FAQ

Do you have questions about the Denton County Green Party?  Or questions about the Green Party in general?  Ask them and we will try to answer them here.

What's required to become a Denton County Green Party member?

You must be a resident of Denton County, agree with 10 Key Values and commit to supporting them in writing.

Reference: http://www.gp.org/ten_key_values_2016

What is the Green Party?

The Green Party is a grass-roots political party dedicated to building a just and sustainable society, a democracy of empowered citizens. It is the electoral arm of the worldwide Green Movement. Dozens of nations, on all inhabited continents, have political parties with "Green" or "Ecology" in their names; their policies may differ, but their stated goals include peace, justice, democracy, and deep concern for the natural environment.

 

Are you an environmental group?

Not really, more of a political voice for environmental groups and individual activists. The Green Party is an alternative to a corporately controlled two-party system. We run candidates for political offices. Between election cycles, we work for fair and sustainable social, economic and environmental policies.

What policy positions does the Green Party support?

On a wide range of issues, the Green Party takes positions consistent with its Ten Key Values: social justice, grassroots democracy, ecological wisdom, nonviolence, community-based economics, decentralization, future focus and sustainability, feminism, personal and global responsibility, and respect for diversity. Some examples of Green policy positions include health care for all, a living wage, clean air and energy, an end to poverty, and removing corporate money from electoral politics. (See below for more on these topics.)

http://www.gp.org/ten_key_values_2016

Is the Green Party liberal or conservative?

It depends. "Liberal" and "conservative" are often just labels that politicians use to avoid taking real stands. Is universal health care a "liberal" objective? Fine. Is not using tax dollars to subsidize large corporations part of a "conservative" agenda? So be it. Some Greens like to be called "progressive," and some prefer "socialist" or "eco-socialist," but the truth is that labels are less important than the day-to-day work that Greens do.

 (On a lighter note, some of us like to say, "We're not right or left, we're out in front!")

Aren't Greens just "spoilers"? Won't they hurt "real" candidates?

Addressing real issues with real solutions is what makes a candidate real. It's true that a Green candidate may take votes from a less qualified Democrat or Republican, just as a good restaurant will take customers from a bad one. Does that mean we tell good restaurants to close up shop because they're "spoilers"? "Spoiling" reflects a flaw in our electoral system (see next question about how to fix it), not a mistake by candidates giving voters an alternative.

Didn't Greens cost Democrats the presidential election in 2000/2016?

There is no short or easy answer for that question, but no. The Democrats have their own big problems to fix: They must promote policies that truly benefit the people as a whole, rather than their corporate contributors. Greens see neither major party as entitled to anyone's vote. Votes must be earned. When both establishment parties' policies perpetuate war, economic injustice, and ecological disasters, a vote for either party's ticket makes no sense.

In Florida in 2000, where George W. Bush "officially" won by about 500 votes, far more Democrats voted for Bush than for Green nominee Ralph Nader. Later recounts revealed that Al Gore actually received more votes in Florida, but by then it was too late.

In 2016, as in 2000, there were close results in several states that Donald Trump officially won. Green nominee Jill Stein raised millions in individual donations and led the effort to recount votes in Wisconsin, Michigan, and Pennsylvania. State officials and the Trump campaign worked to thwart the effort, and electoral laws in two of those states defied common sense, making recounts impossible or prohibitively expensive. Those states' Republican legislatures—via Voter ID laws, misuse of Interstate Crosscheck, and other means—have made voting increasingly difficult for constituents of color, students, seniors, and the poor who are likely to vote for Democrats.

Both elections demonstrated that the United States needs serious electoral reform. The Green Party supports voting reforms such as Ranked Choice Voting (RCV) and Approval Voting. RCV, adopted in 2016 by the people of Maine, allows voters to rank candidates in the order of their preference. If your first choice receives the fewest votes, your vote is transferred to your next choice; this continues until a winner emerges with an absolute majority. Approval Voting removes the ranking and allows voters to choose all the candidates they might support. Both systems let voters vote their conscience without possibly helping a candidate they dislike. They also save tax money by removing the need for separate runoff elections.

What is the Green Party position on…

  • Campaign finance reform? Greens support publicly funded elections to eliminate control of our government by wealthy individuals and corporations.
  • Health care? Greens support a single-payer system that provides care to all Americans, similar to that found in dozens of nations, such as Canada, Costa Rica, Italy, and Japan.
  • Drugs? Greens support the decriminalization of addiction. Money wasted on a losing drug war would be better spent on education and rehabilitation.
  • Labor? Greens support strong worker protections and a living wage of at least $15/hr to ensure that families can afford food and housing.
  • Military? Greens believe a strong defense begins with a lean military. The current military budget is bloated and unrealistic, designed around Cold War threats and corporate profits rather than current defense needs. There is no legitimate need to maintain military bases in more than 70 nations.

You can learn more from the national and state Green Party platforms for 2016.

Why doesn't the Green Party have primaries?

According to the Texas Election Code, once a party's candidate for Governor gets 20% of the vote, the party must nominate using primaries.  If the party's candidate for Governor obtains 2% - <20%, the party may petition to nominate by primary.  Until then, the party has to nominate by convention.  The Green Party has not yet met this threshold.

reference Election Code Section #172