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Are the Greens Serious about building a political party?

DCblogger's picture

This is an honest question.

I'm just hoping for ONE alternative on the Kansas Ballot

So the details of her campaign are kind of irrelevant to my current position. My problem with her campaign is my inability to talk to it. I've asked about their Kansas Ballot intensions but, Haven't heard back.

There are only three possible answers to this question: (1)Yes, I will be on the ballot in Kansas, (2) We are in the process of gathering signatures to be on the ballot in Kansas, please contact _________ if you are interested in helping us collect signatures, or (3)We do not anticipate being on the ballot in Kansas, please sign up for our email list for the latest news about our campaign. Ignoring a inquiry is a sign of a party that does not recognize the obligations of being a political party.

Being a political party is more than forming a platform of principles and identifying policies that would put those principles into practice. Being a political party means doing the basics of party building work. So far the Green Party has not shown the ability or even the interest in recruiting the sort of people who are interested field operations or basic support work such as maintaining a data base of voters along with a data base of past volunteers (or integrating the two which is so simple even I can do it).

I hear so many complaints from emergent parties, not just Greens, about how the press won't take them seriously, but when a reporter cannot find your web site, not even a blogspot blog with a email contact, when a reporter never sees your volunteers at state fairs, local parades or other obvious opportunities for visibility, when they don't see your party carrying out the normal functions of a political party, then they will not treat you like one.

And political candidates cannot be expected to set this up on their own. In limited cases, on a local level, some candidates will arrange that these tasks be carried out, those are the candidates who will win, or at least push past 10% of the vote. But it is precisely the job of local, or at least state committees to put this infrastructure in place so that each candidate is not expected to reinvent the wheel. Until the Greens understand that this sort of drudgery is part of building a movement, then they will continue to be marginalized and quite frankly deserve to be marginalized.

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Valley Girl's picture
Submitted by Valley Girl on

I know this is not a nice answer, and insults many who have their hearts in the right place. And, it does not address your major point about doing the hard work.

And, I am only going from my own few long ago data points that involve Green Party presidential candidate Cynthia McKinney, 2008.

Cynthia McKinney was my HR. I know she has espoused all kinds of causes dear to the liberal heart, but as a rep. she was just plain awful. The only Member of Congress who did not have a website for contact. She meddled in things in the district that had absolutely nothing to do with her (the firing of a Business School Dean, for example), while neglecting the real needs of the district. Everything she seemed to do was ABC- "All about Cynthia". When she got defeated, if was ABC- "Anyone but Cynthia".

I know there are some who hold the view that there were Big Conspiracies operative in her defeat. Big Conspiracies led by People from out of state. Perhaps there were. But, the people who buy into the Big Conspiracies model were not living in her district. She was turfed out on her own merits, or lack thereof.

When she became the Green Party Presidential Candidate in 2008 I wondered what the Green Party was about. Jill Stein may be an improvement, but so far, nothing makes me want to join the party.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

The out of state interests who went after McKinney might not have been able to beat her had she been more diligent about district constituent work. I love it when people with on-the-ground knowledge of a situation post, it gives us information that can be had in no other way.

katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

Their Facebook page is pretty closed. You can post comments to Status Updates but can't post directly to her wall.

So, technically I guess I could post that question - what are your intensions toward getting on the ballot in Kansas - as a comment to all the Updates 'till I get an answer but that seems sort of Spamish.

It doesn't REALLY matter in my case. Kansas is a lock for the Republican Nominee. I'd just like to do my part to deny both Obamny and Robama my share of the national popular vote.

DCblogger's picture
Submitted by DCblogger on

all sorts of misteps. According to the Green Party site, they have no presence in Kansas. But it would have been easy for the Stein campaign to tell you that. It goes to what I was saying of not being willing to do the serious work of building a party.

Submitted by lambert on

... which has continuously been a platform for alternative party posting, including Green posting in particular. And now I'm running a daily column on the horse race that includes emergent party coverage, with links to Greens, and yet only occasionally do I get any kind of reaching out at all. It's not ego, I don't need it, but it strikes me as remarkably sloppy.

Submitted by JuliaWilliams on

One major one is the decentralized nature of the party in re: Federal elections, and as far as co-ordinating support for candidates and across states. That's a structural problem that needs addressing desperately. Hiring people and supporting an office that would help with this is impossible, at this point, given the nature of our fund-raising (Stein can't even raise $5,000 dollars (yet) in MI for qualifying for matching funds). I actually talked to her yesterday and we both acknowledged the barriers the party has, but she has been doing magnificent work in getting ballot access and spreading the word about the party, with the limited means she/we have. The other problem is we don't have a 'career politician" class to draw from as candidates and supporters. I would love to have help to get a website that is updated, and some volunteers for my campaign, and a lot more support, but I work a hellish job, RL issues are draining me, and I represent the majority of Greens who are also not career politicians. I hope to improve my position soon, but it ain't easy. I would love to see people with skills and energy and time volunteer to assist the party.

katiebird's picture
Submitted by katiebird on

Some of this may be appropriate for you or Jill Stein or both:

  1. You could post "job openings" for those positions -- even at the volunteer level they are specific tasks you need so advertise for them!
  2. Open the Facebook Page to allow input and use it to post announcements you don't have time to write up on your webpage.
  3. If you don't have volunteers who are great-ish web developers then you could base your site on Wordpress which is blogging software that can be configured to look like a website. Then information could easily be added by non-technical types.
  4. One of the volunteer positions should be assigned to answering email.