Monday, January 22, 2007

Who gets to go?

The Green National Committee has spent many hours writing back and forth, and now the Delegate Allocation Committee has come up with a proposal on how many delegates each state will get to send to the national conventions. It has not been voted on yet, and is hiding behind the "Read more!" link. If you have an opinion about this, now is the time to let your opinion be known.


Updated Jan 22, 2007

Pursuant to GPUS proposal 175, which created the Delegate Apportionment Committee (DAC), and proposal 208, which elected the DAC, the members of the DAC hereby forward to the National Committee of the GPUS the following proposal as the results of our deliberations for your approval.

A new Delegate Apportionment Committee shall be elected in 2010 to revisit issues of proportionality in light of experience with this formula and to make a new proposal for delegate apportionment to the National Committee in 2011.


ARTICLE I. RECALCULATION ­ This apportionment will be recalculated every two years, in the odd numbered year following the national election year by the Apportionment Standing Committee (see Article VII). This committee shall start meeting between election day in the even numbered year and the following January 31, shall put out a call to state parties within two weeks requesting information necessary for the apportionment calculation, and will present the results of its recalculation to the National Committee by the end of the following May. The results of each apportionment recalculation must be accepted by the National Committee by a two thirds vote, and shall become effective at the conclusion of the vote.

ARTICLE II. DELEGATES AND VOTES ­ Each delegate seat counts for one vote. State parties may decide for themselves how any allowed proxy votes should be cast. Delegate votes may also be split, in denominations of half votes, in order to more accurately represent the opinions of each state¹s membership.

To ease the transition to the new apportionment, for a period of one year following the implementation of the new apportionment, extra votes will be allowed the following restrictions. Delegations which are unable to fill all their delegate seats may carry up to one extra vote per seated delegate: 1) a temporary vacancy due to a resignation, removal, illness, or death; or 2) the chair(s) or coordinator(s) of the delegation provide evidence to the GPUS Secretary that a good faith effort was made to recruit delegates that directly reached a member pool at least 50 times greater than the number of unfilled seats. One extra vote will be allowed per 50 members directly reached, up to the number of unfilled seats. Delegations may cast these
votes by consulting their constituent body or consulting a specific delegate whose proxy is held. Delegations with at least 4 voting members also have the option of casting the extra votes proportionally to the votes of the delegation as a whole. After this one-year period, proxies will only be allowed for in-person meetings.

Accredited caucuses will have one vote.

ARTICLE III. SIZE OF THE NATIONAL COMMITTEE ­ The National Committee shall consist of 200 ±2 delegates when all accredited state parties and caucuses are included. Should any new state party or caucus become accredited after an apportionment, the NC will be expanded by the number of delegates allotted to the newly entering member party or caucus. The next reapportionment will return the size of the NC to as close to 200 as the mathematics of the formula allows, within ± 2.

ARTICLE IV. MINIMUM VOTE ­ All accredited state parties are entitled to a minimum of two votes and two delegates. However, a state party may voluntarily choose to have fewer than two votes or delegates if having two is a burden, and the Green Party of the U.S. may offer special assistance to state parties who choose to have only one vote, including but not limited to: special consideration for support of candidates by the Coordinated Campaign Committee, free bundles of the Green Pages newspaper and discounts or scholarships for delegates or observers attending national meetings.

ARTICLE V. PROPORTIONAL ALLOCATION METHOD ­ Each state party shall have two months from the Apportionment Committee¹s call for information to submit the information needed to calculate their portion of seats. After receiving necessary data from each state party, the Apportionment Standing Committee will determine the proportion of delegates allocated to each state party using four measures of relative Green Party strength. These measures are based on estimating each state party¹s active contribution to the Green Party in terms of campaign strength, in-state voting strength, presidential voting strength, and counts of people.

Within most of these categories, there are multiple methods of determining the strength of a state party relative to parties in other states. The state may choose which method in each category to use. If the state does not choose, the Apportionment Standing Committee will use the method in each category that gives each state party its highest possible score. The final score is given in terms of a percentage of the National Committee.

