Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Why the Green Party and our priorities

Looking past this election, a review of why we need to support the Green Party. Plus what our priorities need to be.

1. Modern industrial societies, including America, are facing multiple crises (environmental unsustainability and poverty alongside wealth, etc.)

2. Only the government, not private individuals or corporations, can bring about the needed changes. American government is not responsive to the long-term needs of the majority of the population. The political parties, including the Democratic Party, are hopelessly captured by wealthy corporate and wealthy interests, which prevent the government from taking effective action to solve or even alleviate the crises. The two major Parties are part of the problem, and cannot be changed.

3. Therefore a new political Party, the Green Party, must get control of the government in order to implement solutions to the environmental and social problems. The Green Party is defined by our 10 Key Values.

4. In order for the Green Party to get elected, we need to reform the electoral system. The current rules are set up to maintain the monopoly of the Republicans and Democratic Parties.

5. A. The first electoral change needed is Instant Runoff Voting (IRV) a.k.a. Ranked Choice Voting. IRV is needed whenever there is a single winner. IRV provides a better manifestation of voter intent when there are more than two candidates in a race. In other words, IRV prevents "spoiling" where 2 candidates who share some positions divide the votes, and another candidate who represents viewpoints held by a minority of the electorate thereby gets the most votes and thus is elected under the current rules.
B. The likely path of implementation is for IRV to be approved by Cities and Counties, then by States, and finally for Federal races.

6. Proportional Representation should be used, in whole or in part, for legislative bodies with many members. Example: the German Parliament elects half its members in single-seat districts, and half by proportional representation using the Party Slate. If the Green Party got 10% of the vote, then 10% of the proportional seats would go to Green Party candidates.

7. The goal of our democracy is to reduce or eliminate the influence of money on political decisions.Other reforms to be considered are:
A. campaign financing reform, to restrict the maximum contribution from corporations and the wealthy
B. public campaign financing
C. media reform that educates voters and reduces the need for campaign spending.
D. Citizen Assembly, where legislatures are selected randomly (like a jury pool), whose recommendations are all sent to the voter for confirmation.

8. Once our government has established the above reforms, then the democratic process would implement the goals of the Green Party, primarily by the voters electing candidates of the Green Party. Once Greens start getting elected, other Parties will start agreeing with our policies.

9. The highest priority of the Green Party should be promoting these electoral reforms, by education and by lobbying politicians.

10. The other high priority should be working on the local, nonpartisan, level to elect people who agree with our values and goals. Electing people on the local level will make possible in the future electing people to partisan state and federal offices.

+Orval Osborne


Wes said...

Blogging in the CA 11 Campaign has given me a new perspecitve regarding mainstream media and how they make decisions about which stories will get covered, which candidates will get an endorsement. I have watched good people agonize over editorial policy (endorsements) and then ultimately make an emotional and very wrong decision. I have watched good reporters skip over a story just because it was too similar to what had been done before.

The reason I bring this up in a comment on Orval's thoughtful piece, is that we need to become much more sophisticated in how we deal with the media, when we go to them and in how we use alternatives such as blogs or even You Tube. The latter has become a very useful tool for partisan commentary and it is very inexpensive. Some pieces, like on attacking Harold Ford, have gotten hundreds of viewings on You Tube and more attention that a permanent media buy on the 6:00 News.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the thoughts, and the comment.

Anonymous said...

Thanks a lot for the thoughts, and the comment.