Monday, April 12, 2010

A Whiter Shade of Green

Cécile Duflot has put forward her own ideas about the future of the Green political movement. Le Monde is quick to paint this as a rebuke to Daniel Cohn-Bendit and to voice the suspicion--which Sylvia Zappi attributes to unnamed others--that the latter joue trop perso. True, Duflot does not endorse his idea of establishing a network of Europe Écologie collectives around the country. She wants a more open, fluid, and pluralist structure. But it's too early to conclude that this signals any real split in the ranks of the Greens, who find themselves at a crucial point of transition, having emerged as a strong electoral force. Duflot wants to anchor the movement on the left, linking it to the traditions of the workers' movement and feminism. I see it as more of a rallying point for the "radical center," that emerging swing group of voters who for disparate reasons cannot identify with either the PS or the UMP but are also immune to the blandishments of the left and right fringes. This is an inherently volatile group, defined more by attitude than by issues. "Green" is a convenient color for the moment and in some ways captures the "post-materialist" motivations of the members. Moving from there to issues and candidates will not be an easy task.

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