Welcome to European Tribune. It's gone a bit quiet around here these days, but it's still going.
Here is the longer reply after I did some research.

You will note that I wrote small-case-greens. I meant civilian greens, ones who don't just want to preserve stuff (environmentalists) but want to change society.

Political Greens were stricken by two factors. One is a rather nasty history of divisions and party reformulations.

Greens got attention and mass support when in the eighties, the government wanted to push through a silly Hungarian-Slovakian project of two dams on the Danube (the upper one, entirely in Slovakia, was later unfortunately built). However, most of the leaders of this movement entered the other main parties, only the remainder formed the Green Party - and got 1.9% where they could erect a list (i.e. in 4 regions out of 20; just 0.36% in total).

The original Green Party was infiltrated and taken over in a coup by a group of far-right youth(!) in 1993. Then the 'real' Greens formed the Green Alternative party, but it was too late: both parties together got less than 0.3% where they ran (and 0.17% in total) in 1994. The far-right version shrunk below 0.1% but was still around to confuse voters, while Green Alternative entered an alliance with other mini-parties to get 0.64% where it ran (0.19% in total) in 1998.

Then in 2000, Green Alternative and a number of other 'real' left mini-parties united into Green Democrats. In the 2002 elections, this party in turn entered the election alliance called Centre as junior partner, but that list ended at fourth place and outside Parliament with 3.90%. Unfortunately, what followed was another break - the Alliance of Green Democrats formed, but was attacked by many civilian greens. Consequently, they failed to gather enough signatures for the European Parliament elections.

The latest attempt was formed by members of a civilian green group after the successful protests against a NATO radar in a natural reserve (which I mentioned), under the strange name Living Chain for Hungary.

The other problem Greens have is the election system. It is a mixed election system that, unlike the German one, is heavily tilted towards the FTPT part. (There is a compensation mechanism, of votes on loser candidates added to list votes, but one affecting less than a quarter of seats - while almost half are from FTPT.)

This favors the formation of a two-party system, where smaller parties are eaten up, and most people don't want to risk the victory of the block they dislike more by voting for something that may not even get 5% of list votes, and even if it gets it, 2.5% of parliamentary seats is too little to hope for a result in which that party is the balance of power.

*Lunatic*, n.
One whose delusions are out of fashion.

by DoDo on Wed Jan 25th, 2006 at 01:13:34 PM EST
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