Third Party Watch Gazes at the Green Party

This read from Third Party Watch is fascinating for its comments. Third Party Watch, a mostly, but not wholly Libertarian authored site, has been turning its eye to the Green Party lately. The author of this article will be a delegate to the party’s convention in the summer.

Briefly, the story reports Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney’s substantial win of Wisconsin delegates, with Ralph Nader, Kent Mesplay, Kat Swift and Jesse Johnson following.

To clarify some of the concerns of the readers and commenters, Ralph Nader is not seeking the Green Party nomination, according to many sources including the man himself. However, he would have sought it had Cynthia McKinney not committed to the run, says fomer Candidates and Campaign co-chair, Cat Woods; as late as January, some were unsure if McKinney would sustain her campaign.

There’s little reason to expect that Nader will suddenly appear on the Green Party’s Convention doorstep to wrest the nomination. For one, his running mate, Matt Gonzalez has stated point-blank that he has no intention of going. For another, (being frugal and frustrated) many of the Nader delegates who are from California and the East Coast have said that they will not be going to the convention. They find it difficult to justify the $1000 for travel/room and board expenses when they feel that their draft candidate was unrepresented on many state party’s ballots. State officers on the other hand, feel that they only wanted to represent people on their ballots who had declared an intention to run which Nader did not do until late February. Some of the Nader delegates have branched off to support Nader’s Independent run, while others, like early founding member, Howie Hawkins will support both Nader and McKinney campaigns to the degree possible – stopping at the polling booth.

In the meantime, Nader appears regularly in the press while McKinney has garnered a complimentary mainstream piece in Essence Magazine and a nice interview with Amy Goodman, Democracy NOW. Getting press is not all there is to campaigning, but being a household name is something any national politician must succeed in doing; something the lesser known grassroots candidates (Kent Mesplay, Jesse Johnson and Kat Swift) are learning to do.

Perhaps the parallel Progressive campaigns will bring new voters to the table for both the Green Party and for the newly forming parties sprouting up to support Nader’s state-by-state ballot access campaign. However, it is more likely at this point that the campaigns will snag, not tear at the Democratic Party fabric.


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