Whither the Green Party in 2004?

The Green Party, as we all know from our history books, was a spoiler in the 2000 election, effectively denying Gore and the Democratic Party the presidency. The party line, of course, was that there is no substantive difference between Democrats and Republicans (a sentiment with which I disagree quite strongly-- but that’s not the point of this thread). I get the impression that many voters, thinking that their vote wouldn’t make a difference in the election, cast a Green party vote as a form of protest. Of course, it turns out that those votes <i>did</i> matter.

I am curious as to whether Dopers believe the Greens will field a Presidential candidate in 2004, and if so, who?

I notice that the Greens have announced that if Kucinich gets the Democratic nomination, they will endorse him and will not field a candidate of their own. The implied obverse is that if anyone else gets the Democratic nomination, the Greens will put up a candidate.

Since Kucinich has exactly zero chance in the Democratic nomination process, may we assume there will be a Green Party candidate in '04? Who will it be? Does the endorsement of Kucinich raise the possibility that he will make the switch and run as a Green?

Will the Green Party again be a spoiler for the Democrats?

And I’d like to hear from folks who voted for the Green Party last time around. Are you inclined to do so again? In a hypothetical Kucinich vs. Clarke vs. Bush race, who’s your man? What if Dean gets the Democratic nod? What if Nader is the Green candidate? Or Cynthia McKinney?


I apologize.
It was stupid.
No I will not vote Green again, no matter who runs.
What difference would it make who ran anyway?

vanilla, near Cleveland ;home of Kucinich

The political landscape has changed dramatically. Issues of war and security have pushed environmental issues off the radar screen.

If the Libertarians run a candidate (and I think they will, and it’ll probably be Nader again, or perhaps someone totally unexpected, like a celebrity candidate), they’ll get far fewer votes this time around than last. They’ll be down in the 1% range with the Libertarians.

Oops. I meant if the GREENS run a candidate…

Posted by Sam Stone:

I think you might be surprised on that point. More importantly, the Green Party’s concerns are not limited to the environment. It also is very concerned with social justice. Just review the Ten Key Values, only ONE of which focuses on ecology. From http://www.gp.org/:

For more specific statements on policy, see the Green Party Platform 2000 at [ur]http://www.gp.org/platform/2000/index.html.

As for what the Greens will do in 2004 . . . right now, I’m campaigning for Dennis Kucinich. No, I do not expect him to get the nomination. I think Howard Dean will get it. But if Kucinich stays in the race and presents a credible showing through the primary season, it is just possible that Dean will offer him the running-mate slot. A Dean-Kucinich ticket could win, picking up the leftist and centrist votes both. And I hope that in such a situation, the Greens would endorse a Dean-Kucinich ticket.

Anyone interested in the Kucinich campaign should check out http://www.kucinich.us/.

I rather doubt it. This time around, among leftists (especially hard leftists of the sort that’d join the Green party), there is much, much stronger anti-Bush undercurrent, enough to drive more people to vote for whomever the other guy is. There’s likely going to be much less antipathy about this election and the democratic candidate this time around, which would spell doom to a viable Green party candidate.

And I hope to god Kucinich doesn’t get the nomination, or even a running mate position. I don’t want to seriously have to consider voting for a third party or Republican.

I think the Dems are feeling the heat from the last election. They didn’t appeal to the far left enough to get them enough votes to win the presidential election. So, what now? The Democarts are taking some liberal stances that I thought would’ve been 20 years away. Case in point: Many democratic hopefuls are stating that their platform includes universal healthcare, something none of them would’ve touched with a 50 foot pole in 2000.

What’s next if they Dems lose again in 2004? Democrats supporting gay marriage?

Posted by Netbrian:

Please explain why you wouldn’t vote for Kucinich.

I’m a strong proponent of neoliberal globalization.

He wants to dissolve NAFTA and the WTO.

That’s enough at this point. There’s more, but it gets us started. If you want to debate his position on trade, please use a different thread.

(BTW, free trade is one of the reasons I’m a Kerry supporter right now. I more or less liked President Clinton’s economic policies, and Kerry seems as though he’ll continue them.)

Kucinich has already been endorsed by the Natural Law party, if I recall correctly.

Has anyone condiered Hightower? Wasn’t he elected to statewide office twice?

