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The Pacific Green Party of Oregon Welcomes Electoral Choice

"We need honesty in politics. Without honesty, democracy is lost."
--Tim Hermach, candidate for the PGP nomination to the US Senate


For immediate release

For more information contact:
Joanne Cvar, PGP Co-Chair, 541-563-3615,  cvar@oregonvos.net
Liz Trojan, PGP Co-Chair, 503-970-2069  elizat8@pobox.com

The Pacific Green Party of Oregon Welcomes Electoral Choice

The Pacific Green Party of Oregon held a heated debate about presidential strategy at its business convention on Saturday, February 21. A survey circulated earlier among PGP supporting members had given decidedly divided results, with activist Greens, including most of the convention-goers, supporting nomination of a strong presidential candidate who would run an aggressive campaign, but a near-majority of the survey respondents favoring no Green presidential candidate in this election year.

Sunday's announcement by Ralph Nader that he will enter the presidential race as an Independent put a dent in the plans of the segment of the Greens who still hoped to draft him as their candidate, but Green spokespersons welcomed Nader's decision, pointing out that he will take positions and raise issues of vital urgency in the 2004 race for the White House. Although the Green Party US has not taken an official position on whether to run a presidential candidate in the 2004 election, eight Green candidates are already vying for the Party's nomination. The final decisions will be made at the GP nominating convention in Milwaukee June 23-28. "In running a presidential ticket this year, we're keeping our eyes on the prize. Our mid-term goal is the creation of a multi-party political system, and the participation of a strong Green Party in that system," said Ben Manski, GP Co-Chair.

"Real people have real problems," said Tim Hermach, Native Forest founder and candidate for the PGP nomination for Ron Wyden's seat in the US Senate. "If the contest were only between Kerry and Bush, the issues important to the people wouldn't be raised. With Nader and the Greens in the campaign, we'll have a chance to hear about real solutions to those problems."

According to Blair Bobier, Oregon campaign manager for Green presidential contender David Cobb, "One of those problems is our unresponsive and irrelevant electoral system, which forces people to choose a candidate they really don't support because voting for a candidate of their choice would be a 'wasted vote.' A solution to the problem is a voting method known as Instant Runoff Voting, or IRV, which deals with multiple candidates and ensures that the winner of an election is supported by a majority of voters. IRV would encourage issue-oriented candidates, broaden the debate in our country, and discourage negative campaigning."

By the end of the day, PGP convention-goers had accommodated their differences and agreed to the following presidential strategy: "The Pacific Green Party of Oregon will place its emphasis on state and local campaigns for the 2004 election cycle. The Pacific Green Party of Oregon will abide by the results of the Green Party US Presidential Nominating Convention. If the National Convention nominates candidates for President and Vice-President for 2004, the PGP will place those candidates on the Oregon ballot."

"Ultimately, this campaign isn't about me or Ralph Nader or any single individual. It's about building the Green Party," says David Cobb. "Candidates may come and go but the Green Party is here to stay."

homepage: homepage: http://www.pacificgreens.org/