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How to Steal an Election -- The Green Version, 2004

We all know what happened four years ago. Arguably 2000's vote-rigging and Supreme Court usurpation of power had to be the most undemocratic event in the history of presidential politics...until last month that is.
July 10 / 12, 2004
 http://www.counterpunch.org/donnelly07102004.html


Bad as 2000 was, what would we be saying had a candidate been selected if he had garnered but 10% of the vote in his populous home state? What if he was selected using a system where one had to first pay one's way to a distant polling place? And, what if once there, one had to pay a "poll tax" just to be able to cast a vote?

Couldn't happen? Well, it just did. All this and more is the methodology whereby David Keith Cobb was chosen the presidential nominee for the Green Party last month--a guy who as part of his long career on the non-profit dole once was a paid consultant for something called The Center for Voting and Democracy!

Voting and Democracy

The Green Party came up with a National Convention Delegate system that is modeled on the undemocratic Electoral College whereby smaller states get representation in proportion far larger than that of one-person, one-vote. And, only delegates with the wherewithal to make the Convention actually get to cast their vote. Few states actually held a Primary to determine delegate apportionment. Most held some form of state mini-Convention which could be accommodated in a space the size of an average living room. In fact, that's where many did take place.

In my own state of Oregon, one had to get to a state convention--not at all an easy task for those outside the major metropolitan area of the expansive state. And, once there a donation was expected of all who wished to cast a vote. Even though Oregon has led the nation in the use of mail-in voting (it's used in all elections here), the Pacific Green Party has consistently rebuffed efforts and donations from members to use the same easy system to determine its delegation.

One major state did hold a Primary, and Cobb won about 5,000 votes in California, about 10% of the total cast in his home state. He garnered FEWER votes than that in all of the other state caucuses, conventions and primaries combined. Yet, somehow Cobb came to Milwaukee's National Green Convention with nearly one-third of delegates already committed to him. Peter Camejo, who won 33,000 votes in the California primary alone (over three times Cobb's national total) ended up with less than half the number of delegates that Cobb did. And, of course, only delegates with the wherewithal to get to Milwaukee got to vote.

In the end, Cobb gained a small majority of the almost 800 delegates who were able to attend and the ticket of Cobb/LaMarche was selected over Nader/Camejo in a voting procedure that makes the Bush 2000 selection look positively enlightened.

Nader Bashing

One would think that the candidate who had over 2.7 million national votes cast for him as a Party's standard bearer in 2000--the guy who did more to "build the Party" than anyone else--would be lionized by that Party -- forever. No. The anti-Nader vitriol at Milwaukee was on a par with that of the clueless Democrats. (Michael Moore's Fahrenheit 911 with the sorry scene of Al Gore presiding over his own demise when not one of the white millionaire senators of the Democratic Party would take up the Black Congressional Caucus' challenge to the Florida theft should put an end to the lies about Nader once and for all.)

Pat LaMarche of Maine, Cobb's vice presidential running mate, viciously told the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: "[Nader] walked away and said afterward, 'Oh, by the way, if you want to throw flowers at me, go ahead.'"

That was just before she told her home state Portland Press Herald "If the race is tight, I'll vote for Kerry. I love my country. But we should ask them that, because if Dick Cheney loved his country, he wouldn't be voting for himself."

And that my friends, is the real reason for the anti-democratic nomination. "Anybody But Bush" has fatally infected the Greens, as well as just about every other purported progressive political group.

The Safe-State Strategy

The self-promotional, self-deluded power brokers behind Cobb--some his long-time cronies on the non-profit dole--haven't a democratic bone in their bodies. One only need witness their misuse of the Party's arcane "consensus" rule-making, using it as a form of individual veto power until under what some have called the Iron Ass Syndrome kicks in and those who can outlast everyone else get to make the actual decisions.

These folks used their Iron Ass method expertise to bring about, not only the rigged nomination, but a bankrupt policy called the Safe-State Strategy. The Green Party is telling its members to vote for their loser ticket only in states where either Bush or Kerry have an unassailable lead. Implicit in this is that in any other states, the vote should go to Kerry, who represents everything the Greens supposedly oppose--pro-war, anti-civil liberties, pro-corporate, anti-youth, pro-'free' trade, anti-worker, etc.

