3 thoughts on “(English) The Greens and the Left

  1. This is a great post. From my still relatively fresh California vantage point, it seems like the Democrats have a similar problem, albeit without a viable Green Party to show them up (for now). It feels like the compromises that left-leaning parties made to become mainstream a generation ago are causing foundational problems now that global politics are lurching to the right (due to resource constraints and other factors) and a true alternative is needed.

    As ever, I wonder if it’s time to overhaul the way representative democracy works. Our current processes are left over from a world where communication and direct representation were hard, and so there are multiple levels of abstraction away from voters. What would it look like to create a more compressed, connected political system? I’m not necessarily advocating this – for one thing, the power of propaganda would grow exponentially – but it’s interesting to think about.

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    frm Reply:

    Hi Ben, thanks for that! I get the sense that the USA is even more entrenched in its toxic two-party dynamic than the UK has been in our lifetimes; I still remember the bitterness over their Greens taking away votes for the Democrats a few elections back to possibly tip it in favour of the Republicans.

    There’s a lot to be said against direct democracy; most people are not well-informed about most things, and never could be, as long as we also have to work and so on. Actually, that’s a fairly good argument against representative democracy too! For a while now I’ve been leaning towards a combination of much greater, probably more direct localised and economic democracy, with sortition (lottocracy) for national governments. Select a few hundred people at random, give them a year or so to get up to speed with the issues, let them run things for a few years, select a few hundred more. Something along the lines of jury service, though I think it probably shouldn’t be compulsory.

    Possibly have one elected house, and one randomly selected one. Something like that.

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