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Thursday, Aug. 25, 2016

Green Party works toward legitimacy

Thursday, November 8, 2001

The Green Party is expected to receive national status today from the Federal Election Commission which will allow the environmental-leaning party to accept larger political donations. But don't expect the designation to mean much to voters. Even with the federal status, the Green Party remains a splinter coalition of various groups who have had zero success in convincing voters to back their position. In fact all 57 Green Party congressional candidates last year lost.

There are some specific requirements to gain this national status and the Green Party folk have finally reached that threshold. They will join the Libertarian, Reform, National Law and U.S. Taxpayers parties on the federal recognition list. Few if any candidates from these other fringe parties have ever been elected either.

The Greens are a reported 200,000 strong though that number may well be inflated. Ralph Nader carried their national banner last November but the consumer advocate garnered less than 3 per cent of the national vote. And Nader was by far their most visible symbol so that doesn't bode well for the Greenies.

It remains an uphill climb for the Green Party still. To field candidates on most state ballots the party will still have to collect names on a petition to be certified. That protects from any Tom, Dick or Harry group seeking status to collect federal election money. It won't be easy.

Some voters in this great nation will never "fit" into either the Republican or Democrat party. Thus the formation of these smaller coalitions. One of the strengths of this nation is the ability to offer a choice of candidates. By gaining a national podium, the Green Party can spread its message even though the chances of winning are remote at best.

With FEC approval, the Greens will step up one notch on the national scale but they remain a very low priority for voters. It makes more sense to me for these party members to try to influence one of the two major parties. But not everyone thinks as I do and thus they cling to the hope that their national affiliation will somehow change the political landscape. Their chances are slim but we're proud that our nation has the ability to recognize those who may often think outside of traditional lines.

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