Tag Archives: Green Party

Important meeting 10/7 City of Fairfax Public Library

Hello,

The Northern Virginia Green Party suffered a loss recently. Party Chairman Paul Hughes died suddenly on September 15th (click Paul’s name for a link to the obituary). His energy and dedication for social justice, sustainable development, and creating a truly citizen-oriented political party are the hallmarks of his legacy.

The Northern Virginia Green Party is part of that tradition. To that end, we are holding a meeting to elect temporary officers to preside over the party until a full election can be held in January or February. Also, we will be discussing ways to support the Jill Stein for President campaign, and the Joe Galdo for Congress campaign here in the area.

We look forward to seeing you Sunday, October 7th from 2:30pm to 5pm
Location: 10360 North Street Fairfax, VA Room 214

Officer positions open:****(see note below for more information)

Co-Chair: two positions open. The Co-Chairs are responsible for organizing meetings, setting general policy based on input from the membership, formulating strategy, recruiting members, recruiting and assisting local, state, and federal candidates for elected office, maintaining party financial accounts, and maintaining contact/coordination with the Green Party of Virginia and the Green Party of the United States. Co-Chairs are the public face of the Northern Virginia Green Party and will be expected to interface with the press and other media outlets if needed. Daryl Northrop, Northern Virginia Green Party member since 2009, and strategy advisor/technology volunteer has thrown his hat into the ring for one of the openings. Daryl has been active with the Green Party since 2000. Serving as a county organizer and later co-chair of the Iowa Green Party, a candidate for U.S. Senate in 2004 (Iowa), delegate to the national party. In 2010, Daryl completed his Masters in Political Management from The George Washington University. Daryl and his wife April live in Annandale.

Secretary: In charge of administering membership lists, email list, and merging membership updates from the Nova Greens website, the state Green Party, and the Green Party of the United States

Technology Coordinator: produce content and help administer the NovaGreens.org website, along with associated Twitter account (@NovaGreens) and Facebook group.

****IMPORTANT: If you are interested in assisting in one of these elected positions, please send a short bio about yourself to novagreensinfo@gmail.com NO LATER than 11:59pm 10-01-12, telling us why you are running, and what you experience and capabilities are. Candidate bio’s will be forwarded to the membership via email on 10-02-12.

Who is writing all the right wing legislation moving through state legislatures?

Across the country, and right here in Virginia, state legislatures have been passing out favors to big corporations, gutting the rights of workers to organize unions, erecting barrier after barrier to letting people cast their ballot, and rolling back environmental protections.

Where does this legislation and expertise come from?

The answer is: ALEC, the American Legislative Exchange Council. Funded by big business and wealthy right-wing foundations, it’s goal is turning the legislature of a given state into the lapdog of big business. The NY Times has an excellent piece on it.

The Big Money Behind State Laws

It is no coincidence that so many state legislatures have spent the last year taking the same destructive actions: making it harder for minorities and other groups that support Democrats to vote, obstructing health care reform, weakening environmental regulations and breaking the spines of public- and private-sector unions. All of these efforts are being backed — in some cases, orchestrated — by a little-known conservative organization financed by millions of corporate dollars.

The American Legislative Exchange Council was founded in 1973 by the right-wing activist Paul Weyrich; its big funders include Exxon Mobil, the Olin and Scaife families and foundations tied to Koch Industries. Many of the largest corporations are represented on its board.

ALEC has written model legislation on a host of subjects dear to corporate and conservative interests, and supporting lawmakers have introduced these bills in dozens of states. A recent study of the group’s impact in Virginia showed that more than 50 of its bills were introduced there, many practically word for word. The study, by the liberal group ProgressVA, found that ALEC had been involved in writing bills that would:

¶Prohibit penalizing residents for failing to obtain health insurance, undermining the individual mandate in the reform law. The bill, which ALEC says has been introduced in 38 states, was signed into law and became the basis for Virginia’s legal challenge to heath care reform.

¶Require voters to show a form of identification. Versions of this bill passed both chambers this month.

