Blogger: Third Parties are critical for an informed public

Citizen Tleilax recently blogged about his reasons for writing the California League of Conservation Voters to request that they include Green Party candidate for California Governor Laura Wells in their website “GreenGov2010″. Activism to support Green inclusion in media, debates, voter guides, etc. is extremely valuable, as I wrote in a reply that I’ll post below.

In general, I value open discussion and the consideration of multiple perspectives when searching for solutions to particular issues. I feel that weighing what everyone has to say is a crucial process in formulating a stance on something, and whenever I neglect to do this I end up wishing that I had been more thorough. This is why it is very important to not limit our sources for information to only a few channels–if we do we tend to absorb the bias inherent in them. Naturally, it can be assumed that just about everything is biased, making it our duty to analyze multiple perspectives if we intend to have as logical and objective an opinion as possible.

When it comes to politics this is of the highest importance, because both public policy and public edification is at stake. The two-party system has a stranglehold on America, and it actively attempts to prevent the public from hearing critical perspectives that are necessary for understanding issues. “Third” parties such as the Green Party and Libertarian Party represent these wrongfully suppressed perspectives on issues, and when they are consistently excluded from the forum, everybody loses.

For my purposes here, it doesn’t matter who actually wins–but what they’re saying needs to be included in the debate. Voters’ final choices should be made once they’ve incorporated information from every side of what’s going on, otherwise their decisions will be flawed (as it will be if they vote for the “lesser of two evils” instead of what is actually the best choice–a loser mentality that perpetuates an inferior government). When media outlets, organizations, Republicans, and Democrats try to keep third party philosophies away from the American public, they are purposefully trying to create a herd of ignorant voters. When they pretend that third parties don’t exist it should arouse suspicion about their true motives. Why do they want to hide information from the public eye? I tend to think it’s because they are scared that the public will recognize the faulty logic that’s been pushed on them once fresh perspectives are floating around.

All this is why I wrote to Warner Chabot, head of the California League of Conservation Voters, a prominent environmental organization. The CLCV created a website for the upcoming California gubernatorial election called “GreenGov2010″ and didn’t even deign to mention that there is a Green Party candidate in the race, while shamelessly using what obviously sounds like a Green Party website title. I find it absurd that an environmental organization would refuse to allow the Greens into the room to talk about being green, and plain deceptive to not even acknowledge that they exist. It is abundantly clear that something is fundamentally wrong when such a contradiction is presented without saying a single word, especially when they are well aware of what they’re doing. Ultimately, the CLCV damages its own mission when it ignores what the Green Party has to say about the issues.

I am writing to express my disappointment with the GreenGov2010.org site and its failure to include the Green Party candidate Laura Wells.  I can’t help but feel like you are playing party politics again.  The one thing that I’ve never liked about the CLCV is that one of the unstated “conservation” goals it seems to have is to maintain the status quo of the two party system and block valuable third party candidates from participating.

If we are to truly progress, people need to be aware of what everybody is saying about the issues.  I don’t understand why it seems like you’re so determined to keep your thought process directly inside the box when it comes to this type of thing.  The Green Party brings valuable, important insight to a wide variety of environmental issues, and can help to stimulate collective thought that will quicken our arrival at beneficial solutions.  Why line up with everyone else who thinks that Republicans or Democrats are the only people who should be allowed to have a voice in discussing important issues?

Your latest decision to exclude the Green Party and Laura Wells lowers your credibility and that of the organization you direct.  When an environmental organization stonewalls a political party that has been concerned with such issues for decades, I can’t help but feel that you’re far too biased to be trusted for real objectivity.  While the work you do is good, you are unfortunately stunting the progress of the very things you fight for by refusing to at least allow them into the discussion.

D. Bene Tleilax

Dave Schwab


  1. Powerful statement. I don’t think it could have been said differently. You will let us know if you hear of any response…and if there is direct action we can/should take.

  2. I agree, Sanda. I’d like to see Greens in every state organize to write letters, send emails, make telephone calls, etc. to media outlets, organizations, and debate hosts asking (or demanding) that they include our candidates. By doing so, we would not only increase our party’s visibility, but also set a precedent for inclusion with the organizations that agree to cover us. As for those that continue to ignore Greens – at least we would know going forward which organizations are in the business of keeping information from the voters.

  3. Whoops, here’s the reply that I meant to post before:

    “Greens have to deal with this problem all the time. We need more people to do what you’re doing – writing to the media and to groups like CLCV requesting that our candidates be included. The reasons for exclusion can vary; sometimes it’s out of thoughtlessness, or just the usual conditioned response that ‘third parties don’t … See Morematter.’ If activist groups knew the long history of progressive reforms that were introduced to the mainstream by third parties, they wouldn’t shoot themselves in the foot by excluding third party candidates. Sometimes the exclusion is deliberate, done to satisfy members of the establishment parties. That is the most difficult to remedy, but when you know that an organization is partisan, at least you know what to expect. Anyway, work like this is very important, because once we get our candidates into a certain debate, newspaper or voter’s guide, we then have a precedent for future inclusion. “

  4. Thanks for sharing my post and my letter… I hope it inspires some other people to write whenever someone needs to be called out on their exclusionary tactics.

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