Green Party wants to #OccupytheDebate
The Green Party is calling for more representation for third parties. Specifically Green Party Presidential candidate Jill Stein and VP candidate Ajamu Baraka call for protest and civil disobedience at Hofstra University in Hempstead, Long Island, the site of the first debate on Monday, September 26 (http://www.jill2016.com/hofstra_debate_protest).
The Presidential Debates provide national coverage and without such coverage, no presidential hopeful in almost half a century has been elected. The televised debates are sponsored by the Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD), whose board is effectively run by the two major parties.
In 2000, the Commission raised the bar. Third party candidates must now:
- be constitutionally eligible
- be mathematically able to win the electoral college
- be polling 15% nationally
The unconstitutionality of the CPD cannot be contested except through the Federal Election Commission (FEC) which is also effectively run by the two major parties, the Republican Party and the Democratic Party. Furthermore, since mainstream media is under no obligation to cover independent candidates, their national polling processes routinely ignore them.
According to a press release, this year the Green Party will be on the ballot in 44 states and the District of Columbia. Voters in another three states will be able to write in Green candidates in the 2016 election. This number surpasses the previous Green high point in 2000, when nominee Ralph Nader appeared on the ballot in 43 states and the District.
It also means that Jill Stein is constitutionally eligible, mathematically able to win the electoral college, and can poll at 15% nationally if she were admitted to the debates. Independents in the past, such as Ross Perot for President, or Jesse Ventura for Minnesota Governor, benefited significantly.
However mainstream or not, Jill Stein and Ajamu Baraka are making an impact due to the vacuum left by Bernie Sanders in conceding to DNC favored nominee Hillary Clinton. Young voters want more say in how our government of the people, by the people, and for the people should be run.
Issues with regard to rising college tuition, college debt, healthcare costs, climate refugee immigration, under/unemployment, and adverse social impacts from the passage of the Trans-Pacific Partnership (overseen by Secretary of State Hillary Clinton) should also spur APIAs to examine their election choices more closely.
“Without Dr. Stein and Mr. Baraka, many ideas expressed by Mr. Sanders, like Single-Payer health care and restoring the Glass-Steagall Act, will be censored from the debates. No movement can survive if it participates in the silencing of its own agenda,” said Bahram Zandi, co-chair of the Green Party of the United States.
VP candidate Ajamu Baraka, whose background in humanitarian activism and reporting for Black Agenda Report makes him a recognized international figure, will help appeal to black voters who want less police brutality, better employment opportunities, and healthier neighborhoods.
Dr. Jill Stein is winning national attention in alternative news media outlets, including at RT, TruthDig, and Medium. Her interview with Ralph Nader on September 17, 2016 is posted at YouTube. She also has interviewed at Democracy Now, CNN, Fox News, Yahoo News, USA Today, and BBC.
A transcript of her interview with Ralph Nader is available by The Barefoot Accountant (http://www.cpa-connecticut.com/blog/?p=7056).
Image from Hofstra University website