¶Encourage school districts to contract with private virtual-education companies. (One such company was the corporate co-chair of ALEC’s education committee.) The bill was signed into law.

¶Call for a federal constitutional amendment to permit the repeal of any federal law on a two-thirds vote of state legislatures. The bill failed.

¶Legalize use of deadly force in defending one’s home. Bills to this effect, which recently passed both houses, have been backed by the National Rifle Association, a longtime member of ALEC.

ALEC’s influence in the Virginia statehouse is pervasive, the study showed. The House of Delegates speaker, William Howell, has been on the board since 2003 and was national chairman in 2009. He has sponsored or pushed many of the group’s bills, including several benefiting specific companies that support ALEC financially, like one that would reduce a single company’s asbestos liability. At least 115 other state legislators have ties to the group, including paying membership dues, attending meetings and sponsoring bills. The state has spent more than $230,000 sending lawmakers to ALEC conferences since 2001.

Similar efforts have gone on in many other states. The group has been particularly active in weakening environmental regulations and fighting the Environmental Protection Agency. ALEC’s publication, “E.P.A.’s Regulatory Train Wreck,” outlines steps lawmakers can take, including curtailing the power of state regulators.

There is nothing illegal or unethical about ALEC’s work, except that it further demonstrates the pervasive influence of corporate money and right-wing groups on the state legislative process. There is no group with any comparable influence on the left. Lawmakers who eagerly do ALEC’s bidding have much to answer for. Voters have a right to know whether the representatives they elect are actually writing the laws, or whether the job has been outsourced to big corporate interests.

Moving forward – The Green Party is building the ideas that fuel the economy of the future

What is the new normal as it applies to the economy? There is no answer to that question, but the ideas are coming together in a new political reality. Cooperative economics, based on ideas, connections, relationships between business, community, consumers, stakeholders, and the environment – these are all Green Party ideas that we can all work on. The change in our economy that can benefit all of us, and make our communities wealthier will not come from Wall Street, it will come from main street.

Multiracial Hands Making a Circle

Sara Robinson tells us more via her article.

 

Why Going ‘Back To Normal’ Is No Longer An Option for the American Economy — And Where We’re Headed Now

By Sara Robinson, AlterNet
Posted on February 7, 2012, Printed on February 14, 2012

 

Former IMF chief economist Joseph Stiglitz has a message for everybody who’s sitting around waiting for the economy to “get back to normal.”

Stop waiting. ‘Cause that train’s gone, and it ain’t coming back. And the sooner we accept that “normal,” as post WWII America knew and loved it, will not be an option in this century, the sooner we’ll get ourselves moving forward on the path toward a new kind of prosperity. The only real question now is: What future awaits us on the other side of the coming shift?

In a don’t-miss article in this month’s Vanity Fair, Stiglitz argues that our current economic woes are the result of a deep structural shift in the economy — a once-in-a-lifetime phase change that happens whenever the foundations of an old economic order are disrupted, and a new basis of wealth creation comes forward to take its place. The last time this happened was in the 1920s and 1930s, when a US economy that was built on farm output became the victim of its own success. Advances in farming led to a food glut. As food prices plummeted, farmers had less money to spend. This, in turn, depressed manufacturing and led to job losses in the cities, too. Land values in both places declined, impoverishing families and trapping them in place.

We remember this as the Great Depression. It lingered until the government stepped in — largely through the war effort — with unprecedented education, housing, transportation, and research investments that created new pathways for all those surplus farmers to come in off the farm, for the factory hands to get back to work, and for both groups to move into the modern industrial middle-class.

Stiglitz thinks that we’re going through much the same kind of process again now, as the postwar manufacturing-based economy that saved us 80 years ago moves offshore, leaving our manufacturing workforce just as surplus and idle as those 1920s farmers were. In his view, the current phase shift is taking us away from industry-as-we’ve-known-it, and on into an economy that will have us relying more and more on many different kinds of knowledge work. (This isn’t a new thesis; Daniel Bell was writing about it back in 1973.) But Stiglitz goes on to point out that because people are misunderstanding the moment, we’re investing in the wrong things.

