Tag: Green Party

Libertarian And Green Parties Lose Ballot Access In Maryland

Sanders Jett-Folk | @Sjettfolk

In a blow to third parties’ ballot access, the Libertarian and Green Parties of Maryland were both de-recognized by the Maryland Board of Elections. Both parties failed to reach the party recognition threshold in the 2018 general election.

Continue reading “Libertarian And Green Parties Lose Ballot Access In Maryland”

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How Canada’s Shifting Political Climate Will Impact its Parties

By Brennan Dubé | Canada

The Conservative Party of Canada

Result Last Election

After nine years in power in Canada, Stephen Harper’s Conservatives were ousted from power and were relegated to second place with 99/338 seats (down from 166 in 2015).

Where They Stand Now

Party leader Andrew Scheer has taken steps towards speaking out against Trudeau’s Liberal government but many brand him as Harper 2.0. This has proven to hinder his ability to form his own identity within the mainstream realm of Canadian politics. The Conservatives are currently trailing Trudeau’s Liberal party in the polls, but only by single digits, and a lot can happen in the next 10 months.

How They Can Capitalize

All across Canada, Liberal provincial governments are collapsing and if this can translate, the federal Conservatives should see this as a positive. In June of this past year, the Ontario Liberals were decimated in Ontario and the Progressive Conservatives took power for the first time in 15 years. Not only did the provincial Liberals lose, but they also fell to third place in the provincial legislature as they now hold a mere 7 seats.

In comparison, the Progressive Conservatives won 76 seats, the New Democratic Party (more left-wing than the Liberals) won 40 seats and the Ontario Green party won their first ever seat in Ontario. In late September, the provincial Liberals in New Brunswick lost control of their previous majority government despite pollsters placing their odds to win at over 80%. The Conservatives beating the Liberals in New Brunswick was very eye-opening as it is commonly known as a Liberal stronghold when it comes to national elections.

Quebec is a place where Liberals have held power in the provincial government 13 of the last 15 years also, but in October the right-wing party, Coalition Avenir Quebec (CAQ), which was only formed in 2011, ended up winning a landslide majority against the Liberals. The CAQ took 74 seats, surpassing the 63 needed for a majority. The Liberals only managed to secure 31 seats, and a far-left party named Quebec Solidaire more than doubled its support from the last election and took 10 seats, tying for third with Parti Quebecois. This win for a conservative party in Quebec meant that a province which has been known to lean Liberal may now be up for grabs in 2019.

The Quebecers are against mass-immigration and have shown much reluctance to be accepting towards the Syrian refugees the Trudeau government has brought in over the past few years. Quebec has been a place that has posed many challenges for Conservatives in the past. If they are able to be more successful there, as well as in other areas like Ontario and New Brunswick where they have seen recent provincial level success, they can surely be competitive with the Liberals come election time.

The Liberal Party of Canada

Result Last Election

Following decimation in the 2011 election and for the first time ever a relegation to third place, the Liberals rebuilt in record time and by the time 2015 rolled around Justin Trudeau led the Liberal party to a majority government securing 184/338 seats.

Where They Stand

Despite approval ratings hovering around 40% and people on the left and right criticizing Trudeau and the Liberal government, they still manage to look like favorites early on heading into next October’s election.

How They Can Capitalize

Despite circumstances looking so poor for the Liberals, they look great. But how could that possibly be? On the negative end of things, the Liberals now face opposition from almost every province in Canada. Since being elected and forming government federally in 2015, the Liberals have lost leadership provincial in four provinces (British Columbia, Quebec, Ontario, and New Brunswick). Currently, no province from British Columbia to Quebec holds a Liberal government.

Moreover, Trudeau and the party have faced much criticism from both the right and the left-wing parties in Canada. The far-left New Democratic party has come out very hard against Trudeau criticizing the government’s recent tax cuts for major corporations and their decision in overriding the Canada postal service agency and forcing them back to work following a major strike. On the right, however, Trudeau has seen constant attacks from the Conservatives who are often critical of the Liberals every decision on social matters and carbon tax policy.

