Tuesday, August 23, 2016

Green Party Can Lead a Movement to Open up Debates

Jill Stein arrested tying to get in to the 2nd Presidential debate 2012
By Sean O’Torain

The US Green Party has been around for a while in this volatile and unpredictable election year environment yet the Green party, like other parties that are running candidates in the national election, is banned, censored, out of all three debates that are being held by the mass capitalist media.

The body that decides which candidates or political party the American public is allowed to see or hear in these televised debates is the CPD. CPD is not one those syndromes the drug companies invent so they can sell us their pills on TV. It stands for the
Commission on Presidential Debates and its far more deadly than the invented syndromes of the drug companies; it is a commission controlled by the Democratic and Republican parties.

Commission members are representatives of the two capitalist parties the Democrats and Republicans. So political representatives of the capitalist class have determined that to participate in the debates and have their views televised to the nation, a party must get 15% of the votes in polls.  The only political and economic views that will be expressed will be those of the capitalist class.

The idea is not hard to discern. Keep all non-capitalist, or even reformist representatives from being elected to the Presidency. This is about as blatantly undemocratic as you can get.

As a member of the Green Party I think the party should make opposition to this censorship, this undemocratic practice, a priority. Not simply a priority, the Green party should go to war over it.

US capitalism is always whining on about democracy. But the truth is that the US is the most undemocratic the most censored, the most gerrymandered country of all the capitalist countries. Look how bad it is. When the brutal apartheid regime in South Africa was crumbling, the white capitalist class tried to hang on by saying they wanted to emulate the US system. By this they meant refusing to accept one person one vote which is the present situation in the US.

Each US state no matter what its population, has the same number of senators. Two for California, with a population of 30 million and two for states that have less than 1 million like Utah. The Electoral College is rigged the same way. The entire US political system is gerrymandered against the urban working class. The apartheid regime in South Africa wanted to gerrymander the system against the black majority, separate the different races into different areas and give them all the one number of votes.

They were  prevented for doing this not by any vote in any parliament but the mass direct action of millions who took action in protest at the murder of
leading black activist Chris Hani. The US political system, elections and the Electoral College is a rigged game the same way the apartheid regime wanted to rig their dying regime to keep blacks down out. The censorship of debates, keeping Jill Stein and the Green Party out of debates is part, of this undemocratic stitch up. 

I come originally from Ireland. Northern Ireland had a similarly undemocratic system to what the USA has now. In the city of Derry where I was politically active, the Catholic two thirds majority were all corralled into one of the city's three electoral areas. Each of the three electoral areas elected one third of the city's councilors. So the two thirds of the city's population in this Catholic area could elect only one third of the City's councilors.

The one third Protestant minority on the other hand were divided between two electoral areas which could therefore elect two thirds of the city's councilors. In this way the one third Protestant minority, if voting took place along religious lines, could control, and for decades did control, the city. This was backed up by force and violence through the Protestant dominated police force. We are seeing the same thing here in the US.  This eventually led to the mass civil rights movement and eventually a thirty-year war. The US remains as undemocratic today as Northern Ireland was before the mass civil rights movement forced the changes there.

As we stressed in previous pieces on this blog, the Green Party has a golden opportunity to transform the political situation in the US if it takes the bull by the horns. If the Green Party leadership and the recently formed left caucus of which I am a member, (The Watermelon Greens) were to make opposition to the undemocratic nature of the US electoral system a priority. It would get a real echo nationally.

I would like to propose that we make this a priority and a priority for all three debates. Jill Stein took direct action to try and get into the last debate and was arrested. She has set a great example. What the Green Party can do now is to take the lead and organize mass direct action protests at these debates.  We Greens should call on all forces and parties that are locked out of the debates through these undemocratic maneuvers to join with us and ensure that the debates cannot take place without all parties.

An action like this would receive mass public support and would place the Green Party at the center of events aimed at changing the rigged game. Seattle, Occupy, the Black Lives Matter movement has had successes and we have to recognize that to be effective we have to be prepared to be arrested as our presidential candidate has.

Polls now show that more people want a different candidate from Clinton or Trump. They have the right to hear from Jill Stein and the Green Party. The Green Party must reach out to these also. We should make the point that whole system is undemocratic and rigged against us in favor of the 1%.  I think the Green Party should be aggressive with our policies on all issues. But I particularly think we should be aggressive on this issue. The ruling class in this country is always on about democracy but this is the most censored and undemocratic country of all advanced capitalist countries. The 1% is very weak on this. The US does not have one person one vote. It does not allow all candidates to participate in debates.  Only those that can muster 15% of the vote in polls can appear but without media coverage it’s hard to do that. It’s a rigged, undemocratic system, let’s call it what it is.

A powerful movement can be mobilized in a mass direct action united front to stop the censorship and to open up the debates in the capitalist media. This must be accompanied by mass rallies and the Green Party turning itself into a real membership party based on a dues paying membership and an end to the undemocratic concensus method of decision making that now exists within the party.

This mass movement can also put on the agenda that the Green Party can win the election.  The Green left caucus, the Watermelon Greens, can be transformed into the major influence in the Party through such actions and a democratic non-sectarian internal life.

If the Green Party takes these issues up aggressively we will be well down the road to becoming a mass party in the US and the real alternative to the rigged circus we see now every four years.

1 comment:

rjekmc said...

Don't like Trump or Clinton? You have other choices! There is Gary Johnson of the Libertarian Party and Jill Stein of the Green Party It's time we get 3rd parties into the spotlight. We have two criminals running for the top office in the US, if you wear the two-party system blinders. The Repubs and Dems own and dictate to the "nonpartisan" Commission on Presidential Debates (CPD) on the rules of which parties get to debate. These rules are disenfranchising 3rd parties because they set rules that make it difficult for 3rd parties to participate. We all deserve to see and hear from 3rd parties that are running so we can make an informed decision. If we only watch mainstream media to get our news and don't do some serious research on all of the presidential candidates, we will never hear the voices and ideas of 3rd party candidates and we buy into the rumors and smear tactics of partisan politics. In order for 3rd parties to get into the debates they have to poll at 15%. I know that doesn't sound like much, but there is a trick here- If the polling organizations are only asking pollsters about the Dems and Repubs and not the 3rd parties, then 3rd party standing in the polls isn't reflected accurately.