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Editorial: Greens look at the presidency; no easy answers

In this issue:

Matt Gonzalez Elected President of San Francisco Board of Supervisors
Behind the Bipartisan Drive Toward War in Iraq: The Council on Foreign Relations
Greens explore running anti-war candidates: Panel examines incumbents' records
It's time to vote Green
Editorial: Greens look at the presidency; no easy answers
Traditional ladder to electoral success is questioned
Unlikely Candidate, pt. II
Nader: Roots of a green champion
Excellent health care, coming soon to California
The Land is Our Mother: Brazil's Landless Workers' Movement
Letters to the Editor
News Clips
Greens and Green-minded people all over the country are addressing questions surrounding a Green party run for the presidency.

by Laura Wells

A factor making the subject controversial is Ralph Nader’s effect on the 2000 election. Although political academics are clear that several factors other than Nader’s campaign were responsible for George W. Bush’s occupancy of the White House, the public is not so sure. Democratic Party leaders orphaned millions of voters years ago when they shifted the party of the people toward centralized wealth and away from human services and environmental protection. These same leaders are now stepping up their efforts to keep the Nader misperception in the public mind.

In panels, debates and reflective dialogues, many questions are arising. The following, as reported by Mike Feinstein, were put forth at the Green Officeholders Conference in February.

If we cannot win the White House in 2004, how would a presidential campaign build the Green Party? Is the goal to exceed the national five percent threshold to qualify for public funds in 2008? Should Greens run at all knowing the party may risk being perceived as deliberate “spoilers”? If the goal is to remove Bush, should Greens run a nationally recognized individual like Nader, or a talented but relatively unknown candidate? Is there a progressive Democrat worth supporting? What bargaining chips would Greens want from Democrats, and what scenarios would induce an exit-the-race strategy? What happens if a candidate like Senator Joseph Lieberman wins the nomination?

This is an invitation to everyone—with particular encouragement to the under-represented groups listed in the call for candidates—join the dialogues, and to write to us.

Let’s reclaim—and update—our democracy.

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