More than one woman

I remember a history teacher at school explaining the change by historians from thinking about history as a collection of stories about famous and important people, to a process of tracking what is recording and analyzing to all people rather than just the kings and popes.

That change of thinking kind of reflects how I feel about the Green Party too.  We are not just the story of Jeanette Fitzsimons. Jeanette is an inspirational and immensely successful party co-leader (and she probably would have been a great pope).  But whoever we choose as her replacement is not such a big deal.  If we make the worst choice possible the Green Party will still be bigger than that.  We are a movement of thousands of people not just two co-leaders.

Outsiders said a few years ago that Rod Donald was irreplacable, and he was. But the party kept going strong without him.  Likewise Jeanette will be irreplaceable and, like Rod, she will be lionised by outside commentators, once she steps down, as pragmatic and reasonable compared to her successor. But studiers of the party would do better looking at all the campaigning activity and active members and supporters in suburbs and towns around the country, than at the one woman who replaces Jeanette in a few months time.

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2 thoughts on “More than one woman

  1. Very good point, Steve.

    I think others outside the party may not realise that our policy development process, as well as our leadership and decision-making processes in general, are based on principles of consensus-gathering; and the Party has always run with men’s and women’s caucuses for deliberating issues and formulating policies, as well as policy issue groups which are mixed gender.

    These frameworks, developed in the very early days of the parliamentary party, are as much Jeanette’s and Rod’s legacy, as any other specific policies. We’ve always had strong representation of women’s voices, from the grassroots and flaxroots up; this sets us apart form other political parties, in that membership has more responsibility, as well as more priviledge in the development processes for decision-making.

    It amuses me that we are attacked for ‘Marxism’, when the structures we use owe more to the communitarian principles of societies such as the indigenous peoples of the north american continent (both Canadian and USA citizens); such is the political and philosophical naivety of some of the regular detractors who post comments to frogblog, for example.

    I have unfailingly met good men and good women, of many ages, stages in life, ethnicities and genders, in the time I have spent among the green membership.
    I expect that I shall continue to do so, and continue to marvel at this meeting place for people who live at the cutting edge of forward-thinking politics.

  2. It wasn’t just outsiders that thought Rod’s passing would spell the death knell of the Green Party – for a while a number of active party members were scared that we would lose our political voice without Rod.

    But then we realised that the issues that the Greens stand for are so much bigger than any one individual and while no one member could do everything that Rod did, collectively we found a renewed strength and determination.

    So I totally agree with Stephen, regardless of who replaces Jeanette as co-leader, the Green Party, both its membership and activism, will continue to thrive and grow.

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