Kathryn Bullington recently conducted this interview with 2012 Green Party presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein at the Independent Voter Network (IVN). Stein is seeking the party’s nomination again in 2016. An excerpt:
K.B. – The Greens have worked hard and played by the rules to get on the ballot. What do you think about top-two primaries?
Dr. Stein – Top-two primaries are very deceptive. […] The top-two system allows the money race to start from the get go and doesn’t allow for less sold out voices to be heard. Top-two should be repealed and we should move to a system of ranked-choice voting, which completely removes the fear factor. It allows people to rank their choices, and ensures that if your first choice is eliminated your vote will be assigned to your second choice. In addition we need proportional representation, rather than a distorted system of ‘the first past the post [wins]’ which silences all others and disappears political diversity.
K.B. – What is the value of parties?
Dr. Stein – Those of us who do not have [wealthy backers], and that is most American people, I am not talking just about candidates — we need to work together, and we need to build. Parties are how we work together across multiple issues, across time, and build from election to election. That is the only way we are going to change things.
K.B. – Where does Green money come from?
Dr. Stein – Individual and small donors and it mostly comes through the web from people who support what we are doing. There is actually very little going on bended knee to big donors, we don’t have big donors, we don’t have super PACs, we don’t accept money from lobbyists or corporations or their surrogates — that is, from their attorneys and corporate officers. If you hire a lobbyist we don’t accept money from you. We don’t accept money with implicit strings attached.”