So how, despite the hate from both flanks, is the Liberal party still leading by 5-7 percentage points in most polls? The New Democratic Party is completely falling apart and new leader Jagmeet Singh (who does not hold a seat in the House of Commons), has not been able to reignite the New Democratic party’s energy that they had when they became the official opposition party in 2011. Even he has doubts about next year and many party operatives expect the party to get rocked in 2019, some even predicting they will lose half of their seats.

The Green party may benefit from some lost NDP support, but the Liberals will certainly benefit. The elephant in the room on the right end of the spectrum is Maxime Bernier and the People’s Party of Canada. The party is only a few months old but already has signed up over 35,000 members and has formed electoral district associations in 260 of Canada’s 338 ridings. Bernier’s plan to run People’s Party candidates in all 338 ridings is well on pace. If Bernier is able to get on the debate stage then the People’s Party will definitely continue its boom in support and continue to siphon off Conservative voters. The Liberals will potentially continue to benefit from the growth of the party and can be hopeful about their chances for re-election in 2019.

Another factor for the Liberals is Trump. Whenever Trudeau and Trump had their back-and-forth regarding trade over the summer the Canadian people felt a little more unified than usual, and Trudeau saw his approval ratings tick up. The more Trudeau looks like the leader to take on Trump the better for the Liberals as it makes Scheer and the Conservatives seem completely irrelevant.

The New Democratic Party of Canada

Result Last Election

Following their first ever 100 seat performance in 2011 when they became the official opposition securing 103 seats, the tragic death of party leader Jack Layton put them in rebuild mode. Liberals took much of their support in 2015 and the New Democrats fell to third place, as they won 44/338 seats.

Where They Stand

Current leader Jagmeet Singh is facing dark times as a leader. The party sits 20-25% behind the Conservatives and Liberals in most polls and some analysts believe the party will lose half its seats in the fall election. If the party wants to turn itself around in time for October, they must return to relevancy and change the narrative.

How They Can Capitalize

It was not even 8 years ago that Jack Layton led an orange wave across Canada that resulted in the Liberals falling out of the top two for the first time in Canadian history and it saw the New Democrats form official opposition for the first time in the parties 50-year history. A lot has changed in those 8 years, but not all hope is lost for the New Democrats.

Jagmeet Singh is youthful and when he was first elected as leader many thought he could rejuvenate the New Democrats, and he still can. Firstly, Singh must win his by-election which is taking place early in the new year. After this, he must lead the party back into the national discussion. He should take on Bernier, take on Scheer, take on Trudeau and take staunch stances against the Liberals to prove that his party is truly for progressives and hard leftists.

The People’s Party of Canada

Result Last Election

The party was announced by its leader and only elected official, Maxime Bernier, on September 14th, 2018.

Where They Stand

Former Conservative party leadership candidate Maxime Bernier decided to part ways with the Conservatives in August, citing the party was too ‘intellectually and morally corrupt’ to be reformed. Since September, the People’s Party has signed up a significant 35,000 members (15% of total Conservative party membership) and so far, have set up electoral district associations in 260 ridings. Bernier plans to have the party run candidates in all 338 ridings in 2019.

How They Can Capitalize

Bernier, the libertarian-leaning conservative who has sat in the House of Commons as a Member of Parliament since 2006, decided to start this party on the basis of forming a true conservative alternative to Justin Trudeau and the Liberals. Since its formation, the People’s party has not seen any other sitting elected officials join in, but this could be a good thing for what Bernier is trying to do. He stated that the party will use smart populism, and the rise of populist parties all across the globe as of late may give way for Bernier to pick up considerable support next fall.

