Green Politics Two

Green Politics Two

Green Politics Two

Green Politics Two

Excerpt

Green politics entered a difficult phase in 1991: if 1989/90 was a period of green euphoria, then 1990/91 could be classified as a time of green fatigue. The West German Greens' failure to re-enter the national parliament in December 1990 was perhaps the most dramatic indication of this, and it was, not surprisingly, seen by much of the media as the beginning of the much-prophesied end of the Greens. The Swedish Greens also failed to retain their parliamentary seats in September 1991. In Britain, the public opinion poll standing of the Green Party has declined steadily since its sensational success in the European elections, Green Party membership has been dropping rapidly and the environment appears to have largely disappeared as a major issue of political debate. To some extent, however, failures in West Germany and Sweden were off-set by good election results for green parties in both Finland and Belgium. The Greens have also been doing rather well in German state elections in 1991. Nevertheless, the almost euphoric feeling of 1989 has clearly given way to more sober and self-critical reflections on the future of the Greens in 1991.

The notion that the momentum of the green movement of recent years has come to a halt is not limited to party politics. In virtually all areas of green activity, the heady days of the late 1980s seem to be over. Environmental groups are finding it more difficult to attract new members, retain their current membership levels, and attract financial contributions. Another area to have been hit by disillusionment is consumerism. In the late 1980s, being green and buying green goods seemed to be synonymous. But disillusionment about so-called 'green products' has grown, fuelled by doubt about the veracity of producers' claims concerning the 'greenness' of their products.

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