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Green Versus Green For Congress In New York

Back in November, I wrote a critical article about the Green Party, wondering why the party had failed to find congressional candidates to run in most of the districts across the United States. Since then, many congressional candidates have stepped forward. In some districts, more than one candidate has come forth.

Such is the case in New York’s 21st congressional district, where the incumbent Democrat Bill Owens is not running for re-election. The deadline for candidates to register campaigns for federal office with recognized parties there came at the end of last week.

Matt Funiciello is one Green candidate for the seat. He emphasizes his record as a peace activist, and promises a “platform devoid of corporate funding”. A specific campaign platform has yet to be communicated by Funiciello, however.

Don Hassig is also missing an explicit campaign platform, though it’s clear from his writings that he emphasizes environmental issues. Most recently, he spoke out against fracking in Massena.

Green voters need to hear a great deal more from these candidates before they can make an informed choice, but it is a sign of Green strength that a choice within the party is being made at all.

119 comments to Green Versus Green For Congress In New York

  • Stephen Kent Gray

    http://www.politics1.com/ny.htm

    New York has Greens running for House in some of the other districts as well.

    GOVERNOR:
    Andrew Cuomo (D)* – (Campaign Site)
    Rob Astorino (R) – Westchester County Executive
    Howie Hawkins (Green) – Progressive Activist, USMC Veteran, Green Party US Co-Founder & Frequent Candidate
    Richard Cooper (Libertarian) – Ex-State Party Chair
    Chris Edes (Libertarian) – Ex-State Party Chair
    Nate LeBron (Libertarian) – IT Consultant, Ex-Republican & ’09 Albany Mayor Candidate
    Michael McDermott (Libertarian) – Ex-Hauppauge School Board President & Real Estate Broker

    District 1:
    Tim Bishop (D/IP/WF)* – (Campaign Site)
    George Demos (R) – Attorney & ’10 Candidate
    Lee Zeldin (R/C) – State Sen., Attorney, Army Veteran & ’08 Nominee
    Jason Storm (Green)

    District 2:
    Pete King (R/C/IP)* – (Campaign Site)
    Pat Maher (D) – Non-Profit Group Executive
    Will Stevenson (Green) – ’13 Suffolk County Legislator Nominee

    District 11:
    Michael Grimm (R/C/IP)* – (Campaign Site)
    Domenic Recchia (D/WF) – NYC Councilman, Ex-Community School Board Member & Attorney
    Erick Salgado (D) – Minister & ’13 NYC Mayor Candidate
    Hank Bardel (Green) – Retired City Parks Department Supervisor & Frequent Candidate

    District 13:
    Charlie Rangel (D)* – (Campaign Site)
    Adriano Espaillat (D) – State Sen., Ex-State Assemblyman & ’12 Candidate
    Yolanda Garcia (D) – Community Activist
    Michael Walrond (D) – Baptist Pastor & Civil Rights Activist
    Daniel Vila Rivera (Green)
    Kenneth Schaeffer (WF)

    District 15:
    Jose Serrano (D/WF)*
    Sam Sloan (D) – Chess Journalist, Ex-Stockbroker, Libertarian Activist & Frequent Candidate
    Eduardo Ramirez (C)
    Bill Edstrom (Green) – IT Consultant & ’12 State Assembly Nominee

    District 21:
    [ Bill Owens (D)* - Retiring in 2014. ]
    Stephen Burke (D) – Macomb Town Councilman, Ex-Heuvelton School Board Member & Frequent Candidate
    Aaron Woolf (D/WF) – Documentary Filmmaker & Organic Grocery Store Owner
    Matt Doheny (R/C/IP) – Attorney, Investment Banker & ’10/’12 Nominee
    Elise Stefanik (R/C/IP) – Ex-Bush White House Aide & Businesswoman
    Matt Funiciello (Green) – Bakery Owner & Progressive Activist
    Don Hassig (Green) – Environmental Activist, Chemist & ’02/’12 Nominee

    District 23:
    Tom Reed (R/C/IP)* – (Campaign Site)
    Martha Robertson (D/WF) – Tompkins County Legislator
    Amber Cole (Green)
    Darin Robbins (Green) – Progressive Activist

    In all, one Green is running for Governor, Greens are running in seven districts, and two districts have more than one Green running.

    • J Clifford

      I have to think of that Green candidate for governor as “running for governor”. He’s holding the latest episode of the Howie Hawkins Show, and this campaign is just an excuse. I heard him speak in public once, and was not impressed with his grasp on the issues.

      • Tor

        Could you elaborate? In what way weren’t you impressed with his grasp of the issues? He seems to be a rising celebrity amongst Green circles (which yeah, doesn’t mean dogshit I know). A lot of them claim he’s the real deal and a serious candidate. Would certainly like to hear your position on him.

        • J Clifford

          In my opinion, Howie Hawkins is the real deal as a candidate in the sense that he’s a perennial candidate. He’s been a candidate for practically everything, and failed miserably every time. A celebrity among Greens is the identity he seems to enjoy, but it doesn’t seem to accomplish more than to give him a thrill every time he runs.

          I watched him give a speech and answer questions a few years ago, and listened in horror as he described his the records of his opponents in tremendously inaccurate terms. He just plain had his facts wrong. It was sloppy. He seemed to have come to his opinions about other people and organizations, and then contorted the facts to fit that, treating his opponents as caricatures. There’s no need for a Green Party politician to do that, because the reality of Republican and Democratic policies is bad enough.

          • Stephen Kent Gray

            J, according to Wikipedia since New York allows multiple parties for a single candidate (just look at all those slashes in the party affiliation of some candidates on the Politics 1 link I posted earlier), Howie Hawkins will try and get the Working Families endorsement as well.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_gubernatorial_election,_2014

            The Conservative, Independence, and Working Families parties do a lot of endorsing the same candidate as the Democrats and Republicans, but not all the time.

            Although the Conservative Party traditionally cross-endorses Republicans in most races, it has occasionally broken rank and nominated its own candidates (in gubernatorial races, this most recently happened in 1990 with Herb London). Conservative Party chairman Michael R. Long endorsed Rob Astorino in February 2014. Carl Paladino, currently a Buffalo Public Schools Board of Education member and the Republican nominee for Governor in 2010, had originally stated he would seek the Conservative Party line if the Republicans nominate Rob Astorino, but by March 2014 had withdrawn from any potential race and has stated he would (lukewarmly) support Astorino if Donald Trump were not to run.

            The Independence Party of New York, which traditionally cross-endorses the candidate most likely to get them the most votes, is most likely to nominate incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo as it did in 2010. Republican Rob Astorino has already refused the line, and several members of the Democratic Party have called on Cuomo to do the same. Members of the party’s deposed Newmanite wing, centered mainly in New York City, have floated party co-founder Lenora Fulani as a potential candidate.

            The Working Families Party traditionally cross-endorses Democrats, but has expressed reservations over endorsing incumbent Governor Andrew Cuomo as they did in 2010.

            Potentials for WFP
            Dan Cantor, Executive Director of the Working Families Party
            Andrew Cuomo, incumbent Governor
            Howie Hawkins, presumptive Green Party nominee
            Bill Samuels, activist

            Will Howie Hawkins be listed as Green/WF when it’s all said and done? Will Andrew Cuomo be listed as Democrat/WF/IP? Will Rob Astorino be listed as Republican/C/IP? Will the Conservative, Working Families, and Independence not co endorse, but rather run their own candidates?

      • As well as voting, donating, and volunteering, I must add one step if you are dissatisfied with the candidates. That is to be a candidate yourself.

  • If the best candidate receives few votes, who has failed ‘miserably’, the candidate or the voters?

    • J Clifford

      The candidate. The voters made their choice. It’s the job of a candidate to run a serious canpaign that can be effective, which is sonething Hawkins has never done.

      • Stephen Kent Gray

        J, I looked up the 2010 race. Howie Hawkins got 59,906 out of 4,616,836 votes or 1.3%. I wonder how he will fare this time?

        http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/New_York_gubernatorial_election,_2010#Election_results

        There are only a few declared third party mayoral candidates.

        Howie Hawkins (Green) – Progressive Activist, USMC Veteran, Green Party US Co-Founder & Frequent Candidate
        Richard Cooper (Libertarian) – Ex-State Party Chair
        Chris Edes (Libertarian) – Ex-State Party Chair
        Nate LeBron (Libertarian) – IT Consultant, Ex-Republican & ’09 Albany Mayor Candidate
        Michael McDermott (Libertarian) – Ex-Hauppauge School Board President & Real Estate Broker

        • Howie Hawkins has run 18 times, I just read in Wikipedia (pardon the foul language). Great. Makes him a better candidate now, in my opinion, though I might still prefer another candidate for a Green nomination, of course.

      • J Clifford, I have been a Green Party activist since 1996. Our candidates were usually far better but we almost always lost. It’s the voter’s fault for voting for the lesser of 2 evils instead of for us. The voters, when you talk to them individually, admit that our candidates are better, but claim they don’t want to ‘waste’ their votes on us. So the voters are being fooled into voting for evil, and it’s not our fault. It’s the voters’ fault. Maybe your fault, too. What say you?

        • J Clifford

          Korky, I think that the Green Party needs to look at this issue more functionally. If your candidates were “better”, then how come they lost? A better candidate isn’t the one who just has the better ideas. Greens need to understand that a better candidate is a candidate with better ideas who communicates those ideas effectively.

          Green Party candidates like Howie Hawkins have neglected the difficult task of learning how to be better communicators in the practical sense of understanding how to reach voters where they are rather than continuing to speak in abstract purities that don’t appeal to voters.

          We live in a democracy, and that means that what voters think matters. The Green Party will never be effective unless it abandons its facile excuses – the “voters are all stupid” excuse prime among them.

          • No, neither the USA nor Canada (where I am now) are democracies. (I don’t know anything about Hawkins or your local scene.)

            You do not seem to have read ‘two-party system’ in Wikipedia.

            The USA is a two-party system, which does not qualify as a democracy in my book. Which means the deck is stacked against the Green Party and most other parties. If the media goes along with the two-party system, which the straight media and you do, that makes it worse. The Green Party has the best candidates, on average, but loses because YOU think it’s our fault when we lose. Did you vote for us? Did you donate to us? Did you volunteer time with us? If not, it is your fault we lost. If you wanted some other party to win and failed to do those things and they didn’t win, then it is your fault that that other party lost.

            By your backwards, irresponsible reasoning, Barrack Obama was the best candidate for president in 2008 and 2012.
            After all, the voters weren’t stupid, were they!?

            • Horatio

              The USA is not a 2 party system, Korky. Many parties are allowed. What’s lacking is a third party with leaders who have had the brains to sit down and develop an effective strategy for breaking the cultural and systematic dominance of the Democratic Party and Republican Party.

              Just a hint: The Green Party’s favored mode of justifying its failures (We keep on losing because there’s something wrong with everybody else) hasn’t done anything but alienate voters.