Without any other elected officials joining the party Bernier truly looks like an outsider, and outsiders are becoming more and more successful in the age of anti-elitist election politics. While it is very unlikely that Bernier will win in 2019, the party has the potential to do some damage and become mainstream in Canada. To actually win a considerable amount of seats, Bernier must target more than disenfranchised Conservatives. The party needs to target independents and uninspired New Democrats if it wants to broaden its base and survive past 2019. The potential is there, the execution is what will await us.

The Green Party of Canada

Result Last Election

The federal Green party won a single seat last election marking the second time they ever did that. Elizabeth May and the Green party hope to win more seats in 2019.

Where They Stand

The Green party has always been significant in Canada, but never have they been so significant that they dictate hot topics during elections or challenge other parties for the government. They constantly get 3-4% of the popular vote federally while winning one seat each of the last two elections. Things may be changing: in 2017 the British Columbia Green party won 3/87 seats, which was good enough for third place.

They also managed to garner 16.8% of the popular vote in their provincial election. The 3 seats proved to be pivotal as the B.C NDP’s formed a coalition government with the Greens as they needed the Greens 3 seats added with their own to topple the Liberal government. This was huge for the Greens as they demanded hefty policy proposals before agreeing with the B.C New Democrats to merge to oust the Liberals.

In other provinces, the Greens have made major advances as well. In the Ontario election in June, the Greens won their first seat in provincial history in Ontario. In New Brunswick’s election in September, the Greens managed to win 3/49 seats and tally up 12% of the popular vote. Those 3 seats were the most they have ever gotten in New Brunswick history and it is important as it ended up resulting in the Liberals losing the election to the New Brunswick Conservatives. Also, in the province of Prince Edward Island (which is due for a provincial election next fall), the provincial Green party is leading the pack in the polls. While their lead in the polls is slim and still well within the margin of error with the Liberals, this is incredibly significant.

How They Can Capitalize

If the Green party of Canada can copy success from its provincial parties it can definitely make a splash and party history in 2019. Justin Trudeau and the Liberals have been criticized by many progressives for not sticking to his hardcore liberal promises he made on the trail in 2015. If some of these progressives decide to throw their vote to the Greens as a protest then the Green party will see significant boosts.

The party is seemingly getting smarter with how it campaigns as well, and the Greens will be very regionally focused in 2019. To ensure winning more than just one seat the party will focus much of its advertising and campaigning in areas where provincial parties have done well. If this strategy pays off then the Greens can surely win a handful of seats and stun the Canadian political establishment come October next year.

The Bloc Quebecois Party of Canada

Result Last Election

The Quebec separatist party managed to win 10 seats in 2015, which is one of its lowest ever since formation in 1991. Quebec has a total of 75 seats, and the Bloc Quebecois famously only fields candidates in these 75 ridings.

Where They Stand

Currently, the party is in a state of destruction. In 2015, the party won 10 seats and its leader Gilles Duceppe stepped down. Since the 2015 election, the party has gone through massive turmoil. In February of this year, 7 of the 10 Bloc Quebecois MPs quit the party, citing disagreements with the leadership style of new party leader, Martine Ouellet.

Following this, those 7 MPs formed a new party, the Quebec Debout. Since then, party leader Ouellet has stepped down and the short-lived Quebec Debout dissolved as the MP’s all rejoined the Bloc Quebecois. As things stand right now, the Bloc Quebecois do not know who their leader will be for the election in October, they are set to decide upon a new leader in February. This will be their fifth leader since 2011.

How They Can Capitalize

The odds are against the Bloc Quebecois, and if the leader that gets elected in February is divisive, this party will be in danger of potentially losing every single seat they currently have come election day. The first step will be to unify the party in October. The next step needs to be taking strong stances against the Liberals and Conservatives. If the Bloc Quebecois can translate an image to its base that no other major party is listening to Quebecers, then they can broaden their base and bounce back in October.


