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Editorial: FAQ - What Does it Mean to Vote Green?

In this issue:

Turning the Green Party Black in 2003
Green candidates win fifty percent of local races
State election analysis presents challenges to Party growth
Whither To Grow?
Greens grow as a state force in California politics
PATRIOT Act takes US to McCarthyism, and beyond
Green Party of the U.S. Opposes Iraqi Invasion
Multiparty political system needed now
UCD Campus Greens take leading role in upgrading democracy
Endorsements matter in City Council race
Editorial: FAQ - What Does it Mean to Vote Green?
Editorial: Fear of the 'enemy' masks the danger within
Review: The War on Freedom - How and Why America was Attacked September 11, 2001
News Clips
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 representatives—in City Council and Congress—every 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 we’ve got?
In this issue, see Kelly Ferguson’s article “Multiparty political system seen as viable” and Matt Stewart’s “Campus Greens take the lead in upgrading democracy.” Also, read Michael Moore’s Stupid White Men; Steven Hill’s Fixing Elections; Ralph Nader’s Crashing the Party; Tom Atlee’s Tao of Democracy, Noam Chomsky’s and Howard Zinn’s 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 Bush’s “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 don’t know if you think, “We ought to bomb every country that has something we want,” or “You’ve seen one tree you’ve 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 it’s like you’ve 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 they—the empire-builders and the super-rich—didn’t 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 Gore’s inept campaign which lost him all three debates, his own state of Tennessee, Clinton’s 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 question—and perhaps the answer comes from a study of psychology, culture, or media—is 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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