Austerity and debt reduction will get us nowhere, in this view. In particular: it won’t change the fact that we have too many manufacturing workers and too few information workers. Stiglitz argues forcefully that this gap is likely to remain open until our governments make a long-term commitment to do what they did in the 1940s — that is, fund the kind of aggressive education, research, and infrastructure investments that will finally get us fully transitioned to the new phase. The current economic crisis is doomed to last exactly as long as we delay put off building that necessary to the new information economy. When we come out the other side, there will still be farmers and manufacturers — but even they will be leveraging the power of the Internet to create new wealth. Everybody will.

But Stiglitz is far from the only theorist who’s trying to look beyond the phase change, and figure out what new form wealth might take when we get to the far side of it.

Another one is Thomas Homer-Dixon, a Canadian economist who wrote The Upside of Down. Homer-Dixon marshals evidence that all great empires rise and fall by controlling the dominant energy supply of their age. The Romans used roads and aqueducts to harness solar energy (in the form of food) from around the Mediterranean basin, and used that surplus to fund the most complex society of its time. The Dutch empire rose on its superior ability to master wind technologies — the windmill and the ship — to extend its land holdings, run early manufacturing industries, and extend its trading reach around the globe. The British empire rose on coal-powered steam engines, which gave it more productive industries, railroads, electrical generators, and faster ships. The US eclipsed the Brits due to its vast wealth in oil — a far more concentrated and fungible fuel — and inventions from cars and planes to plastics and fertilizers that allowed it to make the most of its advantages. And the Chinese are now making huge investments in renewable energy and safer, more efficient second-generation nuclear power, which they can use to fuel their ascent to global primacy.

The bottom line in Homer-Dixon’s theory is this: Everything that Americans understand as “wealth” under the current paradigm comes from oil. It’s the foundation of our entire economy, and the ground our superpower status stands on. Our cities are built on the assumption of cheap, plentiful oil. Our consuming patterns are made possible by a fleet of oil-burning trucks, ships, and planes that bring us goods made in oil-driven factories. Our warmaking machine, which is largely tasked with protecting our oil interests around the world, is the single largest consumer of energy on the planet. Even our food is created with vast oil-based inputs of fertilizer and pesticides; and we enjoy a year-round variety of foods (bananas! chocolate! coffee!) that is unprecedented in human history because oil makes cheap transport and refrigeration possible.

And the pain and fear caused when we’re forced to face this fundamental fact explains quite a bit about why ideas like climate change and peak oil are so viscerally terrifying to so many Americans. (In many right-wing circles, denial about the American oil addiction is now a core piece of their political identity. It’s considered anti-American to even suggest that getting off oil is necessary or possible.) We are so deeply invested in oil, in so many ways, that it’s almost impossible for us to envision a world beyond it. We stand to lose so much that it’s hard to fathom it all.

And this, says Homer-Dixon, is why no empire has ever survived an energy-related phase shift with its full power intact: the reigning hegemons are always too deeply invested in the current system to recognize the change, let alone respond to it in time. And so they are always superceded by some upstart that’s motivated to put more resources and risk into aggressively developing the next source. The decline of oil as the energy reality of the world has deep implications for every aspect of American life in the coming century. It’s a phase shift at the deepest level.

Other theorists, including Gar Alperovitz, Jeffery Sachs and Umair Haque, agree that there’s a phase shift happening under our feet — but they believe the real shift lies in the changing structure of capitalism itself. Forming markets is a core human activity that we’re not any more likely to abandon than eating or breathing. But our understanding of the purpose and value of markets — and the role of capital within them — is overdue for a profound change. Haque argues that “twentieth-century capitalism’s cornerstones shift costs to and borrow benefits from people, communities, society, the natural world, or future generations.” But, he continues, “both cost shifting and benefit borrowing are forms of economic harm that are unfair, non-consensual, and often irreversible.” The result is a great imbalance that we are finally being forced to fully reckon with, one that will call us to radically change our focus, creating a totally new kind of capitalism.