Posted by Governor Quinn:

Jim Hightower was twice elected Texas Commissioner of Agriculture – a position which, under Texas’ peculiar constitution, actually wields more power than that governor’s office. But he has built up a national reputation as a commentator/gadfly, and I do not think he is interested in running for public office in the near future. There is a “Draft Hightower” movement, however, with a website at http://www.drafthightower.com/. Hightower’s own site is at http://jimhightower.com/.

Posted by Netbrian:

Yes, let’s! Look for a new thread: “Should the U.S. pull out of NAFTA and WTO?”

Not just because I voted Green, but I dispute this rather oversimplified historical analysis. Anyway:

This is one of the reasons you’re wrong. The people who voted Green mostly did so because of their disaffection with (in most cases) the Democratic Party. I think most of them agreed that the gap between the parties was too small - a comment I still agree with, though I think history has shown there was more difference than Nader insisted - or else just thought the party didn’t represent them. And that’s not taking into account that roughly half the people who voted Green in 2000, like myself, initially weren’t going to vote in the first place.

Back to the topic- it’s almost doubtless going to be Nader in 2004. Kucinich would be fine as a Green candidate (they’ll need another one, since Ralph is getting up there), and I wonder why he doesn’t try. I suppose the real reason is that he’s trying to influence the Democratic platform in '04, which is a normal part of the process. The Democrats had better pay a little more attention to the liberals this time, really. Kucinich can’t win, but I’m more concerned he could influence things in such a way that a centrist would oppose Bush in '04, leading perhaps to a depressing repeat of 2000.

I’m putting up a sign in my yard saying

well, on the north side of the border we don’t have Bush to vote against. Either way, though, I’ll keep voting green. One of the things on their platform here is to reform elections so we don’t have this stupid first-past-the-post system which works against small parties and forces us to play the stupid lesser-of-two-evils game in the first place. But that’s probably a different rant, so I won’t hijack this thread with it.

Nader’s big lie during the 2000 campaign was that there was no difference between the two parties. He sacrificed the practical implications of Gore presidency to stroke his own ego. Consider now that Bush has a terrible environmental record, has gotten us into a unjustified war, served as a cash-and-carry government for whatever corporate donor that comes calling, is deregulating the media, and is installing far right-wing federal judges, et al.

While I applaud the Greens for their ideological stances, sometimes the enemy of my enemy is a better choice than suffering through the irreparable harm caused by a Bush presidency.

I hope to hell the Greens run and suck off at least 5% of the democrat vote.

Judging from the way that George II campaigned, with his claims of “I am a uniter, not a divider,” and “compassionate conservatism,” a potential Green party voter might (just might) have been inclined to think that there was no appreciable difference in the two major party candidates. September 11 wasn’t even being thought about (by the average voter), and Gore had all the personality of a dead fish. There was no way to see that the Bush regime would turn into the Arch Conservative juggernaut it has become, especially with how close the election was. So IMO, it was not Nader who lied, but rather it was Bush who misled the American People as to what he was.

What else is Bush going to say? That he will use dirty politics to push an extreme right-wing agenda? Are Greens really going to say “Aw, gee, I never would have figured that a politician might lie to win an election”?

Notwithstanding 9/11, the differences between Gore and Bush were (and are still) clearly defined. They had huge ideological differences on the environment, social security, corporate responsibility, judicial nominations, etc.

Yeah, Bush lied. But Nader played the “both parties are the same” line over and over again, when it clearly is not true.

Like Marley23, I voted for Nader because I didn’t think that the Democratic Party deserved my vote in 2000. I really don’t think they do now, though the war in Iraq seems to be making the Party a little more focused. In 2000, we had a booming economy until Bush said in a campaign speech, “Look people, there’s a recession.” Suddenly, there was one.
I guess my point is that in 2000, I had the luxury of throwing my vote away in order to send a message to the Democrats that I would not be browbeaten into voting for a horrible candidate only to get a seat or two on the Supreme Court.
Also, I don’t live in Florida, I live in Minnesota. Gore carried Minnesota. My vote for Nader was moot. Had I lived in Florida, I might have something to be guilty about. But I don’t, so I don’t.

With educated voters like you out there, I am shocked that our grand republic faces as many political problems as it does.