Over the years I have become ever more aware of our convergence of crises; resource depletion, population growth, species extinction, food security, climate change, waste and water management etc. All concerns for every day living, all contributing to our economic state, all relevant to our existence.
The more I learned, the more I realised I should do something. The more I acted the more I noted the obstacles placed before me. The more obstacles I faced the more I pushed. The more I pushed the more I discovered the existence of apathy and lack of democracy. Effectively, the more I ventured down this road of considering the world about me the more politicised I became questioning the governance of our country, Europe and the planet.
I am one of the people who will engage election candidates in “bigger issue” discussions at my doorstep or, if they’re really unlucky, at the kitchen table over tea. I will assess what they know about the relationship between the environment, economy and society, how to achieve social justice, whether they understand the word “sustainable” and what plans they have to build resilience to the crises we face.
As time has passed I have become labelled an environmentalist. I am actually a systems analyst and where I once assessed the software needs for a company, designed and wrote it, trained up users and wrote manuals, I now observe the world around me. It is an amazing system to analyse.
Long story short, having evaluated other parties over the past few years, an unexpected gathering with the families of Green Party members in August 2012, accepting my new label, realising I need support in what I am doing and being invited to, I decided to join the Green Party. Given that Laois/Offaly don’t even have a constituency group I’m not exactly feeling like a member of any party but I hope that will change.
I decided that no other party, that could survive outside Dublin or Cork, truly understands sustainable development and social justice like the greens. I feel people are ready to stand behind being green but whether they are willing to stand behind the Irish Green Party is yet to be shown. My personal opinion is I reckon they may need an “under new management” sign up in order to recall past supporters and attract new interest. I also think it’s time for a woman to lead. These would be my tactical moves not reflective of individual performance.
As part of convention there is an open debate on wind energy this Friday night at 8.30pm in the Salthill Hotel chaired by Duncan Stewart. Wind energy is a big issue in the midlands now and I will be attending that. I hope that all members in the midlands counties make contact with a view to further discussions about these proposals. The lack of democracy in the plan is astounding. Disregard for community consultation is as nonexistent as ever. I am eager to hear the feedback at that meeting and what the views of the party members and the public are.
The weekend is themed “Energising Communities”. It appears more lecture driven than I like but still looks interesting. There are motions and reports, addresses and speeches not all of which do appeal to me as a newbie so I will offer child minding for those times!
Tickets to the convention are available here http://gpconvention2013.eventbrite.ie/