The formula for calculating the number of delegates allocated to a given state party is as follows:

1. Using the choices of the state party, calculate the score in each of the four categories. Normalize each category so that the total percentage is 100%.

2. Add up these scores and divide by 4 to get an average score. This is the percentage of the delegation designated to the state.

3. If the percentage is less than the minimum percentage threshold of delegates allocated to each state, then two delegates will be allocated to that state party. The minimum percentage threshold is {2 /[200 - (number of accredited caucuses)]} x 100%.

4. If the percentage is greater than the minimum threshold, that is the initial percentage of delegates allocated to the state party.

Once the initial percentages are calculated for all accredited parties, these values must be normalized to assure that the total percent of delegates equals 100%. The formula for normalizing the initial percentages is as follows:

5. Set all states with initial percentage scores below the minimum threshold value equal to the minimum threshold.

6. Add up the initial percentage scores of all states and divide each state¹s initial percentage by this total.

7. Repeat steps 5. and 6. until the total the total percentage of delegates allotted to all states (200 ­ number of accredited caucuses) equals approximately 100% (will usually take 3 to 4 iterations), The number of delegates allocated to each state is calculated by multiplying the normalized percentage of each state by [200 - (number of accredited caucuses)] and rounding off to the nearest integer.

8. The total number of delegates allowed for a single state shall be capped at 21% of the target NC size (42 delegates).

9. The threshold for rounding may need to be adjusted in order to bring the total number of delegates within the range of ±2 of the target number.


The Apportionment Standing Committee will seek submissions of data from state Green Party organizations according to the following criteria:

1. Membership
The number of Green Party members in the state party as close as possible to the date of the start of the work of the committee. (This will then be calculated as a percentage of the total number of Green Party members in the United States.)

Green Party membership is defined as follows:
· In states where the Green Party can register voters, Green Party membership is defined as the number of voters that are registered in the Green Party. Green Party membership in these states may also include those who are ineligible to vote but are extended formal membership by the state party.

· In states without Green Party voter registration , Green Party membership is defined as the number of people who have filled the qualifications for membership in that state party, have signed up to be Green Party members, are included in the database of current members in that state party. Signers of ballot access petitions may be considered members of the Green Party if the signers willingly join the Green Party simultaneously or if signing the petition constitutes acceptance of membership in the Green Party according to state law. Calculations and email lists may not be
substituted for membership rolls.

Solely for the purposes of standardizing this apportionment measure between states, after voting in a primary of another political party, Green Party members should re-affirm their Green Party membership with their state party. This may be handled on the honor system and does not require a significant extra administrative burden for the state party. The state party is free to count its own membership however it wants for other purposes; this restriction is solely for reporting this particular measure to the Apportionment Committee in a manner that makes the numbers as comparable as

If state legal action results in a state Green party having its members legally invalidated, they may continue to use the same membership count until the next apportionment cycle.

NOTE: For the purposes of #2, Campaign Strength, and #3, State Voting Strength, ³Green Party Office Holders² and ³Green Party Candidates² must be Green Party members. They may not also be members of the Republican or Democratic Party or running solely on another political party¹s ballot line. For State Voting Strength, if a candidate is listed on more than one party¹s ballot line, only the votes for the Green Party ballot line can be counted.

2. Campaign Strength
A. The number of Green Party Office Holders in your state as a percentage of the total number of Green Party Office Holders in all affiliated state parties. Green Party office holders are defined as members of the Green Party who are elected to public office in elections (not including internal party offices such as central committees). If they were elected in an election where less that 300 ballots were cast, they will count half.

B. The number of local and statewide Green Party Candidates that ran for office in your state during the last four-year election cycle as a percentage of the total number of local and statewide Green Party Candidates that ran for office in the U.S. in all affiliated state parties during the same period. Local or statewide Green Party Candidates are defined as Green Party members who run and appear on the ballot in public elections. If they ran in an election where fewer than 300 ballots were cast, they will count half.

C. The percentage of the total U.S. population that resides in your state, multiplied by 0.5. (This measure is designed to compensate for overly restrictive ballot access laws in some states. If used here, population may not be used in #3 , State Voting Strength.)