Gloria Mattera, co-chair of the New York state Green Party, one of the big populous states like California, that was disenfranchised by the Cobbites scheme certainly doesn't buy it. "We're the Green Party. It's not our job to elect a pro-war Democrat into the White House," she told a rally of supporters.

Nor does Jason West, the Green Party mayor of New Paltz, N.Y., who gained national prominence by defying state law to marry gay and lesbian couples accept it. West noted, "I've been asking Democrats all over the country how the world would be a better place under President Kerry than President Bush, and no one's been able to give me a good answer. The problem with the 'safe states' strategy is it leaves unchallenged the illusion that John Kerry is a progressive who is going to do something very different from what Bush is doing now."

The Party's Over

So this is how it all ends. The Green Party abandons the anti-duopoly high road that gained their 2000 ticket 2.7 million votes--abandoning with it the hopes of pro-peace, pro-environment, pro-labor, pro-youth, pro-all those disenfranchised by the current system and settles for an undemocratic club of insider dilettantes.

Nader will get even more votes this time around. Cobb/LaMarche will get the less than .05% they seek. After the Fall selection, Nader will continue to fight for the unrepresented as he has always done. The Imperial wars and corporate predation will go on regardless of Regime Rotation. Real Green Party folks will have to pick up the pieces and start over. Cobb and his cohort will return to sinecures on the foundation dole.


MICHAEL DONNELLY of Salem, OR was once the Green Party candidate for Oregon's Fifth Congressional District. He is a contributor to CounterPunch's forthcoming book on the 2004 elections, Dime's Worth of Difference: Beyond the Lesser of Two Evils. He can be reached at:  Pahtoo@aol.com
counterpunch.org smears? 11.Jul.2004 00:00

imcista

I have REALLY stopped liking counterpunch.org. This guy Donnelly is as bad as a neocon when it comes to opposing media personalities. Counterpunch authors Donnelly and St. Clair are suddenly full of such seething hate.

I hope they would concentrate on a real issue--like the total national electronic voting fraud story, or how Greens had nothing to do with Florida--it was the rigged machines and the ballot purges by BUSH'S BROTHER JEB, AND the 13%+ demographic of Dems who CROSSED OVER to vote for Bush there because they absolutaely hated Gore! [see below link!]--then counterpunch would be useful in informing the country. Until, then lefty smears are just as bad--even worse--than neocon smears.

So it was a combination of Gore throwing the election by being such a lackluster candidate, and the voting machine scam.

Until counterpunch gets it right, forget them!

and from March, a much different counterpunch article on Greens/Nader:
 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/03/282024.shtml

and my comment on what went down there:

more choice, get used to it.; and my summary of Convention events 03.Jul.2004 00:30
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imcista link


I'm going to definitely vote Green anyway, because I WAS ALWAYS voting Green instead of 'voting Nader.'

It is the Green Party, instead of the Nader Party let's remember. Nader lambasts 'vote entitement' of the Democrats and Republicans, right? Why is it that he hypocritically claims the same 'vote entitlement' when it comes to the Greens?

Two quotes that particularly struck me: Counterpunch.org from on high claimed, without evidence:

"At their recent convention in Milwaukee, the Green Party, heavily infiltrated by Democratic Party operatives,..."

PROOF? HARDLY ANYTHING. Actually heavily infiltrated by Nader. Nader stole Camejo, that was what happened. And Nader failed to even show up, so what do you expect? It's Nader's fault if anything. Nader should apologize for the hateful things he has said about the Greens recently as well.

"Free of the Green Party's encyclopedic platform,---" [??]

Free? Free to do what? Talk talk talk?! That is perhaps the most left-leaning totalitarian statement I have seen passed off calmly in a long white. What a load of crock. Free of the Green Party's encyclopedic platform, all you are going to get is another media entertainment campaign courtesy of Nader. What this country requires is more policy based debate instead of debate on whether the image is right, sheesh.


