The Green Party is an extension of the citizen-based movements which
so many of us are a part of. The Green Party intends to inject these
voices into the wider arena of electoral politics. We have a
distinctive political ideology based on the interconnected values of
ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots Democracy and
The Green Party is the fastest growing, worldwide movement seen in the second half of the 20th Century. It is scientifically supportable, not just a romantic utopian vision. Green Party philosophy is relevant to all classes, all ideologies, and all nations of the world. We call for a restructuring of social, cultural, and political life. To Thatcher’s TINA (There Is No Alternative but the form of globalization being proposed now) we reply with Susan George’s TATA! (There are Thousands of Alternatives).
“How are you different from the Democrats and Republicans?”
Today, for the most part a Democrat elected official is difficult to
distinguish from a Republican. Greens offer a genuine alternative enabling people to vote their hopes,
not their fears.
The Green Party is more than a political party. It is a belief system that envisions a future based on human equality, dignity and diversity. Despite slight differences in degree, mainly over “moral” issues, the main agenda of both the Democrats and Republicans has been self-promotion and self-preservation, continuation of a status-quo favoring the corporate interests on whom they are dependent for funding.
The agenda of the Green Party is spelled out in its 10 Key Values. For the Greens, political office is not a career option, and is only one of many ways to serve our communities. For Greens, long-term vision extends into the next generation, not the next election. We seek a society where the interests of the seventh generation are considered equal to the interests of the present. Greens are beyond the simplistic Left/Right dichotomy; we are out in front.
“Won’t you split the vote?”
What vote? The United States has the lowest voter participation in
any industrialized nation (only 35% of eligible voters in 1996, and you
know who is voting!). Our current parties and political system are a
big reason why. We are running against the two-party system and
“business as usual.” We are tired of the lesser of the two evils we
have been forced to choose between for decades, which dilutes
participation. “When you vote for the lesser of two evils, you are
still voting for evil.” The Green Party is attracting the 65% which
does not vote: youth, minorities and most middle-class America.
Furthermore, the law of this land is actually drafted and enacted by the Congress, which also decides the budgetary allocations. This is far more influence than the executive branch of government and the President. The Green Party is bringing many new voters into the polling booth. On the down vote from the Presidential elections, greens are more likely to vote for Democrats than Republicans. By looking at the tree Democrats are missing the forest.
We need to expand the discourse beyond the short-term 4-year window and focus on the sustainability of our Society and our Democracy. In other words, the question of splitting the vote is tantamount to asking Greens not to vote, not to participate in the political process or not to express what is a majoritarian view of the world (65%). Could it be because the Democratic candidate is not strong enough; because the ticket and recent track record of Democrats is not materially different from the Republican’s? Or because it supports a status-quo that greatly benefits a few…
“You can’t win, you are just spoiling the elections”
Most significant progressive reforms in this country were originally
proposed by alternative political parties: the abolition of slave
labor, the abolition of child labor, the woman’s right to vote, minimum
wage, the 40-hour work week, the creation of the Social Security
Administration, pure food and drug laws, and more. These reforms were
all resisted by the dominant political parties of their day.
So if you want to see full public funding of elections, an end to corporate “personhood” (the legal perversion granting corporations the same constitutional rights than citizens), universal health care, the enactment of a living wage, fair trade instead of corporate globalization; enough of us have to be willing to vote green to demand these policies. At stake is the long-term survival of our society and the planet.
“What kind of political reform?”
We support full public funding of elections -the infrastructure of our Democracy- proportional representation through Instant Run-off Voting, equal media access for all candidates, full disclosure on “hit mail,” a shortened campaign season, a single primary day, “None of the Above” ballot choice, reasonable ballot access, and same-day voter registration. We also support easier write-ins, and a national initiative process.
“Who are your candidates?”
Since we are decentralized political party, the Green locals are
free to analyze their races, chances, resources, and opposition. We
take the local, bottom-up approach. State campaigns are managed by a
cooperative of locals.
Electoral reform is a big issue for Greens for both the community and the state, because mainstream politics have become fundraising contests, and not fair determinations of voter choice. We support values, not financiers or personalities. We hope to recruit from active movement groups, assess the opportunities, and then run appropriate candidates.
“Are you all white?”
While the Green movement grew out of the environmental and peace movements, which have been traditionally white, our active participation and support of social justice issues, as part of our interconnected view of the world, is rapidly increasing awareness and support for the Green Party from so-called minority communities. The face of the Green Party is changing rapidly and this is reflected in the leadership of the green movement. For example, in November 99, Elizabeth Horton-Sheff became the 1st Green Party African American woman elected to city council in Hartford (CT), and Winona Laduke, a Native American woman activist, ran for Vice President on the Ralph Nader ticket.
The Ten Key Values of the Green Party
- Ecological Wisdom
- Respect for Diversity
- Grassroots Democracy
- Gender Equity
- Community-Based Economics
- Social Justice
- Personal Responsibility
- Future Focus
If there is to be a future, it will be Green!
Courtesy of the Green Party of Texas