Eirian Politics Explained: What’s the “beef” between the Greens and Progressives?

[Picture: Green Party Leader Katherin Mīer]

First of a series of explanatory articles by ENN Eirian Policy Correspondent Celēn Duvō

(Translated by author into English)

Going into the 2024 election season, many voters may still be confused about how the present-day Eirian political stage functions. And so, I will be writing a series of articles in order to simplify the complex bureaucracy and elaborate rhetoric into plain Eirian (and English, for foreign readers).

Today’s topic is quite simple: Why can’t the national leadership of the Greens and the Progressives get along now when they have historically?

To answer this, we must take a look at recent political history. In the first election after the Civil War (2014), the four left-wing national parties had a large majority in the Senate. As such, the three biggest parties (Mod-Lefts, Greens, and Progressives) formed the Eclipse Coalition, led by Progressive Chancellor Mariah Kruminš. Before the Civil War, the Progressive Party had always been the largest and most dominant left-wing national party. However, after a few internal scandals and widespread criticism of the Kruminš administration, public opinion shifted.

As such, ahead of the 2016 National Election, many formerly Progressive voters defected in favor of parties that sit with the Green group, which were politically quite similar to the Progressives. These Green parties jumped on the trend of “Kōvernēča-Jēun” (“Young Governance”) and endorsed up and coming Mod-Left Senator William Lancaster over Kruminš.

After the 2016 election, the Progressive national group had lost both their status as their most influential party in the Eclipse Coalition and the Chancellor position. The only advantage they retained was a large share of delegates on the Coalition Policy Council, which is where party leaders would discuss, amend, and vote on potential legislation before it was proposed to the Senate committees. 

Given the exponential growth of the Mod-Left group, Progressive leaders, including now-disgraced Senator Lekrand, exploited their votes in the CPC to give more and more positions and concessions to Mod-Left politicians, limiting the political capital that the Green policy had. The most notable example of this was the battle for the position of Minister of Culture, which the Greens desperately coveted. At the time, the Greens were only offered three cabinet positions, despite the smaller Progressive groups being offered five and the Mod-Lefts having been offered six. Green Senator Katherin Mīer and over thirty of her colleagues refused to vote for the confirmation of Progressive Artjams Sprōkis, creating a massive rift in the coalition and prompting a wave of abstentions from Mod-Left Senators. In the end, Green politician Elena Yefimōva was appointed to the position, however the damage was already done.

This growing animosity exploded in 2020, after Progressive and Formido group leaders were exposed for bribing journalists in order to reduce the media coverage of parties towards the center of the political axis. This prompted almost the entire Green group to defect from the Coalition immediately, followed by the Mod-Left party. And while the tension has largely calmed down, and the Greens are now in a position of power within the current Unity Alliance coalition, party leader Katherin Mīer still refuses to consider a coalition agreement with the Progressives, instead building a coalition that spans from mid-left to center-right. This is despite the fact that local Green parties are currently in governing coalitions with progressive parties in three provinces.

So, there you have it. A history of sibling-like rivalry, animosity, and neglect. If only explaining the rest of Eirian political history was this simple…

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