Many people are looking for a new direction, believing that the Green Party is losing ground due to the Nader effect. While that effect is real, I only had to mention that I was a Green on Daily Kos to be invited to take a hike, or at least read the FAQ which said that it was a Democratic Blog.
One of the suggestions is that we focus on (a) electoral reform and (b) that we work on "the local, nonpartisan, level to elect people who agree with our values and goals." That is the gist of Orval Osborne's post earlier this week.
After participating in and observing the congressional races in the 4th and 11th Districts in California, I would also say that we need to imrove the manner in which we go about recruiting candidates, defining the issues on which to build a campaign and executing. I don't think that we do well enough at any of these elements of gaining political power to be able to call ourselve a party of the future.
The 4th CD has a 48 - 30 edge in registration, with the Republicans holding a 16 percentage point lead. Yet, in the last election, the results were Doolittle (R) 49%, Brown (D) 46%, Warren (Lib) 5%. While Doolittle is a seriously flawed candidate, the manner in which Brown was able take the battle into Doolittle's front yard was a wonder to see. Both Brown and Warren were able to pickup votes fare beyond their registration numbers (0.69% for the Libertarians.)
So, the opportunity is there for a well run campaing to do far exceed the party base.
Then, in San Joaquin County, the Clean Water Action Project did a great job of registering new voters. They worked form June through to Oct and registered over 10,000 voters, of which >5,900 were Hispanic. The interesting fact, though, is that most of the Hispanics did NOT register Democratic. They Declined to State their preference.
There is a great opportunity to build on that fact in the San Joaquin Valley. The area from Stockton to Bakersfield comprises 6 Congressional Districts and 5 State Senate Districts. The phrase that I have heard from Hispanic leadership in the Stockton area is that they are tired of the Democratic Party taking them for granted.
In the 34th AD, David Silva pulled 2,399 votes in a district with only 755 Greens.
So, I will continue to build up a list of people, issues, contacts and hope that we can take advantage of an opening that is truly there.