As a current member of the DC Statehood Green Party, former elected member of the DC Statehood Green Party steering committee, and former elected national delegate to the Green Party of the United States, this is exciting news to me. Dies ist gut:
Germany’s Green Party opens chapter in Washington, DC
Julie Gregson | Deutsche Welle | 04.09.2008
Germany’s Green Party is setting up a branch in the United States. The bottom-up initiative aims to bring a more international perspective to the party’s work and combat anti-Americanism among some members back home.
The chapter is due to be officially founded next weekend in Washington DC. It hopes to tap into the experiences of the growing number of Germans working in the US capital in international organizations, foundations and think tanks, as well as in the media, the culture industry and higher education.
“We’ve discovered that there are a lot of Germans in town who are young, tolerant and cosmopolitan and who share Green values or are active in the Green party,” said chapter co-founder Arne Jungjohann. “We want to offer them a platform.” But the group is also looking to engage with Greens across the United States and has set up a Facebook presence to allow those living further afield to contribute to the debate. “Our purpose is to have a group that is following German domestic politics and influencing the Green agenda in Germany on international topics,” said Jungjohann, who is also Environmental Program Director at the Boell Foundation.
Anti-Americanism is another area where the group believes it could have important input. Reinhard Buetikofer, co-leader of the Greens, welcomed the establishment of the party’s Washington DC branch, saying it was a positive sign for bilateral dialog.
“This is not supposed to be a one-way street — it’s an exchange, it’s about cooperation,” Buetikofer said. “It will attest to the fact that the Green party is open towards exchange with the United States. You do not have to be German to join the group, but an affiliation with Germany is required and German will be its working language.
It is the Greens’ second branch abroad. The party also has a group based in Brussels, the headquarters of the European Commission.
[via Sam Smith’s D.C. City Desk]
As Brussels is the home of the European Union, Washington, DC is the home of the American government and one of the highest concentrations of international professionals throughout the region in various embassies, international organizations, and non-profits. For those that don’t work in Washington, DC, it’s important to note that some organizations, regardless of political affiliation, conduct business in different languages.
Yet I think it will be hard to frame Anti-Americanism against most American’s disdain for third parties. There has been so much propaganda published against 3rd parties in America. Specifically the lie that Florida’s vote count was spoiled by Ralph Nader, when thousands upon thousands of names had been removed from the registers before any votes were cast. Anyone who believes the lie that the 2000 election was won by the official count is a gullible imbecile. There is too much visually verified evidence to show voter suppression in the 2000 election for me to actually believe the official history. Nor do most foreigners I am told.
Maybe Anti-Americanism might go away if there are new voices interjected into American politics that push discussions and policies in a different direction. It’s currently a myopic discourse that is controlled by the two dominant parties in America that have millions of dollars at their disposal to prevent third parties from showing up on ballots. The subsequent political discussion is controlled and severely limited and democracy suffers.
We are not all right or left, but at times can be ambidextrous. Its not always yes or no, but sometimes, maybe. I’d like to believe that there is more to life than being liberal or conservative. And to spoil a vote is to let someone convince you to not vote for the person you believe in, irregardless of a likely win. I hope the German Greens will be able interject concepts like Proportional Representation and Instant-Runoff Voting deeper into the American political consciousness. I want to believe America is about about furthering democracy, not a country that is held back due to partisan prevention. Regardless, I look forward to working with the German Greens to advancing the dialog further. Guten tag.