Official Vermont Green Party Position on the 2004 Presidential Race
Green Party of the United States Nominates David Cobb; Many Vermont Greens still support Ralph Nader
[via Vermont Green Party (VGP) Website]
Just before I was about to get off-line, I checked the VGP Website and found the below item and link, so I wanted to blog it up prior to my finally calling it quits for the evening.
Even though I am an Independent and therefore not a member of their political party, none-the-less as well as for obvious reasons, I am posting the entire official Vermont Green Party position concerning the 2004 Presidential race (here) in full as follows:
VERMONTERS: FOR THE SAKE OF DEMOCRACY,VOTE GREEN IN THE PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION
There will be two "green" presidential candidate teams on the Vermont ballot this November and you should feel safe in voting for either team. The Green Party of the United States has nominated David Cobb and Pat LaMarche to be its candidates. In addition, Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo will be on the ballot on another line. You can learn more about both teams from their web sites at www.votecobb.org or www.votenader.org
The Vermont Green Party will be making its decision about which team to nominate or endorse at its state convention to be held on September 12. Both teams are expected to campaign in Vermont. You can learn about their campaign visits by joining the Vermont Green Party list serve by sending a blank email to firstname.lastname@example.org, and by participating in online discussions with other Greens and progressives by sending a blank e-mail to vermontgreensDISCUSSIONemail@example.com.
Voting for a third party candidate can be a difficult decision for some because of the fear of the "spoiler issue" promoted by Democrats and mass media, especially in the "Anybody But Bush" environment. However, the Vermont Green Party advocates voting for one of these two teams for the following reasons:
1. Vermont is a "safe state" and not a "battleground state." That means that Kerry is projected to receive a strong majority of the votes. In 2000, Nader received 7% of the votes and Gore won Vermont by a large margin. With the strong anti-Bush feeling in Vermont this situation is clearly going to replicate itself. Voting your conscience makes sense.
2. Kerry is really Bush-lite. The differences between Kerry and Bush on issues are minor. The difference cited by Kerry supporters is the chance of appointing federal judges, and we expect Kerry would only nominate judges who would be ratified by a Republican-majority or even-split Congress. On the major issues, such as the war on Iraq and Afghanistan, close ties to corporate interests, trade policies, livable wages, the bloated military budget, the Israel/Palestine conflict, and the USA PATRIOT Act, Kerry is indistinguishable from Republicans. In some cases, such as the occupation of Iraq, Kerry is as bad or worse.
3. We must think long term. The two major parties are both so beholden to the power of wealth that there is little or no hope of changing the Democratic Party to return to its roots of serving middle and low income people. The only way there is going to be significant change is through the rise of a strong third party. This is going to take several years. The effort has to begin now.
4. We must improve voting opportunities such as the adoption of Instant Runoff Voting. The Democratic Party is doing everything it can to prevent the rise of a third party including trying to keep the Green Party off the ballot in many states and through the gerrymandering of legislative districts to protect Democrat strongholds. This is not democracy. We absolutely must have Instant Runoff Voting so people can vote their conscience and not for the lesser of two evils. Only strong public support as evidenced by third party voting will bring about this change. The Democrats had four years to champion IRV and did nothing about it, and blocked IRV legislation in Vermont. To his credit, even though it is not part of the Democrat platform, Governor Dean has come out in favor of IRV. For more information on IRV go to www.votesmart.org
5. We need to build the Green Party in Vermont. Vermont needs a strong Green Party that will advocate for the four Green Party Pillars of Ecological Wisdom, Social Justice, Grassroots Democracy, and Nonviolence. There is no other political party in Vermont that has a political platform based on these important values. By supporting a "green" candidate you will be helping to build the viability of the Vermont Green Party. Nationally the Green Party is the fastest growing party in the country as more and more people realize that something is seriously wrong in our democracy and that major change is needed.
If you would like to help promote the candidacy of either team in Vermont, firstname.lastname@example.org
This is an interesting turn of events, for Vermont anyway. Yet we will have to wait and see what happens once the VGP begins the process of making their minds up about which team to nominate or endorse at its state convention to be held on September 12.
For my part, I will try to make sure I remember this upcoming event so I can attend in an observers role, as I did previously earlier this year; although this time with advance warning ahead of time, instead of simply happening upon it by accident.