-------------------------------

Sheesh, is Nader some some kind of requirement for the Greens to even exist? Give me a break. Go look up the greens 10 points for what they stand for. Supporting Nader is hardly one of their purposes.

-------------------------------


God, Americans are so FU*KING addicted to image based politics. Why is it that when Nader--who was so dismissive of the Greens he FAILED TO EVEN BOTHER TO ATTEND the convention, and is somehow incredulously seen as being a Green?

If he actually wanted to be on the ticket there, er, I think he should be there. He had other things to do I guess. Second, Nader has yet to even register as a Green party memeber. For all the doublespeak of Nader wanting to 'grow the Green party' he sees it only as some kind of whipping tool for the Democrats, instead of as a separate party with separate goals.

Sheesh, is Nader some some kind of requirement for the Greens to even exist? Give me a break. Go look up the greens 10 points for what they stand for. Supporting Nader is hardly one of their purposes.

To assume that a non-Green media personality like Nader is some kind of Green requirement, is rather funny. Greens are like the IMC movement, decentralization and building on that for federal politics. Greens are, like sustainabilty, and, I believe I am quoting a William Barry poem, will be filled with a million anonymous heroic acts--instead of a Fuhrer of the Greens. For green politics to work, it is a rejection of Fuhrer politics.

Image based politics are challenged! Horrors! So what? Let Nader run. I'm all for that. Actually what went down at the convention was what happened before it: NADER STEALS CAMEJO and messes up the Green ticket. Camejo would be a FINE national Green candidate, instead of only a VP candidate for Nader. Camejo stands on his own very well. Plus, actually, I think he is a much better speaker than Nader on the subject of the dead lockout against the plutocratic corporate Republicrats--and why third parties are a requirement on their own, instead of simply as a whipping tool against the plutocrats.

So, in short, let Greens run. Let Nader run. They are on the same side. I suggest you look up more accurate discussions of what went down at the Green convention. I'm pretty mad at Camejo attempting to lambast the Greens into supporting missing-in-action Nader, though I still admire Camejo.

more choice, get used to it.

Because I expect many unfortunately follow the counterpunch.org line above, here's another view:

here's what I make of the convention:


Cobb wins Green Party nomination, but not without fight
Andrew Broman 27 Jun 2004 05:46 GMT

[many excerpts from talks there, disagreements, positions, etc.--below--for the curious]

summary:
---------------------------------------------------------

In nominating David Cobb, a lawyer from Texas, the party rejected Nader's bid for an endorsement. At the annual convention, Cobb succeeded in portraying an endorsement as a sign of party weakness and called a vote for nomination as a matter of "institutional self-respect." Tension between the Nader and Cobb camps was especially palpable during a forum on Thursday, the first day of the convention inside the Midwest Express Convention Center. Part of [non-Green] Nader's appeal was that he picked a Green, Peter Camejo, a California investment banker, to be his running mate. ***Camejo was a candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination until Nader named him his running mate earlier in the week.***

[ONLY Because Nader announced the Camejo pick,] it took two rounds of voting for Cobb to secure a majority of delegates. Cobb had 408 votes [versus]...the "no nominee" option (through which Nader/Camejo could have secured an endorsement) [which] won 308 votes [a close second]. 51 delegates went to other candidates. Camejo was a candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination until Nader named him his running mate earlier in the week. At the convention, [first choice] Camejo's delegates went to the Nader's "no nominee" endorsement effort.

[Cobb]...said he is willing to be arrested if necessary in an attempt to be included in the presidential debates. The two parties have excluded third-party candidates in recent years, ever since Ross Perot's strong Reform Party bid in 1992.

During the candidate forum, Cobb drove home the point that Nader wasn't at the convention. "Folks let's acknowledge something: Ralph Nader is not here. That means something. The Nader-Camejo ticket is willing to campaign in all states, but as Populist Party candidate in some states, a Reform Party candidate in other states, an Independent Party candidate in other states. We don't know where as a Green Party, yet. We don't know, and he's still not here." . . .Camejo [who was there] countered: "Let me tell you something: Anti-Nader attacks do not help the Green Party. You say is Nader here? Nader is here in his spirit and the soul he's given to this party. You don't turn against allies. Know who the enemy is, and it's Bush and Kerry, not Nader." ...

