why I joined the Australian Greens

In 2004 I was browsing the web sites of the various political parties to see how they met my needs. The only party that stood out was the Greens. The reason for this is that they had some material on their web site that was positive towards free software and made mention of helping members install Linux (apparently they ran some sort of Linux install-fest for their members).

Earlier this year when I offered to burn copies of Fedora Core 5 for anyone who wants it, one person who accepted was Matthew Wright of the Victorian Greens. As I was in the area I dropped the CDs in to the Greens office. It seems that the principles of the Green party agree with my beliefs in almost all areas.

The Greens Charter has many points that might surprise some people, the majority of the points in the charter do not directly relate to the environment. Many people join the Greens without having the environment as a key issue, the issues of social justice, non-violence, and free flow of information attract many people. The Greens IT policy has attracted quite a number of people in the Linux community!

Also it should be noted that concern for the environment does not require that you like the environment! If you want to spend all your life inside a building in front of a computer then you still want good quality food and an absence of natural disasters. The environment is bigger than us, we depend on it, and we don’t understand much about it. The fact that different experts give differing opinions about the scope of the global-warming problem is not a reason for complacency, in fact it’s the opposite – it’s a reason to be cautious about things we don’t understand that can kill us!

The Green parties in other countries are all independent (while still loosely associated as part of the international Green movement). So there will be some differences in the policies of the Green parties in different countries. But I expect that there will be a lot in common.

A final positive thing about the Green party is the integrity of the people in the party. Unlike most politicians you can expect the Green senators to do what they promise to do and to vote according to party policy.

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