Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Green candidates in Alaska

So far I count three Green Party candidates:

Eva Ince, of Anchorage, a former combat medic and military wife, a mom, and longtime Green, is running against Don Young for U.S. House of Representatives.

Mark Ames, who only recently registered Green (in March), and is well known around Fairbanks for his concern about the change of the name of Alaskaland to Pioneer Park. Ames is running against Mike Kelly in District 7 for State House.

David Braun, who is running against Ralph Seekins in Senate District D. I don't know much about Braun, but he's from Healy.


John said...

See, Deidre, I can go with you about the populist rant below, but the Greens are just as state-centric as either the Republicans or the Democrats. Tell me the Greens wouldn't have a whole bunch of national laws? It's time for the Libertarians . . . sleep, sleep . . . see . . . not so bad . . .

Deirdre Helfferich said...

I disagree with you on this, John. Greens are very community oriented, and it's a common misperception that the Green view is a socialist one, where the state holds sway. Right now we have (although the word has all kinds of nationalistic and negative connotations, it's the right denotation) a totalitarian society. The US government has an extraordinary amount of control over and access to the individual's private life and the community's ability to govern itself.

I think that if Greens were in power, you'd see much more emphasis in certain areas on local control and individual self-determination than we have now. In terms of local economics and personal freedoms, Greens and Libertarians are pretty strongly aligned. The problem I see with Libertarianism is that it fails to recognize that some things simply can't be owned by or be the sole concern of an individual, that some things really ARE commonly shared/owned/created. The market/private ownership/responsibility model of political thinking just doesn't work very well for certain kinds of problems, and doesn't allow for some of the best solutions.

A variety of political solutions and options is, I think, the best answer. When you have a system more open to access by a range of political thought, then you can get a better government. One of the main problems with our political system today is that you only have two choices: Democrat or Republican. These supposedly broad-based parties aren't very, and seem more and more to be flip sides of the same coin. The laws are rigged to prevent or limit a broader range of options. The first-past-the-post voting system we've got is terribly limiting.

So yeah, Greens would start working on national laws if they were in Congress, but a lot of those laws would be about returning political power to individuals and communities, and preventing the national government (and the corporations that seem to own our congressmen) from sticking its nose in where it doesn't belong.

Rob said...

Ultimately though we have a winner take all system and by the time the Greens, Libertarians or another party ascend this country will be beyond repair. I think we agree on many principles but disagree on tactics. Our best hope is change the major parties from within. Republicans should listen more to Libertarians. Democrats should listen more to Greens. I'm fighting to change the Democrats.

Deirdre Helfferich said...

Ultimately? well, sorta. Community voting methods are a lot easier to change than state or national ones, and it's there that most of the gains by the Green Party are being made, at least in the rest of the country. (Take a look at San Francisco, for example.) Ranked voting means a lot less expense for a municipality or borough--no runoff elections--and more democracy.

Good luck on changing the Democrats from the inside. I've seen the party change over the last decades, all right--but for the worse.