Greens backing Cobb contended that Nader should have run as a Green, and that Nader's candidacy didn't have the same grassroots appeal that Cobb's did. Pat LaMarche, a Maine radio personality, won the party's vice president nomination. "What you got before you folks are working class people who have demonstrated as you have demonstrated that it is possible to build a political party without corporate money, without kowtowing, without selling out principles and values," Cobb said to a cheering crowd of about 600 people during his victory speech.

[Cobb] quickly sent an olive branch to Nader. "Ralph Nader has had more influence on my life than any human being who is not related to me. ... As a lawyer, I know that he virtually, single-handedly created the concept of consumer interest law and modern public interest law. We have much to thank Ralph Nader for, in this country and especially in this party." [Originally,] Nader...recruited Cobb to help [Nader's] previous [Green '00] candidacy...


---------------------------------------------------------




MILWAUKEE (IndyMedia) - The Green Party decided on Saturday that having one of its own unknowns run for president in November was more important than jumping onboard Ralph Nader's more visible independent candidacy.

In nominating David Cobb, a lawyer from Texas, the party rejected Nader's bid for an endorsement. At the annual convention, Cobb succeeded in portraying an endorsement as a sign of party weakness and called a vote for nomination as a matter of "institutional self-respect."

An endorsement would have allowed Nader to get his name on Green Party ballot lines. The Greens have access to the presidential ballots in 22 states. Nader now must depend on other third parties for ballot access or find ways onto the ballots through his own candidacy.

The decision was contentious, in part, because Nader ran as Green Party presidential candidate in 1996 and 2000 and gave the party exposure it wouldn't otherwise have enjoyed. Nader, who recruited Cobb to help his previous candidacy, wasn't a party member.

Greens backing Cobb contended that Nader should have run as a Green, and that Nader's candidacy didn't have the same grassroots appeal that Cobb's did. Pat LaMarche, a Maine radio personality, won the party's vice president nomination.

"What you got before you folks are working class people who have demonstrated as you have demonstrated that it is possible to build a political party without corporate money, without kowtowing, without selling out principles and values," Cobb said to a cheering crowd of about 600 people during his victory speech.

He quickly sent an olive branch to Nader. "Ralph Nader has had more influence on my life than any human being who is not related to me. ... As a lawyer, I know that he virtually, single-handedly created the concept of consumer interest law and modern public interest law. We have much to thank Ralph Nader for, in this country and especially in this party."

Nader's backers contended that Nader's name recognition, coupled with his history as a Green, would help unify a broad contingent of the electorate in voting against President Bush and Democrat John Kerry in November.

The debate over how best to defeat the two major parties has placed Greens in a difficult position because of concern that the party would take crucial votes from Kerry, widely perceived by corporate media as the best chance for beating Bush in the fall.

It took two rounds of voting for Cobb to secure a majority of delegates. Cobb had 408 votes and the "no nominee" option, through which Nader could have secured an endorsement, won 308 votes. 51 delegates went to other candidates.

Tension between the Nader and Cobb camps was especially palpable during a forum on Thursday, the first day of the convention inside the Midwest Express Convention Center. Part of Nader's appeal was that he picked a Green, Peter Camejo, a California investment banker, to be his running mate.

Camejo was a candidate for the Green Party's presidential nomination until Nader named him his running mate earlier in the week. At the convention, Camejo's delegates went to the Nader's "no nominee" endorsement effort.

During the candidate forum, Camejo accused Cobb of encouraging voters to select the "lesser of two evils" in battleground states. Camejo said to Cobb: "Be honest and just say it: You're for lesser evil. You say you're for voting for Kerry. Look, this is a fundamental difference we have. ... "

Camejo stressed that the Democrats and Republicans were two of the same, both controlled by corporations.

