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Saturday: Chat live with Jill Stein and Green leaders from around the globe

From the Green Party of the United States:

p Jill SteinThis is exciting:

Tomorrow —  April 12 at 8:00 PM EST  — you can chat live with Jill Stein.

Jill will be talking with you, Elizabeth May, leader of the Canadian Green Party, Christine Milne, leader of the Australian Green Party, and hundreds of other Greens across the globe.

Each leader will take questions on how our respective Green parties are advocating for our vision in their countries and around the world.

The live chat — April 12 at 8:00 PM EST — is the launch of an exciting new event:

Be Green Globally
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Bob Brown on Australian Green Party’s role in new parliament

Bob Brown, former Australian senator and leader of the Australian Greens, wrote this article for the Guardian on the Greens’ recent election successes and role in the coming parliament:

The new parliament will have more Greens, and more parties, than ever before. It will test the patience of the press gallery which lives for the simplicity of two-party politics and the jousting of personalities above the contest of ideas for Australia’s future.

The Greens held Senate seats in Tasmania, Western Australia and South Australia. In Victoria, Janet Rice picked up a new Senate place and the party’s deputy leader Adam Bandt consolidated his hold on the house of representatives seat of Melbourne despite weeks of predictions that he would lose. Continue Reading

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Australia enacts carbon price, with critical support from Greens

On Tuesday, the Australian government, led by the Labour Party with support from the Green Party and independents, passed Australia’s first-ever carbon pricing legislation. After 2010 elections, the Green Party agreed to form a coalition with Labour in exchange for action on issues including the carbon tax. From Reuters:

Australia accounts for just 1.5 percent of global emissions, but is the developed world’s highest emitter per capita due to a reliance on coal to generate electricity. ..

It sets a fixed carbon tax of A$23 ($23.78) a tonne on the top 500 polluters from July 2012, then moves to an emissions trading scheme from July 2015. Companies involved will need a permit for every tonne of carbon they emit. … Continue Reading

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Top 10 Green Party Stories of 2010

2010 was a roller coaster year for the Green Party. Mid-term elections proved voter dissatisfaction with the Democrats in power, but the media-darling Tea Party Movement drove voters to reactionary candidates, not helping Greens at the polls. International Greens saw successes in the United Kingdom, Australia, and other places, while US Greens were moved by the plight of the Palestinians in Gaza under siege by Israeli forces. The 2010 Annual National Meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan in conjunction with the US Social Forum, putting Greens side by side their brothers and sisters in the struggle for social justice in America. In the fall, Greens had many exciting candidates running for office including Jill Stein, LeAlan Jones, Laura Wells, Rich Whitney, Tom Clements, Colia Clark, Julia Willebrand, Farheen Hakeem, Howie Hawkins, Cecile Lawrence, Ben Manski, Fred Horsch, and so many other inspiring Greens.

The following Top 10 Green Party stories are taken from a combination of hits on Green Party Watch and other criteria to build a summary of the year. May 2011 be prosperous for Greens around the World. Time is running out.

Top 10 Green Party Stories of 2010

May 7, 2010 – Caroline Lucas becomes first Green Member of Parliament in United Kingdom – Caroline Lucas, leader of the Green Party of England and Wales, won a hotly-contested race in Brighton Pavilion to become the Greens’ first-ever member of parliament. The Guardian summed it up best: “It’s a massive breakthrough, not only because she’s a brilliant, charismatic, humane politican who will enrich parliamentary life, but also because it proves it can be done, even under our antiquated political system.”

May 31, 2010 Green Party and Cynthia McKinney Condemn Freedom Flotilla Massacre – In May of this year the Israeli Navy attacked a flotilla of ships run by the Free Gaza movement carrying humanitarian supplies to the besieged residents of the Gaza Strip. 19 human rights activists were killed in the attack and 50 more wounded. The Green Party, led by 2008 Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, have been vocal and active critics of Israel’s war on the people of Gaza.

