Where is the Green Party?

Dahr Jamail writes at Al Jazeera:

In the race for the White House, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have talked about sustainable development.

Yet the Green Party ticket, whose stance on the issue outpaces those of both the Republican and Democratic parties, is virtually unknown by the vast majority of US voters.

Romney, who has campaigned while standing in front of a coal mine in Ohio and enjoys support from the billionaire Koch brothers who made their fortune in oil, gas and chemicals, is the bane of many environmentalists.

Meanwhile, Obama has been criticised for not cracking down on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique that uses chemicals and water to blast through underground shale formations.

Obama, who has stated that “climate change is the one of the biggest issues of this generation” and promised to “begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet”, has nevertheless given the green light for offshore oil leases in the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean, leaving the 66 per cent of US citizens who favour tax breaks to curb greenhouse gas emissions without a candidate.

Six-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader blames the absence of awareness of the Green Party among most Americans on what he calls an “electoral system dominated by a two-party tyranny” and “a duopoly of the Republicans and Democrats”.

“The Green Party not having a chance in this election is not because its proposals aren’t supported by the majority of Americans,” Nader told Al Jazeera. “Polls show their proposals like a living wage, cracking down on corporate crime, ending corporate bailouts, campaign finance reform, and many others, are what most people want. But since the two main parties are dialing for the same corporate dollars, they are the two heads of the corporate party, and this makes it nearly impossible for people to get on the ballot if they aren’t in one of those parties.”

A stacked deck

Dr Joshua Tucker, a professor of politics at New York University, agrees with this assessment, and says structural factors of how the US electoral system runs can explain why the Green Party is largely absent.

“The system is geared to two parties,” Tucker told Al Jazeera. “So it’s practically impossible for a third-party candidate to be relevant in terms of having a chance of winning.”

An example of the phenomenon comes from March 2012 polling carried out by Yale University and George Mason University. Polls found that 72 per cent of Americans think global warming should be a priority for the president.

According to polling of registered voters, 84 per cent of Democrats, 68 per cent of independents and 52 per cent of Republicans think global warming should be a priority.

But the Green Party ticket – consisting of presidential candidate Jill Stein and running mate Cheri Honkala – remains absent from the dominant discourse. The party was not invited to participate in the Obama-Romney presidential debates.

They weren’t just not invited, they were arrested for trying to attend.  So much for the U.S. being a republic.

Anyway, read more here.

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  • alizardx

    The only political viewpoints allowed in political “debate” are “left”-centrist and right-centrist, which have in common the belief that the only legitimate objective of government is upward transfer of wealth and differ primarily in marketing strategies aimed at different demographics. Unfortunately, right-centrist marketing is aimed at the aging Religious Right WHITE!!! batshit crazy demographic.

    Doing what’s needed about fossil fuel would reduce the wealth of the Romney and up income class by quite a few trillion dollars, so this is not going to be part of the political discussion anyone will see through legacy media.

    Running a nation or empire according to the short-term interests of the wealthy is the prelude to its collapse as history has repeatedly shown. Isn’t it fun to be led by lemmings?

    • BuzzCoastin

      > Isn’t it fun to be led by lemmings?

      no, which is why dropping out &
      finding alternatives to living like a lemming is imperative

      • alizardx

        Historically, the best solution to surviving the collapse of an empire is bugging out to a nation of empire whose ruling class hasn’t discovered the fun and short-term profit in trashing it. Do it early and get out with one’s family and assets intact without even having to take major risks to do it. For practical purposes, the world is run by a single ruling class, as in single point of failure.

  • abrucer

    wow, pretty much sums up the problem Alizardx. why the hate?

    • alizardx

      you mistake contempt for hate if you mean what I think you mean

  • BuzzCoastin

    even if the Green Party or any other party
    got some attention & was included in the debates
    it wont stop the sheeple from going with either Coke or Pepsi
    a few will Do the Dew and vote Dr Pepper
    but most can’t get their addled brains past the prevailing paradigm

    and if the sheeple did vote in an outlier party candidate

    how would wee know?
    since the foxes count the hen house votes

    • alizardx

      While the two party system seems to be a constant in US history, it was once believed that the Democratic Party and the Whig Party http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whig_Party_(United_States) would forever dominate the system. The Whigs disappeared, and the Democratic-Republican Party split into the Democratic and Republican parties we know today. Could this happen again? I don’t know, either.

      The Republican marketing strategy has firmly attached it to a demographic that’s literally dying out, and they don’t show any signs of trying to reach out of it towards a pool of viable future voters. Their rational opportunists are likely to defect after the election. If the Democratic Party moves right, I could imagine it splitting, or maybe the Green Party suddenly starts growing drastically.

      The majority sees the current political order as eternal… until it isn’t.

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