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Movements Are Visionary, Not Cautious

Craig Axford | Canada

Hearings, dialogue and debate are, or at least should be, means to an end in a functioning democratic society. Unfortunately, they’re too often ends unto themselves. Promising to study a problem or hold a hearing “to look into it” is what politicians do to make it appear as though they’re interested without ever having to risk their necks by endorsing a particular idea.

So when likely incoming House Speaker Nancy Pelosi announced plans to bring back a select committee on climate change that had been disbanded by the previous Republican majority, it was reasonable for some of the incoming freshmen Democrats to question its real purpose. If committee hearings are going to be held, they’re insisting the hearings be about meaningful climate legislation instead of even more learned testimony on science that’s was settled long ago. As Evan Weber of the Sunrise Movement put it to Politico, “We’ve been talking about the science for the past two decades.”

The incoming Democratic House majority will find it tempting to spend much of the next two years doing little more than poring over Donald Trump’s tax returns, which they will presumably issue a subpoena for early next year. Likewise, the current administration’s cabinet is full of individuals as venal as their chief. It will certainly be refreshing to finally see them all held accountable for their misconduct.

That said, governments don’t build and retain confidence among their citizens merely by diligently investigating corruption. People have proven over and over again that they are willing to tolerate a great deal of unethical behavior in their leaders if, in exchange, they feel they are receiving a reasonable degree of economic and physical security, or even just listened to.

The GOP has mastered the art of creating the illusion that people are getting something in return when they vote for them. Whether it’s so-called “tax relief” or protecting jobs by getting tough on immigration, the Republican Party has consistently been able to convince a significant number of Americans it’s looking out for them even as it stabs them in the back. The antidote to their misleading and often dangerous rhetoric isn’t hearings; it’s direct positive action that translates into real change people can actually see and feel in their lives.

The leadership of the Democratic Party would be wise, therefore, to embrace incoming Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s call for the creation of a select committee that instead of just talking about climate change is charged with drafting legislation to do something about it. She is calling it the “Select Committee on a Green New Deal”.

The select committee shall have authority to develop a detailed national, industrial, economic mobilization plan (hereinafter in this section referred to as the “Plan for a Green New Deal” or the “Plan”) for the transition of the United States economy to become carbon neutral and to significantly draw down and capture greenhouse gases from the atmosphere and oceans and to promote economic and environmental justice and equality. ~ Section 2 A(i) of the Draft Text for Proposed Addendum to House Rules for 116TH Congress of The United States

 Ocasio-Cortez’s resolution is similar in its approach, if not yet in its level of detail, to Canada’s Leap Manifesto. That document translates the progressive principles that emerged from the Great Depression of the 1930s and the Civil Rights Movement of the 1960s into concrete proposals aimed at achieving both equality and sustainability.

We want a universal program to build energy efficient homes, and retrofit existing housing, ensuring that the lowest income communities and neighbourhoods will benefit first and receive job training and opportunities that reduce poverty over the long term…We declare that “austerity” — which has systematically attacked low-carbon sectors like education and healthcare, while starving public transit and forcing reckless energy privatizations — is a fossilized form of thinking that has become a threat to life on earth.~ Leap Manifesto (Emphasis included in original)

I had the privilege of working as a DNC organizer for three years. I was hired as part of Howard Dean’s 50 state strategy following his election as Chair of the DNC in 2005. Dean’s vision for party-building paid off in 2006 when the Democrats took back Congress, and again in 2008 when Barack Obama won the presidency.

However, the organizing effort that arose from John Kerry’s defeat in 2004 took place in the context of growing opposition to the war in Iraq and a Democratic Party galvanized against the domestic policies of George W. Bush. Then as now, opposition was the driving unifying force on the left. The failure to clearly and consistently articulate what it was for quickly came back to haunt it in 2010.

Yes, there was the passage of Obamacare in 2009, but Democrats have traveled so far from the eloquence and clarity of leaders like JFK and RFK that even when debating universal healthcare they sound wonkish and inconsistent. As I learned upon my temporary return to the United States from Canada last year, even under Obamacare, plans with high premiums and deductibles are still the norm. Mandating the purchase of insurance that doesn’t really provide much coverage is a curious policy to emerge from a political party with a base that consistently argues healthcare is a right, not a privilege.