              Korky’s Green Party campaign slogan: Vote Green: Because It’s Your Fault America Is So Screwed Up

              Nobody at Irregular Times would ever write that Barack Obama (one r, Korky) was the best choice of presidential candidate in 2008 and 2012. That’s not what they wrote during those campaigns. The point is that Barack Obama was the most effective presidential candidate. He ran the most effective campaign.

              You seem to think that politics operates in the abstract, where people will rationally consider the ideologies of the various candidates as if they are examining a spreadsheet. There’s a lot more to a political campaign than that, Korky.

              The Green Party has the best candidates? Really? Cynthia McKinney?!?

              • Yes, I believe that Cynthia McKinney was the best candidate for president in 2008, certainly much better than Obama and McCain. I was present when she spoke to a crowd and I spoke with her personally. Not perfect, of course, but very impressive. I also heard Obama and Nader live in person, though Obama is much too cowardly to debate Nader or McKinney face-to-face. Obama was the slickest speaker, but not the best by a long ways.

          • According to J Clifford, the better candidate is the one who does what it takes to win. Which in the USA, means selling out to big money. When you voters get hip to that, you can free yourselves from the two-party system. Until then, you are dupes.

          • I don’t know anything about Hawkins. If he’s not so good, you should have supported someone else (or yourself) against him for the Green nomination. That’s what taking responsibility means.

      • Of course, we in the Green Party always try to get better candidates and do a better job campaigning, etc., but the voters should not blame us in the Green Party when they, the voters are the problem because they don’t have the courage to vote against the Duopoly.

  • J Clifford

    I think we need to do more than wonder in the abstract. We need to hear concrete ideas from Howie Hawkins about how this campaign will be better managed than the one he ran in 2014… if he doesn’t just plan to coast along and blame his poor showing on “the duopoly”.

    • Of course, trying to spur the candidates and parties to be better is fine, as long as you are also in the camp of one trying to make that campaign better from the inside. Otherwise you are just a spectator, J Clifford.

      • Horatio

        Wait a minute. Unless we’re on the inside of a campaign, we’re not allowed to criticize them?!?

        Korky, how about Greens try to have a CONVERSATION with voters, instead of just getting a bunch of people who preach at everybody. That way, it wouldn’t have to be this You Are Either A Supporter Of The Great Leaders Of Our Tiny Little Party Or You Are Just A Spectator attitude.

        Could it be, possibly, that the Green Party is in fact NOT in touch with the cultural perspectives of 98 percent of America? That seems to be what the polls suggest, Korky.

        • Stephen Kent Gray

          Horatio, I’d say 2% is too generous a number for the percentage who are in touch with them. I say less than 1%. 0.4% or around there voted Green nationally in 2012.

          Does Korky have any polling date to back up any of her claims that either non voters or people who don’t vote Green are sympathetic to the Greens actually rather than just saying they don’t vote Green even though they would like to? She blames the duopoly on people who vote Democrat, Republican, or don’t vote. Greens still have to compete for the people who vote outside the duopoly anyways. Greens are just one out of many third parties.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_presidential_election_debates,_2012

          There were four third party debates.

          http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=DZAlj0r9HKM

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e0vE5CTTSFI

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fAJN4jUDuio

          https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h4HJBE62IzI

          This is media coverage of third parties, which Korky obvious forgot about.

          • I don’t have it handy, but a private poll said that a majority of US Americans would have voted against the Duopoly in 2008? if they thought that another candidate had a chance of winning. So, obviously, another candidate DID have such a chance, but those voters were fooled into thinking that their numbers were much smaller. The meanstream media ghettoizing us Greens and Libertarians into separate (hopeless candidates) debates is a big part of that brainwashing.

          • Stephen Kent Gray

            Korky, that reminds me that either the CPD needs to change its criteria or a candidate needs to poll at atleast 15% consistently throughout the polling season. Maybe 25% or even 35% to make people feel okay with them being viable.

            Use Greens and Libertarians need to boost our polls numbers before poll season in order to qualify for debates.

            https://www.ouramericainitiative.com/

            Our America Initiative is suing the CPD to open the debates. I would recommend learning much more about it.

            • The problem of presidential debates in the USA likely will never be completely solved as long as the country is ruined by a 2-party system. For now, the people, if they knew what’s good for them, would simply refuse to vote for any candidate who refused to debate all the other candidates.

              One major problem is that so many voters are suckered into thinking that a candidate should get significant voter support BEFORE they can qualify even to be in the debates. No, they should be excluded from debates only AFTER their exposure to the voters in debates fails to garner them support of a certain amount.

          • I didn’t say that Greens didn’t get coverage. The problem is that the overwhelming impression given by the mainstream (meanstream) media is that Greens and Libertarians, however good the candidates might be, are not worth wasting your vote on because they are a tiny minority. But if everyone who is sick of voting for the lesser of 2 evils would stop doing so, they’d probably have enough votes to defeat the Duopoly. If you don’t believe that, maybe I’ll dig up that survey I read. I think it’s in Wikipedia (sorry for the foul language of mentioning Wikipedia).

            Or just ask all your ‘liberal’, ‘progressive’, ‘radical’, or ‘peacenik’ friends who voted for Obama if they had a (theoretical) chance now to vote for Obama or Nader, with no other candidates, which would it be?

        • No, Horatio, you are allowed to criticize anyone you want. But I doubt that his alleged communication deficits make him a worse candidate than someone who sells his soul to the devil in exchange for the money to make him look and sound like a better candidate.

          • J Clifford

            Korky, do you have any evidence that any political candidate has ever sold their souls to the devil? Do you evidence that any devil exists? Do you have any evidence of a soul?

            This isn’t Colonial Salem. Communicate with non-Green voters in a way that doesn’t suggest that you think they are possessed by evil spirits, and you might have greater success.

            • Maybe you don’t remember that I’m a veteran outspoken atheist. The devil is just a metaphor! Relax!

              Evidence that anyone has sold out? You mean you doubt that Obama, McCain, Romney, and Hilary Rodham Clinton have sold out? A billion dollars to run for president doesn’t come from nice people.

              • J Clifford

                Korky, you don’t talk as if you believe these things are just metaphors. You can’t go around calling people more evil than devils, and then expect them to “Relax!” because it’s just a metaphor. You and other Greens like you are choosing the most insulting language you can think of to describe voters, and then wondering why more voters don’t want to join forces with you.

                If you mean that politicians have compromised their principles in return for money from powerful donors, then say that. Don’t say that politicians have sold their souls to the devil, because when you say that, you sound like a crazy tent revival preacher, and reasonable people who might otherwise work with you will walk away from you, carefully avoiding eye contact.

        • Horatio wrote, ‘Could it be, possibly, that the Green Party is in fact NOT in touch with the cultural perspectives of 98 percent of America? That seems to be what the polls suggest, Korky.’

          Those ‘cultural perspectives’ are pro-war, destroy the environment, war on the poor, etc., if their voting patterns are any indication. Actually, those voting patterns are the result of the two-party system. Have any of you read that Wikipedia article yet? If none of you have read it, I might get discouraged and leave this discussion as hopeless. Many of your best people leave your country permanently, as I have, because of your insistence on remaining ignorant about what really has created your ‘culture’, such as it is.

          • J Clifford

            Here’s the thing, Korky: They really aren’t. No poll suggests 98 percent support for these things. It’s just that many voters who believe in peace, environmental causes, helping the poor, etc., don’t regard the Green Party as anything other than a collection of kooks, angry extremists, and lost causes. There are many people who don’t like the Democrats or Republicans, but don’t see a serious alternative, because the Greens are too busy clowning around.

            I often vote for Green Party candidates, but I do so with my finger pinching my nose. I feel too embarrassed to advocate for Greens among my friends, because Green candidates have a history of launching into bizarre nonsense.

            I’ve tried to get involved in Green Party politics twice. Once, down in Memphis, I left after the local green party leaders illegally disposed of voter registration forms and then lectured me that recycling is “for corporate dupes”. Up in New York, I found a frightening number of Green Party people advocating 9/11 “truth” conspiracy theories… and I found the cult of Hawkins.

            You’ve left the country because of my insistence on remaining ignorant? Really?

            Korky, it’s this kind of talk that makes people walk away from Green Party rallies. Ranting that, unless people read the Wikipedia articles you demand they read, no political discussion can be had, isn’t helpful.

            Besides, if you’d actually read my recent comments, you would see that I have gone and read from WIkipedia, just to satisfy your demand. The result hasn’t strengthened your position.

            • Thanks for voting for us sometimes against the meanstream media’s (and the Duopoly’s) libellous brainwashing that we’re just a bunch of kooks. A bunch of peace kooks is better than a bunch of war criminals! Someday maybe you’ll be brave enough to tell that to all your friends. Or tell us your better plan that doesn’t take selling out to public relations firms which make war criminals look better than us peace kooks to a gullible public.

              • J Clifford

                As I’ve said I’ve had personal experience with the significant kooky element in the Green Party. It’s not a libelous accusation, and it has nothing to do with brainwashing. It wouldn’t be difficult to substantiate in court.

                Give me Green Party candidates that don’t make me wince with embarrassment when they talk, and then I won’t feel ashamed to share them with friends.

                As for more creative plans, the reactions I’ve seen from Green Party activists have been resistant, similar to yours, suggesting that the Green Party needs to just keep on doing what it’s doing, and that voters are the ones that need to change. I don’t predict an opening up of the Greens to new strategic visions any time soon.

              • I’m sure, J Clifford, that you have found Greens of various levels of intelligence, enlightenment and savvy. Your choice is to join us and help us improve, or to find a better party, if you can, or to found your own. Which will it be?

                If you were as vague with them about your allegedly obvious or simple or easy way to defeat the Duopoly as you have been with me, I’m not surprized that they didn’t rally round you.

            • I said, ‘Those “cultural perspectives” are pro-war, destroy the environment, war on the poor, etc., if their voting patterns are any indication.’

              Notice the word ‘if’?

              They are AGAINST those things but vote FOR those things with the excuse of lesser of 2 evils.

              • J Clifford

                I have found intelligent Greens, and we’ve shared moments of angst about the party and its highly vocal kooks and alienating habits.

                I’m not a Green, and I’m not making a plan for you. That’s your business. I’m just saying that whatever plan you build, it needs to start with honest acknowledgements of the Green Party’s problems, and a resolve to end the aggressive weirdness and attachment to serial losing candidacies. The Green Party has good policies. It needs to match them with a realistic approach to politics, and play to the strengths of voters rather than calling out voters’ failings. You say this is too vague. Of course, an actual political party strategy needs to be more specific. It’s not my job to write out that plan here… I’m writing to point out that the Green Party hasn’t even taken these few simple first steps toward a realistic plan – and people like you within the Green Party are fighting against it.

              • Stephen Kent Gray

                Korky, Wikipedia compares America’s five biggest political parties by platforms on ten issues.

                http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_parties_in_the_United_States#Party_comparisons

                According to the chart, Greens are Democrats, just with the addition of drug liberalization and non interventionism. Constitution is Republican, just with the addition of non interventionism.