"Bush is backed by the corporate world, the same people who back the Democratic Party. And, the job of the Democratic Party is to protect Bush. They gave him 18 standing ovations in January in the State of the Union. How can you believe for one second that we should tell the people that what Bush represents can be removed by voting for people who are pro-Bush, who voted for everything that he believes," he said.

Camejo raised his voice above a cheering crowd and shouted, "There has to come a day when we say, 'Free at last!' I will never vote for them again!"

Cobb countered that voters in battleground states ought to vote "their conscience." "In roughly forty states the message ought to be: Progressives, don't waste your vote. A vote for John Kerry in forty states is utterly a complete waste," he said. "Now, in the other states, the message ought to be: Progressives, vote your conscience."

Nader has been accused of being a spoiler ever since Bush supposedly won Florida's deciding electoral votes in 2000, defeating Democrat Al Gore. On National Public Radio on Friday, it seemed that Nader was telling his supporters to vote for Kerry, in the end.

"I'm trying to show people who have this least-worst approach that not only are they going to get taken for granted, but they have a strategic bridge that they can build to make their vote more dear and get something in return by the Democrats," Nader said to the host, Robert Siegel.

Siegel asked Nader whether he was saying that would mean ultimately voting Democratic.

To which Nader responded, "Assuming it's not a three-way race, Ventura-style, you know, they can make their own mind. The point is: Why are they voting now? Why are they signaling to the Democrats that their vote is the Democrats and not get anything in return, not require the Democrats to go forward with a mandate."

During the candidate forum, Cobb drove home the point that Nader wasn't at the convention. "Folks let's acknowledge something: Ralph Nader is not here. That means something. The Nader-Camejo ticket is willing to campaign in all states, but as Populist Party candidate in some states, a Reform Party candidate in other states, an Independent Party candidate in other states. We don't know where as a Green Party, yet. We don't know, and he's still not here."

His voice rose as he said: "I make this pledge: ... I'm going to be a Green at the end of this convention no matter what happens. ... The party is bigger than any one person. It's bigger than any one election! It's bigger than that! We are on the move!"

Camejo countered: "Let me tell you something: Anti-Nader attacks do not help the Green Party. You say is Nader here? Nader is here in his spirit and the soul he's given to this party. You don't turn against allies. Know who the enemy is, and it's Bush and Kerry, not Nader."

Delegates were just as passionate in debating the merit's a Nader endorsement and Cobb candidacy.

Take, for example, Scott Kender of Pennsylvania and Chris Driscoll of Maryland, who could hardly get a word in without interrupting each other. They debated for a half-hour outside the doors of the Hyatt, where several convention events were being held.

Driscoll was responding to Kender's insistence that Greens ought to stick a Green Party member as a nominee: "Let's not be sectarian about this. Let's not pretend that we Greens are the only progressives in this country. ... That would be ridiculous. There are 8 million people in the country today, who say they will vote for Ralph Nader and Peter Camejo who are not Greens. ... Let's reach out to those people with a coalition that includes Greens, that includes the Reform Party."

Kender said: "We're already reaching out. We don't need Ralph Nader to do that for us. This is a bottom-up, not a top-down thing. ... You're saying we need Ralph Nader to guide us. Like we're nothing but children, like he's our shepherd and we're his sheep."

The convention often resembled a personality contest, but it also featured many issue-oriented workshops and sessions forming the party's platform. Cobb's number one issue is ending America's occupation in Iraq. Cobb also talked about the importance of breaking the media's habit of only covering the two major parties.

"There's one old adage going around and that is don't hate the media, become the media. There is a real genuine phenomena going on in this country now where the people are creating media institutions ourselves and telling the truth as they see it," Cobb said during a press conference after being nominated. "Our job is to build a movement that is so powerful, so broad, so real that the media can't ignore it."

He also said he is willing to be arrested if necessary in an attempt to be included in the presidential debates. The two parties have excluded third-party candidates in recent years, ever since Ross Perot's strong Reform Party bid in 1992.

