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Response to Kimmitt - The Life and Thoughts of Zach

Jun. 29th, 2003

03:29 am - Response to Kimmitt

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Kimmitt asked me a question about what it would take to get Greens to vote for a cool democrat. I'm putting my answer here so someone has a chance of actually reading it.

Depends on the Greens. Obviously for at least half of the would be Nader supporters all it takes is having some prominent liberals (Gloria Steinem, Sierra Club leadership, et al) to announce their staunch support of the candidate, the impending doom of pro-choice and death of the environment at Republican hands.

For me personally. It would take a Democrat who comes out and _explicitly_ says they are in support of the formation of new political parties, they would have to support radical electoral change (IRV, public financing, prop. rep, etc) and democratization of media (open up micropower licenses to a 1st adjacency standard, reregulate ownership, re-reserve the left of the dial for non-profit, and crack down on local public affairs requirements for commercial broadcasters). If they did all that, a cabinet post for a prominent Green would be icing on the cake.

The key though is that I have to believe that them getting elected will directly help the Green party as a party. I want to change the system that locks us into two parties because it is structurally flawed. If abandoning the party for one super-progressive means the Greens fall apart organizationally, become complacent, then in 4 or 8 years it will all have been for nothing and we're back to square one. The rules of the game have to change and that's the number one most important political issue of our day. I refuse to live from election to election making only short term algorithmically greedy (who is the best candidate that can win NOW) choices.

But there are other Greens who just want to make the Dems more progressive with a little pressure. Those Greens will probably break ranks more easily than I will.

Current Music: Darrin Drda - I've Got the Blues so I'm Votin' for the Greens

Comments:

From:kimmitt
Date:June 29th, 2003 03:32 am (UTC)

Hrm.

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For me personally. It would take a Democrat who comes out and _explicitly_ says they are in support of the formation of new political parties,

Kind of a rock and a hard place, here. Any Dem (or Repub) who says, "Hey, let's decrease our already viewed-as-too-small power structure in favor of handing off our base to other groups" is going to have a hard time getting his or her fellow Party members to go along. On the other hand, selling (say) IRV as, "Hey, let's give those Nader (or Buchanan) kiddies a chance to make their irritation known but still retain the important votage" is going to be a lot easier sell. I guess what I'm saying is, would you be okay with a guy who backed policy proposals you liked (and which we all know would be beneficial to small parties) without explicitly endorsing the decline of the two-party system?

Another variation on this question lies in the notion of why a candidate would stump for votes he's trying to make sure he'll never get in the future. "Everybody, come vote for me, so I can put into policy which makes certain that you will . . . never . . . vote . . . for me . . . again. So I'll lose the next election no matter what. Hm."

It seems like by far the most reliable way to accomplish electoral reform would be with a bit of a wink and a nod, rather than an outright push.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:June 29th, 2003 07:53 am (UTC)

Re: Hrm.

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Well, on the local level I've met Democrats who have said they support the Green party and they've gotten political heat for it and then they've won.

Of course, Urbana is a different political beast than the nation as a whole.

I guess I'd have to see a candidate stumping for this stuff that I really believe. If they can't come out and say they support the Greens they're going to need to convince me that they are a Green in Dems clothing or that by my voting for them we're REALLY going to _get_ IRV. It needs to be clear that _that_ is the reason a Green didn't get my vote. Other politicians need to get the message.

I honestly don't expect to be voting for any Democrats in any upcoming major nationwide elections when there's a Green alternative any time soon. I know my standards are very high. It's kinda like asking you, "what would it take to get you to vote Republican anyway?" I imagine it would take a lot, not just a good stance on one particular issue that you care a lot about.


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From:zarfmouse
Date:June 29th, 2003 06:00 pm (UTC)

Re: Hrm.

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Oh and really...if a particular candidate is super progressive and outwardly supports the greens and gets IRV into place then I'd suspect EITHER that person would switch parties OR they'd get all the Greens' second choice votes in any IRV election. Either way they aren't losing our votes in the same way they would be without IRV.
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From:folkyboy
Date:June 29th, 2003 05:40 am (UTC)
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But there are other Greens who just want to make the Dems more progressive with a little pressure. Those Greens will probably break ranks more easily than I will.

AMEN! fucking Dems don't have shit going for them! if they ride that fence anymore, they are going to end up getting poked up the ass! then, they'd just want to run for Governor ;)
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From:khudirambose
Date:June 29th, 2003 07:32 am (UTC)
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i knew quite a few greens who voted for gore out of fear. it was very sad. its not like anything too big was at stake. bush hasnt rolled back abortion yet, hes only really fucked with the environment and privacy laws.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:June 29th, 2003 08:03 am (UTC)
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Well, importantly, he's rolled back abortion no more than Clinton did. Between 1992 and 2000 the number of places where a woman could go and get an abortion declined by 50%.

We've already discussed how PATRIOT stuff is just an extension of Clinton era push towards more and more power for law enforcement. Don't forget the 1996 crime bill so soon. Don't forget Gore's promise to bathe America "in a sea of blue" by funding hundreds of thousands of additional police. And as far as the environment goes, check out Gore's attrocious anti-environmental voting record as a congressman someday. Earth in the Balance my ass.

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From:khudirambose
Date:June 29th, 2003 08:05 am (UTC)

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no, i agree with you. im anti-gore.
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From:zarfmouse
Date:June 29th, 2003 08:10 am (UTC)
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I couldn't tell if maybe you were being sarcastic and I just wanted to make it clear for other readers that I in fact take the destruction of environment and privacy and disintigration of the right to choose very seriously. So seriously, in fact, that I couldn't vote for Gore. :)
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From:khudirambose
Date:June 29th, 2003 08:13 am (UTC)

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no, definitely not. gore is still a major corporate slutbag. since not getting the presidency, hes made over 20 million dollars working with biotech startups. thats honestly why i think he wont run again. hes afraid that certain sensitive and immoral things hes done would hurt his chances. it cant be for why he says, that he doesnt want a re-hash of last time. the man has tried 5 times. im sure at least one of those times was a rematch with someone.
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From:folkyboy
Date:June 29th, 2003 09:22 am (UTC)
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you are so hot
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From:khudirambose
Date:June 29th, 2003 01:56 pm (UTC)

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haha. you give my bf an outlet to discuss porn. i cant thank you enough for that. i dont really care who did who in what german dungeon porn.
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From:kimmitt
Date:June 29th, 2003 11:17 am (UTC)

I guess.

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Well, importantly, he's rolled back abortion no more than Clinton did.

I think it's unfair not to differentiate between things Clinton did, and fights Clinton lost with the Republican Congress and Supreme Court. This is like saying, "Clinton obviously didn't care about the uninsured, since he didn't pass a national health care plan." Dude got beaten, is what happened.

IRV is not going to happen with a Republican Congress; those folks are just too hostile to the concept of representative government. But a candidate who has come out in favor of it will begin to lay useful groundwork. At minimum, IRV will no longer sound like a weird thing only cranks are interested in. (Presentation of bias: I'm a volunteer for Howard Dean, who has made repeated statements of support for IRV over the past ten years but did not get it implemented during his tenure as Governor of Vermont.)

Damn Gore, anyway. He had a chance to undo the radicalization of 1% of the left and fold them back into the Party. I want Greens in the Democratic Party -- given the anarchic nature of state and local primaries, good Greens have good chances of winning Democratic nods.
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