Utah Green parties compete for namesake

[From Daily Herald]

ALAN CHOATE – Daily Herald
It’s hard enough being a minority party that has to struggle to get attention, but Utah’s Green Party also has identity issues.
There are now two groups known as the Green Party of Utah, and they’re both actively involved in state politics.
One is a political party registered with the state of Utah. The other is a nonprofit organization that is connected with the national Green Party and plans to run candidates under the banner of “Desert Greens.”
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A Green governor? ‘It’s possible,’ party says

Corvallis Gazette Times, OR –
sidewalk. By the end of the day, he hoped to earn the Pacific GreenParty’s nomination to run for governor in November’s election.
Pacific GreenParty convenes in townCorvallis Gazette Times
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Jim Brown for Congress

[From Jim Brown for Congress]

Fellow Greens,

As many of you already know, I have decided to run for the Third Congressional Seat from New York this year. The incumbent is Peter King, who has a terrible record on the issues that most concern Greens and the nation as a whole. Voters in the 3rd CD should have the opportunity of voting for peace, social justice, democracy and the environment, and I will offer them that opportunity. Votes for me and our gubernatorial candidate (who will be nominated in May) will send a strong message to Washington that the Bush agenda should be abandoned, and quickly.

My committee has been formed–Jim Brown for Congress 2006–and I am now asking for support. If you can help (some of you have volunteered already!), give me a call or email. This should be an exciting campaign. We can hopefully get out the Green message, and work toward getting back our official ballot line. Thanks, and think Green!

Continue reading at Jim Brown for Congress

Pacific Green Party convenes in town – Corvallis Gazette Times

Pacific GreenParty convenes in town
Corvallis Gazette Times,’OR’-
by the Gazette-Times. On Saturday, members of the Pacific GreenParty will gather in Corvallis to nominate its candidate for Oregon governor and other races.

New energy in politics vs. politics of energy

[From Czech Business Weekly]

A fresh political force is about to enter Czech parliamentary politics — the Green Party (SZ). Its sudden surge in opinion polls has surprised some, but it’s been long overdue.

The Czech Republic is one of Europe’s most ecologically damaged countries and, as a result, the country’s various green movements have always been strong. Had it not been for internal conflicts, the Greens would have made it into Parliament a long time ago.

The election of Martin Bursík to the post of party chairman last fall finally gave the Greens the credibility they were lacking. Bursík has been clever in emphasizing that the Czech Greens are neither a one-issue party, nor are they necessarily, like most other Greens in Europe, a leftist party. Bursík also stresses that his party has little to do with the current establishment.

The party, therefore, appeals to several constituencies: traditional environmentalists, left-leaning liberals and people who until recently claimed they had no one to vote for. The pool of liberals is potentially large because various small liberal parties have all but disappeared, and the ruling Social Democratic Party (ČSSD) has abandoned centrist voters in its attempts to attract voters from the Communists (KSČM). Voters who had “no one to vote for” are, on the other hand, attracted to the Green Party because it’s a new political voice, untainted by various corruption scandals, and it now appears to be poised to win the minimum 5 percent vote to qualify it for parliamentary representation.

Although in most European countries the Green Party would be a natural coalition partner for the Social Democrats, Bursík has been quite nebulous when it comes to identifying coalition partners he might work with after the elections. According to him, the Greens will cooperate with the party (or parties) that can accommodate the largest portion of the party’s “green agenda.”

However, there’s one issue where a compromise will be very difficult: with the exception of the Greens, all parties that are likely to be represented in the next Parliament advocate nuclear energy. Given that a majority of Czechs support nuclear energy, it’s very unlikely that either of the two large parties that are likely to win the elections — the ČSSD or the conservative Civic Democrats (ODS) — will want to make concessions on this issue.

President Václav Klaus (ODS) said the country should further develop its nuclear energy sector to make the Czech Republic less dependent on oil and gas imported from politically unstable countries. He added that Europe needs to extricate itself from the dictate of “green lobbies.” The ČSSD is closely intertwined with the energy sector. Both the ČSSD and Czech energy giant ČEZ envisage building new nuclear power plants, or expanding existing ones (see story, page 1).

This position makes it difficult for the ČSSD to offer the electorate what some of its politicians propose: a program that is more “green” than that of the Greens. And the party’s ties to the energy sector complicate possible post-election talks.

