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An introduction to the history of the election of 1996 in the united states

Introduction The Green Party of the United States exists today as a political party fielding candidates for office in most states and at the national level. It was formed when the state-level Green Parties came together in the mid-1990s. Thirty-three years ago, however, there were no state-level Green Parties, except one formed in Maine in January 1984, although various groups and organizations were discussing Green politics in other states.

United States presidential election of 1996

The effort to form a national Green Party began in the summer of 1984 and extended over several years of start-up work, including dialogue, debate, and outreach to spread the concept of a comprehensive Green politics. A tremendous variety of interests and approaches from many social movements flowed into the making of the Green Party of the United States. The immediate inspiration for the U. But what would a Green political party look like in the United States? What could it look like in our particular circumstances and the immense spread of different populations and regions of a huge country?

What were its chances of getting a foothold amid the myriad electoral rules and patterns and given the monopolization of politics by two dominant parties? These and many related questions were discussed and debated as the Green movement grew and the fledgling Green Party took shape.

It is important and ironic to note that this formation of a new state-level Green Party, the only one in the country, went unnoticed at the time. They were the second European Green Party, after the Greens in Belgium, to win multiple federal parliamentary seats. In achieving such success, the West German Greens drew support from the popular domestic movement opposing the deployment of Pershing II cruise missiles on West German soil by NATO and the United States — and from various other social movements as well, including peace, environmental, feminist, civil rights, and Third World solidarity.

Could those same movements unite around forming a Green Party in the United States? The Global Promise New York: After winning seats in local and state governments — and after making an impressive showing in the West German election for the European Parliament in 1979 — the West German Greens won 27 seats in the German Parliament in 1983. The book Green Politics, which was based on 60 interviews with German Greens conducted by Spretnak plus six by Capra, was translated into German, Italian, and Japanese.

  • In particular, after a budget impasse between the Republicans and Clinton in 1995 and 1996—which forced two partial government shutdowns, including one for 22 days the longest closure of government operations to date —Clinton won considerable public support for his more moderate approach;
  • Electoral Strategy Well-attended daytime workshops on Thursday and Friday focused on electoral strategy and were followed by very lively discussions and debates at night;
  • They also insisted that the national steering committee be called the InterRegional Committee instead.

Indeed, only six months after Green Politics was published and became a catalyst, the Founding Conference of the Green Politics movement in the United States was held.

Haenke invited Charlene Spretnak to give a guest plenary talk explaining Green politics and the ways in which it supports the aims of the Bioregional Movement.

Right before Spretnak spoke, a Bioregional leader, Peter Berg, passionately urged the plenary audience to view the Greens unfavorably as a parasitic, competitive threat to the Bioregional movement. He was well-known to them, was largely convincing, and got roaring applause. The few Greens and Green Bioregionalists in that group worked for two days to compose a statement suggesting how the Bioregionalists and the Greens might move forward in a cooperative manner.

In the closing session, the members of the Green Politics working group collectively held their breath as Spretnak read their proposed statement to the previously hostile Bioregional Congress.

The bioregionalists approved it with enthusiastic applause!

The campaign

It was thus established that most bioregionalists would join, support, or peacefully coexist with the Green Politics movement in the United States as it continued to develop for the mutual benefit of both.

All five met once in New York City and several times by phone. The planning committee sent a letter of invitation to 200 activist organizations working for peace, ecology, social justice, civil rights, feminism, veterans' rights, and other issues.

Each organization was invited to send either one or two representatives to the founding meeting of the Green Party in the United States. Most recipients of the letter did not reply, and only a few dozen organizations sent anyone to attend the Founding Conference. It is possible that, like many attendees at the First North American Bioregional Congress a few months earlier, the idea of an unknown political entity one that might draw away financial donations was not universally embraced.

Understandably, most of the groups wanted to wait and see what this new Green Party would be like. Sadly, the one state-level Green Party already in existence — the Maine Green Party — did not get invited because the one member of the planning committee who, being from New England, knew about the existence of the Maine Green Party did not tell the other members.

Presumably she was siding with those bioregionalists in New England who opposed all national parties. Because of that exclusion by one person, the Maine Green Party found out about the Founding Conference only after the event.

