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NY Green Party Selects Peace Sign as Ballot Symbol

As posted by Ian Wilder at

Version of Holtom's CND Peace Symbol by D9
Image via Wikipedia

Greens Rule Out Fusion, Will Run Their Own Candidates

Since receiving the ballot line, Greens have run in three elections. Alex White received 9 percent of the vote in a three-way special election for Mayor of Rochester on March 29. Jason West, a Green Party member running on the village party Cooperative line, recaptured his position on May 3 as Mayor of New Paltz after a four years out of office. Ian Murphy, who received national attention for posing as Tea Party funder David Koch in a phone call to Wisconsin Governor Scott Walker, was the Green Party candidate in the special election of May 24 for the 26th congressional district.

The Green Party voted to make the peace sign their official ballot symbol to highlight their status as the only peace party on the ballot. The Greens have actively organized against the ongoing wars in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Libya and call for a 50 to 75% cut in the military budget. Nonviolence is a core principle of the Green Party and was adopted as part of the party’s official principles, along with grassroots democracy, ecology and social and economic justice.

New York’s Green Party state committee also adopted rules over the weekend that affirmed the party will run its own candidates on its own Green Party line. Meeting in a Rensselaer church on Saturday, May 21, the Greens ruled out running fusion candidates who appear on the ballot lines of more than one party.

The practice of fusion or cross-endorsement is common among the other five ballot qualified parties – Democratic, Republican, Conservative, Working Families, Independence. The three minor parties usually nominate major party candidates to run on their ballot lines.

The Green Party’s rules also bar its candidates from accepting campaign contributions from for-profit businesses and their trade associations and PACs (political action committees).

“We intend to elect Greens with votes on the Green Party line. We are not another ballot line for the other parties. We are different. We are the alternative. We are challenging the two major corporate-funded parties as well as the minor parties that are satellites of the corporate parties through the practice of fusion,” said Howie Hawkins, a co-chair of the Green Party and its 2010 gubernatorial candidate.

“We believe our political independence builds more power to advance our policies than helping to elect the candidates of other parties. Running our own candidates makes the candidates of the other parties compete for Green votes. That gives us far more power to set the policy agenda than giving our votes away to other parties through fusion,” Hawkins added.

“Minor party advocates of fusion say voting for a major party candidate on their line shows support for their minor party’s policies. We believe the real message to the major party candidates is that the minor party’s members’ votes can be taken for granted because they will vote for them anyway on another line,” said Peter LaVenia, the other co-chair of the party.

“Minor party advocates of fusion also say that they cross-endorse the lesser evil of the major party candidates in order to stop the candidate they most fear. We have three answers for that. First, we intend to become a major party that elects its own candidates on its own line,” LaVenia said.

“Second, minor parties cross-endorsing lesser evils advance the lesser evil’s platform, not their own. Third, if minor parties are worried about how winner-take-all, single-member-district elections encourage voters to vote for lesser evils rather than their first choice, we want to work with them for a real solution to that problem: a system of proportional representation,” LaVenia said.

LaVenia explained that “under proportional representation, every party gets representation in legislative bodies in proportion to the vote they receive. Every vote counts toward election of the candidates of one’s preferred party. No votes are wasted on losers. This system is practiced by most democracies around the world and it results in higher voter turnouts and more women and more minorities, political as well as ethnic, being elected to legislatures.”

For single-member executive offices, LaVenia added, instant runoff voting where voters rank their choices in order of preference is a system that eliminates the incentives for lesser evil voting while insuring that the most preferred candidate is elected.

The Green Party’s rules do allow for fusion among independent progressive candidates and parties. The rules allow independent candidates who are not enrolled in any party to receive the Green Party nomination. The Green rules also permit fusion with other parties that share policy goals and political independence from the corporate parties and their fusion satellite parties. Such candidates, who would not be from any of the current parties with a ballot line in New York State through 2014, could receive the Green Party nomination and put their own line on the ballot by independent nominating petition.