"There is a ... deepening awareness not just of corporate power and corporate harm but of the fact that we have to build a nonviolent movement that would be akin to a revolution," Cobb said during the press conference.

---end---



e-mail::  andrew1bro@yahoo.com

 http://newswire.indymedia.org/en/newswire/2004/06/804886.shtml


A Breath of fresh air 03.Jul.2004 10:29

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Chamelion link


Thank you for that comment above. I am so tired of democrats and naderites alike being so disdainful of what the Green Party decides to fucking do. Are we supposed to take you seriously? We must present such a threat to receive this sort of scolding.

I don't get it. The dems demand you line up behind them, like you fucking owe them something for cowtowing to every bad republican idea over the last __ years and pimping our democracy out to corporate amerika. Then you get this stupid shite from the nader-come-lately crowd that demands obedience to lord and savior Nader H. Christ--because he actually has fucking prayer. Hmmm, if only everybody voted, then...

Maybe we're a political party. Maybe we'd like to run people who want to build that party. And possibly, we're trying to be a little more long-term than 2004. We think everyone else is self-destructing quite well on their own.

I do like reading opinions such as Mr. Sinclair's though. It highlights why the left will never get its shit together. Is it possible for there to be multiple simultaneous actions that can be advancing a common goal? If not, we're fucked.


 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2004/07/291915.shtml
Counterpunch.org missing from this, though other LEFTY SMEAR org's are here...
Counterpunch.org missing from this, though other LEFTY SMEAR org's are here...

Nader doublespeaks on 'growing parties' : words fail to equal his actions 11.Jul.2004 00:15

imcista

Donnelly wrote:

"[Cobb] garnered FEWER votes than that in all of the other state caucuses, conventions and primaries combined. Yet, somehow Cobb came to Milwaukee's National Green Convention with nearly one-third of delegates already committed to him. Peter Camejo, who won 33,000 votes in the California primary alone (over three times Cobb's national total) ended up with less than half the number of delegates that Cobb did. And, of course, only delegates with the wherewithal to get to Milwaukee got to vote."

imcista responds:

Donnelly asks how can this be? Well, it was Nader's fault for stealing Camejo days before the Green convention, and throwing them for a loop. Donnelly selectively remembers: he fails to tell the public that it took two different votes for Cobb to get that much and that the committed Camejo block moved over to 'no one' once Nader stole him from the Green party.

Donnelley wrote:

"Nader Bashing: One would think that the candidate who had over 2.7 million national votes cast for him as a Party's standard bearer in 2000--the guy who did more to "build the Party" than anyone else--would be lionized by that Party -- forever. No. The anti-Nader vitriol at Milwaukee was on a par with that of the clueless Democrats."

imcista responds:

Nader failed to even SHOW UP for the Green nominating conference. If he wanted it, he should be there. Camejo was there however. It's a shame Nader stole him for his Independent Candidacy. If Nader were actually interested in growing parties, hey, do you think he would join a few, or keep running Independent Candidacies? Nader's public political actions are at odds with what he would like you to believe. All he sees is an abstract 'third party' position that he can utilize to maintain some kind of rod against the Democrats. That is all he sees third parties useful for, and he will use them all to do it. This is called aiding the Democrats instead of 'growing third parties'. If he wants to grow one, tell him to plant his feet in one--any one!

what are we talking about here? 11.Jul.2004 03:11

a little reminder

Al Gore didn't LOSE in 2000.

Al Gore GAVE UP in 2000. He CONCEDED the election. After he WON it.

You think Kerry's any different?

Al Gore was a SPINELESS, JIM-CROW-APPEASING PIECE OF SHIT when it MATTERED.

Kerry is, if anything, a bigger, more horrible embarrassment of a candidate than Michael Dukakis or Al Gore ever were. You think Kerry will stick through a messy, corrupt succession fight?

If not, what good is he?

Green Party Decline Has Already Started. 11.Jul.2004 08:19

anonymous

The GP had every right to nominate David Cobb. However , the results will be devestating.
Greens made 43 state ballots plus DC in 2000. The GP will likely gain ballot status in only a few states other than the residual Nader2000 (22 plus DC) states its currently on. Thus far, they failed to submit petitions in Texas, Arizona, Illinois , Indiana; they won't submit them for Ga, NC, Pa, Ok, and this list will continue to grow.

