Note (May, 2012): The “huge disappointment” option mentioned there at the end ended up being the correct one for them as well. I must apologize if my posts led anyone to believe otherwise.
In a turn of events that initially surprised me so much I thought it was only a joke, though after a little consideration I realized I should have seen it coming, Remus Cernea stated today that he and certain other leading members are leaving our Greens to form a new party. The message lists the following reasons for the move: “The viewpoints we have publicly expressed, validated even by official documents from the European Greens, have been systematically ignored, blocked or strongly opposed by some of the party’s leading members. […] When it became clear to us that the values of the European Greens are not shared but even challenged by some of our colleagues with decision making prerogatives inside the party, we decided that we can only serve these values by initiating a new political construct.”
The new party they mean to create is currently referred to as “Snow White” because of a recent blog post by presidential adviser Sebastian Lazaroiu. That post was written “for those in the know” and gave the results of a recent opinion poll without specifying which party got which percentage, then went on to predict election results, whether they would be organized now or at the proper time, in 2012. Those predictions were:
• Little Red Riding Hood 26%
• The Little Match Girl 25%
• Santa Claus 23%
• The Goat and Her Three Kids 15%
• Snow White 35%
• Little Red Riding Hood 26%
• The Little Match Girl 12%
• Santa Claus 12%
• The Goat and Her Three Kids 8%”
The only explanation given in the post was: “If a single party will dominate in 2012, then I can guarantee just one thing: It won’t be any of the ones you already know. If no single party will dominate, then three will. And all three [will be] fairy tale characters.” So people started trying to work it out, assuming that Little Red Riding Hood means the Social Democrats (PSD) due to the party’s official color, The Little Match Girl means the Liberals (PNL) for reasons that escape me, Santa Claus means the newly created People’s Party due to the utterly impossible promises its founder and president keeps making and The Goat and Her Three Kids means the Democrat Liberals (PDL) due to the three groups known to exist inside the party. As for Snow White, it was assumed to mean a new party, made up of members untainted by involvement in the kind of politics Romania has seen so far. Which is why the term was used to refer to the new party before its official name will be announced, next Wednesday.
About who will the members of this new party be, the message states: “Alongside us, besides former members of the Green Party and other environmentalist parties, public figures who have not previously been involved in politics, members of some nongovernmental organizations, young businesspeople who had successful private endeavors without being subscribed to State contracts, people who studied abroad and returned to help develop Romania, as well as many, very many intelligent and capable youths, will be a part of this new construct.” It also states that the party could comfortably accommodate “those sensitive towards environmental issues but with a modern Social Democratic bent, as well as Liberals fond of defending individual rights and free initiative“.
As for their doctrine: “The new party will be a Progressive one, which will focus particularly on knowledge (scientific research and education being priorities), preserving the environment, defending and promoting human rights, fairness and social solidarity, a well-functioning democracy, developing a sustainable economy and fighting corruption. We will also take it upon ourselves to promote the rights of national or religious minorities, the separation of Church and State, LGBT rights or a much more significant representation of women in politics.” And if there was any more need, the message also states that they will approach topics that have so far been taboo in Romanian politics and publicly express viewpoints that may currently go against the will of most Romanians.
Remus’ views, most often supporting the separation of Church and State, LGBT rights and the rights of the Hungarian and Roma minorities, are obviously in stark contrast with those of the vast majority of Romanians, who vehemently oppose all those things, but at first it looked as if the Greens could accommodate them, though it was obviously a case of “the independent Remus Cernea supported by the Green Party”, with his views being grafted upon theirs. But it appears that the support and grafting only went so far and problems soon arose, though his first real mention of them was very recently, when he said that he “came under heavy fire” even inside the party because of his last post supporting LGBT rights.
Yesterday, while replying to a comment posted on Facebook, he stated that: “An entire mechanism aimed at setting me aside was recently set in motion inside the party (saying that I was a “Satanist”, “betrayer of kin and country”, that I “turned the party into the gay party” and other such nonsense). It’s not by accident that I recently posted that picture of [me holding] The Satanic Verses – believe it or not, in the case file they made for me it’s “evidence” that I’d be a “Satanist”. This really is how some people think… If it’d just be random people it wouldn’t be much of a problem, but when they’re at the top of a political structure and their vote matters in making decisions, things get complicated… […] You will soon see violent attacks aimed against me. Basically, some people, including some trained by the secret service, made a goal out of harassing and stopping me as much as they can… […] I’ve obviously been expecting this ever since I got involved in politics and will continue what I started, one way or the other… I don’t give up so easily…”
Someone suggested “The Progressive Party” as the name for the new party and I also think that’d sound just about right, though the term “progress” may make some remember the Communist days, which could be a problem, plus that the PP abbreviation has also been used by The Pensioners’ Party, is currently most notably being used by The People’s Party and in the future may also be used by The Pirate Party, if they’ll manage to get themselves officially registered. Though The Pirate Party, in its current form, already had an agreement with the Greens and Remus seems to fully support them, so they may be absorbed into his new party, and in fact I think it’d be a bad idea to not do so.
Either way, it’ll be interesting to see what will happen next. This may really turn out to be what the Romanian political scene needs just as well as it may be a huge disappointment. I’ll certainly be keeping my eyes on them every step of the way, especially when it comes to making sure that the environment doesn’t end up being a lesser priority than the other issues listed in the statement…