“The attacks on the aid boats is a criminal act of piracy and a deliberate provocation,” said Dr. Justine McCabe, co-chair of the Green Party’s International Committee. ““We demand immediate action from the US, including emergency orders from President Obama to cut off all aid to Israel. The policies of the US regarding Israel and Palestine up to now have convinced Israel that it can act with impunity in committing massacres and massive human violations against Palestinian civilians.”

2008 Presidential Candidate Cynthia McKinney, who was taken prisoner by the Israelis last year on another attack on a Free Gaza ship, said: “I am outraged at Israel’s latest criminal act. I mourn with my fellow Free Gaza travelers, the lives that have been lost by Israel’s needless, senseless act against unarmed humanitarian activists.”

June 8, 2010California Voters Pass Prop 14, Top Two Primary Initiative By a 53% – 46% margin, California voters approved adopting a “top two primary” election reform, a system whereby all candidates appear on a single ballot in the primary but only the top two, regardless of political party, advance to the General Election.

California Gubernatorial candidate Laura Wells had this to say: “Prop 14 pretends to be “open primary,” but more accurately should be called “top two,” or party-killer! Only two candidates would be left in November, when Prop 14 would exclude all the independent, alternative political parties like the Green Party, Peace and Freedom, and Libertarian. Prop 14 would favor only Democrats and Republicans that are incumbents or highly funded.”

June 24-27, 2010 – Green Party Annual National Meeting in Detroit in Conjunction with US Social Forum The Green Party’s Annual National Meeting was held in Detroit, Michigan in conjunction with the US Social Forum. The Green Party sponsored several Social Forum workshops and registration was cross-listed between the two events. Many Green Party candidates were in attendance and available to the media. A number of candidate presentations were taped by Green Party Watch and can be found through this link.

June 2010 – Republicans pay to get Green Party on Ballot in Texas, Democrats Livid If there is one thing that drives Democrats crazier than a Green “spoiling” an election, it is Greens getting on the ballot at all despite overwhelming odds. In Texas, a Republican consultant in Arizona arranged for a non-profit in Missouri to pay for Free & Equal to come up with 92,000 signatures to get the Green Party of Texas on the ballot up and down the ticket. Democrats were livid, immediately suing and issuing injunctions against ballot access. The case went to the Texas supreme court before culminating with the Green Party candidates being allowed to remain on the ballot.

The ultimate result of this was that Ed Lindsay, Green Party of Texas candidate for State Comptroller won over 5% of the vote, ensuring that the Green Party of Texas will have state wide ballot access through the 2012 elections.

August 21, 2010 – Historic Election Results for Australian Greens The Australian Green Party performed very well in the federal elections in Australia, with Adam Bandt winning a seat outright in Melbourne with over 36% of the first-choice vote, and the Greens winning about 12% of the vote in the lower house, giving them a share of control over the balance of power in the Australian Parliament.

September 21, 2010 – Green Party Senate candidate Natasha Pettigrew hit and killed on bicycle Natasha Pettigrew, Senate candidate for the Green Party in Maryland, was riding in the bike lane on a highway early on a Sunday morning by an inattentive driver of a SUV. The driver apparently didn’t realize she had hit anyone until she arrived home. Pettigrew died from her injuries the next day. This (long after the fact) article really captures the influence this story had on people.

November 3, 2010 – Green Party Gains Ballot Access in Texas and New York Election returns resulted in the Green Party gaining ballot access through at least 2012 in two of the most populous states, New York and Texas, however the Green Party lost ballot access in Illinois and Wisconsin. In New York Greens gain ballot status through 2014 thanks to Howie Hawkins earning over 50,000 votes for governor. In Texas Greens gain ballot status through 2012 thanks to Ed Lindsay earning over 5% for comptroller.