                Drug liberalization and non interventionism are doomed as issues by the Democrats and Republicans colluding against those issues. The eight other issues are used to divide people into Democrats and Republicans based on their views on said issues. Greens are made to vote Democrat and Constitution to vote Republican.

                Abortion
                Pro choice: Greens, Democrats, and Libertarians
                Pro life: Repblucans and Consitution

                For example, in this case, the voter is supposed to feel compelled to vote for the major party on their side of this issue. This goes for all eight divided issues on the chart, excluding the two who are doomed to failure. The example above basically sides wise is the same for same sex marriage, immigration, and capital punishment.

              • J Clifford

                Stephen, here’s where the theoretical case for the Green Party gets good, and where Wikipedia once again demonstrates itself to be an inadequate source for sophisticated understanding on a subject.

                First of all, the chart of issues is remarkably constricted, supposedly to the most important issues to voters as a whole – but not including issues that are extremely important to committed minorities, including members of third parties. Environmental policies are not listed there at all, and as everyone knows, sincere environmentalism is at the core of the Green identity. Greens find Democratic lip service to environmentalism laughable, and rightfully so.

                Green Party members are not just Democrats who like to style themselves as independent-types. The distinction between the Green Party and the Democratic Party on issues of foreign policy is immense. Only a few politicians in the Democratic Party consistently stand for peace. Most clapped loudly when Barack Obama led the nation into the Libyan civil war without any congressional authorization.

                There has been startling disagreement between Greens and Democrats on civil liberties issues such as NSA spying as well. Most Democrats have supported the Big Brother spying programs, offering limp support for pitiful reform bills that are designed to fail from the start if they do anything at all, while I can’t think of a Green who supports NSA spying.

                Then there’s the health care column. Greens and Democrats share support for “universal health care”, according to Wikipedia’s encylopedia-by-anonymous-committee. Absurd. Democrats in Congress worked with Barack Obama to prevent universal health care from even being considered. When Democratic politicians talk about universal health care, they do so in speeches, as a vague talking point. It’s not how they actually vote, with only a very small number of exceptions. Greens are NOT the same as Democrats on this issue.

                It’s frustrating to me, because Democrats really aren’t very liberal, or progressive, or whatever you want to call it. The Democratic Party is center right, and has moved even farther in that direction since campaign finance reform was abandoned for the current system of practically open bribery.

                The Democrats are routinely disappointing in policy, but they’re very effective at political organizing. The Greens are the reverse. The Green Party has a great platform, but does a terrible job in communicating about and organizing around it… and they’ve got a strong minority of kooky conspiracy theorists who make everyone in the party look foolish.

                This is why I think it’s so important for Green Party activists to get serious and stop engaging in destructive communications and fantasyland definitions of “success”. The USA needs a leftist political party that is both ideologically authentic and realistic.

              • Stephen Kent Gray

                J, then what do you call this?

                http://assets.dstatic.org/dnc-platform/2012-National-Platform.pdf

                The Democratic platform talks about all the issues Wikipedia summarized and more. Yes, there is a healthcare plank in there.

                Rebuilding Middle Class Security
                Putting America Back To Work
                The Middle Class Bargain
                Middle Class Tax Cuts
                Health Care
                Stabilizing The Housing Market And Hard Hit Communities
                Social Secutriy And Medicare
                An Economy That Out Educates The World And Offers Greater Access To Higher Education And Technical Training
                Cutting Waste, Reducing The Deficit, And Asking All To Pay Their Fair Share
                Economy Built To Last
                All Of The Above Energy Policy
                Out Building And Out Innovating The Rest Of The World
                Betting On American Manufacturing And The American Automobile Industry
                Insourcing
                Out Bulding The Rest Of The World
                Out Innovating The Rest Of The World
                Standing Up For Workers
                Helping Small Business
                Opened Markets All Over The World For American Products
                America Works When Everyone Plays By The Same Rules
                Wall Street Reform
                21st Century Goverment: Transparent And Accountable
                Lobbying Reform And Campaign Finance Reform
                Greater Together
                Strengthening The American Community
                Immigration
                Families
                Supporting Troops, Military Families, And Veterans
                Americans With Disablities
                Faith
                Rural Communities And Agriculture
                Agriculture
                Tribal Sovereignty
                Puerto Rico
                Guam, American Samoa, Virgin Islands, and Mariana Islands
                Arts And Culture
                Protecting Rights And Freedoms
                Civil Rights
                Women
                Protecting A Woman’s Right To Choose
                Voting Rights
                DC
                Freedom To Marry
                Firearms
                Ensuring Safety And Quality Of Life
                Cities And Metro Areas
                Poverty
                Public Safety, Justice, And Crime Prevention
                Service, Volunteerism, And Social Innovation
                Environment
                Stronger In The World, Safer And More Secure At Home
                Responsible Ending The War In Iraq
                Disrupting, Defating, And Dismantling Al Qaeda
                Responsibly Ending The War In Afghanistan
                Preventing The Spread And Use Of Nuclear Weapons
                Reducing Nuclear Weapons Stockpiles
                Preventing Nuclear Proliferation
                Iran
                North Korea
                Securing Loose Nuclear Materials
                Russia
                Coutering Emerging Threats
                Cybersecurity
                Bilogical Weapons
                Climate Change
                Transnational Crime
                Etc…

                You can see there is a Climate Change plank as well as all these other planks.

              • Stephen Kent Gray

                J, for comparison and contrast. Here is a Republican platform. I won’t summarize, because you can probably already tell what is in there by the table of contents.

                http://www.gop.com/wp-content/uploads/2012/08/2012GOPPlatform.pdf

                Preamble
                Restoring the American Dream:Rebuilding the Economy and Creating Jobs
                We The People: A Restoration of Constitutional Government
                America’s Natural Resources: Energy, Agriculture and the Environment
                Reforming Government to Serve the People
                Renewing American Values to Build Healthy Families, Great Schools and Safe Neighborhoods
                American Exceptionalism
                The Platform Committee

              • Stephen Kent Gray

                J, for a change the Constitution Party platform.

                http://www.constitutionparty.com/assets/National-Platform-Full-Version.pdf

                Preamble
                Sanctity Of Life
                Bringing Government Back Home
                Character And Moral Conduct
                Congressional Reform
                Conscription
                Constitutional Convention
                Copyrights And Patents
                Costs Of Big Government
                Crime
                Defense
                Domestic Federal Aid
                Drug Abuse
                Education
                Election Reform
                Electoral College
                Energy
                Environment
                Executive Orders
                Family
                Foreign Policy
                Gambling
                Government Private Partnership
                Gun Control
                Healthcare And Government
                Immigration
                Judiciary
                Money And Banking
                Personal And Private Property Security
                Pornography, Obscenity, And Sexually Orientated Business
                Religious Freedom
                Social Security
                Statehood
                State Sovereignty
                Tariffs And Trade
                Taxes
                Terrorism And Personal Liberty
                Veterans
                Wage And Price Control
                Welfare

              • Stephen Kent Gray

                J, here is the Green Party platform.

                http://www.gp.org/committees/platform/2010/Platform2010.pdf

                Feel free to compare and contrast with the Democrat one I posted earlier.

              • Continued in wide column at the bottom of this page.

            • I wanted you to read certain things because I don’t want to devote 8 hours a day to this discussion.

              By the way, I am male.

              • J Clifford, you say you don’t want to reveal to us your secret easy plan for defeating the Duopoly. Fine. Just do it. The world will thank you. But don’t be surprised if we’re skeptical until you do it.

  • It’s going to take a lot of writing for me to overcome the obvious Duopoly brainwashing that my opponents here are spouting. But I’ll try because I like you. (Thanks, Jim, it really didn’t look right after I misspelled and saved Barack, but you don’t seem to have an edit feature.)

    I have asked you twice to read the Wikipedia article on two-party system, but none of you has, it seems. You will never understand your country until you learn about that crucial point. The USA is a two-party system. No doubt about that. If you think that the Green Party being on the ballot is proof otherwise, you obviously have not read the Wikipedia article or any other expert description.

    • J Clifford

      Korky, we don’t have to learn this from Wikipedia. We’re citizens of this country, and we’re quite familiar enough with politics here to not reply on an encyclopedia entry. Wikipedia is a start for research, not the ultimate tool.

      But, okay, Korky, let’s look at what the actual Wikipedia entry for “duopoly” (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Duopoly) states: “Modern American politics, in particular the electoral college system has been described as duopolistic since the Republican and Democratic parties have dominated and framed policy debate as well as the public discourse on matters of national concern for about a century and a half. Third Parties have encountered various blocks in getting onto ballots at different levels of government as well as other electoral obstacles, more so in recent decades.”

      First, let’s note that this short paragraph doesn’t do justice to arguments about whether the American political system is a duopoly. Second, the entry isn’t well edited enough to even begin with a coherent, complete sentence. Third, the entry only states that the American political system has been described as duopolistic. A description isn’t necessarily accurate. Sarah Palin has described the American political system as plenty of things, but that doesn’t make what she says so. This phrasing is used to indicate that the characterization of the American political system as a duopoly is in dispute.

      Then there’s the Wikipedia entry you link to, which doesn’t fairly represent a full range of views on the characterization of the American political system as a “two party system”. This entry notes, among the causes for third party failure: “When third parties are built around an ideology which is at odds with the majority mindset, many members belong to such a party not for the purpose of expecting electoral success but rather for personal or psychological reasons. In the U.S., third parties include older ones such as the Libertarian Party and the Green Party and newer ones such as the Pirate Party.”

      Do you see the perception you build up in the Green Party when you put up campaigns that claim victory when they break 2 percent of the vote? These are not effective campaigns, Korky, and it’s not because 98 percent of Americans are imbeciles. Can you concede that this might have something to do with failure on the part of the Green Party to confront political reality and come up with a strategy to build the political party on the foundation of what actually is, rather than what Greens would like it to be?

      It’s not everyone else’s fault that the Greens have been unable to strategize their way out of a paper bag! Take some responsibility!

      • J Clifford, you don’t like Wikipedia, obviously. We all know it is sometimes poorly written, but it has many advantages, too. Your weakest strategy against me, though, is to pick and choose irrelevant points, which you have done here profusely. Please respond instead to http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Two-party_system#Causes

        • J Clifford

          Korky, I would prefer to have a discussion with you than repeatedly bow to your demands to respond to anonymously compiled encyclopedia entries elsewhere, which are obviously incomplete. I don’t think that the points I’ve responded to are irrelevant. Could you explain to me how they are?

          But, okay Korky, if you want to play a game of Look-At-Wikipedia-No-Not-There-On-Wikipedia-But-Just-This-Section, okay. Sure, I’ll look at it. (Have you noticed, though, that this line of argument really isn’t working well for you?)

          The section you want me to re-read for you, and respond to, isn’t a reflection of the diversity of opinions on the subject. It notes claims, and arguments, and theories, but doesn’t really grapple with the facts presented by the record of American political history. I don’t see any discussion of Whigs, or Federalists, or Democratic-Republicans. The Wikipedia section you link to doesn’t even try to deal with the fact that these political parties, all of which elected Presidents of the United States, no longer exist – or at least changed into something fundamentally different.

