GreenLeft (Dutch: GroenLinks, GL) is a Dutch Green political party.
GreenLeft was formed in 1989 as a merger of four left-wing political parties: the Communist Party of the Netherlands, Pacifist Socialist Party, the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party. After disappointing results in the 1989 and 1994 general election, the party fared particularly well during 1994 and 2002.
The party's leader Paul Rosenmöller was seen as the unofficial leader of the opposition against the Kok Cabinets by the media, fellow politicians and academics, even though
it was only the second largest party in the opposition. In late 2002 Femke Halsema took over the political leadership of the party. She emphasizes tolerance,
freedom and emancipation as key values of the party.
GreenLeft describes itself as "green" "social", and "tolerant". It places itself in the freedom-loving tradition of the Left.
Currently the party is represented by ten seats in the House of Representatives, four in the Senate and three in the European Parliament. The party leader, and chair of the parliamentary party in the House of Representatives, is Femke Halsema. The party is in opposition against the fourth cabinet Balkenende. The party has over 100 local councillors and it participates in the government
of sixteen of the twenty largest municipalities in the Netherlands. The party's voters are concentrated in larger cities, especially those with a university.
The party has over 21,901 members which are organized in over 250 municipal branches. The party congress is open to all members. It is a member of the Global Greens and the European Green Party. The Party increased its number of seats from 7 to 10 in the recent general election.
The party combines green with left-wing ideals. The core ideals of GreenLeft are codified in the party's program of principles (called "Uitgangspunten
van GroenLinkse Politiek"). The party explicitly places itself in the tradition of leftwing parties that are freedom loving.
Four principles form the guiding principles of the party
- the democratic rechtsstaat, which ensures individual freedom and equal political rights;
- an ecological balance, in the knowledge that natural resources are limited;
- a just distribution of power, knowledge, property, labour and income, within the Netherlands, but also on a world scale;
- a resistance to exploitation and opposition
to the suppression of groups and peoples.
The party's principles reflect the ideological convergence between the four founding parties
which came from different ideological traditions: the Political Party of Radicals and the Evangelical People's Party, from a progressive Christian tradition; and the Pacifist Socialist Party and the Communist Party of the Netherlands from the socialist and communist traditions. Over the course of the 1970s and 1980s the parties had come
to embrace environmentalism and feminism; they all favoured democratization of society and had opposed the creation
of new nuclear plants and the placement of new nuclear weapons in the Netherlands.
Halsema, the current political leader of the party, has started a debate about the ideological
course of GreenLeft. She emphasized the freedom loving tradition of the left and has chosen freedom as key value. Her course
is called left-liberal by herself and observers, although Halsema herself claims that she does not want to force an ideological change. She claims
that she places GreenLeft in the "freedom-loving tradition of the left", as the party's manifesto of principles did as well.
Following Isaiah Berlin, Halsema distinguishes between positive and negative freedom. Negative freedom is according to Halsema the freedom citizens from government influence; she applies
this concept especially to the multicultural society and the rechtsstaat, where the government should protect the rights of citizens and not limit
them. Positive freedom is the emancipation of citizens from poverty and discrimination. Halsema wants to apply this
concept to welfare state and the environment where government should take more action. According
to Halsema, GreenLeft is undogmatic party, that has anarchist tendencies.
Green Party of England and Wales
The Green Party of England and Wales (GPEW) (Welsh: Plaid Werdd Cymru a Lloegr)
is a political party in England and Wales which adheres to a left wing ideology of Green politics and social progressivism. It is the largest Green party in the United Kingdom, containing within it various regional divisions including the semi-autonomous
Wales Green Party. The party currently has one Member of Parliament in the House of Commons, Caroline Lucas, who represents the constituency of Brighton Pavilion, and who is also the current party leader. They also have two MEPs in the European Parliament and two members of the London Assembly, as well as 129 councillors in various local councils across England and Wales. The party also had a life peer, Lord Beaumont, in the House of Lords until his death in April 2008.
The Green Party of England and Wales was created in 1990 when the former
UK Green Party, which itself had grown out of the 1970s’ PEOPLE party, devolved
into separate parties for Scotland, Northern Ireland, and England and Wales. It currently has friendly relations with its Scottish
and Northern Irish counterparts, and is affiliated with the Global Greens and the European Green Party. While primarily known as an environmentalist party, it has a history of
support for socialist economic policies, nationalisation of public services, electoral reform, euroscepticism and British republicanism, as well as liberal social policies such as animal rights, LGBT rights and drug policy reform.