The Green Party established themselves as a ballot line party in New York State when its gubernatorial ticket of Howie Hawkins for Governor and Gloria Mattera for Lt. Governor received nearly 60,000 votes in 2010. Under New York’s election law, parties need at least 50,000 votes for the gubernatorial ticket secure a ballot line for the next four years.


  1. Having emailed you, photo copied my site and and then mailed such,

    It was twenty questions in response to YOUR CALL.

    I am sorely disappointed in your child like responses, both passive and active. The alternative, anti establishment political scene is so lessened with half baked hippie hold overs like you two.

    Please quit emailing me.

  2. Vaughn Vaughn May 27, 2011

    Since getting the line the Green party of New york has ran in three races? I thought they actually wanted to use the line they earned last year. I hope to see more candidates for the general election…

  3. pete healey pete healey May 27, 2011

    @Vaughn, the Working Families Party (or more appropriately the “Left Wing of the Democratic Party Party”) endorsed all of the conservative Democrats at the state level last time. This party was under investigation for campaign finance violations early last year and Cuomo backed away from them, but the former Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals Judith Kaye made sure there were no indictments. So, no, there won’t be any cooperation between them and the Greens any time soon.
    Funny thing is that the Greens spent their entire campaign last fall appealing to disaffected Democrats. This kind of policy will limit their ability to do that in future. Aw, what the heck, the people will come to us when they’re ready. Won’t they?

  4. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes May 27, 2011

    Yes, I am quite satisfied with this arrangement, It weeds out the reactionaries -dems & reps-but leaves open other options including a green(progressive)/lib., lib/green(progressive) ticket and ballot splitting-voting for a Green, and/or Libertarian and/or Independent at any one election. There are many instances of a Green for say, governor, but no Green downticket. No Lib. for governor, but libs, downticket.
    Of course it would be better if some entity-preferably the parties, coordinated this ballot splitting.

  5. Ross Ross May 26, 2011

    Vaughn, they did say they’d cross endorse independents and minor party candidates. No Democrats, as it should be.

  6. Vaughn Vaughn May 26, 2011

    The Working Families Party didn’t endorse many state-wide Democrats in 2010 and was pretty sick of Cuomo. I remember reading that one of the leaders was thinking of working with the Greens. I think a flat out ban on fusion is a little too far. Maybe just for minor party lines together? I believe the Green nominee in the special election was originally a registered WFP member as well. Should have pressed for the nomination of both parties. Democrats don’t stand up for working families often.

    I think this just opening up the possibility of getting the endorsement of SPUSA and Greens for offices, as Howie and many others are involved in both parties.

  7. Don at @16:

    Don, I have always found you to be confused.

    I guess that is why you think something is up with “the Wilders”, because we would not answer your questions about the Green Party that had nothing to do with us. Since I have not been enrolled in the Green Party in years, you would think you could let your ten questions to us that make no sense die off.

    And, if the people who still wine about intra-party politics, years after I left the party, are still venting to you, maybe you should ask them why they don’t let go.

    But, anyway…

    That other thing about the FaceBook and Yahoo is confusing. I don’t believe it was referring to us. But, for whoever or whatever you are complaining about now:

    I don’t think there is anything on FaceBook that you can’t take yourself off of. Noodle around and find the “remove” button. I don’t think another person has the capability to take you off (or keep you on against your will.)

    The only thing I can think of is if you signed up for someone’s alerts or RSS feed at their blog. Then, you should e-mail the particulars, and ask them to unhook you or something.

    Sorry that you care so much about us, and that we have in some way disappointed you.


  8. Eddie Eddie May 25, 2011

    As a recent Green Party member who has done much work inside the party, I think this is a good strategy, considering the fact that the Green Party is doing better around the world and we are our own political party. By the way, I was thinking the other day about making a symbol for the California Green Party. Something recognizable and eye catching. We need to be pushing for these sorts of things. We need to make being a Green Party member cool.

  9. (Not my favorite people, and I ask, ONCE AGAIN, to be taken off of their Face book and Yahoo! accounts.)

    May be Clay could hook up with the Wilders. (Just have your Steer Manure detector on high ……….)

