You've seen it a couple of times on this site - It's true, I'm a registered member of the Green Party. While I don't consider myself a long-time member, I feel like I've seen, heard, read enough about internal party politics, that I feel justified in discussing a few of the current hot topics. The intent is to say somethings that many may already be thinking, but are too busy or it fails to rank high on the long list of things to do.
In looking at the previous votes on the GPUS National Committee, you'll see some controversial and very non-controversial topics. Divestment of Israel, Steering Committee recall, and date of the next national meeting just to name a few. In California, most of the GPUS delegation voted no on the SC recall, but then one of the delegates ran for the SC position. Essentially saying to the National Committee - "no recall, no recall" turned to "No recall, but if it passes, here's our candidate"
I know that our newest SC member didn't have the full support of the California delegates, but it calls out something to me...
In a decentralized political party, with Personal Responsibility as one of the ten key values - where does Personal Responsibility morph into personal interest...or self interest?
Oh, you see it every where, and we are all guilty of it from time to time, to varying degrees. Even worse, one might be guilty of self interest and not have anyone to tell them so. Or, they are told in a cold, straight to the point, public email that is sent to the entire National Committee, state party forum, and through an individual's own circle of self-interested supporters.
Okay, on to another self-interest over personal responsibility example! The National Committee! I mean the group as a whole, not the individual members - which is the problem! First, we have decentralized state parties and centralized caucuses suggesting new policies, changes to long standing policies, and well...some proposals I just don't get. Things move so quickly for such a decentralized organization, the top is running a sprint, and state parties are walking the marathon. As a result - IMHO - you get exactly what happened recently, which was the Divestment in Israel proposal.
The National Committee doesn't deliberate, and from what I've experienced, the California delegates don't get (or have or want) the time to present the proposals to the General Assembly for their input or direction.
In fact, the National Committee doesn't deliberate for the most part. A significant minority of the members volley sophomoric barbs back and forth, failing to discuss the merits of a proposal before the voting period starts.
Again, it's an example of self interest over personal responsibility. While I think it can be a thin line that separates the two, it's that line that separates 3rd from 4th graders - there is a distinct difference, and you need to be constantly aware that you need to move on from the personal insults to saying things that you would dare to say to someone's face.
Personal Responsibility takes into consideration the full impact of an action. It involves seeking input, being a part of a full cognizant step forward, with due diligence completed. Personal responsibility recognizes the needs of others, being able to set your secondary needs aside, in hopes of achieving consensus.
Self Interest is what you want, when you want it, and how you want it. No need to go through the consensus process if you are full of self-interest. How will you know if you've become self-interested? Pay attention during clarifying questions and concerns. Are you sighing? Are you making notes about the next proposal? Are you saying to yourself - this person has no freaking clue as to what's going on. Are you talking to others while some are trying to speak? Did you get up to grab a snack, or use the bathroom?
Self Interest. Left unchecked, Self Interest will be the downfall of the Green Party.