Green Party Adopts Platform
DENVER (AP) _ The Green Party adopted a platform Saturday focusing on political reform, human rights, the environment and corporate responsibility as members prepared to nominate consumer advocate Ralph Nader for president.
While delegates to the national convention of the Association of State Green Parties debated their platform, Nader said his 50-state tour had given him ``the distinct feeling that America wants a change, a change from the dominance of the two major political parties.″
Nader said the major parties offer little more than ``Band-Aids″ for health, child poverty, job security and other problems.
The Green Party is focusing on people who feel left out of the democratic process because ``money counts more than citizen participation at the grass roots,″ he said.
Nader said that four years ago, when he sat out most of the campaign as the Green Party candidate while the party tried to get organized, fewer than 50 percent of the eligible voters cast ballots. He said the Green Party is counting on some of those nonvoters this year to pull support from the two major political parties and force them to face the issues.
Nader also criticized Republicans and Democrats for refusing to include him in debates.
``Neither George W. Bush nor Albert Gore want to face new ideas. They want to keep the presidential election an insider game,″ he said.
Two others, Jello Biafra and Stephen Gaskin, also are seeking the Green Party nomination.
The platform, which passed by more than a two-thirds majority, included a major change over term limits. Platform chairman Steve Schmidt said the party abandoned term limits this year and came out in favor of proportional representation, which he said gives independent voters more power.
The 317 delegates from 39 states also rejected an attempt to delete support for the Brady gun-registration bill from the platform. Nevada delegate Sandi Rizzo told conventioneers it would be ``political suicide″ for a Green Party candidate in her state to support gun control, but delegates refused to debate the issue.
Schmidt said the party also supported the right to bear arms.
The platform also endorsed gay and lesbian rights in housing, jobs, civil marriage, benefits and child custody and the right to openly embrace sexual orientation.