WHY I AM RUNNING IN THE GREEK NATIONAL PARLIAMENTARY ELECTIONS ON MAY 6 by Carol P. Christ
I am one of the 5 candidates for the Greek Parliament on the Green Party ticket in electoral region of Lesbos. We are a small country of only about 10 million people. The Lesbos district includes about 100,000 people. It is truly amazing that I as an immigrant have been asked to run. It is also amazing that though most of our politicians are corrupt, our electoral system has not yet been completely bought. No polls are allowed during the last 2 weeks of the election. The final poll indicated that the Green Party will have a voice in parliament for the first time on May 7. No Green candidate from Lesbos is likely to become a member of parliament, but all of the votes we gather will be counted towards the party’s total representation. Unfortunately two right wing fascist parties are also likely to get seats, and no party looks poised to gain a ruling majority. What will happen next is anyone’s guess.
Ecofeminist Petra Kelly was one of the founders of the European Green Party of which we are part. Due in part to her good work, the Green Party’s goals include: sustainability, social justice, nonviolence, and participatory democracy. Not a hard platform to run on!
Here are my answers to 3 questions posed by one of the other candidates on the Lesbos Green ticket.
Why are you running?
My heart aches to think that we are destroying the beauty of the earth and the conditions of life on our planet. When I was young, a popular song lamented: “They paved paradise and they made it a parking lot.” I came to live in Lesbos in part because its natural beauty had not yet been destroyed in favor of the mighty automobile and the mighty dollar. Do we want to live in a world where our children and children’s children will not ever be able to run free under the trees or swim in clean clear waters in the sea? Do we want our children’s children to grow up in a world that is hotter and hotter in summer and more and more stormy and wind-battered in winter? If we do not change our ways, ours will be one of the species that will go extinct in the not so distant future. This thought makes me very sad, and until I die, I am going to do everything I can to preserve the conditions for life on planet earth.
Recently I have heard others say, “We can’t do anything about the environment now. We have to think about the economic crisis.” Now is the time to take a good look at the patterns of domination that have brought us to our present crisis: man over woman, parents over children, humans over nature, politicians over the people, group against group, nation against nation, money above everything else. The Green Party calls us to create a different world—a world based in justice and equality for all, fairness, and compassion for those who have the least. The Green Party dares us to envision a world with no violence in the home, no violence in the streets, and no violence in our international relations. If we cut the military budget in half, we could begin to solve the economic crisis. If we put living in harmony with nature first, we could create a better quality of life for ourselves, our children, and the all the living. If we demanded participatory democracy, we could join together to create a better world.
Why the Green Party?
The Green Party has a vision for the future based in love for life itself. The Green Party asks us to think about why we are destroying the conditions of life on planet earth. The Green Party asks us not to accept domination in any form: all people—female and male, young and old–and all beings in the web of life– deserve respect and love. The Green Party asks us to imagine a world without violence. “You may say that I’m a dreamer,” but as John Lenon reminds us, “I am not the only one. I hope some day you will join us and the world can live as one.” If we put our love of life first, together, we can find a better way.
Candidate of the Green Party, Greek Parliamentary Elections 2012, Lesbos Electoral Region
Carol P. Christ is a founding mother in the study of women and religion, feminist theology, women’s spirituality, and the Goddess movement. She teaches online courses in the Women’s Spirituality program at CIIS. Her books include She Who Changes and Rebirth of the Goddess and the widely used anthologies Womanspirit Rising and Weaving the Visions. One of her great joys is leading Goddess Pilgrimages to Crete through Ariadne Institute.