As the Presidential Debates unfold, voters are still undecided on whether to continue this nation’s journey with President Barak Obama, or pass the torch to newcomer Mitt Romney. Several undecided voters continue to be uninspired by the candidate’s campaigns and some have given up voting as a consequence. However, what voting newcomers and several veterans fail to realizeis that there is a multi-party ballot outside Democrats and Republicans. The TAMIU Political Science Association (PSA) continued its voter education initiative by inviting the Webb County Green Party, a party that is often overshadowed by the larger parties. They took the opportunity to reach out to TAMIU Students and Laredo citizens on their political platform as well as to introduce candidates that would be on their ballot this November.
The Green Party provides an alternative for students and citizens who are still trying to find their place in the political world. What is most fascinating of this party is its drive to fight for political equality despite numerous setbacks. For example, before Tuesday’s Presidential Debate, Green Party Presidential Candidate Jill Stein and Vice-Presidential Candidate Cher Honkala were arrested and shackled to a chair for eight hours due to their insistence to participate in the event. While major media sources reported the incident, the injustice went unnoticed by many voters. These are the types of acts that make you wonder why third parties are often excluded or unheard of by citizens. What are large political parties so afraid of: the expansion of new ideas, the division of votes, or the fact that tradition will be shaken if a new party steps in?
Regardless of your political views, it is important to explore your options when voting. You will be surprised to see that not every party is completely to the left or the right. The Green Party is largely composed of fomer Democrats who stood against centralized government and choose to take a stand for the long ignored environment. The Green Party serves through ten values including: Diversity, Social Justice, Gender Equality, and Ecological Wisdom all which touch on domestic and foreign issues largely discussed by other parties. However, the Green Party largely differs from others in their views of pro-drug legalization, universal living wages, and the subject of poverty.
The attractiveness of the Green Party came largely from participants who were mostly Texans and well-known cities. The most interesting character from the Green Party was David B. Collins who described the presentation “a beautiful assemblage of people regardless of political views.” He opened up with a discussion of
George Luger’s theory of family as a metaphor. Through this, you find that the Green Party sees conservatives as having a set group or rules, and those who do not fit their standards are often subject to violence or threats as a means of correction. On the other hand, you find the more nurturing parent who lets you explore your identity and essentially become manipulated and stepped on by the child. Alternatively, The Green Party see themselves as an enlightened village that legalizes hemp to produce paper, fuel, food, and more importantly end the war on drugs. When an audience member commented that their plan seems far-fetched, Collins immediately jumps in to mention drug solutions in Switzerland and Canada and explains the underlying reason for violence is a fight for territory. Interestingly, part of his solution is to provide legitimate business opportunities for drug lords as an alternative.
At this point, the Green Party becomes controversial. The Green Party seems to be under the impression that the drug problem is largely consisting of U.S. Citizens drug lords. Most of us realize Drug Lords are primarily stationed in Mexico; a sovereign nation which the United States does not have the power to interfere with. It will be interesting to see hear how the Green Party would provide jobs to people in Mexico without bringing them to the U.S. or overshadowing the unemployed in our country.
Regardless of their ideas on ending the War on Drugs, the Green Party is one to look out for. Their numbers are largely increasing over the years, and they are present in the ballots this year. Collins recommends spending time on the ballot, instead of voting straight ticket. There are several positions where democratic or republican candidates are absent and other parties have an opportunity to jump into the lead. The Green Party seems to have some great ideas for voters who have found themselves disliking the Democratic and Republican platforms and are looking for change of their place in politics.
Whether you decide to stick to tradition and vote for the Democratic or Republican parties, or decide to be innovative and vote for a third party, the most important thing is to go out to vote during in the upcoming elections this November 6, 2012.