RI, AK Green parties gone from national GP; is GA next?

2021 is already proving to be a year of change and turmoil for the Green Party and it may not be done yet.

The situation actually started at the end of last year, when the Rhode Island Green Party voluntarily removed itself from the national party rather than face a decertification vote. RI Greens sent no delegates to the national convention then quasi-officially endorsed Democrat Joe Biden, leading to the action.

In Alaska, the party, led by state chair Robert Shields, put Jesse Ventura rather than national nominee Howie Hawkins on the ballot. That led to the move to de-accredit it.

State membership in the national GP requires agree to “support national candidates selection by Green convention.”

In both cases, de-accreditation is the only disciplinary option the party has. A proposal is pending to allow degrees of discipline, but that’s neither here nor there for Rhode Island and Alaska.

Next in the gunsights of some national Greens could be the Georgia party, but for entirely different reasons. Last spring, at its state convention, the Georgia GP adopted a statement of women’s sex worker rights that some trans activists think is anti-trans. Defenders of the state party worry that Rhode Island and Alaska, whether the actions were deserved or not, are being used as dominoes. 2020 presidential nominee Howie Hawkins said last year that, at that time, he opposed de-accreditation, but he also opposed the party’s platform plank

Language and semantics issues lay behind this. Gender-critical radical feminists stress that “gender” and “sex” are not the same thing, as well as stating that the party’s platform and the individual plank are not anti-trans.

I am not a gender-critical feminist, and not a radical feminist, nor (despite being a leftist and eco-socialist) a radical of anything in my own mind. I am “gender-skeptical,” though, and I believe that gender and sex are not the same thing. That is why, up to this point, I have not put a second half of a word behind “trans-“ as in “transgender” … or “transsexual.”

My personal views are in detail on my blog, on that language, on “watchful waiting” vs what I see as generally unwarranted medical interventions with minor children and other issues.

My focus here is on the likelihood of the Georgia party being decertified and what that night do to the national Green Party after a sharp dropoff in presidential voting from 2016, to just over 400,000 votes, versus nearly 1.5 million in 2016, or just 27 percent of what Jill Stein had. (To be fair, Libertarian Jo Jorgensen also had a sharp drop from Gary Johnson, but that was 1.85 vs 4.5 million, or 41 percent, not 27 percent.)

Unfortunately, from this perspective, the national party, on state membership requirements, talks about “gender balance” rather than “sex balance” and that could be construed in various ways. Beyond that, the state party, if a majority claims the plank is biased, be found in violation of point II.10.

My personal guess is there is a 1-in-3 chance the Georgia party faces some sort of disciplinary vote by the end of this year or earlier. If proposal 1031 linked above passes, it is possible that, should it face action, that action is less than de-accreditation.

Will that, even, be controversial enough to cause fracturing in the party?

Ditto on whether the AK Greens going their own way. Shields on his personal FB page and whoever owns the AK GP page are planning Alaska Green events as we speak, and appealing to Greens who were disgruntled over Hawkins’ nomination.

Stay tuned.

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