Haque makes a distinction between “thin” and “thick” value. Things with “thin” value tend to be artificial, unsustainable, and meaningless to anyone but the people who produce and consume them. Hummers, McMansions and Big Macs are all examples of thin value items. They’re produced without any recognition of our larger values context or the externalized costs to the community, and consuming them tends to add to the overall imbalance in our economy. Thin value, he writes, is “profit that is in many ways a financial fiction, because it fails to exceed a fuller, truer economic cost of capital.” And the phase shift is evident in the fact that the companies that are falling hardest right now are the ones whose past profits have relied most heavily on monetizing our common wealth for private profit.

“Thick” value — produced by companies that practice “constructive capitalism” — is value that is sustainable, that has a moral component that matters, and that multiplies itself. Companies that practice it tend to win because they produce things that have a deeper meaning to people. Their real wealth isn’t what they’re able to extract from the rest of us, but in their long, deep, trusting relationships with their customers. The world is shifting from the economics of a game reserve to those of an ark, says Haque. The companies that are thriving now are the ones that increasing their focus on “constructive advantage” — “how free a company is of deep debt to people, communities, society, the natural world, or future generations.” While this focus-shift is far from complete, the current economy abounds with firms that are showing us a new way forward. (Apple is a prime example of a company that creates “thick value,” but we’ve seen recently that its commitment to this ideal has some rather glaring thin spots.)

Alperovitz’ vision extends this by revamping how wealth flows in society. He points to a quiet revolution that’s already much further along than anybody realizes — the move toward worker- or consumer-owned cooperative businesses, in which distant shareholders are replaced by local stakeholders who have a deep personal interest in how every aspect of the business is run. Already, four in 10 Americans belong to some type of co-op business (if you have a Costco or a credit union card in your wallet, you’re already on board here); and America’s 30,000 cooperatives provide over 2 million jobs. (Many, many more fun facts here.) The UN has declared 2012 to be the Year of the Co-Op, in recognition of the fact that nearly half the world’s population now belongs to cooperatives. Co-ops are already forming a formidable challenge to Wall Street-driven 20th-century capitalism, and their expansion through the coming century would represent a massive redistribution of labor and wealth — a phase shift that favors the direction Haque suggests.

These are just a handful of the many serious theorists out there describing the deep structural changes we’re undergoing. Not all of them, to be sure, are this cheery (and I’ve made my own contributions to the dystopian canon in the past). There are so many now, in fact, that their very numbers might taken as evidence that we’re going through something uniquely new and deep. Our government is broken. Our economy is broken. Our infrastructure is crumbling. Our major institutions — education, religion, culture — are inadequate to the tasks at hand.

These are all signs of an old world passing away, clearing the way for a new one to arise in its place. And the sooner we let go of our assumption that going back is desirable, or even possible, the sooner we’ll be able to fully embrace the new things that lie ahead.

 

Sara Robinson is Alternet’s senior editor in charge of the Visions page. A trained social futurist, she’s particularly interested change resistance movements. She does foresight and strategic planning consulting for a wide range of progressive groups.

© 2012 Independent Media Institute. All rights reserved.
View this story online at: http://www.alternet.org/story/154056/

Jill Stein, Green Party Presidential Candidate to release People’s State Of the Union 8:30pm EST

Jill Profile

Jill Stein, Green Party presidential candidate, called today for a Green New Deal to counter the “trickle down economic agenda” laid out by President Obama last night in his State of the Union address.Stein plans to release her alternative at 8:30pm Eastern Time in a “People’s State of the Union: A Green New Deal for America” that will be given via her campaign website: http://www.JillStein.org

After viewing President Obama’s address, Stein commented that “It is startling how the candidate who four years ago promised to be an agent of change has morphed into the candidate of more of the same. The key features of the President’s State of the Union address were drawn from the centrist Republican agenda. He’s glorifying militarism, calling for more business tax cuts, promoting offshore oil drilling and hydrofracking, pushing trillions in cuts to discretionary Federal spending, promising cuts to Social Security and Medicare, and putting American workers into a struggle for survival in a global economy dominated by big corporations.”