          The article also fails to deal with cultural perceptions of the political parties, reporting on only a couple of attempts to form a very vague general theory out of a very limited dataset. The Wikipedia article in general gives the appearance of something that’s been written by a small subset of people who have a particular bent toward sympathy with third party excuses for failure.

          Besides, so what? So what if there’s a duopoly, or de-facto two party political culture that overcomes the pluralist rules of the system as actually written?

          What’s your plan that incorporates this information into a path to electoral victory for the Green Party?

          So far, all I see is the assumption that if Greens whine enough that the system isn’t fair to them, and accuse voters of being idiots, they will eventually win a single seat in Congress, maybe.

          The more intelligent thing to do is to note the political landscape as it is, drop the posture of whiny losers, and devise a strategy that could plausibly convince enough voters to vote for a Green candidate to lead to victory. Drop the strategies that haven’t worked. Drop the candidates who have already lost five times.

          If the Greens can’t bring themselves to do that, then they might as well dissolve their little political party, or make it subset of the Society for Creative Anachronism, or maybe a Trekkie club.

          • I refer to Wikipedia because I don’t want to spend several days writing what it already there. Obviously it has deficiencies, but if you have a curious, open mind, you will be challenged to ponder why countries with a 2-party system almost all have disproportional voting systems. Aren’t you even a little curious?

            The concepts are more important than mentioning all the parties in history. Yes, the USA has had more than 2 parties, but not for long. There’s a period of instability sometimes, but then it soon settles back to 2 parties. Maybe different parties, but not more than 2 at a time. That’s because of the mathematical imperative of the voting system, such as the one-X ballots, single-member districts, and the presidential race causing national alignment.

            My ‘plan’ is supporting the party that best understands the 2-party system, and how almost impossible it is to defeat. We spread the word as well as we can when the public thinks that it’s all right to have presidential debates which exclude all but 2 parties. Having side debates is better than nothing, but a terrible disgrace in the eyes of the world (which conceited US Americans scorn).

            J Clifford, you suggest that we ‘drop the posture of whiny losers’. That’s not our posture, that’s the slander by Democrats which the meanstream media and you spread. You’re brainwashed into that so badly that you don’t even know you’re brainwashed. (Well, that’s the definition of brainwashing, isn’t it!) Let me say it again: you’re brainwashed. You won’t shame me into changing to your preferred (denial) terms. You ask me for a plan, which I’ve told you. You claim you have the imagination to do better, but you aren’t telling us what it is, other than not to be whiny. Nader was never whiny. He would have won by a landslide if he’d had the Democratic or Republican nomination. Don’t you remember his saintly reputation? If even he can’t win against the 2-party system, there isn’t much hope. But I never give up. I even have hope for you, I’m so deluded!

            • By the way, I typed meanstream media as a typo, but I decided that I kind of like it.

            • J Clifford

              I’m brainwashed, huh? Okay, Korky. If you know so much, tell me, who brainwashed me, when, and how? What techniques were used?

              • I didn’t say any particular person is brainwashed. Maybe you’re just pretending, or some other possibility. As you say, we don’t know each other.

                More importantly, if you are NOT brainwashed, what are you going to do to improve your country? Support a political party? Which one? Abstain from voting? Be a candidate?

            • I have not read this new book (below), but I am reading another of Nader’s books. Excellent. Even if all Green nominees were as exemplary as Ralph Nader, we still would not win much more often because voters have not become aware enough of the skewed unfairness of their voting system, nor of their strength in numbers to protest that.

              From the promo:

              Ralph Nader has fought for over fifty years on behalf of American citizens against the reckless influence of corporations and their government patrons on our society. Now he ramps up the fight and makes a persuasive case that Americans are not powerless. In Unstoppable, he explores the emerging political alignment of the Left and the Right against converging corporate-government tyranny.

              Ralph makes the case for “Unstoppable” left/right alliances in a new column on The Huffington Post.

              Ralph discusses the book on Democracy Now! Watch the video or read the transcript.

              For autographed copies of Unstoppable, visit Politics and Prose.

              http://www.politics-prose.com/event/book/ralph-nader-unstoppable-emerging-left-right-alliance-to-dismantle-corporate-state

          • J Clifford says to, ‘devise a strategy that could plausibly convince enough voters to vote for a Green candidate to lead to victory. Drop the strategies that haven’t worked.’

            Such a strategy is much harder to devise than you imply. The USA might have to ‘hit bottom’ before it wakes up and votes for us, as most drunks have to spend their last cent before they admit to a problem.

            We in the Green Party could throw out all the members with slightly nutty ideas, as you imply we should. Not even the Duopoly does that. But the meanstream media would mercilessly libel us as kooks, anyway, so it wouldn’t help. Besides, then we would become a petty little dictatorship which is much smaller and top-down and unwelcoming and will have a terrible reputation.

            You add, J, to ‘Drop the candidates who have already lost five times.’

            In Vancouver we just elected Adriane Carr to city council, who ran for us a few times starting in the 1980s!

            Again you are assuming that Greens continue to lose due to some fault of theirs. Not necessarily. The voters here finally realized that it was THE VOTERS’ OWN error for not electing her. The voters rectified that. Now it looks good for her re-election this fall.

      • I agree that a party should not claim victory when it gains 2%. I work within my party to avoid doing that. But we have to have some way to encourage ourselves, and sometimes 2% is pretty good, considering people like you who do nothing to help, but just criticize us and vote for a drone assassin.

        J Clifford wrote, ‘Can you concede that this might have something to do with failure on the part of the Green Party to confront political reality and come up with a strategy to build the political party on the foundation of what actually is, rather than what Greens would like it to be?’

        That reality would be to sell out to big money, eh? There is no other way to be as ‘effective’ as the Democrats and Republicans. Except hope against hope that enough well-meaning people like you will finally see the futility of voting for the lesser of 2 evils, no matter how slickly they campaign on the alleged positives of US American culture and values, which are mostly just brainwashing from the mainstream media. So, you, J Clifford, are ending up supporting the meanstream media! Are you really an alternative journalist?

        • J Clifford

          Excuse me, but do you know who I voted for? Can you show me the documents? How did you get them?

          Don’t presume so much, Korky. You don’t know what you think you know.

          No, getting 2 percent of the vote is never pretty good. It just isn’t. It’s having 98 percent of people reject you… and think of what that means. You claim to have a grip on political reality. Accurate information tends to be pretty persuasive. So, if your Green Party is communicating accurate information, and yet still is rejected by 98 percent of the voting population, then something else is very, very wrong with the way the Greens are presenting their message.

          I have no idea how you can conclude that working with political reality to come up with a strategy, based on what will actually be politically effective, requires selling out to “big money”. It doesn’t. It requires buying in to a bigger imagination. Stop painting yourselves into a corner! You claim that there is “no other way”, but I don’t see that the Green Party has really tried any other way than its current path, which has failed to work for decades now.

          Have you considered that calling Democrats and Republicans “evils” might actually be part of the problem that the Green Party is having? You come up with language like this, and “brainwashing”, and you sound out of touch with the nation you claim to want to represent. Democrats and Republicans aren’t evil. They may be mistaken, or sometimes misguided, but they don’t sit around cackling with glee over the pain they can cause others. There’s no such thing as brainwashing, either. If you’re going to claim some kind of conspiracy theory about mind control over hundreds of millions of people, at least read some recent neurology to come up with some terminology that doesn’t sound like it comes from a campy 1970s movie about the danger of cults.

          American culture is much, much more than just what “mainstream media” provides, and besides, the “mainstream media” isn’t as mainstream as it used to be. Media has fractured, if you haven’t noticed, but I don’t see the Green Party taking advantage of that.

          By the way, I never claimed to be a journalist. I do like to think I offer an alternative perspective. To be authentically independent, however, I am not willing to simply join in a political organization and celebrate whatever message it wants to spread.

          • I never said, J Clifford, that I know how you vote. I was speaking about people who vote for evil assassins, and if you are one of them, you know.

            No, the Democratic and Republican Parties ARE evil. More evil than obvious devils because they fool good people into supporting them for centuries. They are rackets for turning good people into people who vote for imperialist assassins. They could be good parties, but only if they were not operating in a 2-party system, which makes them evil.

            They tell me, ‘I wish I could have voted Green, since your candidates and parties are so much better, but I had to vote for the drone assassin because he feels bad about being a drone assassin and if I vote Green the Republican would win, and he would enjoy assassinating by drone too much.’ So the 98% includes enough people like that that we could win an election if they would all vote for us. Ralph Nader was probably the most respected US American just before he ran for president the first time. Then the Democrats with their billion$ slandered him as a vote splitter. People got fooled. What is your strategy, J Clifford, for overcoming that? People have been trying for over 2 centuries to overcome the 2-party system. They have all failed, but you think you know how? Go ahead, I dare you. I’m trying the best I can. You are not.

            • J Clifford

              Korky, if your political strategy includes preaching that most Americans are more evil than devils, I don’t know how you hope to win.

              If I were working as a political consultant for the Green Party, the first thing I would do is to advise the Greens to stop talking like this. Abandon all the absolutist alienating crazy talk. Stop blaming everyone else, and then the real work can begin. If the Greens wouldn’t do it, I’d walk away from that contract without looking back once. Unless the Greens make that fundamental change, all other efforts will continue to be in vain. The first step of the plan is to show that Greens can be responsible, and reliable, and even-keeled.

              • No, most people are not evil, they are dupes. I used to be a dupe and I’m glad that people told me so, as that made me question my beliefs and actions.

      • J Clifford wrote, ‘This phrasing is used to indicate that the characterization of the American political system as a duopoly is in dispute.’

        Wikipedia always talks like that to be neutral and open-minded. It’s still a duopoly as surely as the theory of evolution is true.

  • Bill

    I’m one of those who frequently argue that a vote for a Green is a vote for a Republican and that, yes, that’s a very bad thing.

    Despite that, I can at least imagine circumstances in which I could actually be persuaded to vote Green…if only their candidates weren’t so dependably embarrassing (leftist chic, proudly and intentionally out-of-tune with the electorate, no significant leadership experience, disparaging of the intelligence and goodwill of those they seek to represent…I could go on and on).

    Korky, the language you throw around in this thread, your obvious distaste and lack of sympathy for the electorate, your mindless sense of superiority and entitlement so proudly displayed…these are precisely the sorts of things that doom the Greens to irrelevance. And as for this gem (“Many of your best people leave your country permanently, as I have, because of your insistence on remaining ignorant about what really has created your ‘culture’, such as it is”), well, a rather crude two-word anglo-saxon expression does come to mind, I’m sorry to say.

    • Stephen Kent Gray

      Bill, ironically said commentary is also true in her adopted country of Canada as well. All you have to do is replace Republican Party with Conservative Party of Canada. Greens only have had some success in the province of Prince Edward Island. They get 4.4% of the vote there which isn’t much! but it’s the third largest party in that province.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Third_party_(Canada)

      Korky comments on British Columbia, so I will assume she lives there. British Columbia is not Prince Edward Island. While technically not true two party systems, several countries do have two really big major parties that dominate their multi party system.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Major_party

      Canada has three big political parties. None of them are the Green Party of Canada. What do Green Parties do worldwide? They are all minor collation partners, if they have any elected members at all.