The Green New Deal and Leap Manifesto offer the left a way out of the political wilderness they’ve been wandering in since at least 1980. These initiatives provide something to be for. They can finally transform the left of the 21st century into a movement that wants to say YES! to something.

By uniting both labor and the environmental movement behind an effort that creates good paying jobs while providing the public with clean technologies that improve lives in both rural and urban communities, the Democratic Party could ensure itself decades of majority status not unlike the one it enjoyed from the 1930s through 1994. It seems like the obvious choice for them to make. So what’s taking Nancy Pelosi and the Democratic Leadership so long?

Follow Craig on Twitter or read him on Medium.com

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Voting Outside the Box

By FritzCast | United States

If you followed the primary elections of the past week (the day of August 07, namely), we saw a truly lackluster performance for a primary series that is leading up to what the news has hyped as a “pivotal” mid-term election for 2018. Some immediate key takeaways are how many “Trump Approved” candidates easily walked away with a win, almost every candidate that “Social Democrat” hopeful Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez endorsed lost, but the real nail-biter was Ohio District 12 Special Election, where even at the moment of this writing, news agencies are reporting that it is too close to call.

Despite those reports, many flocked to Twitter with the hashtag #OH12 ready to lay the blame for the Democratic loss on Green Party voters (A total of 1,127 people according to NYTimes). Leading that charge was Actor Alyssa Milano, who tweeted out the following:

Now, we live in a crazy world where Alex Jones can get kicked to the curbside by various Social Media platforms, and granted private entities like them are allowed to develop their own rules and policies and enforce them as they see fit, but for some reason, nobody will call out Alyssa Milano for this complete fabrication. In this single tweet, she: Alleges Russian collusion; completely devalued the votes of 1,127 people; blames it all on inaction against voter protection.

For some godforsaken reason, independent voters come under scrutiny when a side loses an election. You will hear people screaming from the mountain tops that the third party voters royally screwed everything up, as if the votes were owned by the other candidate and them casting a protest vote proves how selfish they are.

Why is it that people are so quick to devalue a person’s vote? I thought, after all, that voting was one of the quintessential pillars of our society, yet people are so willing to condemn those outside the box.

The same theory was applicable to the 2016 Presidential Election, where I had to face more than a handful of “friends” willing to tell me I was selfish for casting my vote for Gary Johnson, thus somehow costing Hillary Clinton her guaranteed win. I was told my vote was no better than simply casting a vote for Trump, and the hilarious angle in all of that was the fact that my state of Delaware and its low number of 3 Electoral Votes went to Hillary Clinton.

Some may say that our voting system is a little flawed, but more and more I find that the collective philosophy is flawed. Whether you look at Ohio District 12 or the Presidential Election of 2016, the argument always comes to numbers and comes back to that lovely term we float around, Democracy.

Despite the fact that we are not a democracy, everyone so desperately wants to cry out about how our very democracy is under threat while ignoring the fatal fallacy of democracy: just because 51% say Yea doesn’t mean that what they are saying Yea to is moral, just, right, or fair.

You want to blame third party voters for the fact that we demand better of our system? You want to scream in our face that it is so selfish and petty of us?

Shame on you. Shame on you all. You don’t value us, our mind, our opinion or our vote and stop at nothing to try to legitimize our voice, all the while there are thousands more simply not voting at all, either because they do not care or are unwilling to participate because they feel dejected.

Let’s just play your numbers game for a minute, with the Ohio District 12 results (numbers according to Politico:

50.2% Troy Balderson GOP 101,574
49.3% Danny O’Connor DEM 99,820
0.6% Joe Manchik GP 1,127

Let’s assume all the Green Party voters magically belonged to the Democratic Party (it obviously makes sense! That’s why they voted for the Green party guy!). Do the basic math, add those votes to Danny O’Connor…you’ve still lost the election, because it only takes him to 100,947 votes. Even then, we fall back to my argument (which actually works in your favor here): the difference is 627 votes.