“The President has subverted the progressive ideals of the New Deal. He’s imposing his vision of a ‘grand bargain’ that represents the effective philosophical merger of the Democratic and Republican parties. “

“The President presented a rosy picture of the current state of the economy by tossing out a few anecdotes and cherry-picked statistics. He seemed almost oblivious to recent news that 48% of Americans are living in poverty or near poverty, the greatest number in 50 years of record keeping. If he thinks things are going so well, maybe that’s why he sees no reason to change course.”

“America needs to go in a new direction. We are calling for a Green New Deal that would decisively end high unemployment and make a massive investment in solar, wind, energy efficiency and mass transit. We reject the President’s assertion that “all of the above” is the right answer when it comes to energy. We need to wean ourselves from the fossil fuels that pollute our land and water, motivate wars for oil, and which are pushing us to a climate catastrophe.”

“An honest analysis shows that most of the president’s proposed solutions are just band-aids on the status quo and do not represent a serious attempt to end the crises we face. His mortgage foreclosure reforms will reach only a tiny fraction of homeowners in crisis. And his proposed commission to investigate bank fraud is hamstrung from the outset by the packing of the commission with big bank-friendly regulators. Furthermore it ignores the enormous inequity and economic damage that Wall Street does without committing prosecutable fraud. Contrast that with the Green New Deal that would impose an immediate moratorium on home foreclosures, would write down the principals of inflated mortgages to market rates, and would break up the big banks that caused this crisis and replace them with decentralized and democratized financial institutions.”

Regarding education, Stein noted that “Obama’s plan for the student loan crisis basically preserves the status quo. His solution is to keep interest rates the same and to cut Federal funding to colleges that are in financial crisis. The Green New Deal would end the crisis by taking over the student debt and implementing tuition-free higher education.”

“America needs decisive action to get us out of the current economic slump. Most of all we need jobs — tens of millions of them — not the puny numbers that will result from President Obama’s attempts at top-down stimulus. The unemployment office needs to become the employment office. The bold actions that worked to end the Great Depression can work again. The tax giveaways and corporate welfare that the President advocates are inefficient, take too long, and don’t create the right type of jobs in the places where they are most needed. We can and must do better.” 

“This election is a turning point. We can continue with the failing corporate-serving philosophy represented by Barack Obama, Mitt Romney, and the other establishment politicians. Or we can stand up for a rededication of our nation to the public interest. As I have traveled around the nation in the past two months, I’ve found that people are hungry for real change and are excited to see something like the Green New Deal put on the table.”

Jill Stein, Green Party candidate for President, is coming to NOVA

Jill Stein for President

Great news! Jill Stein, a candidate for the Green Party presidential nomination, is coming to Arlington!

Details below:

Friends,

Dr. Jill Stein, GPUS Presidential Candidate, will be in the Northern Virginia/DC area, mid-January.  We have scheduled a house party so people can get to know Jill better.  We’ll meet at the home of John Reeder.   We’ll have snacks and drinks.    If you can, please rsvp to tamar@gp.org.   Even if you haven’t let us know, come anyway.  We’re just trying to get a rough estimate of attendance.

When:    Wednesday, January 18, 2012, 7:30pm
Where:    1812 N. Huntington Street, Arlington, Va 22205Contact:   Tamar Yager, 703-534-2187 or 502-296-3849

Metro:  Orange line to East Falls Church.   Need to call Tamar for a pick-up (advance notice please).

Driving directions:  from Lee Highway and Harrison Street go south on Harrison Street to 18th Street; go right onto 18th Street and go 3 blocks to a right onto Huntington Street.  The house is the third house on the left.