      All other English speaking countries whether Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, United Kingdom, or Canada are all good examples of this. Even in multi party systems, Greens don’t really perform that good in any country.

      Now that I checked it’s even worse than I thought. Greens worldwide are just a small part of opposition coalitions. Where is a Green Party part of a coalition government? Brazil, France, Denmark, Finland, and Latvia. Five countries only out of all countries with Global Greens member parties. It has 91 members parties. So, basically the other 86 Green Parties are I either un represented in government or opposition. A few dozen or so Green Parties are in the opposition globally ie Albania, Andorra, Australia, Austria, Belgium, Benin, Canada, Cyprus, Estonia, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Ireland, United Kingdom, Italy, Kenya, Luxembourg, Mexico, Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, Romania, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Tunisia, and Venezuela. 29 parties in opposition and five in government coalitions give a total of 34 with elected members at all. What about all those other 57 countries with no elected Greens?

      Greens don’t do well electorally worldwide. It is unlikely America would be Brazil, Finland, France, or Lativa with regards to Greens being a governing party even if we had a multi party system.

    • ‘Bill’ votes for the lesser of 2 evils, he says.
      Bill, are you going to do that all your life, or are you ever going to break out of that trap, that downward spiral?

      You need a plan. Either vote Green or some other plan, if you can find or invent a better plan. If you get enough people to vote Green, we Greens will abolish the 2-party system, not become a new member of the Duopoly.

      The Libertarians might do so, too, if you elect them.

      You must have a plan to save the USA from its over-rich overlords and to save the world from the USA.

  • Tor

    >Bill, ironically said commentary is also true in her adopted country of Canada as well. All you have to do is replace Republican Party with Conservative Party of Canada. Greens only have had some success in the province of Prince Edward Island. They get 4.4% of the vote there which isn’t much! but it’s the third largest party in that province.

    You haven’t done much research on Canada then. The Greens have three elected officials in Canada currently. Two federally and one MLA in British Columbia (think state representative). Third parties don’t do well in Prince Edward Island, even the NDP, Canada’s long time “third party” (and now second party) has only once ever elected a provincial representative in their province. Manitoba is also another place the Greens will likely elect someone in the future.

    • Tor

      I meant “Third parties don’t do well in Prince Edward Island, even the NDP, Canada’s long time “third party” has only ever *once* elected a single provincial representative in the Island.”

      • Stephen Kent Gray

        Third parties by province.

        Newfoundland and Labrador NDP (24.6%) 5/48 seats (compared to Conservatives with 37 and Liberals with 6)
        New Brunswick NDP (10.4%) 0/55 seats (compared to Conservatives with 41 and Liberals with 13)
        Ontario NDP (22.7%) 17/107 seats (compared to Liberals with 53 and Conservatives with 37)

        Prince Edward Island Green (4.4%) 0/27 seats (compared with Liberals with 23 and Conservatives with 3)
        Saskatchewan Green (2.9%) 0/58 seats (compared to Saskatchewan with 49 and NDP with 9)
        British Columbia Green (8%) 1/85 seats (compared to Liberals with 49 and NDP with 34)

        Nova Scotia Conservative (24.5%) 8/52 seats Dated. Liberals have 33 with Conservatives having 11 and NDP having 7.

        Quebec CAQ (27.1%) 19/125 seats (compared to PQ with 54 and Liberals with 50) I personally only know Quebec politics, so I know this info is dated. Liberals have 70 now and PQ has 30 while CAQ has 22. I have friends from Quebec so that why I only know Quebec as opposed to Canadian politics.

        Manitoba Liberal (7.5%) 1/57 seats (compared to NDP with 37 and Conservatives with 17)
        Alberta Liberal (9.9%) 5/87 seats (compared to Conservative with 61 and Wildrose with 17)
        Yukon Liberal (25.2%) 2/19 seats Dated. Yukon has 12 with NDP having 6 and Liberals having 1.

        Now that I have completely look at all of Canada’s province. I have the info completed.

        Tor, please correct any other dated info other than the three provinces I corrected myself if there are any dated numbers.

      • Stephen Kent Gray

        Tor, I wasn’t familiar with that so I posted the other info. Now focusing on Green provinces….

        Prince Edward Island Green (4.4%) 0/27 seats (compared with Liberals with 23 and Conservatives with 3)
        Saskatchewan Green (2.9%) 0/58 seats (compared to Saskatchewan with 49 and NDP with 9)
        British Columbia Green (8%) 1/85 seats (compared to Liberals with 49 and NDP with 34)

        I initially excluded Western Canada from my search given how Conservative it is, Western alienation and all. British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba are the four I just recently looked up. British Columbia and Saskatchewan surprised me with the info above.

        British Columbia Green (8%) 1/85 seats (compared to Liberals with 49 and NDP with 34)
        Alberta Liberal (9.9%) 5/87 seats (compared to Conservative with 61 and Wildrose with 17)
        Saskatchewan Green (2.9%) 0/58 seats (compared to Saskatchewan with 49 and NDP with 9)
        Manitoba Liberal (7.5%) 1/57 seats (compared to NDP with 37 and Conservatives with 17)

        Manitoba surprise me with this info as well. Alberta by contrast is what I expected to find. I already knew the Quebec stats. No Greens elected there would have surprised me if not for already knowing Quebec politics.

        Quebec CAQ (27.1%) 19/125 seats (compared to PQ with 54 and Liberals with 50) I personally only know Quebec politics, so I know this info is dated. Liberals have 70 now and PQ has 30 while CAQ has 22. I have friends from Quebec so that why I only know Quebec as opposed to Canadian politics.

        • Tor

          >I initially excluded Western Canada from my search given how Conservative it is, Western alienation and all.

          While Western alienation is definitely a factor in all of the West outside coastal BC (They don’t really view themselves as Westerners and their voting habits reflect this) it doesn’t necessarily equate to a steadfast devotion to right wing politics (With the obvious exception of Alberta). Both Saskatchewan and Manitoba have both regularly elected NDP governments (in fact, Saskatchewan was the only province to not only elect but regularly so the NDP’s socialist predecessor the CCF. The CCF is the one who started Canadian’s first single payer health system in that province). and in fact historically the NDP has greatly benefited from Western alienation as it’s always identified as a Liberal party trait, rather than a left wing trait. It’s why outside coastal BC federally the Liberal party is all but dead with the exception of the BC Liberals provincially. And that’s only because they’ve geared themselves in the last 20 years as the major right wing big tent anti NDP party, a type of party very common in the West due to it’s long history of electing NDP governments. The Greens are beginning to do well in the West because they tend to appeal to a lot of the political culture of the West. Ecology, decentralization, also a thirst for a non conservative option outside the NDP (Remember, Liberals are irrelevant in the West and in BC they *are* the major “conservative” party).

          >Manitoba surprise me with this info as well

          Really? What surprises you about it? I’m not being condescending but the NDP has been in power there for nearly 15 years, and the Liberals have been toast in the province for decades.

          >Tor, please correct any other dated info other than the three provinces I corrected myself if there are any dated numbers.

          Your current numbers seem to be pretty accurate.

          • Stephen Kent Gray

            Tor and Korky, here is the polling for the next general election which at the latest will be October 19, 2015 if not called earlier.

            http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Opinion_polling_in_the_42nd_Canadian_federal_election

            Conservatives 39.6% (Latest poll: 33%) range: 26-41.8%
            NDP 30.6% (Latest poll: 24%) range: 19-38%
            Liberals 18.9% (Latest poll: 33%) range: 15-44%
            BQ 6% (Latest poll: 6%) range: 2.5-9%
            Greens 3.9% (Latest poll: 4%) range: 2-10%

            Basically polling says Liberals will do better and win the Prime Minstership, Comservatives and NDP will go down, and BQ and Greens will do the same as last time.

            MPs who won’t be running for re election

            Conservatives
            Diane Ablonczy, Calgary—Nose Hill, Alberta
            Mike Allen, Tobique—Mactaquac, New Brunswick
            Ray Boughen, Palliser, Saskatchewan
            Garry Breitkreuz, Yorkton—Melville, Saskatchewan
            Barry Devolin, Haliburton—Kawartha Lakes—Brock, Ontario
            Laurie Hawn, Edmonton Centre, Alberta
            Russ Hiebert, South Surrey—White Rock—Cloverdale, British Columbia
            Greg Kerr, West Nova, Nova Scotia
            Ed Komarnicki, Souris—Moose Mountain, Saskatchewan
            James Lunney, Nanaimo—Alberni, British Columbia
            Colin Mayes, Okanagan—Shuswap, British Columbia
            Maurice Vellacott, Saskatoon—Wanuskewin, Saskatchewan

            New Democrats
            Alex Atamanenko, British Columbia Southern Interior, British Columbia
            Jean Crowder, Nanaimo—Cowichan, British Columbia

            Liberals
            Irwin Cotler, Mount Royal, Quebec
            Lise St-Denis, Saint-Maurice—Champlain, Quebec

    • Stephen Kent Gray

      Tor, according to Wikipedia there are two Greens in the House of Commons currently.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/House_of_Commons_of_Canada

      Conservatives 161
      NDP 99
      Liberals 36
      BQ 4
      Greens 2
      Independent 2
      Independent Conservative 1
      Vacant 3

  • Thanks for your interest in Canada. Presented, presumably, to prove that I am pathetic for not being able to find a Green-Party-ruled country in which to see refuge. And thanks for the world statistics, which prove how pathetic and wrong we Greens are because we haven’t elected more people.

    I guess my only consolation is that we in Canada are generally not stupid enough to use the innumerate term ‘third party’ to mean any party other than the 2 most successful. And the universal health care.

  • Here in British Columbia (actually, unceded First Nations land), we elect quite a few Greens to local government in addition to the cases mentioned, as we do in the USA, too.

    • Bill

      Ah, Canadian exceptionalism. It’s heartening to know that we Americans aren’t the world’s only jingoistic xenophobes.

      [Note to my many native Canadian friends: I know, I know...Korky's an American expat who does not actually reflect on your famously tolerant, pragmatic, and modest national culture]

  • How Canada Is Better Than the USA

    by Korky Day

    (All comparisons account for the difference in population.)

