By Lynne Serpe
November 12, 2016
Millions of people voted for Green Party candidates up and down the ticket. These included at least 30,980 votes for Stein/Baraka in Wisconsin and 50,686 votes in Michigan.
As a long-time Green Party organizer, I am proud of the two million votes we *earned* across the country, including in Michigan & Wisconsin where the current margin between Clinton & Trump is smaller than our support.
Factually speaking, those states would not have changed the electoral college outcome.
However, if you are concerned about the so-called “spoiler” problem or don’t want to feel compelled to vote for the lesser of two evils, RANKED CHOICE VOTING is the solution.
Support for ranked choice voting (also known as instant runoff voting) and proportional representation have been part of the platform of Green Party of the United States since our inception.
We also advocate abolishing the Electoral College and providing for the direct national election of the president by Instant Runoff Voting. As a step in that direction, we support “National Popular Vote” legislation which would guarantee the Presidency to the presidential candidate who receives the most popular votes in all 50 states (and the District of Columbia).
Both major parties are well aware of this simple voting system reform where voters rank candidates in their order of preference (1, 2, 3…).
Barack Obama INTRODUCED ranked choice voting legislation when he was a state legislator in Illinois, fourteen years ago. John McCain endorsed instant runoff voting back in 2002 as well. Howard Dean published an OpEd in the New York Times last month in support of a statewide referendum on ranked choice voting in Maine (Measure 5) which just passed.
I have limited patience for people wanting to cast blame who are unwilling to hold up a mirror to the party or the candidate they supported.
I have even less patience for political commentators like Paul Krugman and Rachel Maddow who either can’t do simple electoral college math or who choose to manipulate data in what seems to me to be a deliberate effort to mislead and assign blame, a blatant abuse of the public trust.
If he hasn’t already done so, Krugman should apologize for the factual inaccuracy of his tweet about Florida: the Green Party vote there was less than half the margin between Clinton and Trump.
So let me own this, too: we made no difference in the electoral college outcome in Florida either.
Millions of people voted for us because the Green Party offered a choice they wanted to support, running hundreds of candidates for races as diverse as Soil and Water Conservation District to President/Vice President.
People voted for Greens for a range of reasons, including straight up preference for our policies and our candidates. To some, we represent what the majority of Americans say they want: 57% of Americans think a new major party is needed because the establishment parties do such “a poor job representing the people.”
At the end of the day, we have elections not coronations.
If you want to change the outcome, work to change our imperfect system. We the people have enormous power; especially when we come together rather than tear each other down.
Please note: the above is my personal opinion, backed here and there by those pesky things called “the facts.” And yes, please feel free to share!