SAN FRANCISCO -- Consumer advocate Ralph Nader issued a statement on November 27 announcing his
entrance into the Green Party of California's presidential primary.
Nader's appearance on the Green Party primary ballot is part of a 'People's Campaign' to challenge the dominance of money in politics and the corporate welfare it buys, and to offer an alternative to the narrow agenda put forth by both 'major' parties' candidates. Citing a growing public demand for an alternative electoral choice and for greater integrity in national politics, David Brower, Medea Benjamin , Michael Parenti, and other labor, environmental, and social activists joined with Green Party members in urging Nader to run.
"Nader's personal integrity and lifetime of public service and advocacy has made him one of the most trusted public figures in the U.S," according to Los Angeles Green organizer Mike Feinstein, "Nader is the ideal catalyst for such a campaign. This is an opportunity to organize disaffected voters and non-voters alike to redirect the nation's politics in a more fair, honest and humane direction. Breaking away from the candidate-centered, personality-driven, big-money style of traditional campaigning, the Nader/People's Campaign is developing a new model for grassroots electoral democracy, run by and for the people.
Reaction to the announcement was enthusiastic. "We're delighted," said Santa Cruz Green Party County Council member David Minton, "Nader represents the antithesis of the money-corrupted politicians in Washington DC.; he is an example of exactly the kind of leadership that we need in public office. I'm going to urge all of my friends to register with the Green Party so they can vote for Ralph Nader in the March primary."
Hope that Nader's candidacy will serve as a "wake-up call" which may persuade Clinton to adopt stronger positions
political thinking has held that third party
candidates can not win, Ross Perot's strong showing in the 1992 election
challenged the dominance of the Republican and Democratic parties.
Recent polls show that over 60 percent of voters want more choice and would
welcome a third party or third presidential option in 1996. Former
Green Senatorial candidate Barbara Blong psaid: "we anticipate that
Nader's appearance on the California primary ballot will spur grassroots
organizing efforts accross the country. With half the electorate not
voting and many voters reluctantly opting for the'lesser of two evils',
Nader and the Greens have the right message at the right time.
Asked about their impact on the Clinton campaign, some Greens express hope that Nader's candidacy will serve as a "wake-up call" with which they may persuade Clinton to adopt stronger positions on key issues. However, according to Bay Area Green Party activist Daniel Solnit, "most of us see that the Democratic party is controlled by most of the same big money interests as the Republicans. Both parties have abandoned the working people of America. We cannot keep waiting and hoping for Clinton, Dole, or any politician to save us. For all of us who are fed up with politics as usual, this campaign is a wakeup call for us to take back our government from the wealthy special interests."
The Green Party of California gained ballot status in 1992, and has elected more than a dozen local officials to public office in California. Part of an international movement, Green Parties are also active throughout the US and in over 75 countries around the world. Rejecting political labels, Greens describe themselves as "neither left not right, but in front." They are united by their "10 Key Values:" nonviolence, social justice, ecological wisdom, grass-roots democracy, feminism, respect for diversity, decentralization, community-based economics, personal and global responsibility, and sustainability/future-focus.
a number of active citizens in California and
members of the Green Party of California, asked me to enter the Green
Party of California primary as a way of stimulating a debate on the
distribution of power, its abuses, and reforms as well as other vital
subjects very often neglected by "major" party candidates and the media.
I am permitting the Green Party of California to put my name on the their March 1996 primary ballot to broaden the narrow agenda that the "major" party candidates parade before the electorate.
I intend to stand with others around the country as a catalyst for the creation of a new model of electoral politics, not to run any campaign. The campaign will be run by the people themselves and will be just as serious as citizens choose to make it.
It will be a campaign for democracy waged by the private citizens who choose to become public citizens.
Californians deserve a campaign that will practice taking the corrosive impact of special interest money out of politics at the same time that it preaches campaign finance reform. This effort will focus on removing such money from elections, and ending the corporate welfare and other privileges that it buys.
I will not seek nor accept any campaign contributions -- but I welcome civic energy to build democracy so as to strengthen and make more useable our democratic processes for a just, productive and sustainable society.
For more information about the Green Party of California, contact: (310) 314-7336
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