Do the same thing with the 2016 Presidential results, if you want:

Candidate / Party Popular / Votes

  Donald J. Trump, Republican – 62,980,160

Hillary R. Clinton, Democratic – 65,845,063

Gary Johnson, Libertarian – 4,488,931

Jill Stein, Green – 1, 457,050

Evan McMullin, Independent – 728,830

How do you even begin to guess where McMullin’s, Johnson’s and Stein’s votes would fall, and split them evenly among Trump and Clinton and you’ve still got what I see as rather measly numbers.

This very thing is what turned me into a Libertarian individual. I don’t want the Government, myself nor the mob dictating aspects of the lives of everyone else on this fallacy. Thomas Jefferson warned us against it:

Democracy is nothing more than mob rule, where 51% of the people may take away the rights of the other 49%

America, its time to do away with this toxic line of thinking…we as people can trample a person’s rights as easily as the king did, as easily as a dictator does, we just somehow find comfort in our moral justification that because we had one more person agree with our side, we’re the winners and they are the losers. Now is the time to reiterate our true principles of liberty, independence, and individualism before they are sacrificed.


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The Case for a Libertarian and Green Unity Ticket

By Glenn Verasco | Thailand

The Libertarian and Green parties are not going to make much electoral headway at any point in the near future. Though breakthroughs could be on the horizon, the jump from nothing to next-to-nothing is not much to get excited about. The Democratic and Republican parties have embarrassing approval ratings, but, somehow, this has not affected the duopoly’s reign over American politics.

Contrarily, Gary Johnson did receive nearly 5 million votes in the 2016 presidential election, and Jill Stein received over a million to boot. Johnson’s popular vote tally was the greatest in Libertarian Party history. Stein’s was the greatest Green Party turnout since Ralph Nader in 2000.

Together, the 6 million or so green and yellow ballots cast still pale in comparison to the 60+ million votes that Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump each received. But the third parties did make some noise.

Rather than continue to hopelessly lose, it might be in both parties’ best interests to work together. Combined, they may have better results in US elections.

Let’s first realize that the Libertarian and Green parties align beautifully on a wide range of important political issues.

While I can’t speak for all Libertarians (or any Greens), I imagine that large portions of the constituencies on both sides agree with me in believing that ending America’s interventionist military policy is the most important issue of our time. Both are morally opposed to bombing nations and destabilizing governments as an attempt to spread pseudo-democracy. And while Libertarians focus on savings while Greens see financing opportunities for welfare programs, neither group wants to see dollars fueling the facilities of the military industrial complex. When Noam Chomsky and Ron Paul are on the same page, it’s a great opportunity to put our differences aside to accomplish something vital in securing a more ideal world.

In addition to war abroad, the parties agree to end the failed War on Drugs at home. Libertarians prefer some level of a laissez-faire drug policy, and Greens would likely go the legalize, regulate, and tax route.  Both are far superior options than our current strategy. We could start by decriminalizing marijuana then discuss how many steps further we can agree to go.

Thirdly, Libertarians and Greens want to restore the 4th Amendment. This means discontinuing the Patriot Act and pulling back the overreach of American intelligence agencies. We are on the same page in believing that individuals are innocent until proven guilty, and that privacy is a right.

This is not the extent of Libertarian and Green overlap. Demilitarization of the police and sentencing reform bring us together too.

Of course, we disagree on economics, worker’s rights, environmental policy, and a whole lot more. But to each Libertarian and Green reading this, would you risk leaving most of the status quo in place for a better chance at victory on peace, pot, and privacy? Let’s take care of some important business first and discuss the minimum wage and fracking later.

Before we can change policy, we have to play politics. Our strategy could go something like this.