-- 
Tamar Yager
GPUS Steering Committee Co-Chair
Virginia Delegate

 

Public Meeting of the Northern Virginia Green Party – December 10, 1PM

Hello – we have an upcoming meeting! All are welcome to attend!
What: Public Meeting of the Northern Virginia Green Party
Where: George Mason Regional Library – Conference Room 7001 Little River Turnpike Annandale, VA
Agenda:
  1. 2012 congressional races – local
  2. Ballot initiatives we can support/oppose – local (state?)
  3. Analysis of state legislative races/school board/county board/city council races that were hotly contested.
  4. Membership renewal or initial membership dues
  5. Call members to touch base with them (Starting with newest to oldest – Paul’s suggestion)
  6. Labor Union updates
  7. National Green Party volunteering opportunities
  8. Support Occupy DC/Occupy The Ballot
See you there!

Is Occupy Wall Street transforming into an electoral movement?

By: Daryl Northrop

Maybe so.

Occupy the Ballot

 Occupy Wall Street, and its related regional and local movements, have captured the attention and imagination of American’s everywhere who fight for the rights of the 99% (in simple terms, that everyone who isn’t a millionaire). The current political system serves the needs of the top 1% of income earners and wealth-owners quite well. They and their corporations fund the candidates, and the PAC’s, and the think tanks, and the research instutions that support their system of greed. The “Occupy” movement has been characterized by a populist, non-partisan orientation. Meaning, they support values and policies that lift up the poor, the middle-class, and the small business owners, while standing against huge corporations that buy off our politicians, and send our jobs and profits overseas.

So the question on the lips of jaded political pundits and consultants everywhere is “What’s next?” Will the Occupy movement become another pressure group like the NRA or the Sierra Club and lobby for change within the framework of the status quo? Or, will they become an independent political movement, similar to the “Tea Party” before they were co-opted by the GOP establishment?

Some in the Occupy movement have started an electoral wing to recruit and support candidates who stand with the 99%. Here is what Occupy The Ballot says about itself.

The problem isn’t that people don’t vote; the problem is that candidates are in debt to the top 1%. When people see both parties as the same, why should they vote? Instead of just encouraging people to keep voting for the lesser of two evils, we need to get the 99% to run for office! We know what needs to be done – let’s elect ourselves to office and fix Wall Street!

This country was founded on the idea that the people are qualified to decide what is best for them, and that everyone has the ability to run for public office and represent their neighbors. You don’t need to be in politics for years to know that pollution is poisoning people, that everyone deserves a fair shot at a healthy, prosperous life and that corporations and the top 1% can afford to give back to society!

 

Here in Northern Virginia, there is already a group that stands with the 99%, it is the Green Party. Our party and our candidates take zero funding from corporations, PAC’s, and other special interest. We represent the needs of people first! Fairness, decency, respect, grassroots democracy, and equal justice for all are our values that we form policies and solutions on. Occupy The Ballot makes an excellent point – you do not have to be an expert on politics to know the system is rotten, and that it needs to be changed.

To join the Northern Virginia Greens and take a stand for the 99% in our region, click here.

Arlington Greens co-sponsor public forum April 3rd about ending plastic bag and styrofoam use.

The Arlington Green Party, along with Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment, and the Mt. Vernon chapter of the Sierra club are holding an important public forum about ending the use of plastic bags and styrofoam boxes/containers at local retail businesses and restaurants.

Plastic bags and styrofoam containers are an ongoing pollution threat to our local, regional, and national environment. Discussion about the impact of this pollution, and sensible real-world solutions will be featured at this forum.

Full info on this event, open to the public:

 

Public Panel and Discussion on Plastic Bags and Styrofoam Used in Arlington Supermarkets and Retail Stores: April 3, 2011, 4 PM, Arlington Central Library Auditorium

The Arlingtonians for a Clean Environment (ACE), the Arlington Green Party (AGP), and the Mt. Vernon Chapter of the Sierra Club are co-sponsoring a panel discussion at Arlington Central Library, 1015 N. Quincy Street, Sunday, Sunday, April 3, on banning the use of plastic bags and Styrofoam from Arlington County retail stores and restaurants. Whole Foods and Ted’s Montana Grill Restaurant, two businesses that use alternatives to single use nonbiodegradable plastic bags and Styrofoam food containers, will discuss alternatives.

