Editorial: FAQ - What Does it Mean to Vote Green?Questions about why to register and vote Green and how to change the political system.
Compiled by editor Laura Wells.
Why change my voter registration now?
Send a message! If you basically agree with the Green Party values of social justice, non-violence, the environment, and real democracy, consider registering Green. You send a message to government representativesin City Council and Congressevery day they are in session. They are already getting plenty of well-funded messages to make war and centralize power. The more Greens in their districts, the more our reps can feel free to vote for justice, peace, the environment. Get voter registration forms at the Post Office.
Why not stick with the two parties weve got?
In this issue, see Kelly Fergusons article Multiparty political system seen as viable and Matt Stewarts Campus Greens take the lead in upgrading democracy. Also, read Michael Moores Stupid White Men; Steven Hills Fixing Elections; Ralph Naders Crashing the Party; Tom Atlees Tao of Democracy, Noam Chomskys and Howard Zinns books. Or take a look at www.votesmart.org and see how the majority of the Democrats in the U.S. Senate, including presidential hopefuls, voted for Bushs Big Four: war in Afghanistan, Patriot Act, war in Iraq, Homeland Security.
How about registering Decline-to-State, or Independent?
While these registrations do send a message that you are probably fed up with the political system, the problem is that your reps dont know if you think, We ought to bomb every country that has something we want, or Youve seen one tree youve seen them all. When you register Green, they know what your values are.
What about voting in the primary?
Primary elections are the only ones where your registration makes a difference, and the next one is over a year away, March 2004. Early in 2004, when the campaigns start heating up, and if you want to vote in the primary of one of the big parties, you can re-register. Meanwhile its like youve had a chance to cast your vote for Green values, all year long.
Why even vote?
This is the hardest question of all. On a personal note, when I was in my mid-twenties I refused to vote. I was tired of voting for people who told me one thing, got elected, and then did the exact opposite. But somewhere along the line I realized theythe empire-builders and the super-richdidnt want me to vote, and I started voting again. And years later, I realized things were not getting better, and I had an 8-year-old daughter. Then I realized there were alternatives, and I started working with people to create a healthier, saner, and more lovely world. Best of all, I realized it can be fun!
Are the Greens spoiling elections? Did Nader give us Bush?
No. Green governor candidate Peter Camejo wrote to the entire Democratic legislature and governor of California more than a year ago recommending they legislate Instant Runoff Voting. IRV enables people to vote for the candidate(s) they want and not help the candidate they fear. If you are looking for who gave us Bush, look at Gores inept campaign which lost him all three debates, his own state of Tennessee, Clintons state of Arkansas, and the votes of many traditional Democrats. Look at the massive election fraud in Florida; and look at the partisan Supreme Court decision to stop the recount. Which of those gave us Bush? Another questionand perhaps the answer comes from a study of psychology, culture, or mediais why do people, especially those who agree with him, blame Nader?
Are there solutions?
Yes. Write letters to newspapers and make contact with your city, state, and federal policymakers, especially your favorite Democrats. Organize citizen dialogues and create solutions and initiatives. Join the Greens in working to improve our democracy.
How do I contact the Greens?
See www.cagreens.org. Call 916/448-3437. Mail P.O. Box 2828, Sacramento, CA 95812. Welcome to the Greens!
Answers are the result of fielding questions from the Green Party Community Table at the farmers market, and from friends, who have great fears and great wishes for our world.
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