At any rate, difficult as it might be for the Greens to join a new government, the party’s possible participation in government politics represents a breath of fresh air. A great deal of high-level corruption has been caused by the fact that five political parties have dominated Czech politics for a long time, creating a fairly closed system. Corruption cuts across the political spectrum. In this respect, the arrival of a new political player is good news.

Jiří Pehe is a political analyst and head of New York University in Prague

Continue reading New energy in politics vs. politics of energy at

Vt. City Electing Mayor Via Instant Runoff

[From Newsvine]

Vt. City Electing Mayor Via Instant Runoff
Ross Sneyd

BURLINGTON, VT. Runoff elections are typically cumbersome processes, taking weeks and sometimes months to determine a winner. Burlington is going to do it all instantly.
In an innovation known as instant runoff voting, the results of Tuesday’s five-candidate election for mayor and whatever runoffs are needed to settle it will all be known soon after polls close.
For the first time in a mayoral election in the United States, voters will mark their ballots for their favorite candidate, along with their second, third, fourth and fifth choices.
If none of the five gets 50 percent of the vote on the first round, the candidate with the lowest vote total would be eliminated. Then the second choice of the voters who made that candidate their initial pick would be counted, and so on.

“As soon as somebody gets to 50 percent, it stops,” said Jo LaMarche, the city’s election director.
The winner will succeed incumbent Mayor Peter Clavelle, who announced last year he would not seek an eighth two-year term in the city of nearly 40,000 people.Advocates promote instant runoff voting, also known as ranked-choice voting, as a way of boosting voter turnout and encouraging more people to run for public office by eliminating concerns that a third-party candidate might be a spoiler.
“Nationally, people are catching on to how IRV can open up our politics,” said Ryan O’Donnell, communications director of FairVote, the Center for Voting and Democracy. “It’s a reform that produces majority winners, encourages candidates to reach out to more voters, and eliminates the ‘spoiler’ problem.”
If Florida had used instant runoff voting, the outcome of the 2000 presidential election likely would have been different, said Doug Amy, professor of politics at Mount Holyoke College and author of “Behind the Ballot Box: A Citizen’s Guide to Voting Systems.” Votes that went to Ralph Nader might ultimately have gone to Vice President Al Gore.”
I think that really brought that problem to national attention,” Amy said.San Francisco has elected members of its board of supervisors using instant runoff, but Burlington will be the first community in the nation to elect its chief executive officer with the system.
A number of other counties, cities, and towns have shown interest, according to FairVote, including San Diego, Oakland, Davis and Berkeley in California. LaMarche said she has gotten calls about the system from cities in South Carolina and Alaska.
“A lot of people are just waiting to see how this works with Burlington,” LaMarche said.
Bills are pending in at least 15 states to implement instant runoffs at local levels or statewide. The state of Washington last year gave a number of mid-sized cities authority to conduct instant runoff voting, although none has so far used it.
Not everyone is enthusiastic about the idea. Some election administrators worry that fewer people will show up at the polls because of the system’s complexity. There is also concern about incomplete counting in later runoff rounds.
Doug Lewis, director of the Election Center, which represents elections administrators nationally, said those all are concerns he and his colleagues have heard about instant runoffs. But he can’t say whether they’re valid.
“Until you work with it enough and find out it would be difficult to find out,” he saidLaMarche believes Burlington voters will not see much that’s unusual Tuesday. The only difference is the extra places after each mayoral candidate’s name on the optically scanned ballots for second, third, fourth and fifth choices.
The Burlington city clerk’s office conducted voter training in January to try to get voters interested and educated. There also have been mailings explaining how the system works.
Candidates even have tried to take advantage of the new system. Progressive Party candidate Bob Kiss’ signs promote him as the “first choice for mayor.” Republican Kevin Curley has told his supporters that he endorses Kiss as a second choice. Democrat Hinda Miller has declined to endorse a second choice, arguing she’s confident she’ll win in the first round.

More at http://www.burlingtonvotes.org/

Green Party Calls For Impeachment – Coastal Post


Daily Nexus
GreenParty Calls For Impeachment
Coastal Post,’CA’-
by submission. NEVADA CITY, Ca. – GreenParty county officials here have approved an official resolution calling for the impeachment of President George W. Bush
GreenParty Calls For ImpeachmentYubaNet
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