    1. Government health care for all.
    2. People healthier, live longer, trimmer, happier, calmer.
    3. Lower smoking rate (more government restrictions).
    4. Less war on illegal drug users.
    5. Less drug use in pro sport.
    6. About 1/20 as many wars.
    7. Smaller military.
    8. Military not dominating world.
    9. No Guantanamo.
    10. Peace-keeping troops.
    11. Veterans neglected less.
    12. World trade not as vicious and murderous.
    13. Canadians liked much more in world.
    14. Much less crime.
    15. Gun control; no constitutional gun rights.
    16. 1/10 the rate of gun deaths.
    17. No prime ministers or premiers ever assassinated.
    18. No (?) prisons for profit.
    19. 5 parties in Parliament. (2 in USA.)
    20. Supreme court is less partisan, more reasonable.
    21. National referenda.
    22. More campaign finance restriction.
    23. Much less negative campaigning.
    24. Fewer business lobbyists.
    25. Daily question period (cabinet must answer).
    26. Easy for all candidates and parties to get on ballot.
    27. A province could secede.
    28. Many fewer colonies.
    29. Full rights for citizens in capital city.
    30. A woman prime minister (in the past).
    31. Female equality in Constitution.
    32. Free abortion on request.
    33. Less over-population.
    34. Less mistreatment of First Nations.
    35. Fewer and milder racists.
    36. Immigration much more controlled.
    37. Immigrants more respected.
    38. Higher taxes pay for more social services.
    39. Less dependence on private charities for social services.
    40. Higher rate of co-ops.
    41. Higher rate of credit unions; much better banks.
    42. National bank not privately owned.
    43. Higher rate of union membership.
    44. Less poverty.
    45. Fewer foreclosures; more stable housing market.
    46. Gay marriage.
    47. More tolerant of breastfeeding.
    48. More tolerant of nudism.
    49. People much less religious.
    50. Religion and God not on money.
    51. Politicians rarely mention their faith or God.
    52. No pledge of allegiance.
    53. Big, well-funded government broadcaster (CBC).
    54. Better broadcasting generally.
    55. Higher rate of comedians.
    60. More polite.
    61. More wilderness.
    62. Cleaner.
    63. More concern for environment.
    64. Many fewer deny evolution.
    65. Many fewer deny human-caused climate change.
    66. Metric.
    67. Bilingual.
    68. Better name.

    How the USA Is Better Than Canada

    1. No queen.
    2. Separation of executive and legislative branches.
    3. In a few states: more and easier state referenda.
    4. In a few states: legal cannabis.

    2014 January 19-24.
    End

    • J Clifford

      Korky, does Canada have the promise of separation of church and state in its legal system?

      Also, please address weather. Is Canada’s colder climate a benefit or a liability of living there?

      Canada: Tar sands pipelines already constructed. USA: Working on it.

      • I love talking to US Americans about Canada because Canada is a great beacon of relative sanity to the USA right on your doorstep.

        As for your 3 points:

        1. I’m not sure, but I don’t think that Canada formally separates church and state as much as the USA. But that’s formally, which might not be as important as the practice. In practice, it’s better here in Canada because many fewer Canadians are religious. And when they are religious, they’re usually ‘liberal’ Christians, not creationist homophobic whackos.
        For instance, public money sometimes goes to religious schools in Canada, especially in Ontario, but I think that it does more so in the USA to the charter schools.

        2. I’ve ignored weather in my list mostly because it largely depends on what you like. The vast majority of Canadians live a short walk from the USA border, so the weather is like the northern USA. As far as the environment, more is spent on heating buildings, but we’re trying to insulate, etc. I’ve heard the theory that northern nations are naturally more compassionate because people need to help each other more in order to survive. For instance, in California, when homeless, I slept outside a bit. Hard to do that in Whitehorse, Yukon.

        3. Tar sands are definitely a disaster here in Canada. We are working against that. But looking at fossil fuels as a whole, the USA is just as bad, I think. I remember when I first went to Texas in 1964 I saw fields full of oil derricks ‘flaming’ (burning off the natural gas ito get rid of it to get to the oil below it–because the price of natural gas was too low then to make it profitable to save and use it). Flaming is still practiced in both countries, I think. I say it’s criminal. But both countries are basically criminal against humanity and the earth.

        • Stephen Kent Gray

          Korky, I have heard for calls in Quebec to adopt French secularism or Laïcité there.

          Public discourse in Quebec, the only predominantly French-speaking province in Canada, has been greatly influenced by the laïcité of France since the 1960s. Prior to this time Quebec was seen as a very observant Catholic society, where Catholicism was a de facto state religion. Quebec then underwent a period of rapid secularization called the Quiet Revolution. Quebec politicians have tended to adopt a more European-style understanding of secularism than is practised elsewhere in Canada. This came to the fore during the debate on what constitutes the “reasonable accommodation” of religious minorities.

          In the Fall of 2013, the government of Quebec proposed Bill 60, the “Charter affirming the values of State secularism and religious neutrality and of equality between women and men, and providing a framework for accommodation requests.” The bill would alter the provincial human rights law to prohibit public employees and others from wearing objects that overtly indicate a religious preference. The people who would be most impacted by such a law would be Muslim women wearing a hijab, Jewish men wearing a kippah, and Sikh men wearing a turban. Employees who do not comply with the law would be terminated from their employment. Although the title of the bill references equality between women and men, a direct impact of the law would be a higher rate of unemployment among Muslim women who refuse to remove their headscarves.

          Bill 60 follows a European secularism model versus the American model. Unlike secularism under the U.S. Constitution, it does not interpret laïcité to include a right to the “free exercise” of religion nor does it create a policy against governmental “establishment” of religion. The bill also leaves untouched current practices in Quebec that would violate the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, such as the use of public funds for private and religious schools and the creation of a values / ethics curriculum component in all secondary schools where students are regularly asked to give a profession of their religious faith.

          • Thanks, Stephen Kent Gray, for that information, which is accurate as far as I can tell, never having been to Quebec myself. The only part I question is making students pledge their faith. Never heard of that except in religious schools which usually make an exception for people of another faith who are attending.

            The Quebec Charter of Values, as it is usually called in English, has created a storm of debate in the last few months. The issues are so deep and complicated that I have not completely taken a side myself, which is rare. I am tending to favour it, though more to liberate women than to liberate government from religion. But what is religion, anyway? Much of it is just female oppression in the guise of kindness, the same as the governments of the USA and Canada and most of the world. So the turban and the veil, though they might seem comparable, are not. The veil labels one as an inferior, while the turban does not.

  • Canada:
    69. No death penalty.
    70. University sport not so commercial.
    71. Higher proportion of public universities.
    72. Higher proportion of public hospitals.

  • Stephen Kent Gray

    Tor and Korky, I’m mostly familiar with Quebec. The Liberals are the Federalist Party there. The others are all sovereigntist and separatist Qubece nationalists.

    Bloc Québécois is a left of center party that espouses left wing nationalism, Quebec sovereigntism, separatism, and social democracy.

    Parti Québécois is a left of center part that espouses Québécois nationalism, Québécois sovereigntism, separatism, and Québécois social democracy.

    Quebec solitaire is a left wing party that espouses democratic socialism, social democracy, Québécois sovereigntism, green politics, social justice, global justice, feminism, and anti capitalism.

    Option nationale is a left of center party that espouses Québécois sovereigntism, Québécois nationalism, progressivism, social democracy, and social liberalism.

    Coalition Avenir Quebec is a right of center party that espouses Québécois federalism, Québécois autonomism, fiscal conservatism, and neoliberalism.

    Liberal Party (of Quebec) is a right of center party that espouses Québécois federalism, Liberalism (classical and market rather than modern and social), Canadian nationalism, Québécois autonomism, and neoliberalism. They recently got the majority in a recent Quebec election.

    Parti Marxiste-Leniniste du Quebec is a far left party that espouses Communism, Marxism, Leninism, Marxism-Leninism, and Hoxhaism.

    • For those new to the topic, the BQ is a party only in the federal parliament, while the PQ is a party only in the Quebec provincial parliament.

      In federal elections, the NDP contests the seats, and won a majority, I think, last time in Quebec.

    • Stephen Kent Gray

      Korky, I have read the term Natural Governing Party with regard to the Liberals.

      The Liberal Party of Canada (French: Parti libéral du Canada), colloquially known as the Grits, is the oldest federal political party in Canada. The party espouses the principles of liberalism, and generally sits at the centre of the Canadian political spectrum. Historically the Liberal Party has been positioned to the left of the Conservative Party of Canada and to the right of the New Democratic Party (NDP).

      The party dominated federal politics for much of Canada’s history, holding power for almost 69 years in the 20th century—more than any other party in a developed country—which resulted in its being sometimes referred to as Canada’s “natural governing party”. Among the party’s signature policies and legislative accomplishments include universal health care, the Canada Pension Plan, Canada Student Loans, peacekeeping, multilateralism, official bilingualism, official multiculturalism, patriating the Canadian constitution and the entrenchment of Canada’s Charter of Rights and Freedoms, the Clarity Act, restoring balanced budgets in the 1990s, and making same-sex marriage legal nationwide. Over the last decade however the party has lost a significant amount of support, to the benefit of both the Conservative Party and the NDP. In the 2011 Canadian federal election the Liberal Party had the worst showing in its history, capturing only 19 per cent of the popular vote and 34 seats (becoming the third-place party in the House of Commons for the first time).

      During the 2011 election the Liberal party’s policies included:

      Introduction of a family care plan for Canadians supporting ill family members
      Pension plan reform
      Additional investment in higher education via direct financial aid (learning passport)
      Spending restraint (less on consultants and advertising)
      Reduce deficit to 2 per cent of GDP by 2013 (currently at 5 percent)
      Cancel corporate tax deduction and return rates to 18 per cent (currently at 16.5 percent)
      Restoration of the long-form census
      Quadruple renewable energy production, including wind, solar and biomass energy sources
      Introduce a national food policy to support Canadian farmers

      In Canada, Liberal refers mainly to the policies and ideas of the Liberal Party of Canada/Parti Libéral du Canada (member LI), the most frequent governing party of Canada for the last century and one of the largest liberal parties in the world. The Liberal Party of Canada has in the past generally supported a welfare state, but now is most simply regarded as a centrist party. The British Columbia Liberal Party, Quebec Liberal Party and Saskatchewan Party combine liberalism with conservative ideas.

      Historically, Canada has had two liberal phases. Prior to the 1960s, Canadian politics were classically liberal, i.e., there was a focus on individual liberty, representative government, and free markets. This brand of liberalism can be traced to the arrival in Canada of the United Empire Loyalists and the enactment of the Constitutional Act of 1791. The Constitutional Act established representative government through the elected assemblies of Upper and Lower Canada. While the Loyalists were faithful to British institutions and opposed to American republicanism, they were committed to North American ideals of individual liberty and representative government. This brand of liberalism was prominent though the Liberal government of Wilfrid Laurier, which advocated such policies as free trade with the United States, and beyond.

      The second liberalism began, roughly, in the 1960s with the election of Lester B. Pearson as leader of the Liberal Party of Canada and can be traced through the politics of Pierre Trudeau, Jean Chrétien, and Paul Martin. This liberalism is what is properly called in a global context social liberalism, or what contemporary North American use of the word signifies as liberalism: liberal democracy, social justice, social progressivism, Third Way, multiculturalism, diplomacy in foreign policy, and a regulated free market economy (during the Trudeau era the Liberals arguably supported a mixed economy). In this second sense, Canada is presently one of the more liberal countries in the Americas. By contrast, prior to the 1960s, Canada was one of the most liberal countries in the world in the first sense.