During the three-day Founding Conference, attended by 62 activists, many sessions were held on ways to move forward, as well as one on brainstorming Green values.

To the surprise of an introduction to the history of the election of 1996 in the united states everyone, a group of 11 people from the Institute for Social Ecology in Vermont — who packed the Founding Conference by violating the limit of two representatives stated in the invitation, and who were ideologically opposed to the very existence of national parties — derailed the momentum for founding a party that weekend.

As a compromise position, the plenary group agreed in the final session to temporarily delay the formation of a party while spending the first few years seeding Green ideas locally across the country since few people at that point understood what Green eco-social politics entails.

Also in the closing session, the attendees approved the formation of a scribe committee Charlene Spretnak and Eleanor LeCain in Berkeley, and Mark Satin in Washington, DC to compose a draft of a values statement, which they subsequently titled the Ten Key Values. A national clearinghouse was established in Minneapolis, and regional representatives were selected to serve on a steering committee and to encourage the formation of local Green politics groups and multi-leveled outreach to other organizations and issue networks.

What's in a Name? A further surprise at the Founding Conference was that some of the community organizers argued against using "Green" in the organization's name on the grounds that people of color then associated ecology with a middle-class approach that ignores issues of social justice. Moreover, the group of attendees from the Institute for Social Ecology, who were against any national party or organization on anarchist grounds, blocked the word "national" from being in the organization's name.

They also insisted that the national steering committee be called the InterRegional Committee instead.

Results of the 1996 election

Thus the surprisingly rocky weekend ended with a pre-party national Green Politics organization called the Committees of Correspondence, named for the grassroots groups during the Revolutionary War. The Founding Conference went on to agree that the local Committees of Correspondence CoCs would have a good deal of autonomy and would be free to use "Green" in their names if they wished, which most of them did.

That name remained until August 1991. The InterRegional Committee met two to three times a year until 1991 at locations including these: They drew from the brainstorming session in St. Paul, from the values statements of other Green parties, and from their own Green ideas.

This draft was submitted to the InterRegional Committee, who took it back to their respective regions for discussion and any suggested changes or additions. Following inclusion of the suggested revisions, the Ten Key Values, which were accompanied by open-ended questions under each value to stimulate discussion, were approved and adopted unanimously by the InterRegional Committee.

The Ten Key Values were distributed as a one-page document to all local Green groups. They reached many people by being published in the paperback edition of Green Politics 1986. Local Green groups around the country eventually made slight changes or re-ordered the values or made additions to the exact wording of the Ten Key Values. This document was then redrafted in 1995-96 with the questions under each value changed to affirmative sentences as the foundation for the 1996 Green Platform document — and as the "official" 2000 national Green Party Platform.

  1. Even the President of the College chipped in. These exclusions predictably produced swift opposition from the Left Green Network, as well as from others who were more interested in movement building than with electoral politics -- an opposition which reverberated six months later as blowback at Greens Gathering '91.
  2. Twenty Greens won their races, including 11 in California. True democracy is creating policy collectively.
  3. The leaders of the Bowdoin conference reflected that for the first time they could start with the assumption that Greens must be engaged in politics and no longer embroil themselves in what seemed endless rhetoric about its precise relationship to the rest of the Green movement. The four-day conference produced a restructuring of the Green Committees of Correspondence.
  4. The official language is French Creole.

It was subsequently included in the successful Federal Elections Commission filing for national Green Party legal status in 2001. In 2016 the statements under each value were further rephrased and amended by the Green Party's National Committee.

  • Not even a year after his overwhelming victory, Aristide was thrown-out by a violent militia group;
  • We must end corporate welfare.

The political philosophy expressed in the Ten Key Values became a focus on the national level at the 2000 ASGP presidential nomination convention. He stated, "It remains for future Greens, whether formally affiliated with the Green Party in the US or greens who share core values of Green parties, to do their best in bringing the values and positions of Green thought into reality.

The politics of the present era clearly demand the independent, future-oriented vision of Green, ecologically focused 'planet citizens.

It has served as a philosophical framework and a broad umbrella through all the tumult and factional disagreements that a new party appealing to many different groups, concerns, and interests inevitably experiences.