Visit the state links on the GP website. There is little indication of organized activity going on. In fact, many state sites consist of only a home page and an email contact. The finanicial information link on the GP web site indicates the party has raised only 166K thru May 4th. With Cobb's nomination, the GP will experience a decline in members, volunteers and donors.

The GP/Cobb "safe states strategy" is a joke. The "antiwar" GP/Cobb is encouraging GP voters to vote for prowar kerry in contested states. GP Vice President,Pat LaMarche may not vote for herself if the race is tight in Maine.

In my home state, Nader receieved 12,000 write in votes in 2000. Cobb will probably not reach 200. Nader recieved 2.7 million votes nationally. Cobb will be lucky to reach 100,000. But somehow the GP is suppose to grow locally and the Green Party expects to be taken seriously.

The GP had a once in a lifetime opportunity and they blew it. There won't be any second chances.

Nader did what Gore did (same reason?) 11.Jul.2004 08:37

Mike stepbystpefarm <a> mtdata.com

Four years ago I listened to Gore's speech accepting the nomination waiting to see if he was going to appeal for support from the "green" voters. Or (as he did) was he going to make them no offers of including any of their issues, instead figuring he could get their votes on the "lesser evil" basis without promising anythign in exchange.

Maybe Al was "right" (politically wise) to do that. Maybe it's true that there is so little support for the "green" issues that including them would have cost more votes than it gained. In which case he was "fixed" and did the best he could in the situation. I'm forced to conclude that this was at least the calculation if not the reality (remember, Gore started out with reasonable "environmental" credentials so he wouldn't have had to promise MUCH).

Now we have just seen Nader do the same thing. OK, maybe he's a pure "progressive" who doesn't consider the "green" issues important or real (all an artifact of capitalism; if we elimiante injustice between humans then the environmental crisis will vanish like smoke). Maybe he wasn't comfortable having to run "green" last time. What he did was ask for Green Party support based upon their "progressive" values, in effect suggesting that they abandon their "green" values, and he did that asking without even the courtesy of a personal appearance/speech. THAT WAS A MESSAGE (intentional). Keep in mind that unlike Canada we here do not have a purely "progressive" (ungreen) party and that for that reason the coaltion making up the US Green Party is shaky -- some in there would prefer that it fill the role of a "pure progressive" party. Again probably Nader figured that he was doing the best he could to obtain THOSE potential votes by being clear about where he stood (not making any gestures towards the "green" interests).

Politics is "hardball". If politicians can get your votes "for free" they will, since any concessions toward agreeing to represent YOUR interests are bound to anger somebody else who thinkks that wasted energy that could better be applied to THEIR pet interests -- or who are even opposed to yours. At some point, if the available candidates refuse to offer to represent your interests then you have to decide whether you will accept that (support them anyway) or demonstrate that you can exact a price -- they either DO agree to take your interest on board or they whistle for your vote and maybe lose the election (or make a poorer showing, etc.). They will of course try to prevent this by lesser of evils arguments, pointing out OTHER of your interests whihc will then go begging (ones that they DO share with you anyway), etc.

IMHO Nader got the response from the Green Party that he deserved, just as Gore did four years ago. But that might still have been their best foot forward. I'm NOT an expert in analyzing the distribution of political opinion in the population -- politicians DO usually have those whose special expertise that is plus their own "sense of the situation" (something very useful if a pol wnats to be successful).

"imcista" = totally baseless, unsupportable smears. 11.Jul.2004 13:02

kilroy

give it up.

