Disclosure: I distrust party politics, but I recognise that parties inevitably form in national democracies.
The Problem: The UK 'way of life' is currently 'unsustainable'. Our 'national lifestyle' uses resources at rates far beyond that which our country supply. We depend upon the world economy, which is also unsustainable - major problems include global climate change, falling supplies of conventional oil, political instability, and fresh water shortages. Worse, a global 'few' enjoy 'high standard of living' whilst huge numbers have little 'quality of life'.
The Challenge: To get from here, to a sustainable UK and world - where everyone can have a good quality of life.
Parts of Solutions: Thousands of people in the UK are already working with 'pieces of the jigsaw'. For example: The Contract and Converge approach to address global climate change; the Permaculture approach to design sustainable communities; the Association for the Study of Peak Oil approach to anticipating the decline in the supply of conventional oil to the world economy; the international development NGOs such as Oxfam, re-assessing their approach to 'eliminating world poverty'; The Green Party approach to getting the key issues to the forefront of mainstream politics.
What's the role of the Green Party in making the whole picture?
The Four Pillars of the Green Party - ecology, social justice, grassroots democracy and non-violence - are surely admirable. There are some very thought-provoking articles on the The Green Party (England and Wales) Web site. "Greens believe that Real Progress means shaping economics to people's needs, not the other way round. Greens believe in measuring economic benefits in terms of quality of life, development of people and care for the environment, as well as money in the bank."
But the harsh reality is; the first-past-the-post electoral system leaves Greens consistently hamstrung in UK national elections, and electoral reform looks set to be overtaken by global climate change and peak oil.
So; What of the 2006 UK local elections? "One third of the seats in ... 144 District, Borough, Metropolitan Borough and Unitary Councils outside of London, and all seats on the 32 London Borough Councils, are up for election ... it looks like the Green Party will be contesting over 1,200 seats to around 80% of these Councils. ... also, fielding candidates in the contests for the directly-elected Mayors of Watford, Hackney and Lewisham."
Is it possible for the 2006 Green campaign to effectively combine (1) 'political' success, and (2) real action?