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Green Party success could create hostile internal divisions

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Forty years ago this spring, an eloquent, passionate, young American-educated German named Petra Kelly helped to launch the Green movement that swept first West Germany and then much of Western Europe. Kelly was one of those naturally charismatic politicians who drew supporters from a broad sweep of German voters: left and right, young and old.

By the mid-’80s Die Graunen were eating into both the German Social Democrats’ and the Christian Democrats’ base. A decade later they were sharing power at the provincial level in Germany. Tragically, Kelly was murdered when she was only 44. The Green movement flatlined in the early part of this century, only to regain momentum with the rise of the climate crisis in recent years.

Before her death the rapidly growing Green Party was fraught with fierce internal debates between those who wanted to govern, and those who refused to compromise on an agenda that was fiscally and politically impossible. The two camps, one dubbed the “fundamentalists” and the other the “realists” broke the momentum of their early years. Petra Kelly was a “fundi” herself, and became........

© Toronto Star