Saturday, February 03, 2007

What to focus on?

The Green National Committee, like Greens across the nation, are discussing the future direction of the party. What comes first? Getting a ballot line in every state so whomever we run for office will be free from the onerous task of securing the right to run? Raising enough money to keep the national office afloat? Conducting a series of traveling training and educational programs? Building strong locals across the nation? Running and winning a set number of local offices? Running all out for President in an attempt to impact the outcome? How? Running all our resources into one congressional campaign where we might actually be able to win? Run a racially and gender balanced set of campaigns across the nation? Turn Green Pages into a regular national publication?

What should we be doing? What should come first? What are the strategies, tactics and logistics needed to make it happen? If we want to promote non-violence, and choose to do so by running for office, or holding never ending protests, or by growing a very profitable business and funneling money into the right causes or any number of other ways, isn't that all compatible with being a Green?

So, can we do a number of things at once and do all of them well enough to not make fools of ourselves, or should we re-focus on a new set of priorities? Should the strategy be limited specifically to electing people to office? If the current trio of electoral, direct action/lobbying and education seems right, and it does to me, what should we adopt as tactics to reach our goals? Should we run people for federal office? If so, what expectations should we have, if any, of them as they campaign? Should we focus all national efforts on support of local efforts? That is, should the national political director spend his time talking to Green Party donors, allies, media figures, state and local Green Party leaders in an effort to bring us to the attention of the American people? Should he spend much of his time conducting training seminars on ballot access campaigns, how to recruit and run effective campaigns, and how to raise funds for locals and their candidates?

Should the office manager spend her time creating a steady and flowing communication between locals and states? Should she be a resource for locals to call on for help with media contacts, printed resources and web assistance?

I'll not say that any of these are good ideas. I have absolutely no idea how our national staff spend their time, but I do know that they get a lot done without many resources. I have always respected the national party staff and their hard work.

Another ongoing discussion is on the question of support for the national nominee. This goes back to efforts, unsucessful, in California, to replace Cobb with Nader. The California party rules allow them to do so, as does Virginia.

South Carolina law permits us to place the nominee of our choice on the ballot. We could have run Kerry on our ballot line if we wanted. But our by-laws do not permit that, and there is no appetite for this in South Carolina. State law be damned: we're Greens, and support the Green Party nominee.
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