Spot the Hippies in the List!

This weekend the Green Party will be holding their Annual General Meeting in Auckland and I am looking forward to another well organized event. If it is anything like all the past meetings I have attended it will be full of robust and informed debate, useful workshops and great food.

It amuses and sometimes frustrates me when the media representation of these same meetings often goes to great length to confirm myths about the party rather than report on important policy development or serious announcements.

While I admit there have been times when we have fed some of these myths ourselves by some interesting activities early in our history, like the infamous Morris Dancing, it does seem odd that years afterwards it is still referred to while grossly racist comments at other party conferences (for example) are quickly forgotten. Television footage of our meetings in recent years have revealed a strange magnetic power that the few bearded or ethnically dressed delegates have over news cameras. With hundreds of people to choose from at our meetings I can almost guarantee that random interviews will aways include someone with a beard or wearing a cotton dress with an ethnic pattern. While those same people would have interviewed well it does mean the diversity of our membership is ignored.

The skills, work experience and knowledge base of our highest ranking candidates is impressive so I thought I would list some of the occupational backgrounds or qualifications within our Party list:
  • Lawyer
  • University Researcher
  • Diplomat, NZ Foreign Service, Fulbright Scholar
  • Regional Councillor, Environmental Consultant
  • Business Advisor/Company Manager
  • Development Manager 
  • Horticulturalist
  • Media Advisor, Rhodes Scholar
  • Transportation Consultant
  • Forestry Management Services
  • Union Organiser 
  • Business Strategist
  • Senior Policy Analyst
  • Scientist/Research Team Manager.
  • Army Officer
  • Teacher
For a closer look here is our full ranked list and biographical details and I will let you play the media game of "Spot the Hippie", too.


What was the purpose of this blog post? In the process of pointing out "Media Myths" you only confirmed another "Media Myth"that the Green Party is a bunch of whiny complainers... The thing I love the most about the green party is our rich diversity... It is far more exciting than the balnd ness of other parties... The fact that the media continues to try (and in my opinion fail) to make us look like a bunch of loonies only shows how strong we are growing!

And remember those "hippies" you seem to dilike are a large base of our voters!
bsprout said…
I obviously didn't express myself well, Brooklynne. As a vegetarian who had a beard for 25 years, wanted to live on a commune if I wasn't accepted into Teachers College, grows a good amount of my own food, loves art and flowers and still follows most of the "Woodstock" bands- I think my Hippy credentials are stronger than most.

I was just trying to comment on the fact that we are still labelled as a party of hippies yet our membership is much more diverse than that.

If you got the message that I am anti-hippy from what I wrote, perhaps i should do some serious editing... :-(
robertguyton said…
Act's Hillary Calvert will draw, like a poultice, lot of the negative attention that has gone the Green's way in the past. They've got John Boscawen too, which intensifies the Calvert effect. I expect the 'lamington episode' will get played over and over during the campaign, alongside of shots of Calvert's eyes atop the massage parlour in Dunedin. Brash from any angle will be grist to the mockery-mill and now we have 'Plonker Key' and his planking son (Max! Of course Key would call his son 'Max' - 'Minimum' would have never been considered by the Successful Keys). That shot is pure 'daft' and beats Greens prancing anytime.
bsprout said…
One thing that is an important part of our Green kaupapa is our connection with those who came before us and our responsibility for those who will come after. Also as a party that sees the care of the environment central to real economic sustainability and social cohesion, our focus on the natural world is always apparent. For many this will always label us as luddites and place us in the realm of new age spiritualism as well.

The hippy reference will never entirely leave us but I think we will never have broad acceptance when there is a perception that the inspiration for our policies comes through the consumption of marijuana and lentils. It is important we emphasize the breadth of our membership and the credibility we can display through our qualifications and occupations. Our policies come out of sound research, robust debate and ongoing review.

We should never give up our beliefs and the spirituality, that drives many of our members, because this is what makes us distinct from other parties (you are quite right, Brooklynne) and there are more important things than politics. The history of the green party could probably be traced to many involved with the hippy movement of the past and many hold those connections with some fondness (as do I), but a party of hippies we are not.
bsprout said…
I hope you're right, Robert but, while Acts pratfalls are of their own making, the Greens often have to deal with fabricated scenarios when we are proving successful.
Ryan said…
As long as there are blog posts out there with titles like 'Spot the hippies in the list', people will continue to associate us with hippies and not separate the two in their minds.

If you tell someone 'Don't think of an elephant', what do they think of?

I also recommend you read this book by George Lakoff, Dave.
robertguyton said…
Change the title then Dave!
How about 'Look before you leap'
'Simple mistakes I'll never make again'.
That's blogging for ya!
bsprout said…
I won't change the title of the blog, because it has generated some great discussion on Facebook and as I have linked to our actual list it will give people the opportunity to look at the talent we have for themselves.

The title generates interest in reading the blog and hopefully through that, challenging some inaccurate preconceptions.
robertguyton said…
A bit like writing a provocative letter to the editor of your local newspaper then Dave :-)
bsprout said…
I don't mind pushing ideas, just not going for the person. :-)

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