In presidential elections, we need to establish our unity ticket candidates as soon as possible. All press is good press. So, getting names and agendas out early will improve our chances of getting recognized and eventually supported. As the Libertarian candidate for the gubernatorial race in New York, Larry Sharpe has noted that only 1 in 5 New Yorkers know who he is. But of those 1 in 5, 1 in 4 support him. The Libertarian message is competitive, but not well-known. This means Green and Libertarians must hold primaries early, months before the Democrats and Republicans. They have the disadvantage in terms of name recognition and need to spread the word early.

We’ll also have to determine which party gets the presidential nod and which gets VP. I believe the fairest way to do this is to compete for participants in the primaries. Each party should allow voters registered in their respective party as well as independents to participate in primary elections. Whichever party gets the most total votes (amassed by all candidates, not just the winners) in the primaries has the rights to the presidential position. The vice presidential candidate would go to the winner of the primary with less participation.

Not only would this be a fair way to determine who gets the presidential spot, it would also encourage our parties to register more voters and get independents involved. It would appear to be a contest, but function more like a marketing campaign.

In congressional, state, and local elections, we’d have to work together too. Like the presidential strategy, we would judge which party to support based on primary elections. But since congressmen and other elected officials lack running mates, whichever party receives less primary participation would drop out of the race altogether and direct their supporters to vote for their Green or Libertarian counterpart.

For example, let’s imagine that during midterm elections, a senate seat in Iowa is up for grabs. The Libertarian and Green parties would hold early primaries to determine their respective nominees. If all Libertarian candidates receive a combined 80,000 votes, and all Green candidates receive 90,000 votes, the winner of the Libertarian primary would concede and endorse the winner of the Green primary. This gives the winner a base of nearly 170,000 Libertarian and Green votes. Some, of course, will not stomach the other party. But ideally, this losing candidate would get on the campaign trail and explain why the Green candidate’s anti-interventionist, anti-drug war, anti-spying position makes him the lesser of three evils among the Democrat and Republican candidates, despite supporting many policies that run contrary to Libertarian orthodoxy.

Another agreement we should reach is that both parties should favor pro-choice/pro-second amendment candidates. There is a rift among Libertarians on the issue of abortion. Those who lean towards Reason Magazine tend to be more pro-choice, while those who lean towards Anarcho-Capitalism are often pro-life.

I imagine that Greens are more unified in desiring gun control measures than Libertarians are on the issue of abortion. Thus, I must admit that I am asking for more than I am risking as a Libertarian myself. However, let’s face facts and acknowledge that the fight against the Second Amendment is a losing battle. There are more guns in American hands than there are American people. With a clear Constitutional Amendment telling us firearm ownership is our natural right, guns are not going anywhere. Let’s come to terms with reality and meet in the middle to better guarantee enthusiastic support from each of our bases. Wedge issues must not be allowed to determine the future of our republic.

Surely, some Green and some Libertarian individuals would be unable to stomach a vote for the other side. However, this may not be a total loss. With the Libertarian-Green strategy in place, Republican and Democratic candidates may be forced to alter their positions to accommodate voters who are susceptible to third-party politics. While in a normal year, Democrats would expect to get a large share of disgruntled Greens, and Republicans would feel the same about Libertarians, the major parties would know that they’ll have to earn their votes instead of playing the lesser-of-two-evils game. Third party hopefuls would have a cause and motivation. The major parties would not be able to rely on cynicism the way the do now.

Popularizing the issues the Libertarian and Green parties align on could influence the two major parties in general. As we grow our bases, Republicans and Democrats will have to change to market themselves to us. And why prioritize a divisive issue like taxes or healthcare when they could appeal to us as a monolith by saying they’ll legalize weed?

This plan is not foolproof by any stretch of the imagination, and dissenters would be quick to frame one side as exploiting the other. But with zero representation in congress, what exactly do we have to lose?

***

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