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Green party

A (generic or 'small-g') green party is any contemporary political movement which springs out of concern for the destruction of ecosystems - "environmentalism", and then broadened to encompass the whole spectrum of political issues, attempting to implement a "paradigm shift" in how human beings relate to each other and their ecosystems. The term green party is used to describe political parties that emphasize those concerns, including especially the co-operating Green parties in all countries of the developed world.

As with all such self-descriptive terms, whether the term is accurate or deceptive is itself a political question. The term "green" is heavily appropriated by politicians and marketers, even used as a verb--it's not uncommon to hear of "greening" a party or a candidate, or 'small-g greens'. Typically these do not support the Green parties in all particulars, but are movements or factions within existing or established political parties.

When did it begin? In March 1972 the world's very first green party (the United Tasmania Group) was formed at a public meeting in Hobart, Australia. At about that same time, in Atlantic Canada, 'the Small party' was formed with similar goals. In May 1972 a meeting at Victoria University, Wellington New Zealand, launched the Values Party, the world's first national Green party. The term 'Green' was first coined by the German Greens when they contested their first national level election in 1980. The values of these early movements were gradually codified into those of today's worldwide Green parties.

The distinction is very often made between "green parties" (generally spelled in lowercase) in this general sense of emphasizing environmentalism, and specific organized political parties with the name "Green Party" (capitalized) that have grown up around a statement of principles called the Four Pillars and the Green Party consensus process[?] built on them. The main difference between a Green Party and a 'generic or small-g' green party is that the former, in addition to environmentalism, also stress social justice and global peace goals. See Worldwide green parties for further discussion of these parties.

The organized Green Parties themselves may disagree with the distinction between "green party" and "Green Party", as many Greens argue that there is no respect for nature without peace, and no viable peace without thriving ecoregions. In other words, they claim that every truly green party will by necessity also subscribe to the Green Party tenets.

But the term "green party" is nonetheless commonly used in the same generic sense as "socialist party" and "conservative party" to describe a party's views roughly to someone not familiar with the specific history of the particular local party.

Some parties that call themselves "green" in the generic sense, but do not subscribe to all Four Pillars or Ten Key Values of 'big-G Greens' include:

See also

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