The other third party, on the left

Thursday, November 04, 2010 - 07:35 AM the Green Party. Since their gubernatorial candidate got more than 50,00 votes yesterday, the Green Party will now have, for the next four years, a designated row on the ballot.

So, who is this newly established party?

They're self-identified progressives, who, in many ways, hold traditionally liberal fiscal and social positions. They fell out of favor with some voters after Ralph Nader ran for president on their line, spoiling Al Gore's Democratic bid. The presidential bid by controversial former Rep. Cynthia McKinney only further damaged the party.

But in New York, the party is back, thanks to Howie Hawkin's passionate performance in the only gubernatorial debate this year. And since Cuomo didn't face a serious challenge from his Republican opponent, a lot of voters were free to vote for one of the other candidates in order to make a statement.

Thus, the Green Party is back.

A spokesman for the Green Party told me they're not like the other progressive political party, the labor-backed Working Families Party, mainly because Greens want to run their own candidates. WFP often cross-endorses Democrats (and withhold their WFP line from Democrats as a form of punishment).

"Very few people in the party are fans of fusion voting," Green Party co-chair Eric Jones told me. "We try to run as many of our candidates as possible, rather than run just the same guy on a different line."

"When you look at the issues, we have a lot in common," with the WFP, sayd Jones. The agendas of the two parties are "almost identical" he said.

WFP executive director Dan Cantor emailed supporters this afternoon, reasserting his party's role as a guiding force to pull Democrats further left.

"The only force powerful enough to push back against an emboldened Fox News, corporate Republicans and overly-timid Democrats is you," Cantor wrote.


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Comments [10]

Alistair Skeffington

Feel free to visit It will answer your questions. The Green Party made history in the United States when it ran a ticket with two patriotic women for president and vice president in 08. It is a party of inclusion where a proud citizen like Farheen Hakeem can be elected as Co-chair to the National Green Party and still wear her hijab.
The Democrat Party is a suburb of the Republican Party. They are financed by the same interests. It was the Democrats who gave us the Ku Klux Klan and fought hard to keep Blacks from voting. Young African Americans did not turn out to vote like in 08 because they have had it. The Republicans are non existent in Black communities and it is surreal to believe that the Republicans around the country are doing their utmost to mirror among their members the mosaic that is the US.
Because of Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente (Vaya Boricua!!!) many more African Americans, Native Americans, Latinas and Latinos just to keep the list short, know that they can vote their values and hope with the Green Party. If you come across anyone who doubt the integrity and resilience of this party created to save our country, tell them that we cannot be bought, not even when you put $10 million dollars on the table. I look forward to see you one day at a Green event. Cheers.

Nov. 05 2010 11:04 PM
Ann Link

The most flagrant example is the 9/11 comment she never made, but that was reported across the country, along with later misrepresentations by newspapers regarding the 9/11 briefing

Nov. 05 2010 06:32 PM

can we do both?
it'll be fun / informative
to see the difference between the two.
where should we start?

Nov. 05 2010 01:51 PM
Ann Link

Are you referring to news reports of comments she supposedly made or her actual comments? There's been a big disconnect between the two.

Nov. 05 2010 01:35 PM

do you know Alistair Skeffington. she commented above and also recommended American Blackout (a documentary i hadn't heard of before - which may say something about how much time i spend in the comments section versus how much time i spend in culturally enlightened settings).

maybe i'll rent it (and finally check out that netflix thing people are talking about).

Sweeden has 7 parties
Germany has 4 or 5.

if they had proportionate representation in USA, what do you think the makeup would look like:
Dem & GOP would obviously have seats, but which "third" parties emerge as the major forces?

conservatives? working families / progressives ? tea party? rent is too damn high? independence?

Nov. 05 2010 01:07 PM

I think it's fair to say you follow McKinney's career pretty closely. I'll let you keep us updated on her latest comings and goings.

as for your other point:
"The Green Party platform has everything that African Americans and all other white and non-white minorities of the country need to have in voice in government."

can you elaborate?
and what do you feel is creating that need? how are the other political parties (Democrats, Republicans, Independence, etc.) not filling that void?

Nov. 05 2010 01:03 PM

I think I'd enjoy keeping a runny tally of McKinney's comments, and how they bear out. Who's up for it?

Nov. 05 2010 12:52 PM
Ann Link

During her presidential run, Cynthia McKinney was pilloried by news media by suggesting that an investigation be done on claims of murder by government officials in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. Now that five New Orleans policemen have confessed to the murder of innocent civilians trapped on a bridge after the hurricane and numerous others charged with those murders and the subsequent cover-up, will McKinney be covered more accurately by reporters such as yourself? The Green Party nominated her because she has the courage to stand up for her beliefs regardless of the consequences, which is more than you can say for most elected officials these days.

Nov. 05 2010 12:46 PM
Dave Schwab

Germany has one of the most interesting systems of proportional representation, which manages to combine local and proportional representation. Sweden also has an interesting system, with at least 7 stable parties (compared to 4 or 5 in Germany). Most European countries use proportional representation, except for the English-speaking ones.

As for the 2000 election, have you actually looked into the issue, or do you think vote fraud is something that only exists in history books? The Florida GOP systematically disenfranchised tens of thousands of voters, the overwhelming majority of whom were African-American. If you are interested in the ugly truth, I can recommend some materials, starting with the excellent documentary American Blackout.

Nov. 05 2010 10:51 AM
Alistair Skeffington

Perhaps you need to watch the Sundance award winning documentary AmericanBlackout. You will have a chance to see and hear the true question that she asked the administration. Not the version circulated on mainstream media. If Fox news and CNN happen to be your references, you will also see how she was vindicated.
As for the so-called bumpy tenure in congress, that did not stop AIPAC from sending her thank you letters when she voted her principles. Heaven knows, unlike Cheney, she never shot anyone in the face and unlike Rep. Patrick Kennedy, she never tried to drive thru a check point while under the influence of God knows what to go vote at 3 AM when nothing was in session but the bars of Washington DC. Could you believe that not only he lived to talk about it, he got a ride home from Capitol police? I would like to see a black member of congress try that stunt drunk or sober. Please if one must talk about bumpy tenure in congress, let's not mention McKinney at all.
There are cameras everywhere on the Hill and at every checkpoints. We have never seen the photograph of the officer who claimed that McKinney beat him up. As for the lapel that members must wear, they are sold at the gift store in the basement. Members are to be recognized by face and name as stated in the employee handbook. Perhaps you should go interview the Sergeant at Arms and ask him how many times over twelve years did he had to go to the congresswoman's office to issue an apology on behalf of a certain group of his officers who seem to be unable to recognize her. Ask him how many times did he had to post a picture of her at every post so certain officers can recognize her when she walks by. As for by passing the metal detector line, it is done by every member, especially if they are going to the chamber to vote. That privilege is afforded under the Constitution. Just like you, people who write about that incident never ask her what happened, they just ran with what is said on the 6 o'clock news.

As for the debate, I am sure they had to struggle about the question posed by the moderator. But every once in a while, officials of the government have to issue apologies for wrong doings of the past. I am sure that the people of Peru and the relatives of victims of the Tuskegee experiment will reassure you that sometimes, rogue elements of the government can commit terrible acts. That is why we must all be vigilant and hold our officials accountable.
The Green Party platform has everything that African Americans and all other white and non-white minorities of the country need to have in voice in government. Together under the Green banner, we become the majority, because there are more of us them. We can do without your seed of hate and discord. The Green Party is open to all. The Green Party is the imperative, not the alternative.

Nov. 05 2010 01:18 AM

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