You’re Invited To Talk ‘Ecological Democracy’

By Elissa Jenkins May 16, 2018


It’s been really exciting to see and hear the reaction to Towards Ecological Democracy. People across the country, from all sorts of different perspectives, have called or emailed or joined the Facebook conversation or even sent over some in depth commentaries for Green Agenda.

Clearly there’s a great appetite to have this conversation! The positive idea that this framework can help bring our party together with a common, coherent understanding, as well as the flipside that we’ll struggle to have our politics seen as a serious answer to the global political crisis unless and until we have that common, coherent understanding, makes sense to people. More so, the concept of ecology – of the fundamental interconnectedness of all things, of interconnected diversity being the recipe for resilience and harmony – being the core of who we are, has struck a chord.

As the party moves rapidly towards determining our platform for the next federal election, the critical point right now is to cut through the Gordian Knot of whether we should be prioritising environmental or left wing politics:

revealing that the two have to be understood and addressed as one. Once you understand that we humans, and everything we have built, are part of nature, you cannot separate the two. A central insight of ecological democracy, then, is that there is no viable politics of the left which does not place a healthy natural world at its heart. You cannot work to improve humanity’s lot without cherishing and stewarding the natural world we are part of. Equally, there is no viable green politics which does not challenge the cultural and institutional primacy of the profit motive, competitive individualism, and corporate power, all of which drive environmental destruction. You cannot tackle inequality without tackling pollution, and neither can you tackle pollution without tackling inequality. These are fundamentally intertwined.

As I said in my last email, this is not intended as dictum – it’s intended as a discussion starter! And in the next little while, we have a few formal opportunities for those discussions. The first is a workshop on the concept at National Conference in Brisbane this weekend. For those of you who will be at Conference, I strongly encourage you to come along and take part. For those who won’t be there, we have an exciting return to the world of webinars next week! We’re moving to Zoom for ease of access and use, and we’ll be online from 8-9pm AEST, next Wednesday, May 23.

To take part, please click here to register and we will email you with a link to open to join the meeting. You can join through a browser or by downloading the simple app. Fingers crossed the technology gods will be smiling on us and the system will work!

Of course, I encourage you to have your own discussions, as well! Read Towards Ecological Democracy, share it, discuss it with friends, colleagues, and associates, and start thinking about what it says to you. I’ve been invited to come to Melbourne in early July, and am open to other opportunities – either in person or by web link – if you’d like to help organise something in your city.

Looking forward to the next stages in this conversation with you!


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