      There is argued to be a third phase of liberalism emerging that is centred on a more sustainable form of politics. The argument is that action is needed to ensure that the environment, economy, and social elements of society will function not only in the short term, but long term as well. If action is not taken on all of these pressing issues then it can cause a direct threat to our freedoms. This emerging new liberalism is centred on an ideal of ‘timeless freedom’ which seeks to preserve the freedom of future generations through proactive action today. This would extend both positive and negative rights and responsibilities to future generations.

      Though Canada is competitive despite the Natural Governing thing. The Liberals don’t have the dominant party system that this quote sounds like.

      Canada: The Liberal Party of Canada was the dominant party in the federal government of Canada for so much of its history that it is sometimes given the moniker “Canada’s natural governing party”. The party experienced several long uninterrupted periods in power including 1873-1878, 1896-1911, 1917-1918 (when a fraction of the Liberals served as part of a coalition “Union” government), 1921-1926, 1926-1930, 1935-1957, 1963-1979, 1980-1984, and 1993-2006.

      British Columbia: The Social Credit Party held power for all but 3 years between 1952 and 1991, winning 11 of the 12 elections held during this 39-year period.

      Alberta: The Social Credit Party governed Alberta from 1935 to 1971, and the Alberta PC Party has held power since 1971.

      Nova Scotia: The Nova Scotia Liberal Party, in the Province of Nova Scotia, held office in an unbroken period from 1882 to 1925. During the period from 1867 to 1956, the party was in power for 76 of 89 years, most of that time with fewer than 5 opposition members.

      Ontario: The Progressive Conservative Party of Ontario, in the Province of Ontario, held office from 1943 to 1985.

      Okay, so there used to be one.

      A dominant-party system or one-party dominant system, is a system where there is “a category of parties/political organizations that have successively won election victories and whose future defeat cannot be envisaged or is unlikely for the foreseeable future.” A wide range of parties have been cited as being dominant at one time or another, including the Kuomintang in the Republic of China, the African National Congress (ANC) in South Africa, the Liberal Democratic Party in Japan, and the Indian National Congress in India. Such dominance has not always been a matter of concern, with, for example, the dominance of the Indian National Congress being seen by some as source of stability supportive of the consolidation of democracy.

      • What you say is very good. I would quibble that the Liberals borrowed universal health care insurance only after the NDP did the heavy lifting of establishing it in Saskatchewan.

        Also, the part about how forward-looking the Liberals allegedly are now sounds like what one of their flacks would write. I detect no more future thinking among them than any other party. ‘Sustainablity’ is just more popular generally.

  • The columns got too narrow for me to read, so I’m going back here to wide columns. J Clifford and Stephen Kent Gray make good points comparing the parties. But Greens are not burnished Democrats and Libertarians are not souped-up Republicans. The main difference is that the Duopoly is totally corrupt and hypocritical and the other 2 are sincere and idealist. J Clifford is wrong that the G’s and L’s could look as slick and reasonable as the Duopolists if they just tried a little harder. No, it is the money which buys those images that the gullible public believes, including J Clifford (it seems). If you knew the candidates as you do your closest siblings, you’d realize how nice and normal the G’s and L’s are in reality compared to the high-office D’s and R’s, who are blood-thirsty sociopaths, extreme power trippers, and puppets of their handlers and the super-rich. The non-elected D’s and R’s are much nicer.

    Also, Greens are all keen on making elections much more democratic, while elected Democrats work to make them much less democratic.

    So, while platforms are interesting, more crucial is how they actually act when elected.

    • Stephen Kent Gray

      Korky, this leads to another issue. The catch 22 that voters need to know how parties act once elected to feel comfortable supporting it. Yet, at the same time parties need votes to be elected. It’s not a problem for Democrats and Republicans as established parties, but it is a bind for third parties. The only rare case is when politicians from an established party defect. Then they can add their political background to a third party.

      Debate reform is needed on the presidential level. Also, Canada has the same first past the post voting system as America. It needs to replaced by instant runoff voting as well.

      A first-past-the-post (abbreviated FPTP or FPP) election is one that is won by the candidate receiving more votes than any other(s). It is a common, but not universal, feature of electoral systems with single-member legislative districts, and generally results over time with a two-party competition.

      In political science, Duverger’s law is a principle that asserts that plurality rule elections structured within single-member districts tend to favor a two-party system. This is one of two hypotheses proposed by Duverger, the second stating that “the double ballot majority system and proportional representation tend to multipartism.”

      The discovery of this tendency is attributed to Maurice Duverger, a French sociologist who observed the effect and recorded it in several papers published in the 1950s and 1960s. In the course of further research, other political scientists began calling the effect a “law” or principle. Duverger’s law suggests a nexus or synthesis between a party system and an electoral system: a proportional representation (PR) system creates the electoral conditions necessary to foster party development while a plurality system marginalizes many smaller political parties, resulting in what is known as a two-party system.

      In Canada, there are five political parties represented in Parliament. However there is an incentive to vote for a party that elects no candidate, as it may reach the threshold for public financing. That doesn’t alter the fact that most governments are one-party majority governments.

      In the United Kingdom, the Liberal party/Alliance/Liberal Democrats have, since the February 1974 General Election, usually obtained between 15% and 25% of the vote forming a “third party” and creating a three-party system. This may be explained with an exception to the law in constituencies where the centrist party is in first or second position (Taagepera 2010). Moreover, despite gathering around a fifth of votes consistently for over twenty years, their share of seats in parliament has not been more than a tenth in that time.

      I would like to add more info on the United Kingdom. Currently there is a de fact three party system of Conservatives, Labor, and Liberal Democrats. This will probably change due to UKIP (Independence Party) rising in the polls.

      Canada’s voting system is the issue. America lacks that incentive of voting for parties except at the Presidential level with funding levels of 5% for minor party status and 25% for major party status.

      • Stephen Kent Gray is almost fully correct in his analysis of Duverger, etc.

        The other key point is that in the USA, the fact of a separate national election for the president & VP, on top of the single-member districts and one-X ballot, aligns the whole country into 2 parties. That doesn’t happen in countries with executives drawn from the legislature: the parliamentary system. That’s why Canada and the UK don’t have 2-party systems, not the relatively minor points you mention (campaign funding, party history, etc.)

        Of course, having 3 to 5 very competitive parties in the legislature doesn’t make those countries democratic, just less undemocratic. So Canada is less undemocratic than the USA. And it really shows if you’ve lived in both, as I have. See my list herein.

      • And yes, SKG, we Greens are pushing hard for electoral reform: proportional representation (pro-rep) to allow as many parties as the people want. Nothing less will work to make the USA and Canada democratic (except maybe random draws to fill the legislatures, which probably would be harder to institute).

    • Stephen Kent Gray

      Actually I didn’t compare Libertarians to Republicans, but Constitution to Republicans. Libertarians are in the middle of Greens/Democrats and Constitution/Republicans as per the chart.

      http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Political_parties_in_the_United_States#Party_comparisons

      Excluding drug liberalization and non interventionism, Greens and Democrats have all left wings positions and Constitution and Republicans have all right wing positions. Libertarians have a centrist match up of half left wing and half right wing positions.

      • You’re right, Stephen Kent Gray. I should have acknowledged that you wrote that.
        I personally disagree, though, and think that libertarians are more like Republicans on the issues that I consider more basic, which are economic issues.

        For example, I think that a well-meaning Republican (that is, almost all of them except the elected ones and their super-rich masters) is more likely to evolve to libertarianism than to the Green Party or any red party. I am a Green.

        • Stephen Kent Gray

          Korky, so issues like abortion, same-sex marriage, immigration, and capital punishment, as well as drug legalization and non-interventionism effectively don’t count?

          • Only those last 2 are issues of much interest, but they wouldn’t be decisive in any election, I don’t think.

            We have free abortion, gay marriage, controlled immigration, and no executions, and nobody is campaigning to change any of those.
            Related to immigration, though, is the temporary foreign worker programme which lately is being exposed to the general public as a gift to employers who want to hire foreign serfs who won’t assert any labour rights and who will undercut everyone else’s wages.

          • Let me correct myself. The Libertarians are probably against paying for anyone’s abortion and they probably are for completely open borders, but we hardly ever hear from them. They are a much smaller party in Canada than in the USA–in large part because they are against government health spending and everyone else is for it, even the Conservatives.

            • Stephen Kent Gray

              Korky, their platform is available online, but I will summarize it.

              The Libertarian Party advocates minimizing government interference in the social and economic affairs of Canadian citizens, on the grounds that such interference violates rights and leads to general impoverishment. As such, the party platform contains the following positions:

              Economic Policy: The Party supports a highly laissez-faire economic policy. It opposes most, if not all, government restriction or regulation of voluntary trade, including the imposition of centrally planned labour and environmental standards. Likewise, the Party is firmly committed to unilateral free trade, rejecting both protectionism and trade agreements. The Party also regards most, if not all, taxation as coercive, and seeks to eliminate or substantially reduce the personal and corporate income tax rates, as well as abolish the GST and federal excise taxes. Its stated goal is a move towards a system of fees for service. The Party also supports the abolition of the Bank of Canada, arguing that government regulation of currency and credit is harmful to the economy.

              Welfare Programs: The Party opposes all government subsidies- whether to industry, education, health care, science, the arts, or individuals. It thus opposes both social welfare programs and corporate welfare programs, including the Canada Health Act, public education, and agricultural subsidies.

              Environmental Policy: The Party maintains a free-market environmentalist philosophy. It regards pollution as aggression against property rights, and supports the right of pollution victims to file injunctions against polluters. It also considers the overexploitation of natural resources to be a direct result of government ownership of those resources, and supports their privatization. The Party opposes government-mandated environmental standards and Canadian participation in the Kyoto Protocol.

              Civil Liberties: The Party supports the unrestricted rights of freedom of expression, religion, the press, voluntary association, and peaceful assembly. It opposes government interference into marriage, the family, churches and other private associations. The Party has condemned the erosion of civil liberties in the last decade in the name of counter-terrorism. It also strongly opposes government surveillance of society, as well as government restrictions on the right to own firearms and the right to self-defence.

              Law and Order: The Party supports laws against the use of force, the threat thereof, or fraud. It would remove all victimless crimes from the criminal code, regarding any action that does not aggress against another individual as an issue of personal responsibility. It thus supports the blanket legalization of all drugs. The Party also contends that the punishment should be proportional to the crime, and likewise supports heavier sentencing for violent offenders.

              Foreign Policy: The Party maintains a non-interventionist philosophy in foreign policy. It supports diplomacy and free trade with other nations, but opposes interference in their sovereign affairs except through those means. It likewise supports a rigorous defence of Canada’s sovereignty from foreign powers. However, it opposes government provision of airline security. The Party generally opposes war and nuclear proliferation due to their potential to result in rights violations. It also advocates withdrawal from military alliances such as NATO.

              Immigration Policy: The Party supports open immigration so long as immigrants do not take advantage of existing social welfare programs.