  10. clay clay May 25, 2011

    I recently moved to Long Island. long Island depresses the hell out of me. It’s like one big Clifton park (for thoughs of you who know Upstate New York). Whatever the Greens do, they should fight to STOP any urban planning policies that let a place get like Long Island. I’m talking about what’s been happening in Colonie. No, No, No….People from Upstate New York, i hope you understand this.

  11. clay clay May 25, 2011

    The Greens need to have primaries in 2012. They need to make efforts recruit more candiates, and have real enrollment drives. they’re a little too much of a tight clique for a grassroots organization.

  12. Short History of the ‘Peace Sign’ …………

    Mid 1950s as ‘Nuclear Disarmament’ and blended N and D

    Late 1950s as rudimentary four pointed star per over lapping semi phore flags (N and D)

    Early 1960s as formal four pointed star

    Late 1960s, engine pods added for B – 52 look

    Early 1990s, Don Lake morphs basic four pointed star into three bladed electricity generator wind mill

    21st Century ……………

  13. Ross Levin Ross Levin May 25, 2011

    I was watching Murphy’s campaign a bit…but not much happened with it that I felt like reposting on IPR. He didn’t campaign much, and I think when he did do something to get in the news, we posted about him…maybe we could have done better.

    I think the fusion part of this is much more significant than the ballot symbol. It’s a big thing for the Greens to come out and say that they won’t fuse with the Democrats in any way. Good for them, that’s what all Greens should be proudly saying. If you commit to being a Green candidate and Green activist, you should recognize that you are in a separate political party and it’s your job to promote the party, not stand with a major party that wants so badly to co opt and destroy you.

    Hopefully the Greens in NY can use their new ballot access to elect some local officials, at least.

  14. Eric Sundwall Eric Sundwall May 25, 2011

    Pete – the only coalition governments are Dems and GOP in NY. Fusion eats all the rest up.

    That said, the idea of a coalition gov’t derives more from a parliamentary system, correct?

  15. Eric Sundwall Eric Sundwall May 25, 2011

    Steve – Halloran was not presented to the voters on a separate ‘Libertarian’ line. The term ‘Libertarian’ was placed next to the Independence spot on the ballot, as apparently is possible in that neck of the woods.

    I think the Greens should remain a seperate and proud party. I was happy to work with Howie Hawkins last fall and was delighted their success.

    I actually tried to forge a quick marriage of Greens and L’s in 2009 special election. I recall traversing up to Glens Falls to Matt Funiciello’s Cafe. Matt’s awesome btw. I tried to convince them that the wars abroad trumped any difference we had about healthcare. In the end, I spent close to two hours in question and answer format as the only libertarian in the room. Few were sympathetic and time was short. They didn’t try to run anyone in that one.

    I hope that they do run virulent anti-war folks in NY to counter the main heavies. They’ve earned the right. Unfortunately their guy in the 26th didn’t do much beyond the Koch call and a fairly clever announcement video.

    IPR didn’t seem to cover that much. No debates, polls were sketchy.

  16. pete healey pete healey May 25, 2011

    While this may be a remote consideration, given that it will be a long, long time before Greens get elected in county legislatures or even at the state levels, does this policy forbid them from entering into coalition government arrangements?

  17. PLAS Follower PLAS Follower May 25, 2011


  18. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes May 25, 2011

    Sorry, NF. I gave it my best shot in 2008. I’m getting worse, financially & depression wise. I can only take so much frustration & ridicule. That is why I tried to counter paulie.
    I’m close to giving up.

  19. Steven Wilson Steven Wilson May 25, 2011

    Fusion is a myth due to the idea of common ground. The number of variables required to pull off a victory in that game is beyond any third/minor party, regardless of what state they are in.

    The green party started falling apart after it formed ideals for fusion. What you give up for ballot access and media will get back to you in the end.

    Either you have integrity or you don’t. Fusion is a myth.

  20. NewFederalist NewFederalist May 25, 2011

    Very moving, Bob. Many folks here are still waiting for you to give it a try and I don’t mean that in any nasty way.