3. State Voting Strength
A. The number of votes cast for Green Party Candidates in your state during the last four-year election cycle as a percentage of the total number of votes cast for Green Party Candidates in the U.S during the same time.

B. The highest number of votes received by a single Green Party Candidate in your state during the last four-year election cycle as a percentage of the total number of Green Party votes received by the highest vote getter in each state in the U.S. during the same time.

C. The highest vote percentage received by a Green Party candidate in your state during the last four years in a statewide partisan election for Governor, Lt. Governor or U.S. Senate (or Mayor or Chair of the City Council for the District of Columbia) that is contested by both major political parties, weighted against the same data from every affiliated state Green Party. Because this measure, unlike all the others, is a percentage of a percentage, its effect shall be capped at a maximum of 2 extra delegates.

D. The percentage of the total U.S. population that resides in your state, multiplied by 0.5. (This measure is designed to compensate for overly restrictive ballot access laws in some states. If used here, population may not be used in #2 , Campaign Strength.)

4. Presidential Voting Strength
A. The number of votes cast for Green Party presidential nominee in your state in the November 2000 general election as a percentage of the number of votes cast for the same candidate nationwide.

B. The number of votes cast for Green Party presidential nominee in your state in the November 2004 general election as a percentage of the number of votes cast for the same candidate nationwide.

The GPUS hereby creates the Apportionment Standing Committee to make decisions regarding the implementation of the above formula. This committee will consult with state parties on state party numbers and apply the criteria stated in this proposal, as interpreted by the committee.

The structure of the Apportionment Standing Committee will be a volunteer committee following the structures and practices laid out in the GPUS bylaws and rules and procedures and consisting of up to 3 members per state.

Members of the committee must be Green Party members who have permission from their state party to serve. State parties are required to vet candidates for the knowledge and skill set needed for apportionment calculations, including the necessary mathematical understanding and spreadsheet skills.

The tasks laid out for the committee include the following:

1. Designing spreadsheets that perform the calculations of the formulas described above for delegate apportionment.

2. Soliciting the state parties to send the relevant data so that apportionment can be undertaken with the most complete data. (If a state party does not submit numbers in a timely fashion, the committee is empowered to use publicly available data or to allocate the delegate minimum to that state party until the next apportionment.)

3. Applying the criteria of this proposal to the data, plugging the most accurate available numbers into the formula, and completing the computations.

4. Developing a formal challenge process for data submitted by a state party or to the data entry or computational analysis, reviewing any such challenges, and making the final decision regarding the numbers to be used.

5. Reporting the results of apportionment to the NC in a timely fashion and presenting the proposal to approve the completed computations.

[1] The DAC recommends that the GPUS create an official roll of Green Party members in states without Green Party registration over the next two years.

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Sunday, January 14, 2007

What now? Green Politics in a time of Democratic majority.

Hit the "Read more!" link below to read my YC Magazine column on the impact of the Democratic majority in both houses of congress, and the best way to respond to it.

What now?

Most of us don’t vote. I believe most of us don’t trust politicians. Many of us believe that politics is not about public service. Many of us have decided that politics is about getting power and influence, and using it for personal gain. All of us have seen politicians, Democrat and Republican alike, being taken to court for abuse of power.

The Congress is in Democratic hands. Many voters are about to be deeply disappointed. Republican control of all three branches of government did not bring the Christian Right many of the things they were promised. Many who voted Democratic in hopes of ending the war on Iraq are in for a rude awakening. Voters who believe the USA PATRIOT Act is bad for our democracy are going to be disappointed. So too are voters who want less government, smaller deficits, responsible environmental policies or a sustainable economy.

Many Christian Conservatives have decided that their efforts on behalf of the Republican Party were not effective. Tax breaks for the wealthy were first, second, and last on the national Republican agenda. Precious little energy was left for the demands of the voters who sent them to Washington. Promises broken are not quickly forgotten, despite what you’ve been told. These voters don’t turn into Democratic voters. They turn into non-voters.

Do you hope a Democratic controlled congress will repeal the Bush tax cuts for the very rich? Don’t count on it. The same interests who paid to elect Republicans to do their bidding paid for Democratic campaigns. While you only have one vote to cast, those with fat wallets can spread their dollars across a broad range of candidates, sometimes giving to several different candidates in both the Republican and Democratic primaries.