November 5, 2010 – Green Party Candidates for US Senate Net Half Million Votes The eleven Green Party candidates on the ballot this year for US Senate netted a combined half million votes. The 510,000 votes is the highest combined total for Green Party Senate candidates since 2000, when Medea Benjamin won 326,000 votes for US Senate in California and Vance Hansen picked up over 100,000 in Arizona. The 2010 results were clearly led by Tom Clements in South Carolina, whose 118,000 votes gave him 9.37% of the total. Clements had the most votes and the highest percent of the vote of all Green Party US Senate candidates in 2010. LeAlan Jones was the second big finisher with 116,000 votes, 3.19% of the total.

2010 – Green Party Elects 37 Greens to Office in 2010 342 Greens ran for office in 2010, over 300 of them were on the ballot in November. 37 Greens were elected, a win rate of 10.8%. All but 2 of the wins were in non-partisan races.

On the November ballot, Greens had strong showings for State Legislative races, but fell short in races for Governor and US House of Representatives. One Green, Ben Chipman, was elected to the Maine State Assembly but was listed as an Independent due to a technicality.

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Australian Greens support Labor government, win climate change concessions

The Australian Green Party’s recent 12% showing in federal elections put it in a strong balance-of-power bargaining position. Business Green reports that the Australian Greens have agreed to support a Labor-led government in exchange for increased attention to Green issues such as carbon pricing:

…The only party that can declare any kind of election victory is the Greens, who enjoyed a larger swing than in any other country, saw their share of the vote reach 11.7 per cent, obtained their first seat in the lower house, and picked up nine seats in the 76 seat Senate. Taken as a whole, the support for Labor, the Greens and those independents that made it clear they favoured action on climate change means there is a clear electoral mandate for rapid action, regardless of Liberal complaints that Labor does not have a right to govern. Continue Reading

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Australian Green Party growing in popularity

Aron Paul has the following commentary on the Australian Green Party at ABC News, entitled “It’s Time”:

Both established major parties are on the nose. Diving popularity for Abbott and Rudd and a rejection of their parties by nearly one in four voters have led some, including former Democrat leader Natasha Stott-Despoja to muse whether it ‘might even be time for a new political party?’

So far however, the Greens have been the beneficiary and are proving more electorally effective than their Democrat predecessors which they replaced on the cross-benches.

The surge in the Green polling to up to 16 per cent, along with the party’s recent 20 per cent record in the Tasmanian election, shows that criticism suggesting the party would be unable to attract a broad base of support has proven to be unfounded.

As a former national president of the Australian Democrats, I was among such critics, arguing that the Greens would struggle to replace the Democrats in pulling enough votes from both major parties to threaten the two-party system. I was wrong, and the proof is not just in the polling but the election results. Continue Reading

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Australian Greens tally record vote in Tasmania

AUSTRALIAN Greens leader Bob Brown says he’s looking forward to the upcoming Senate election following the good performance of the Greens in the Tasmanian and South Australian state elections.

In Tasmania, the Greens now hold five seats – one more than previously – and attracted a record vote of 21 per cent.

In South Australia, the Greens improved their vote to six-and-a-half per cent, with two Upper House MPs, one more than previously.

This leaves Greens MPs holding the balance of power in both Tasmania and the ACT.

Senator Brown said the Greens had something new and bright to say, with a long-term vision, which was appealing to the electorate. Continue Reading

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International Green Party news update

Spiegel Online reports on the growth of the Green Party in Germany at the expense of the Social Democrats. According to Spiegel, the Greens and Social Democrats are struggling for the “New Center” in German politics. In a quote that could apply to some US cities, Spiegel writes

In many major cities, it has already risen to become the second-biggest political party.

The article also covers the German Green Party’s efforts to connect with voters via their own Internet radio station.

In what may be the most telling quote, a German voter addresses the current financial problems, and the traditional party approach.

“There’s not so much money left, so it needs to be spent intelligently,” says Katharina Blumenstock, a gynecologist in Cologne. “The development of electric cars is more important to me than the Opel bailout. We need to invest in the future.” She says she trust the Greens most to find the right path out of the current financial and economic crisis.

Much more, from New Zealand, Ireland, Argentina, Belgium, Scotland, Palestine, and many more can be found by clicking this article’s headline.
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