Some questions that we often hear when talking about the Party in public:
(1) Are you affiliated with Greenpeace?
No. There is no organizational connection between Greenpeace, a 501(c)(3) corporation, and the Green Party, a political party. They are entirely different kinds of organizations. We have some concerns in common about the environment, and might have some members in common, but that and the first six letters of our names are as far as it goes.
(2) Why should I register Green instead of just voting for Greens?
(a) To help keep us in existence. In California, a political party can stay on the ballot and on the registration forms only one way, effectively: to maintain a certain number of registrants. We have sometimes hovered pretty close to the cutoff number.
(b) To make a statement to people who look at registration numbers. Registering Green tells the politicos who analyze such numbers that you refuse to play the Dems’ and Reps’ game of good cop/bad cop.
(3) What is the purpose of maintaining a separate political party, rather than running for a Dem or Rep nomination, or acting as a PAC supporting independent candidates?
In most states in the union, it’s a lot easier to get on the ballot as a party’s nominee than as an independent candidate. In the former case, it could be as simple as getting a party central committee to nominate you. In the latter case, it might require tens of thousands of signatures on a petition (only possible with very expensive paid signature gatherers). Each state’s election laws are different, of course, but that’s the usual pattern. By maintaining a presence in as many states as possible, we make it easier for worthwhile candidates to run with0ut having to please Dems or Reps.
(4) What are the major differences between you and the other parties?
This should give you a quick thumbnail sketch: https://web.archive.org/web/20160731041939/http://www.gp.org/120591/the_real_difference
(5) What is your official stance toward Sea Shepard Admiral Paul Watson?
As with any political party that you might have heard of, we don’t call a convention to draft official positions about everything that appears in the news. You’re likely to hear a variety of opinions about Paul Watson from Greens.
(6) Do Greens ever get elected?
(7) Will registering to vote make me more likely to be called for jury duty?
It’s unlikely. In California, if you have a driver’s license or state ID card, you are already in the file from which prospective jurors are chosen.
(8) Why bother with voting when the whole system is corrupt?
Even if the system is rigged, you might still believe that rulers at least pay SOME attention to public opinion polls, and elections are the final public opinion polls: They measure the opinions of those who actually show up to do something. By maintaining a “third” party, we hope to have another option on the questionnaire that will send a message, if only to the clerks tallying the votes.
Even if you believe that the counting of the votes is crooked, you have no right to complain about it if you don’t give them any votes to crookedly count.
If you believe direct action is the only way to make serious change, participation in the system still makes sense. Only when you participate can the corruption become evident to more people.
(9) Have you guys learned your lesson from Nader 2000 yet?
There were many lessons learned from Nader’s 2000 campaign. The most outstanding were:
(a) Having a well-known candidate with a strong message on the ballot as our candidate draws many people to the Party. Our period of strongest growth was in the three or four years after 2000.
(b) Democrats and Republicans who pretend to be sympathetic to us on the issues will do anything to suppress interest in another party, as demonstrated by the “spoiler” smears that followed.