So, if the Democrats are going to disappoint us, and the Republicans already have disappointed us, what is the best alternative? For many of us the decision is to leave the fight to others. We become non-voters.

There is an alternative to politics-as-usual. There are options other than giving up. There are ways to connect with other people who share your disgust with the Republican and Democratic parties. The best way to connect with others who believe in peace, justice, ecology and democracy is to join a political party dedicated to these values. The Green Party is that party. Think about it. Whether you like Ralph Nader or not, he is one of the most trusted and admired people in America. He choose to run for President twice with the Greens, and that alone gives many of us a good reason to take a look. Nader doesn’t waste his time on worthless projects. Just like you and me, he wants his work to mean something.

So, what now? Do we sit back and watch as the County Council gives away tax dollars? Do we sit by as nuclear power plants spread across a state already awash in radioactive projects? Do we give in and allow the county’s next hospital to be built by a company with a questionable corporate culture? Do we watch as land developers convert York County into “Sprawl Central”? Do we give up on parks and recreational opportunities for our children? Do we watch as North Carolina steals water from the Catawba River to promote growth? Or, do we find ways to fight back, little by little, to take control of our lives and communities?

Greens have made the decision to take the bull by the horns and demand our rights as Americans. We are not willing to sit and watch. We have families and communities top protect from those politicians who only care about cash and power. We’re doing what we can. Your votes are a powerful statement for change. Your help between elections is even more vital. Remember, Democrats and Republicans use their parties as clubs to re-elect one another. For Greens it’s not about winning alone, but about effective government which treats us all fairly and listens to the people’s voice. If these are your values, you know where to find us.
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Blogswarm...getting the "Green" for the Greens

Those of you who are recent arrivals, welcome. The Green Party is a unique political experiment, and this blog is one Green's perspective on the Green Party. I am often very critical of the national Green Party and the national party's leadership. If you read through these pages you will read as I call the Peace Action Committee to task for not filing their Policies and Procedures, in direct violation of party policy. I also take the Green National Committee to task for allowing both the Peace Action Committee and Annual National Meeting Committee to propose their own creation. In these pages I condemn the National Women's Caucus and it's leadership for the way they handled an application by a pre-operative male to female transexual for membership.

And now I am here to ask you to participate in a blogswarm to raise money for the national party??? I can only imagine how I might react if I were in your shoes. I am reminded of a comment made by a member of my town council after hearing me at a televised debate. He said "Isn't there anything you like?"

He was truly surprised that I was raising concerns about the quality of the water in my community. He was surprised that I was pointing out that the town had built bathrooms at the park in the white community, but had only one port-a-potty at the one serving the black community. He was truly surprised to hear me say that the uncontrolled growth was destroying the basis of the soul of the entire community, turning a town with a real identity into one where the lawns run together and the animals are left with dwindling habitat. He was surprised to hear me suggest that the people deserved sidewalks and recreation and not a refurbished city hall and another baseball field for rent.

But, with all that to complain about, I still wanted to be on the town council. Why? That really didn't make sense to him. I wanted to serve the people and protect and preserve the most important features of Fort Mill. I wanted to protect the air quality and promote community and individual non-violence. I wanted the entire community to play an equal role in deciding our common destiny, not the few who exercise almost all the power.

In many ways, I am asking you to participate in this blogswarm to raise matching funds for the national Green Party for the same reasons I wanted to serve on the town council. I am concerned for my children's future. From the air they breathe to the taxes they pay to the debt they are being saddled with, the future under Democrats and Republicans is bleak indeed The Green Party, with all it's warts, blisters, and skinned knees is the last best hope for survival. Just as I want a safe and sane town for my family, I want a safe and sane planet for my grand children and future generations who may settle anywhere on the globe.

Now, a generous Green Party supporter and member has offered to give a total of $3500 to the national Green Party providing $7000 is raised to match it. To count, donations must be for $50 or more. There is someone, perhaps you, who can make a $500 pledge. Maybe someone can even go for a thousand. But even if you can only go the $50, I ask you on bended knee, and in the most sincere way I can, won't you please dig into a wallet, purse, bag, checkbook, debit card or online bank account and give so that someone else, who wants to give more, will have the chance to match what you give.