              Intellectual Property: The Party advocates a moderate approach to intellectual property that would generally entail rolling back the existing laws. The Party has also called into question the ability of companies to patent existing processes, genetically modified organisms, and existing organisms.

              Telecommunications Policy: The Party supports internet freedom, and rejects government regulation of Internet Service Providers. It supports the elimination of the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission. It also proposes the private appropriation of the electromagnetic spectrum as an alternative to government spectrum licensing.

              Political Process: The Party opposes restrictions on campaign donations, advertising, and spending. It rejects electronic voting in light of its questionable track record and supports including a NOTA (None Of The Above) option on ballots. The Party is also supportive of citizens’ rights to recall their local Member of Parliament, as well as challenge parliament through referenda.

              • Bill

                As good a description of why libertines…excuse me, libertarians…are loons (and I don’t mean Canadians) as ever I’ve heard.

                It opposes most, if not all, government restriction or regulation of voluntary trade, including the imposition of centrally planned labour and environmental standards [....] It regards pollution as aggression against property rights, and supports the right of pollution victims to file injunctions against polluters.

                Yeah, libertarians aren’t too strong on that whole ‘tragedy of the commons’ thing. Any day now I’m fixin’ to sue Exxon, Shell, BP, Duke Energy, PG&E, Peabody Mining and a couple hundred other huge energy companies for gettin’ CO2 all over my lawn.

                The Party also regards most, if not all, taxation as coercive [....] Its stated goal is a move towards a system of fees for service. “Thank you, Mr. Jones. Your share of the cost for the benefits to society of universal free primary and secondary education comes to $37,820.43 this year. And your share of the cost of defending the United States’ borders last year is $412,000.02; it would have been a lot less if we just charged per capita, but you’re you’re wealthy, so you have a lot more to lose. Charging poor people the same as you would be coercive, don’tcha know. Your share of the cost of protecting you from epidemic disease by making basic health care available to all comes out to $7,500,000, because that’s what the actuaries tell us your future earning power is worth. Now what’s next…ah, air traffic control. I see you live under a flight path?”

                It also strongly opposes [...] government restrictions on the right to own firearms.” So remind little Billy that it’s Take Your Gun To Show-And-Tell Day! Because Liberty!

                The Party maintains a non-interventionist philosophy in foreign policy. Because Neville Chamberlain demonstrated how gosh-darn well that works!

                it opposes government provision of airline security Because we have to discourage freeloaders like those takers in the World Trade Center. Besides, if somebody’s going to rub your crotch and look at nudie pics of you at the airport, he should be making a helluva sweet profit margin!

                The Party opposes restrictions on campaign donations So, dear Misters Koch, please send us tons of money, OK? We’re on your side!

              • That sounds accurate about the libertarians and doesn’t contradict anything I said, I don’t think.

                They’re pretty crazy half the time and right on half the time. Better than most ruling parties. Much worse than us Greens.

  • I compared McKinney and Nader in 2008, as suggested by Stephen Kent Gray with his link. No significant difference. I was disappointed that we couldn’t unite the 2 campaigns.

  • Stephen Kent Gray

    Korky, you specified Vancouver on your website in particular detail.

    I looked it up.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Government_and_politics_of_Vancouver

    Vancouver has 5 MPs of representation federally.

    Tories (Conservatives)
    Wai Young (South)

    NDP
    Libby Davies (East)
    Don Davies (Kingsway)

    Liberals
    Hedy Fry (Centre)
    Joyce Murray (Quadra)

    Provincially, there are 11 MLA. NDP has 7 and Liberals have 4.

    NDP
    George Heyman (Fairveiw)
    Shane Simpson (Hastings)
    Mable Elmore (Kinsington)
    Adrian Dix (Kingsway)
    Jenny Kwan (Mount Pleasant)
    David Eby (Pount Grey)
    Spencer Chandra Herbert (West End)

    Grits (Liberal Party)
    Sam Sullivan (False Creek)
    Suzanne Anton (Fraserview)
    Moira Stilwell (Langara)
    Andrew Wilkinson (Quilchena)

    I’m curious if you are currently represent by a Tory, a Grit, or a NDP?

    • Stephen Kent Gray, the Liberals unfortunately have hood-winked my current neighbours federally and provincially. I know quite a few of the people on that list, by the way.

      • Stephen Kent Gray

        Korky, how many alternatives does British Columbia have to the Grits especially in Vancouver? Also what issues does each party like to emphasize?

        2005

        Yes, we know that there are smaller parties that some of you would have liked us to include, and individual politicians whose positions would be nice to have up there as well. There may be other additions in due course. We do what we can with our advertising-free and free-to access site. Should we secure a Canadian sponsor, we can, of course, produce further interesting charts.

        We’d like to thank those Canadians who generously gave their time to assist our research. Bloc Québécois presented us with a real challenge, since it is primarily a single-goal party promoting Québec independence. As such, it attracts members from all quadrants of The Political Compass who often have little else in common.

        2008

        The Conservative Party’s move further towards the Bush-Reagan mix of free market economics with social conservatism makes the somewhat mercurial Liberals look more moderate, despite their own rightward drift. An emphasis on environmental issues has helped the Liberals downplay deep differences within the party on other key issues. The Greens, more fiscally conservative than most of their sister parties, also harbour significant left-right differences within their ranks. Similarly Bloc Québécois is united in its core cause, but considerably divided in other policy areas. In provinces where the NDP has governed in recent years, social spending cutbacks and other nods towards neoliberalism place the party today closer to where the Liberals were two decades ago.

        During the campaign we’ll be tweaking positions when necessary and hope to add some smaller parties as well.

        2011

        While the Liberals and the Conservatives accuse each other of reckless spending policies, their real differences are a little more significant on the social scale of The Political Compass. Ethical issues play well for the Liberals at the present time, while the Conservatives’ winning card is family values. Identity politics make for a more comfortable debate between parties of relatively little economic distinction. Both of the big two, after all, talk of lower taxes, jobs and growth.

        Perhaps because Canada has emerged in better shape from the financial crisis than most other industrialised countries, the Canadian left has not enjoyed the reinvigoration of progressive parties in other democracies. The NDP has further lost its radical edge, sounding increasingly like one of the milder European Social Democratic parties; keen to be all things to more voters, perhaps presenting a safe pair of hands for coalition with the Liberals. The Greens, with their promises on labour rights and childcare, have moved slightly to the left, countering the otherwise rightward drift of the major national parties.

        Bloc Québécois continues to pose difficulties for The Political Compass. The diversity of conflicting views within the party are transcended by its core cause.

        http://politicalcompass.org/canada2011

        What positions will the parties take by 2015 or whenever it’s called?

        Also, what about the ignored federal parties?

        Elections Canada register parties which aren’t represented
        Animal Alliance Environment Voters Party of Canada (founded in 2005) – environmentalist, animal liberationist
        Canadian Action Party (founded in 1997) – populist, anti-globalization
        Christian Heritage Party of Canada (founded in 1987) – social conservative
        Communist Party of Canada (founded in 1921) – communist
        Communist Party of Canada (Marxist-Leninist) (founded in 1970) – Marxist-Leninist
        Libertarian Party of Canada (founded in 1975) – right-libertarian
        Marijuana Party of Canada (founded in 2000) – pro-cannabis legalization
        Rhinoceros Party (founded in 2006) – satirical party
        Party for Accountability, Competency and Transparency (founded in 2010) – direct democracy
        Pirate Party of Canada (founded in 2009) copyright reform, privacy, network neutrality, open government
        Progressive Canadian Party (founded in 2004) – progressive conservative, Red Tory
        United Party of Canada (founded in 2009) – centrist

        Canada has 17 registered parties, but only 5 are seen as significant.

        Also, when, how, and what will get your neighbors to stop voting Liberal? Also, I’m curious but will you consider running federally as a Green for a seat representing your Vancouver district for the 42nd election?

        • You offer lots of good information. Thanks.

          You ask about alternatives but then pretty much answer your own question. In my federal district (Quadra) I think we usually have candidates from 4 of the 5 parties in the House of Commons (Liberals, Conservatives, New Democrats, and Greens, not the Quebec-only party Bloc Quebecois), with a smattering of others and independents. Unlike the USA, just about any person or party can get on the ballot in Canada fairly easily if they want to, at any level of government.

          The Quadra riding has been reliably Liberal or Conservative probably forever, but I help out in other districts, too.

          My own Green party has no trouble recruiting good candidates in Vancouver so we do not have to stoop to nominating me! We fielded candidates in most of the districts across the country. I have helped recruit candidates.

  • Stephen Kent Gray

    Saturday, Green Live Stream events will happen.

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/05/join-the-green-party-for-2-live-streams-this-saturday/

    Join us on GP-TV this Saturday, May 3rd, for two LIVE programs. From 9am ET – 5pm ET is the Green Party of New Jersey’s Annual Convention in New Brunswick with Music by Margie MacWilliams, the “Songstress of South Jersey”, and a special Keynote address by Howie Hawkins. Howie Hawkins for NY Governor

    From 7pm ET – 9pm ET, is the Maine Green Independent Party30th Anniversary Dinner in Portland, Maine, featuring speeches by Pat LaMarche and John Rensinbrink and others TBA.

    Chat with other Greens in the Chat Room! It’s always lively and fun!

    Green Party Facebook page will post even more info before then.

  • J Clifford

    Thanks, Stephen. I know that the South Carolina Green Party convention is also taking place this Saturday. Are other state conventions taking place this weekend as well?

    • Stephen Kent Gray

      Not that I know of. I just found out about the above events this month. independent Political Report just posted it on the first.

  • Independent is another word that is very often misused in the USA, although I’m not sure that anyone has in these comments or links.

    If you are a member or supporter of ANY political party, no matter how ignored, small, unusual, new, illegal, or suppressed, you are not an independent.

    Independent political party is an oxymoron.

    • Shrumpie

      Independent is a relative term. Independent of what? Greens aren’t independent of the Green Party, but they are independent of the duopoly.

      • The normal meaning in partisan politics is (or should be) independent of political parties.

      • Shrumpie, of course it is correct English and grammar to say, ‘Greens are independent of the Duopoly.’ No problem with that.

        But to say, without such clarity, as some do, that a Green Party member or candidate is an ‘independent’, is wholly wrong and misleading. Furthermore, it insultingly suggests that the Green Party is not a REAL party, like the Democrats and Republicans.

  • When I lived in North Carolina, the state refused to recognize that I am not an independent. They violated my natural rights and logic by labeling me ‘UNA’ (unaffiliated).

  • Stephen Kent Gray

    http://www.independentpoliticalreport.com/2014/05/green-party-watch-hawkins-green-for-ny-gov-picks-teacher-as-running-mate/

    Howie Hawkins has picked a running mate.

    Brian Jones is his running mate.

    Howie Hawkins is up state, teamster, white, and old.
    Brian Jones is down state, teacher, black, and young.

    These are the ways Howie says Brian will balance out the ticket. New York does have a weird system where you vote for Governor and Lieutenant Governor separately.

    He goes on and on for paragraphs about how his running mate pick will basically be all the campaigning he needs effectively.

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