s is also well represented. Most of its voters have a post-materialist orientation.

Image:HQ GroenLinks.jpg
Party Bureau of the GreenLeft in Utrecht

[edit] Organization

[edit] Organizational structure

The highest organ of the GreenLeft is the party congress, which is open to all members. The congress elects the party-board, it decides on the order of the candidates for national and European elections and it has a final say over the party program. The congress convenes at least once every year in spring or when needed. The party board consists out of fifteen members who are elected for a two year term. The chairperson of this board is the only paid position on the board, the others are unpaid. The chairperson together with four other boardmembers (the vice-chair, the treasurer, the secretary, the European secretary and the international secretary) handles the daily affairs and meet every two weeks while the other ten board members meet only once a month.

For the months that the congress does not convene, a party council takes over its role. It consists out of 80 representatives of all the 250 municipal branches. The party board and the nationally elected representatives of the party are responsible to the party council. It has the right to fill vacancies in the board, make changes to the party constitution and takes care of the party's finances.

GreenLeft MPs face relatively strong regulation: MPs are not allowed to run for more than three and a relatively high percentage of the income of MPs is taxed by the party.

The GreenLeft has 250 branches in nearly all Dutch municipalities and each province. There are multiple municipalities in Amsterdam and Rotterdam, where every borough has its own branch and they have federal branches at the municipal level. Branches enjoy considerable independence, and take care of their own campaigns, lists of candidates and programs for elections. Provincial congresses meet every year and municipal congresses more often.

[edit] Linked organisations

There are several organizations that have formal links to GreenLeft:

  • The youth wing is called DWARS (Dutch for "contrary"), the GreenLeft Youth.
  • The GreenLeft Magazine, which is published monthly, has an independent editorial board.
  • The scientific bureau of the GreenLeft is an important thinktank, which publishes "de Helling" (Dutch for "the Slope").
  • The foundation for Durable Solidarity, is an internationally-oriented organization linked to the GreenLeft which for instance organizes activities on Earth Day.
  • The Left Cheek, platform for Religion and Politics, is a thinktank for progressive christians within the GreenLeft.

[edit] International organisations

GroenLinks is a founding member of the European Green Party, and the European Federation of Green Parties. Furthermore it is a member of the Global Greens.

[edit] Relationship to social organizations

The GreenLeft is a member of several alliances of social organizations like Turn the Tide (a protest movement against the policies of the cabinets Balkenende. It has strong personal, practical and ideological ties with environmental groups like Milieudefensie and the Foundation for Nature and the Environment. Many members of the GreenLeft are active with the FNV. Some prominent party-members, including Femke Halsema, have worked for De Balie an Amsterdam debating centre.

[edit] Relationships to other parties

The GreenLeft was founded to become a mid-sized party to the left of the PvdA. In the 1994 elections however the Socialist Party (SP) also entered parliament. It became clear that the SP was more leftwing on economic issues. Now GroenLinks forms the centre party of the Dutch left, between conservative socialist SP and social democratic PvdA. This position is exemplified by the call of Femke Halsema to form a left-wing coalition after the 2006 elections, knowing that such a coalition is only possible with GreenLeft. The lijstverbinding between SP and GL in the 1998, 2002 and 2006 elections, and between the GreenLeft and PvdA in the 2004 European elections are examples of this position.

[edit] International Comparison

Internationally GreenLeft is comparable to the larger European Green parties, most of which have already been in government, like the German Alliance '90/The Greens. They are more realist and less Green than the American and English and Welsh green parties, but also in many cases more leftwing and internationalist.

[edit] References

<references/>

[edit] External links

Political parties in the Netherlands
Second Chamber: Christian Democratic Appeal (41) | Labour Party (33) | Socialist Party (25) | People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (22) | Party for Freedom (9) | GreenLeft (7) | ChristianUnion (6) | Democrats 66 (3) | Party for the Animals (2) | Political Reformed Party (2)
First Chamber: Christian Democratic Appeal (23) | Labour Party (19) | People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (15) | GreenLeft (5) | Socialist Party (4)| Democrats 66 (3) | ChristianUnion (3) | List Pim Fortuyn (1) | Political Reformed Party (1) | Independent Senate Fraction (1)
European Parliament: Christian Democratic Appeal (7) | Labour Party (7) | People's Party for Freedom and Democracy (4) | GreenLeft (2) | Socialist Party (2) | Europe Transparent (2) | ChristianUnion/Political Reformed Party  (2) | Democrats 66 (1)


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