Greens are deeply divided

Greens are deeply divided

Excerpts from a statement by Peter Camejo

We are approaching the national convention unusually divided. I believe, however, that there is a way for us to reach a substantial consensus and come out of the convention united.

I am calling for the national nominating convention to endorse both Cobb and Nader equally – and to allow each state to decide whether to put David Cobb, Ralph Nader or “no candidate” on their ballot line.

Such an agreement will result in four candidates – two presidential and two VPs – campaigning for peace, the rule of law, abolishing the USA Patriot Act, defending our liberties, supporting fair taxes, promoting free elections (IRV and PR), fighting for alternative energy, raising the minimum wage, protecting human rights and those of immigrants, defending our planet. Instead of Greens walking out of the convention divided and fighting each other behind different candidates, we could adopt a win-win solution, allowing us to close ranks to oppose the two parties of money and defend the Green Party.

This proposal – parity support for Cobb and Nader – would allow each state to nominate whichever candidate they feel would be most advantageous to have on their ballot (“Free States”).

I call on the pro-Nader delegates to help enable David Cobb to run for President. He will be the first registered Green in the history of the United States to run for President. Let him go forward defending the Ten Key Values and our party. Let us help him, not oppose him or the Greens who have rallied around his campaign.

I also call on the Cobb delegates to respect the Greens who support Nader’s independent campaign and help us to move that campaign forward as a voice for peace and justice and Green values – as an example of our willingness, in a nonsectarian manner, to join with other forces in the struggle for democracy and open elections.

We need to act similarly in regard to the presidential election this year. The mass media and the Democrats are anxiously waiting to see us fighting each other. They want headlines like: “Nader defeats Cobb” or “Nader defeated.” Instead, let’s give them a big surprise: Cobb wins, Nader wins, Greens unite and launch a campaign for democracy, peace and social justice in their battle to save our planet.

Camejo is trying to save the Green Party (GP), and his motives are noble. Whether the Cobb forces care a whit about what Camejo says is unknown, they’ve not responded to any of this debate, a non-action which speaks volumes, methinks.

Unfortunately this idea, nominating Cobb and endorsing Nader, is impractical and counter-productive. Such a convoluted approach will not attract people to the GP, it will not build the party. Instead, as with the also unworkable and counter-productive David Cobb “safe states” strategy of only campaigning in states where the race between Republicans and Democrats isn’t close, it will succeed only in having voters scratch their heads in puzzlement as to what on earth are those befuddled Greens doing, and why should I vote for a party that is so confused.

Plus, in Camejo’s plan, each state would decide whether to have Cobb or Nader on the ballot. This solves nothing, and instead bounces this nasty, divisive fight to the even less prepared states, where it will fester and boil fifty times, rather than just once.

Republicans and Democrats may fight like banshees at a convention, but they always unite once a candidate is chosen. If Greens can’t do that, and at this point no one is quite sure they can, then the convention at the end of this month will be a debacle.