CounterPunch does not fall into the libertarian/paranoiac category of "paid off Rockefeller Foundation left-wing front organizations for the New World Order".

as far as validity/efficacy of the 'vote' itself - especially in the electoral college/Supreme Court (in 2000)-defined pResidential Selection - there's a lot of work to be done on voting machines:

16,000 Gore votes vanished in Volusia County, FL thanks to Diebold's (Republican-owned/stockheld company) electronic voting machines.

 http://portland.indymedia.org/en/2003/10/273791.shtml

 http://www.dissidentvoice.org/Articles9/Thompson_Diebold-2000-Fraud.htm


as far as pResidential Selection 2000,

the Bush administration was never even elected, but appointed to the White House by the US Supreme Court.

8 million registered Democrats nationwide voted for Bush/Cheney in 2000.

13% of Florida's Democrats (more than 200,000 of them) voted for Bush.

8% of Florida's Republicans voted for Gore.

Of those who voted for Clinton in 1996, 16% voted for Bush in 2000.

Of those who voted for Clinton in 1996, only 1% voted for Nader in 2000.

Of those who voted for Dole in 1996, only 4% voted for Gore in 2000.

Of those who voted for Dole in 1996, only 1% voted for Nader in 2000.

Of those who voted for Perot in 1996, 10% voted for Nader in 2000.

watch closely, "imcista" the opening 10 minutes of Michael Moore's film "Fahrenheit 9/11": the Congressional Black Caucus appealing to US Senators for justice and human rights in the poorest, least-represented districts of our nation.

it was Democrats - not independent, third-party voters - that gave the presidency to Bush.


Greens on the wane 11.Jul.2004 15:54

indy

The safe states strategy is not only dividing the Green Party but makes the unfortunate statement that the Green Party has fallen for the irresponsible idea that anybody is better than Bush. By saying that anybody is better than Bush, then you are saying that satan could march right in and have a seat in the oval office. By putting your attention on what you hate, you are allowing the next corporately owned figurehead to take over with little if any motivation to change the status quo. We had anybody but Bush in Gore and now here we are 4 years later with anybody but Bush Kerry. Yes, Edwards takes some of the stiffness out of Kerry the cadaver, but he won't help to return the country back to some form of democracy. It is sad to see the Greens take this turn. For me, it means going the independent route.

For those fed up 11.Jul.2004 16:50

Travis Diskin

Please consider getting active in the Nader volunteer movement here in Oregon. There are no real financial resources to ensure that an indy voice is on the ballot here, so it comes down to grass-root effort and volunteer time to make it a reality.

Contact me at  naderballot@comcast.net

Travis

Good Lord What a Bunch of BS 11.Jul.2004 18:55

another PDX Green

Please - MICHAEL DONNELLY don't think we'll put up with these lies.

"In my own state of Oregon, one had to get to a state convention--not at all an easy task for those outside the major metropolitan area of the expansive state. And, once there a donation was expected of all who wished to cast a vote. Even though Oregon has led the nation in the use of mail-in voting (it's used in all elections here), the Pacific Green Party has consistently rebuffed efforts and donations from members to use the same easy system to determine its delegation"

That is 100% false. The PGP is required by law - the OR secretary of state to nominate at convention we can't hold an actual mail-in primary - the state won't fricken pay for it! 2004 was actually the first year the Pacific Green Party used a mail in proxy voting option for it's convention - at the PGP's own expense. I think all of 3 people out of about 14,000 registered greens that were mailed forms actually sent them back and were counted at the convention. This may have only been for candidate nominations and not delegate nominations but give them some credit for christ's sake...a donation was not expected to vote for nominations but there are requirments that only supporting members vote on some items (supporting members voluneer time OR send in a donation every year).

Green wimps 11.Jul.2004 19:30

George Bender

I was one of those registered Greens when you had your convention, and I didn't get any form in the mail to vote on who we would nominate. I also couldn't afford to go up to Portland for the convention.

I wonder if the Greens did any kind of membership polling before they made their decision?

I feel that the Greens caved in to the Democrats and sold us out when they nominated what's-his-name. Apparently they have no stomach for fighting the Democrats. Last week I changed my voter registration from Green to independent, and I won't be voting for any Green candidates. Or probably anyone or anything else if Nader isn't on the ballot. I've pretty much given up on state and national politics. Apparently we can't keep any kind of organization going that won't be taken over by wimps.