Saturday, February 11, 2006

How the Green Party can get farming votes

The Green party traditionally has not been seen in the best light by framers. As farmers are against such things as the Nitrates Directive which the Greens are for. But there is sections where the Greens policies can attract some farming votes.

One of the green parties policies is renewable energy. I am totally in favour of it not for cutting emissions reasons but to lessen the control of Russian gas on our country. Now Wind power is never going to solve our problems. If we built enough wind farms to provide our power needs then we would alter our weather patterns. As the winds energy would be reduced. So in effect by implementing a system of wind farms to halt climate change would actually change the climate. On the greens website it says. “Bio fuels the fuels of the future”. If this is sold right to the farming organisations can really boost the greens rural vote. They need to say to farmers that if the Green Party is in power that they will implement policies to move Bio Fuels up the agenda and thus create a new profitable market for farmers to enter. With the demise of the sugar beet industry that many farmers blame Fianna Fail for the greens may be able to capture some of those votes by saying they can provide a new market.

Irish farmers are dependent on CAP and it is going to go. This is going to devastate the Irish market. Unless they can come up with another commercially viable product farming in this country will be gone. With GM crops in larger African and South American countries where they will have economies of scale and cheap wages we simply will not be able to compete. But if we create a GM free island then we can successfully sell this label to the entire organic cotton wearing Jamie Oliver loving crowd. The people who will eat organic and GM free foods are the people who can afford to pay well for it and they will. Thus to maintain rural Irelands viability we need to keep GM crops off this Island. Simply saying GM crops are bad is going to be seen by farmers as a direct attack on their livelihoods the Green party need point out how CAP is going to go and how they are the only ones with a option for farmers.

If the Green Party want to expand they have to appeal to more then the trendy lefties who drive SUV’s to the shops to buy organic vegetables. They need to appeal to the closest people to the Irish environment the farmers. They need to do more then just give out about the present minister. They need to publicises how they have novel options. If they don’t do it soon someone else will.


Cian said...

Interestin, im not sure if farmers would swallow smaller interests to go for the bigger green policy base, and now with sweden going oil-free by 2020 we have a clear example to follow. As a small state it would be far easier to make the transition and perhaps better to do so now, since being ahead of the curve is how we survived the nineties.

Simon said...

im not sure if farmers would swallow smaller interests to go for the bigger green policy base

But the Green party need to show that many of farmers interests are solvable under the green base. But the Greens might have to talk more about Bio fuels and less about nitrates. Still though I think it is not an entirely un workable alliance.

Cian said...

I absolutely agree and it would put a different complexion on the bases of both labour and FG support which would be fascinating viewing. FF would be semi-insulated from a move like that. True in policy terms with a little tweaking and some cop on they could get it.
They would probably have to heave clever trevor first.