  21. Robert Milnes Robert Milnes May 25, 2011

    I believe that the issue of fusion would allow a discussion of PLAS to be available to this thread.
    I am not a ballot access expert. I do not know whether the Libertarian Party has its own ballot line in NY. I wouldn’t be surprised. They are very good at that.
    I arrived at PLAS from other logic and math. Like the 27% Teddy Roosevelt-Republican-got in 1927. Trying to start a new party-the Progressive Party. A fairly close second is still second-losing-in the USA system. Progressive Party efforts have been tried since then, mostly in 1924 & 1948, similarly failing. The Progressive Party seems doomed to failure in America. In the entire world. Throughout history. The reactionaries have ruled. Monarchies, dictatorships, theocracies etc. The best system the reactionaries have is representative democracy/republic. It is still reactionary, not progressive. At least it is not counterrevolutionary. History has shown the drawbacks of these various other government forms. In an extraordinary exception in Chile in 1970 a leftist coalition after repeated tries by an extraordinary candidate, finally managed an extremely close election victory. Unfortunately that soon ended in failure with a military coup and the death-suicide?-of that President-Allende.
    Another extraordinary exception occurred right here in America in the aforementioned election in 1912. The extraordinary candidate-Roosevelt-came to the presidency by the assassination of President McKinley, a Republican but considered a progressive. At the height of the Progressive Era circa 1900, there was no progressive party. Progressives worked within other parties. Only by extraordinary circumstance did McKinley and Roosevelt get the Republican nomination. That could never happen in present day America.
    In retrospect I believe Roosevelt made a mistake by going on a scientific trip to South America shortly after losing in 1912. He caught malaria and that plagued him to his death in 1919. His persistence as compared to Allende’s was thereby limited. It is said he was considering running again in 1920 but it was not to be.
    I do not have many things Allende & Roosevelt had. I have some things they did not, like the internet. However I am plagued by severe reactive depression. My father went through it. He had ECT. When he was about 20 and since then. He has also tried various medications. The big reason he virtually had to do this is to be able to function in society, most notably hold down a job. The creation of Social Secirity SSI has allowed me to function in society without holding down a job. But at below poverty level.
    I have tried to climb out of poverty and have a somewhat normal life even to be able to get off SSI. But I have failed.
    I do not seem to have any extraordinary talents. I’m fairly good at many things-jack of all(or several) trades. My dad did not teach me welding. I do not know why that disconnect occurred but it did. So I have no special trained skills. I failed in college-high school even, before getting on SSI.
    But as much as I abhore politics, I seem to have some sort of “knack” about it. So I tried getting involved. Never tried a candidacy though. Until around 2000 I started thinking about a run -for President! I believed I could do better than those previous presidents if given the chance. I tried contacting Greens, failed, then Libertarians. I wound up here.
    I think PLAS is doable. But I have failed to get much support. Soon it will be too late for 2012, the loss of a tremendous opportunity-the Centennial of the 1912 election.
    I do not have the perseverence of Allende. I do not have the extraordinary combination of abilities & circumstance of TR. If my candidacy/PLAS does not get some traction soon, I will not be able to continue. I do not know if proportional representation will ever be implemented in USA. I doubt it.
    So, I’ll ask each individual who reads this to think about PLAS. And me. And decide what you would like to see happen. And try that. Isn’t there a saying something like it is better to have tried & failed than never try at all?
    Something like that.

  22. Mobert Rilnes Mobert Rilnes May 25, 2011

    @ 2 LOL. It ain’t the Posse Commie-tatus Jim B.

  23. Jim B. Jim B. May 25, 2011

    It’s too bad the greens don’t really believe in non-violence.

    They are all for peace until it comes time to pay for their schemes, then it’s “your money or your life” just like the ruling parties.

  24. Steve Steve May 25, 2011

    I don’t know if its a good idea to reject fusion out of hand like that. We Libertarians elected Dan Halloran to NYC council with our line and the GOP. If done carefully, the Greens might benefit from giving their line to a D who is close to them in some races while shunning others and running their own candidates.

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