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Call for the Formation of a Green
Committee for Democracy and Independence
by Forrest Hill
There is real concern among many Green Party members that decisions made by the national party leadership do not reflect the major view of the membership. In particular, many believe that the voting rules developed by the national Coordinating Committee (CC) led to the nomination of a presidential candidate supported by a small minority of Green Party members. These rules created a voting system that drastically undermined the political power of the majority of registered Greens in the country in order to ensure the party ran a lower profile candidate for president in 2004.
While we support the right of Greens to hold the view that we should not run national candidates whose challenge will hurt the Democratic Party’s chances of winning the presidency, we believe this current is a minority view in the party. Unfortunately, due to the fact that the number of representatives on the CC from each state is based on its Electoral College vote and not on the size of its Green membership, those supporting a lesser evil strategy currently hold the majority of power.
To counter this current in our leadership body, we are calling for the formation of a Green committee for Democracy and Independence (“GDI”). We believe that such a committee is necessary because there exist within our party conflicting views over political orientation and the role we should play in American politics. To maintain our party’s unity we must ensure that all viewpoints are respected, all members can participate fully in the institutions of the party, and all decisions truly reflect the will of the Green Party membership.
To build a true alternative party for peace, social and economic justice, and the environment, we must institutionalize policies that declare our independence from the two corporate parties. We therefore call on Greens to join us in the formation of the Greens for Democracy and Independence caucus around the four points outlined below.
…we must ensure that all viewpoints are respected, all members can participate fully in the institutions of the party. . .
It is our hope that at the next national conference the Green Party will overwhelmingly vote to democratize our internal policies in order to protect the rights of all our membership and maintain party unity. We ask all Greens to consider our proposals and to declare their support for internal democracy and party independence, regardless of their political views on other issues.
For internal democracy: one person, one vote
The choice of our Presidential ticket and our national leadership bodies must be based on the principal of “one person one vote.” We must oppose all selection processes that disenfranchise members based on their location, or the registration laws of their state. All Greens must be fully respected with equality. This can only be achieved by implementing policies that assure every member’s vote is counted equally.
Delegate selection must respect the vote of the rank-and-file
The election of delegates to our national nominating convention and other national gatherings must reflect the will of the membership. All delegations based on the vote of the membership must be chosen through proportional representation. Candidates who receive votes must be able to select their own delegates. Delegates to national conventions cannot be pre-selected. They must be elected for each convention and can only represent candidates they voted for in the primaries or caucuses.
Delegates who oppose a proposal or a particular candidate cannot be allowed to represent that candidate or proposal. Conventions must be sovereign. Delegates who represent the rank and file, the clearest expression of the will of our membership, must be free to determine the rules and procedures, agenda, and policy decisions of each convention.
Proportional representation in leadership bodies
The Green Party should strive for proportional representation of elected officials on the national Coordinating Committee (CC). The number of delegates allocated each state on the CC should reflect the size and strength of its membership in as representative a manner as possible, to ensure the party has the full support and cooperation of its members.
The domination of leadership bodies by one current not reflective of the Party as a whole is divisive and undemocratic. To help assure leadership bodies are inclusive, all candidates for national leadership posts must disclose their views on party issues to the membership.
Diversity representation within the Green Party must include political diversity as well as gender, race and sexual orientation.
The Green Party must declare its complete independence from the two corporate-dominated political parties. The Green Party must declare as policy that it does not endorse, support or urge votes for any partisan candidate of either the Democratic or Republican Party.
Green Party members as “individuals” or as ad hoc committees may support any candidate from any party they wish, but the Green Party as an independent entity must not.
The Green Party as a party may work with, show respect for, and act together with members or elected officials from the corporate controlled parties on specific issues; however, this support must not include an endorsement of their candidates.
Steering Committee members who represent the Party to the public and the Green Party Presidential candidates must pledge not to work for, support, fund raise or call for a vote for candidates of either of the two corporate parties.
The Green Party welcomes collaboration and may involve itself in joint campaigns, or form electoral blocs with non-Greens. Such efforts must be with independent or other non-corporate- sponsored third party candidates whose values reflect key components of the Green Party platform.
Forrest Hill has served on the Coordinating Committee for the Green Party of California, is a member of the State Finance Committee and the Campaign Support Fund Committee. He was a campaign coordinator for Nader 2004. He has a Ph.D. in Oceanography from MIT and has worked as an environmental consultant to ensure compliance with the Endangered Species Act and improve water quality in California rivers.
1. We ask individual Greens and appropriate Green Party institutions, locals, chapters, and states who support these founding points to subscribe to the GDI list serve at: http://lists.riseup.net/www/subrequest/gdi
[27 dec 04]