According to the Environmental Protection Agency, more than 300 billion plastic bags are used in the U.S. annually, including about 100 billion single use plastic shopping bags, which cost retailers $4 billion each year.

Plastic bags are not biodegradable, but ultimately break into small toxic particles that end up in the world’s oceans and marine life. Similarly, Styrofoam is a plastic product that is not biodegradable, cannot be recycled, and ends up in solid waste, or spews toxics into the air when incinerated. Styrofoam and plastic bags are among the most commonly found contaminants in the world’s oceans, streams and lakes.

In early 2010, the District of Columbia imposed a 5 cent per bag tax on plastic bags given away at many retail stores. The tax reduced the number of plastic bags used in retail stores in DC from 22 million monthly during 2009 to 3 million bags used in January 2011, according to press reports. This represents an 80 percent reduction in plastic bags potentially ending up in the Potomac and Anacostia Rivers, and ultimately the Chesapeake Bay and Atlantic Ocean.

The panel will be held at the Arlington County Central Library auditorium starting at 4 PM; light refreshments will be served and all are welcomed and attendance is free.

 

Upgrade your Democracy: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV)

Cross-posted from http://www.darylnorthrop.com/blog/2010/2/10/how-you-vote-is-important-green-party-supports-real-voting-r.html

 

So you vote, right?

Right??

Everyone talks about who to vote for: the best man, woman, for the job – the smartest or the toughest or the most peaceful or the least peaceful or the tallest or the best looking. People use many different methods to determine who they vote for.

But have you ever thought of how we vote?

For presidential campaigns, each state has a number of votes in the electoral college, so whether you vote for the Green Party candidate, the Republican candidate, or the Libertarian candidate, you’re not actually voting for the candidates, you are choosing electors.

So, whichever candidate gets the most popular votes in a given state, gets all of that states electors (with the exception of a couple of states). There is no prize for second place, and if you vote for a third party candidate, you are often mocked for “wasting” your vote.

 If voting for the candidate of your choice is such a big problem, then the Green Party of the United States presents:

Solution time!

Option 1: All independent candidates and political parties who are not the Democratic and Republican Party should be banned! Well, not constitutional, and rather mean-spirited.

Option 2: How about a parliamentary system with proportional representation? Not a bad idea, but it would take one (or more) amendments to the U.S. Constitution, plus possibly amendments to various state constitutions, and other constitutional legal headaches. President Obama taught constitutional law, we could ask him….

Option 3: Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) – now here’s an idea whose time has come! Instant Runoff Voting allows you, the voter, to rank your candidates in order of preference when there are more than two candidates running for a single office (1992 Presidential campaign: Clinton, GHW Bush, Perot – 2000 Presidential campaign: Gore, GW Bush, Nader) WITHOUT “WASTING” YOUR VOTE.

How does it work?

The short version is: You rank your candidates in order of your preference, 1. Jane 2. Bob 3. Pete
Then, the votes are counted. If a candidate receives a majority (50%+1) then they win and the election is over. However, if none of the candidates get a majority, the Instant Runoff happens. The candidate with the least amount of votes is dropped, and if you voted for that person, then YOUR vote transfers to YOUR SECOND CHOICE. So, it’s impossible to waste your vote – your vote only supports candidates you support, and never ends up accidentally helping candidates you oppose.

Looking back, my “short version” is way too long. IRV is so simple and easy to use the liberal Hollywood elite use it to decide the winner of Best Picture in the Academy Awards!

Here is an animated clip from the good folks at FairVote that breaks it all down.:

The Green Party supports your right to a better way of voting! We support Instant Runoff Voting as a way to broaden political participation, and enrich the political culture of our country.

Greens are fighting for a more vibrant democracy. You, the citizen and voter, deserve nothing less.

Like pictures? Here’s the flow chart of an election using IRV/Instant Runoff Voting. Pretty……

 


 
Daryl Northrop