Greens Party in a stew over how to stir up the Bundestag
The ecological, countercultural Greens Party in the federal government of West Germany has accomplished a first - granola in the canteen of the Bundestag. At the initiative of alternative member of parliament, Hannelore Saibold, the cafeteria has also added such health foods to the menu as nature rice, whole-grain cakes and porridge, and soybean tofu.
Other Green initiatives are proving more controversial within the party, as might be expected among such individualistic crusaders and believers in radical participatory (rather than representative) democracy.
The clearest lines of argument pit the party pragmatists, who want to join in the parliamentary give-and-take in order to get some environmental and other legislation passed, against the fundamentalists, who view the party's mission as permanent protest and flamboyant refusal to compromise with established politicians.
This fissure has become more apparent in recent weeks in several intramural quarrels. Thus, the fundamentalists are enthusiastic about - the pragmatists embarrassed by - a Green state legislator's hurling of blood at an American general at a recent reception. The fundamentalists want to carry out - the pragmatists to reconsider case by case - the planned 1985 resignation of all Green MPs elected last March to give their seats to alternate candidates.
The fundamentalists want to flout - the pragmatists to honor, within reason - parliamentary rules of secrecy.
Moreover, the fundamentalists are forcing - the pragmatists resisting - the resignation of a Green member of parliament who has persisted in making sexual advances to staff secretaries.
The dream of German unity may be fading among West German youth, suggests a recent opinion poll by Infratest. Queries of 1,494 youths between the ages of 14 and 21 in the summer of 1981 showed that only 59 percent desired reunification, while 30 percent professed ''indifference.''
By contrast, an Infratest sampling of adults in 1979 showed 78 percent as viewing reunification positively and only 15 percent ''indifferent.''
Neither group thinks this is anything but a hypothetical question, of course. Sixty-four percent of youth saw no real chance of reunification in the near future. The poll was taken on commission of the then-Social Democratic-run Ministry of Inner German Relations.
The political results of the Infratest inquiry were more surprising. Contrary to various other polls of youth in recent years, the conservative Christian Democratic Union scored a gratifying equal preference with the Social Democrats, with each registering 26 percent. Sixteen percent sympathized with the countercultural Greens.
Various other questionnaires of recent years have shown a youth preference for the Social Democrats over the Christian Democrats, along with considerable alienation from all the established parties (excluding the maverick Greens).