The plan is to use our blogs, e-mail lists, websites, postings, and mass communication messages of any sort to invite people who want a safe, sane and just world to learn more about the Green Party, and most importantly, to give to the national Green Party via the link below. Together we can likely wipe out this $3500 offer in a few days, and that may encourage others to give matching donations too.

The Green Party is a decentralized political party, and that alone makes us unusual if not unique. It's a philosophy and value judgment, not a strategy or tactic. As such, we may work best when we work collaboratively in a decentralized and responsible fashion. I have gotten no "permission" from anyone to do this. I have no control over the monies raised. Neither will you. Your donations will determine if this is a success, not any committee or board...just you, and the rest of us who participate.

So, won't you write something and post it somewhere. Maybe you have a "My Space" account. Post a link there. Maybe FaceBook? E-bay? Hell, wherever you have a place where you can put up a link, won't you do so? The national party, which must prosper if it's to serve us, must raise funds. If we don't do our part, who will? We are the grass roots, and we know ALL the grass roots across the nation. Let's reach out to all of them and ask them to promote this matching fundraising program.
Click here to donate and have your donation matched 1 for 2

And, for those of you who want the url itself, here it is:
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Crystal Balls for Everyone!

Behind the "Read more!" link you will find the York County (SC) Greens' monthly column in YC Magazine for November 15th to December 15th, 2006.

Crystal Balls for Everyone!

When you hear political pundits on TV or radio you will often hear them say “I won’t make predictions.” Since I am not a journalist, but a spokesperson for my party instead, I am free to make predictions and will do so here. Guess you’ll just have to trust my promise that these predictions are being written before the election of November 7th.

I predict that John Spratt will be re-elected to Congress, as will every other incumbent Congressman running for re-election in South Carolina. The Governor will be re-elected, almost every incumbent member of the state legislature and county councils across the state will be re-elected. And most of the voters will be unhappy with the outcome no matter if they voted for “winners” or “losers”. Why? Because most of us voted against someone one we didn’t want, not for someone we did want.

When we vote this way we wind up getting the least bad, not the best. The time has come for us to stand up and demand the choice of the best candidates, not the lesser of two evils. Voting for someone because you think the other guy might be worse is not the way to make progress. Instead, it is the sort of thinking that leads to a slow decline of American Values, of our family’s future prosperity, our democratic system, and our very environmental survival. The changes we must make if we are to
leave future generations with a sustainable economy, a just society, a non-violent international policy and real democracy will demand uncommon vision. It will also demand a common shared direction and a dedicated group of people working for the good of the nation and it’s people.

You can, and must, provide that vision. The professional politicians will not do it. If they could, they would. The money they are given makes it impossible for them to see the needs of the common people. Instead, they must focus on corporate cash. To replace them will demand that you get involved. You can do this by trying to change the Republican of Democratic parties, something I think is impossible, or by joining forces with others who are willing to pull with you in the same direction to make change happen.

The Green Party is not only dedicated to the sorts of broad principles we have written about before, like community based economics or personal and global responsibility but to other values we might not think of as political, but personal. Values like honesty and openness. Values like hard work and dedication to people and causes. Values like listening and organizing. Values like community and family. These too are Green Values, and American Values. Are these the values of the candidates you voted for? Think about all the accusations, the ill-tempered ads and ask yourself,
would you have made a better choice if there had been one to make?

I can also make another prediction. Greens will win. All across America Greens will be elected to office. Some will be re-elected. Some will serve for the first time. And some will not win, but will get their message out to a broad audience. Many will put the party on the map locally for the first time. Many will allow their state to secure or keep access to the ballot. And there will be more votes for Green candidates in York County in 2006 than there were in 2004, in large part due to the exceptional access YC Magazine has offered us.

But most important of all, I can predict that every ballot cast for a Green will be cast FOR the Green nominee, not against another candidate. And that vote is always a winning vote in my book.
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