Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who speaks for the Green Party??

In an email to the Green National Committee, Aimee Smith of MI asked
As has been asked several times before, can you please guide interested folks to which section of the operating rules make it clear that USGP committees cannot make endorsements?

Since state parties, caucuses, and national candidate's campaigns can all make statements, sign petitions/letters, and make endorsements etc. on behalf of themselves, it is not a big stretch to imagine action committees also being able to speak for themselves. Many feel this is an important way to help get our party name around more broadly, with less red tape. Obviously such endorsements would need to be consistent with the 10 key values and GP-US positions, but the diverse perspectives on at least the Peace Action Committee make it a lot less likely to be out of step with the NC than a campaign committee.

This is an important question. GPAX, a still illegitimate committee "established" outside the proper process, has a hankering to take the USGP to their positions by hook or by crook. Dr. Smith's pro-Palestinian positions may cause the national Green Party difficulties down the road if there are no limits on what they can say, do or endorse. Already they have endorsed at least one event the National Green Party did not endorse.

If these committees want to speak for the Green Party, they should do as all other committees do: present their case to the GNC and ASK for an endorsement. If they want to do it on their own, they should start a stand-alone committee or organization they control outside the confines of the USGP.

Can you say "Greens for Non-violence"? Hell, even GPAX is fine, so long as they don't represent themselves as speaking for anyone but themselves.
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a few comments, er, corrections. GPAX is no more 'illegitimate' than other committees of the GPUS. There are a few committees that have outstanding requests for establishment to fulfill. In fact, most of our committees are 'illegitmate' is the sense that they fail to meet the requirements of their establishment, particularly membership and activity. Second, GPAX does not wish to speak for the GPUS but only for themselves. To me, that is totally consistent with our value of participatory democracy. Those who want a top-down power structure are in the wrong party, IMHO.

Gregg, your inflammatory post is a disservice to the Green Party and green bloggers.
Lou, I find myself in agreement with you more often than not, but in this case I believe you are wrong and I am right.

The Green Party policies are clear. No proposal may be presented to the GNC for approval, including the proposal to creat GPAX, unless it comes from a standing committee, an approved caucus, or an affialiated state. GPAX proposed it's OWN creation, and when I pointed that out to the co-chairs BEFORE voting had begun, they ignored proper process, as did the Steering Committee, and allowed the question to go to a vote.

That is why I say that GPAX is illegitimate. It was improperly constituted, and therefore it is illegitimate. Fixing this is a cake walk. Simply have a standing committee, affialiated state, or established caucus properly propose the establishment of this committee. Considering the situation, I would even support an expedited vote. I believe it would pass, although the current discussion on who is qualified to speak on the party's behalf and the fact that they STILL have not presented the GNC with a set of policies and procedures might cause them difficulties.

BTW, I am going back to the old formula where I don't have to approve comments. It feels like I'm trying to control the conversation here, and I am not. I can't express how much I want comments, even if they include the opinion that I am doing a disservice to the Green Party and Green bloggers.

Deciding who can speak as an official representative of the Green Party and limiting that to a specific set of groups or people is not "top down" to me.

And again, I really do thank you for your readership and comments. I just don't agree on this point.
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