This is quite unprecedented to be noted: on Saturday, the general assembly of the Genevan Greens will not tolerate the presence of journalists. Very excited by the media coverage of the ban on meat for future elected officials in public, and then, this week, with a new salvo, on milk this time, they chose to debate as a family.
When contacted, neither President Delphine Klopfenstein nor Member of Parliament Sophie Desbiolles, who addressed Milk Day with an urgent written question to the Council of State, wished to answer our questions by Saturday. With or without media coverage, debates could be heated. On the one hand, even the boutists who want to make the party a model of purity, and on the other, pragmatists who believe that these struggles do not solve ecological problems.
The general assembly must adopt the party’s 2023-2028 parliamentary program as well as the charter of candidates for next year’s cantonal elections, which had caused an outcry. The ban on meat in the name of exemplar has indeed angered some, to the point that a petition has resulted in a new vote. In the meantime, the presidency has worked to find a compromise, which revolves around a commitment to be consistent with the program’s values.
Also read: Geneva green: the risk of fracture
What exactly does the program look like? Seventy pages, hundreds of topics on all possible topics, from anti-racism to the environment, from LGBTQI + issues to education, to taxation or agriculture. While energy and environmental issues are at the forefront, some subjects are treated rather extremistly. “Because this program has been concocted by the various working groups, often led by lobbyists,” said one MP. Examples: The head of the teaching group is the president of the primary school union (SPG). The head of taxation is a union secretary at Unia. In culture, there is a musician who had opposed the City of Music. Only the amendments will be discussed and possibly amended, everything else will pass without any other form of trial.
Reread: The last entrecote of the Geneva elected officials
It is well known that a program of the legislature is not made to be implemented as it is. But it is a compass, an ideal that elected officials are striving for with political proposals. Here is a flower list of what the Greens want for their township.
In terms of food, the party is proposing to significantly reduce animal products in state-controlled canteens and restaurants. So meat or eggs are out for the sick in the hospital or the toddlers in the nurseries. If the Greens would like to ban the commercial breeding of “purebred” pets, they want to facilitate the admission of animals to EMS or emergency shelters and encourage zootherapy. It would also be a matter of banning shows or entertainment that use live animals in places controlled or subsidized by the state. And again “stop the acquisition of any clothing or accessories of animal origin by the state.” Will they recommend wearing Crocs for civil servants? No more. Because one point in the program also mentions the ban on the use of plastic.
“A proper attack on agriculture and livestock”
They promise to take action at the federal level to get rid of subsidies that encourage the consumption of animal products. In terms of agriculture, there is a lot of talk about trees, family gardens and urban farms. “This program is a proper attack on agriculture and livestock,” said Green MP François Lefort. What do we do with cows if we ban milk? How to eat local if there are no more farmers? Agriculture is already changing. To make it more environmentally friendly, we need to give it time and invest heavily in advice and research. ”
In addition to the wish list, there is a halving of surface parking spaces; a temperature of 20 ° C in the housings; a decrease in the living space per capita – without really knowing how they intend to proceed. At Geneva International Airport, domestic flights would be canceled, as well as all destinations accessible in less than eight hours by train – which condemns Paris, Florence or Barcelona. Cointrin would be subject to a curfew from 9pm to 7am and taxes, which have been massively increased.
Thirty-two hours of work per week
If a party program reflects more values than pragmatic solutions, that of the Greens is far from the principle of reality. At work, for example, the aim is to aim for 32 hours a week, both in public and in private, but with a “decent” salary. They identify the jobs of tomorrow in the field of which, recycling and repair, but also in the sharing of goods and services. Unsurprisingly, their catalog of social benefits would increase. How to finance all this? By increasing corporate taxation and wealth tax above CHF 3 million and taxing capital gains, among other things.
On issues of gender and equality, the Greens, at the forefront, offer dozens of avenues for improvement. Some of which are at least obscure, such as “integrating gender across the state budget”, conditioning the granting of subsidies on criteria of equality and inclusion, or balancing the amounts spent on benefits according to of the genre.
It is precisely on these issues as well as on anti-speciesism that the atmosphere has been tense among Geneva ecologists, and even with the national party. “Any strategy is losing on Saturday,” said one observer. If the extreme program passes, the party may see members slip into the Liberal Greens again. Otherwise, the ultras will be angry. ” An opinion that has already been refuted by the president, who sees no dissent. It remains to be seen whether this revolutionary program will be to the liking of the assembly.
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