‘Green Left‘ is in the Netherlands the name for a political party that focusses on environmental issues, human rights and honest and social politics. It’s a traditional merger party of leftish political parties who on their own were too small to be significant in Dutch politics.
I like the ideas of that party.
But sometime ago, after years of growth and with a strong and relatively popular political leader (Femke Halsema), things changed. It all started when after the fall of the previous cabinet the party seemed unable to join into a coalition government to at last take government responsibility. Not much later the poitical leader retreated and a new leader was chosen. Jolanda Sap, trained by her predecessor, stepped into the politcal arena. And fell flat on her face quickly.
Three topics made her break down: the continuous upheavel of that strange right wing fascist like party PVV that somehow became stronger and stronger and even got government responsibility as a cabinet ‘supporting’ party, thereby making a minority central/right wing coalition possible. Sap and her party still haven’t found a good answer to that disaster. And the second thing is that it is impossible to buy popularity by using populistic approaches if you’re not build for it. An overacted scene in the parliament made Sap look like a juvenile fool playing out a misplaced and bad acted plug pulling metaphore.
But mayde the most difficult topic was the half hearted support of an armed mission to train police forces in the province of Kunduz in Afghanistan. After all, the Green Left is by all means and purposes an anti militaristic party. If not in policy than at least in it’s membership demography. But political forwardness forced the party in an uneasy support of that policing mission that the Dutch government wanted to see (in support of the US effort on getting control of the Afghan and Iraq crises). The Green Left in 2011 supported a militaristic armed mission in Afghanistan although a lot of their followers are appaled by that.
Today the party committed political suicide.
At the party’s congress today that same Kunduz mission was scrutinized and in the end a vote was taken on prelonging that mission. And although many party members were against it, the elected parliamentarians were in favor of it. For political reasons. And they won, after debates the party members at the congress meeting supported their parliamentarians in their choice not to demand the government to bail out of that supposed to be non violent, non fighting policing mission. Because doing otherwise mide split the party. But in reality that split is already there and some important party members have already left for better grounds.
And the party’s credibility flew right out of the window. It sold it’s soul to the devil (last year), but the devil came back for more so it just did it again. And so, Green Left in the Netherlands is in reality nothing else than a government supporting week opposition party without a backbone. Sometimes straight forward politics is more difficult in the Dutch parliament than in the European Parliament or so it seems.
Alice © 2012