The recallBecause of the Green Party's participation in the recall election we have gained new respect and sympathy from millions of people in California and throughout the United States.
By Peter Miguel Camejo
Greens made history in the recall election on several levels. In part because of the 5.3% of the vote we received in November 2002, and in part because of the nature of the recall, we were immediately considered a major candidate by the media. The Party has reached this status not because of any one specific event or candidate but because of our overall following and successes in California.
The televised debates allowed millions to hear and see a Green candidate for the first time. In the first debate I decided against trying too hard to make an impression. We needed to show that we are sensible, serious, calm, and that we have a clear message. We had a liaison committee with the Green Party of California leadership, which held conference calls to advise me before many of these key moments in the campaign. In those discussions we made the crucial and correct decision not to attack anyone. Focusing on Arnold and attacking him in a manner that could be perceived as a personal attack would make him the center of attention and win him sympathy. If all the candidates had stayed on message, the lack of substance in Arnold's responses would have been clearer. There was another policy I followed that had a very positive result for us. I made an effort to give positive comments when another candidate made proposals or points that we Greens feel were valid.
Arnold Schwarzenegger won, and most of his votes did not come from Republicans.
The people who run the United States remain in power regardless of which of their parties they put in charge at any one time. When they see they can get a Republican elected, they go for it. But if the people begin to protest, they bring the Democrats in to co-opt, disorient and prepare the way for a return of the Republicans. This dynamic is not a "conspiracy," but is simply the result when the leadership of both parties maintain this money-driven system. Without "liberal" and "progressive" Democrats, the usefulness of the Democrat Party to their corporate rulers would be sharply diminished. They need the Democrats to co-opt and thus de-mobilize mass social movements like the civil rights, peace, women's rights and labor movement.
The Green Party, on the other hand, is the electoral expression of living mass movements, like the peace, women's rights, gay and lesbian, social justice, civil rights and civil liberties movements. Greens work to keep these movements independent and to increase the power of people. The Green Party stands as a genuine force for democracy, free of the influence of money. We do not waiver or lower our banners because others panic. The next generation must see people who stand firm by their principles. The youth who vote for us today will be tomorrow's leaders in all the major social movements. We are planting the seeds; they must be watered, not trampled. We made one more step forward in this campaign. ###
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