What is the Green Party?
The Green Party is determined to provide an electoral alternative to a corrupt, corporatized two-party system. We believe that the policy-making processes that affect our quality of life belong in the hands of the people. The current two-party, money-controlled political monopoly effectively deprives ordinary citizens of their constitutionally guaranteed rights to representative government. The Green Party believes in empowering citizens and communities.
Our party's first priority is to value-based politics. We believe the most effective strategy for this is through serious, alternative-party challenges at the polls. Our Green Platform 2000 makes the case that we intend to change the way government operates while we act to improve the quality of our environment and everyday lives. We are supporters of social justice and equal opportunity, nonviolence, and healthy local economies. The Green Party offers a politics of hope and a future that is not dominated by politics- or business-as-usual. With the Green Party, you are voting for your hopes, not against your fears.
What we are proposing is an independent politics that advocates fundamental change. We, the Green Party, see our individual lives, and political and economic progress, as part of an evolving, challenging world. We believe we can change history - that together we can make a real difference in our communities, nation and around the globe. In the United States, a new century has often been a time of ferment and change. The Green Party seeks to be the vehicle for that change.
Although third party candidates have not won national office since the l860 election of Abraham Lincoln, many major issues have required the prodding of third party movements to achieve acceptance. The abolition of slavery, women's right to vote, the establishment of a minimum wage, and regulation of child labor were all incorporated into major party platforms and enacted only after they were raised and promoted by third parties. While that is valuable in itself, the Greens intend to move beyond such prodding and will directly challenge the major parties.
Greens throughout the U.S. support 10 "Key Values": ecological wisdom, social justice, grassroots democracy, nonviolence, decentralization, community-based economics, feminism, respect for diversity, personal and global responsibility, and future focus/sustainability.
Within Green parties and the broader Green movement, a guiding principle is to "think globally, act locally." Our Green vision calls for a diversity of approaches to solving problems, one that is controlled from the grassroots. Green politics looks to peace and prosperity, and a rich milieu of communities. The Green Party is about children, education, and the health of the environment in which we all live. The Green Party is a foundation on which we can build a better tomorrow.
There are currently 59 Greens holding elective office in 12 states, mostly in non-partisan offices. Many more Greens hold appointed office and serve on city/county advisory boards and community organizations. About 120 Green Party candidates ran for office in the 1998 elections. Our strategy of running serious and credible candidates has given us better election results than other alternative political parties, despite generally running fewer candidates. Source: ASGP (www.greenparties.org)
The US Greens trace their roots to many places. The European Greens, who first organized as an anti-nuclear, pro-peace movement at the height of the Cold War, brought the Greens their first major visibility. Even earlier, the progressive New Values Party in the South Pacific, and the sixties/seventies student and environmental movement also contributed. The late Petra Kelly, a founder of the German Greens, attended American University in Washington, DC, and was greatly influenced by the US environmental movement of the early 70's.
In l984, the first US Green organizing meetings were convened. These meetings led to the formation of a national membership organization of Green locals and individuals called the Green Committees of Correspondence. At this point, Greens were mostly organizing on the local level. The first Green Party candidate appeared on the ballot back in 1986.
Alaska was the first state in which a Green Party got ballot status in 1990. California followed in l992 and many state parties started to find the individual membership-based organization, renamed the Greens/Green Party USA, less workable and continued their work independently.
In November 1995, Ralph Nader set in motion the Green Party's first presidential campaign by officially announcing he would enter the California Green primary. His decision sparked an enthusiastic reaction from Greens across the country. States that had never had an active Green Party were inspired and motivated to jump on Nader's unconventional presidential campaign. By election eve, the Greens had placed Ralph Nader on 22 ballots nationwide, with another 23 states qualifying him as a write-in candidate. In August 1996, state Green parties held their first national Nominating Convention in Los Angeles, California.
Ralph Nader was joined on the ticket by Native American Winona LaDuke. LaDuke grew up in Oregon and California and now lives on the White Earth Reservation in Minnesota. She is known for her work on environmental and indigenous women's issues and for her role in the struggle for return of Native American lands.
Their campaign challenged the candidates and platforms of the Democrats and Republicans. The campaign accelerated the party building of the Greens and energized efforts at the local and state level, helping to create new coalitions and awareness of the serious and credible efforts of the Green Party. Many state Green parties were either started or rejuvenated by the campaign. The '96 campaign was one of integrity and ideas, and captured a place in the history books as we stepped into the national political arena for the first time.
When the results were in, the Nader-LaDuke campaign came in fourth place after Perot, and polled over 700,000 votes, approximately l% of the vote nationwide, denying Clinton a clear majority and surpassing third party candidates who appeared on all state ballots. The Nader/LaDuke vote in Oregon was the best nationwide -- more than 4%!
Both Ralph Nader and Winona LaDuke have continued their support of the Greens. Ralph Nader has endorsed other Green Party candidates and did a campaign swing through New Mexico and California during the 1998 election. Source: ASGP (www.greenparties.org)Presidential Election
Presidential Election News
Association of State Green Parties
Association of State Green Parties
National Clearing House of Green Parties
State Web Sites
The Greens/Green Party USA (tG/GPUSA)
Miscellaneous Green Links
History and Issues
Platform - ASGP
Ralph Nader -official site
Ralph Nader -better site
Articles by Ralph Nader
Misc. Issues of Interest to Greens