Green Ten Key Values document was cited as one of the inspirational source documents behind the creation of the Charter. National Clearinghouse Trying to put the Ten Key Values into practice became the task of the first Committees of Correspondence clearinghouse, established in late 1984 in St.

United States presidential election of 1992

Paul with Harry Boyte as Clearinghouse Coordinator. At the December 1985 Inter-Regional Committee IC meeting in Kansas City, the decision was made that both the IC and the Clearinghouse should actively support organizing efforts through a number of services.

The Clearinghouse was moved to Kansas City because the required tasks and responsibilities were rapidly becoming too great for only one person to handle. In Kansas City there was a local group the Prairie Greens to actively support it. She served in that key role until fall 1989, when she was succeeded by Jim Richmond. Through her organizing skills, steady leadership and vision, and charismatic verve -- and with Kjelshus's enthusiastic help and equally compelling vision, Berry assisted in the birth and intergroup coordination of over 350 local Green groups throughout the country.

This provided the "that-without-which" foundation of much subsequent development of Green politics movement and the Green Party. It was a vital step in the direction of both. This periodical became a primary source of commentaries and newspaper reprints of Green success stories around the country.

  1. A further surprise at the Founding Conference was that some of the community organizers argued against using "Green" in the organization's name on the grounds that people of color then associated ecology with a middle-class approach that ignores issues of social justice.
  2. In addition, participants celebrated the campaigns in the 1992 elections run by three prominent participants at the conference. Buoyed by a recovering and increasingly strong economy, Clinton maintained consistent double-digit leads in the polls over Dole as election day neared.
  3. Obstacles were overcome, and this progress was assisted by the SPAKA envisioning of what could be and should be. The effort to form a national Green Party began in the summer of 1984 and extended over several years of start-up work, including dialogue, debate, and outreach to spread the concept of a comprehensive Green politics.

It was sent to all dues-paying Green locals within the CoC. This was before the era of widespread e-mails. Green Politics movement involved many discussions and debates about policy positions, strategies, types of activism, and the broad meaning of nonviolence in the practice of politics. The challenge was to meld all those preferences into an American version of the already existing international Green vision of an eco-social politics, which included well-thought-out Green models for the economy, governance, education, healthcare, and more.

The debates over various options took place not only in Green meetings and conferences but also in numerous grassroots publications that sprang up. Among the questions considered were these: What kind of activism can best be accomplished by electing Greens to political office and what kinds by working with grassroots movements? How might each type be supportive of and accountable to the other?

How can we avoid the corruption of money in politics besides refusing any corporate donations for Green candidates' electoral campaigns — and how might we participate in the system while seeking to transform it? What would it mean to bring Green values to bear on a rethinking of leadership, authority, and community in our movement and beyond?

We are not gathering to make decisions for the Green movement. Our purpose is education. It will be a chance for Greens and activists in kindred movements from across the land to meet, share perspectives, and learn from each other—and take what we learn back to our communities to put into practice.

Workshops included a well-attended session on Independent Political Action. Among the activists from other movements was the celebrated author Grace Paley. Strategy and Policy Approaches in Key Areas. True democracy is creating policy collectively. The Merrymeeting Greens of Maine, a Green local acting on behalf of the working group, classified the submissions into 19 key issue areas: The category Strategy was deliberately added to pose the prospect that the desired aim of the project was an actual Platform for a political party — beyond a mere Program.

These issue discussions helped Greens think in terms of an electorally active Green political party. Although the Greens would have to struggle for many years of against efforts by some members who opposed any Green electoral political party, with each step of the way toward the goal of "becoming and being" a political party the process became clearer.

The 1980s Green Politics activism continued to push forward toward what would become, in the mid- to late 1990s, a robust political party. Obstacles were overcome, and this progress was assisted by the SPAKA envisioning of what could be and should be. The SPAKA process and organizing work gave impetus to local Green groups throughout the country and, although it did not ultimately arrive at a national platform — which occurred in a separate process from 1995 through 2000 — it illuminated future possibilities that a national party could compete with the two-party duopoly in the United States.

On September 30—October 2, 1988, a western regional Green gathering entitled Greening the West was held in a redwood park one hour south of San Francisco. More than 1,000 people attended. The conference featured a workshop entitled "Towards a Green Party of the West: