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Ask Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb 919

Today you have the opportunity to ask questions of the Green Party's candidate for President of the United States, David Cobb. Standard interview rules apply: we'll select a dozen or so of the best questions and Mr. Cobb will give us his answers next week.
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Ask Green Party Presidential Candidate David Cobb

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  • by HackHackBoom ( 198866 ) * on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:46PM (#10331153) Journal
    How do you respond to accusations from Democrats that a vote for your party is a vote for George Bush?

    In this world of political campaigning via direct attacks and dancing around the real issues, I am curious to know how you and your party have reacted to these attacks.

    Additionally, what is your party and personal stance towards using the very methods I'm mentioning as return fodder for the 2 large parties?
    • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:51PM (#10331228)
      I believe he's already on record as saying if you're in a swing state, vote Kerry. Because, even though he's not much better on some issues, Bush is a disaster. Heard this on NPR following Nader's failed bid to get on as the Green candidate
      • by Golias ( 176380 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:58PM (#10332238)
        I believe he's already on record as saying if you're in a swing state, vote Kerry. Because, even though he's not much better on some issues, Bush is a disaster. Heard this on NPR following Nader's failed bid to get on as the Green candidate

        If that's his opinion, then he's not running to win, in which case, he's not a real candidate at all, and just using the pretense of "running for president" to stand on a slightly taller soapbox while speaking about his ideas.

        He has that right, but I see no reason at all why I should pay any more attention to this guy than any other spokesman of progressive/liberal issues.

        When Ross Perot ran for president, he was running for president. He was actually gaining enough ground to look like he had a real shot at it, too, until he let a little too much "crazy talk" enter into his rhetoric.

        When Jesse Ventura ran for governor of Minnesota, he ran to win, and did so.

        These are examples of real third-party candidates. They actually wanted to hold the offices they were seeking.

        Anybody who says "don't vote for me" to the people of certain states is not a real candidate, and so I'm not even going to bother to submit a question, because I have no plans to read his answers when they are published in a few days.

        He's not running for president. He's pretending to run for the sake of the attention. I say, let's not give it to him.
    • by Tackhead ( 54550 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:07PM (#10331473)
      > How do you respond to accusations from Democrats that a vote for your party is a vote for George Bush?

      For that matter, how do you respond to donations from Republicans :)

    • by Qzukk ( 229616 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:11PM (#10331547) Journal
      Actually, the myth that a 3rd party vote is wasted needs to be dispelled. Reaching a certain percentage of voters for an office means that that party will be automatically carried to the ballot on the next election. From the top of my head, the percentage required varies from office to office (and possibly state to state), but 5% of the vote for the presidency gets your party relisted and access to receive public funding for the next election (see here []).
    • by strictfoo ( 805322 ) <.strictfoo-signup. .at.> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:12PM (#10331553) Journal
      My question for all third party candidates: Why not change the party from the inside? That's what socialists did during the 50's and 60's with the Democrats. Why not do the same again? Libertarians: work to change the Republicans. Greens: work to change the dems.
    • by fireboy1919 ( 257783 ) <rustyp&freeshell,org> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:25PM (#10331736) Homepage Journal
      More specifically, how do you feel about the electoral college system, which is the underlying cause of only having two parties?

      Would you favor a voting system that makes it easy for a new party to spring up?
      • Interesting thought. Let me see if I can tap the essence without harming it too badly:
        Could we alter the political party landscape (which, IIRC, has no mention in the Constitution) towards a parliamentary-style arrangement (repeat: darn little of the apparatus currently used actually exists within the Constitution).
        What would we require for such, and what, besides consciousness and intellect, would be required of the electorate to implement substantial change?
    • Nader backlash? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by sterno ( 16320 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:27PM (#10331776) Homepage
      On a similar train of thought, do you feel that Nader's campaign in 2000 will be more helpful or detrimental to the Green party going forward? Clearly there's been a backlash against Nader, but how much of that has carried over to the greens. Is the backlash offset by the higher visibility that the green party might now possess because of it?
    • by j1m+5n0w ( 749199 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:46PM (#10332067) Homepage Journal
      How do you respond to accusations from Democrats that a vote for your party is a vote for George Bush?

      He supports instant runoff voting []. I prefer approval voting [] myself, since it's a bit simpler, but almost anything would be better than plurality voting [].


    • Are you serious? (Score:5, Interesting)

      by Arker ( 91948 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @03:31PM (#10332693) Homepage

      Mr. Cobb. Given that you're on record saying you won't even vote for yourself if your state is close, how can anyone possibly take you seriously as a candidate for President? Given that it seems you won the nomination over Nader by taking this position, how can your party be seen as anything but an astroturf campaign for the Democrats?

  • by RickyRay ( 73033 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:46PM (#10331160)
    Obviously with the current unpopularity of Bush and Kerry the final vote is down to either you or Ralph Nader. What decisive advantages do you feel you have over Nader that make you more likely to win the presidency? ;-)
    • Re:Obvious answer (Score:3, Insightful)

      by mshiltonj ( 220311 )
      Obviously with the current unpopularity of Bush and Kerry the final vote is down to either you or Ralph Nader.

      Bullshit. Did you forget or purposely omit Michael Badnarik []? Badnarik will be on 49 state ballots. Can Cobb say that? No!

      Cut it out with the 'obvious' crap and trying to mislead people.
  • by American AC in Paris ( 230456 ) * on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:46PM (#10331162) Homepage
    Mr. Cobb,

    Thank you for taking our questions.

    The first of the ten key values of the Green Party is "Grssroots Democracy". Over the past few years, the American Green Party has made significant steps forward, but (as best I can tell) is still growing at a local level. While I understand the appeal of national coverage, is running a presidential campaign really in the spirit or the best interests of the party? Wouldn't those funds be more effective in campaigning for more local offices, or launching a statewide candidate in an area where the Greens have a solid foothold? Isn't that how grassroots is supposed to work--from the bottom up and not from the top down?

  • Next one... (Score:4, Funny)

    by telstar ( 236404 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:48PM (#10331186)
    Is it easy being Green?
  • What's your strategy (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Progman3K ( 515744 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:50PM (#10331212)
    In a two-party system like the U.S. has, what is your strategy to draw voters and most importantly have them take you seriously?
  • by Locky ( 608008 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:50PM (#10331216) Homepage
    The Green Party is best known for its progressive policies on the environment, however its other policies are often shrouded by this, most people not knowing where the Green Party stands on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

    What do you think might be the best approach to educate the masses about the rest of Green Party polices?
    • by Anonymous Coward
      The Green Party is best known for its progressive policies on the environment, however its other policies are often shrouded by this, most people not knowing where the Green Party stands on issues like abortion and same-sex marriage.

      Whta kind of political party would have a "policy" on same sex marriage, beyond saying that it's none of their business?

      Let's ask about their policy on oral sex next.
      • Any Joe can start a college and start handing out degrees, but nobody considers it worth anything until it's accredited. It won't be accredited until the government decides that it should be, so the government has to have a policy on education. Besides the need to hold a standard for education, what people learn is none of the governments business, of course.

        If you think that marriage should be none of the governments business, are you saying that it shouldn't be a government sanctioned activity? Good l
  • Switching (Score:5, Interesting)

    by MikeMacK ( 788889 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:50PM (#10331217)
    If I was a Repubican or Democrat, what would you say to me to make me switch to the Green Party?
  • A "true" third party (Score:5, Interesting)

    by charleste ( 537078 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:51PM (#10331223)
    Mr Cobb, As a registered member of the Green Party for the past several elections, I am concerned about the verbage in party information I've received concerning the November 2004 election. It seems I am being encouraged (strongly) to vote for the Democratic ticket. Is the Green Party no longer holding to it's grass-roots past and is it abandoning the philosophy of presenting a viable third-party point of view and candidate? Thank you.
    • by InodoroPereyra ( 514794 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:55PM (#10332190)
      I have a question related to the original poster's question:

      I very humbly think that the Iraq issue should be the starting point for the green party to finally become a strong, third US party. Your party was clearly opposed to the US/British invasion on Irak, while the Democrats were somehow shy in their criticism before the military actions started, and explicitly supported the so-called war afterwards. Shouldn't you be making it more clear that the two big parties are essentially the same, and that you represent a fundamentally different, actually progressive perspective ? Are you doing it ? What are your thoughts in this regard ?

  • by DesScorp ( 410532 ) < minus math_god> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:52PM (#10331240) Homepage Journal
    One thing I've wondered about third party candidates is their motivation; do you really think you can win races? Do you think that if you run long enough, eventually you can break through the two party system? Or is it just a "protest candidacy" because you don't agree with the Democratic Party's platform? Would you be a Democrat if they became more of a leftist party (for lack of a better way to put it, but you know what I mean; if they had policies more in line with the Green Party). Or do you really and truly believe in your party, and want get them elected and into the political system?

    Bottom line, do you ever think that you can truly win political office in the United States, now or in the future?
  • Affirmative Action (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Brown Eggs ( 650559 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:52PM (#10331243)
    How does the Green Party's view on affirmative action (from what I could gather from your website) coincide with key value #2 (social justice and equal opportunity)? It seems that someone who is pushing for monetary reparations for past injustices as well as affirmative action programs cannot say they also confront things that "deny fair treatment" (also from key value #2).
  • Nader (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DrWho520 ( 655973 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:53PM (#10331246) Journal
    What is your opinion of Ralf Nader's actions after not gaining the Green Party Nomination for president? Do you think the Reform Party and the Green Party share any ideological common ground? If the first major Reform Party candidate, Ross Perot, is at all representative of the Reform Party platform, I would think there would be a clash of believes between the two parties. Is Nader selling out for another bid at the presidency?
  • by frostman ( 302143 ) * on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:54PM (#10331255) Homepage Journal
    Since the Green party (as other minor parties) has no chance of winning the Presidency, how does the party evaluate and justify spending resources on this contest instead of on Congressional and state-level contests?

    Is it a PR thing? If you look at the Greens in Germany (granted, very different system) you see that they rose slowly over time from the smallest contests to eventually having Cabinet positions.

    What is the American Green Party's overall strategy to increase their representation, and how does an unwinnable Presidential election fit into it?
  • Taxes (Score:4, Interesting)

    by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:54PM (#10331262)
    I recently watched your very good and very friendly debate between Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik. One issue you brought up was universal health care that taxpayer would pay for. If you are elected president, what do you think is a fair tax percentage for the average American, 10%, 20%, 30%? If you say it depends on how much you make, then for the sake of this question, say I make $75,000 a year. What percentage would a Green party president expect an average American making $75,000 a year pay to support all these social plans?
    • Re:Taxes (Score:3, Interesting)

      As of the 2000 census, the average American makes $57,045. An American making $75,000 a year falls into the top 1/4 of Americans, income-wise.

      Thus, a (comparatively well-to-do) American making $75,000 a year would probably be expected to pay a fairly hefty tax rate, say 30-35%. It'd keep you from buying a lot of nifty toys, and you'll probably need to settle on a humbler house than you'd otherwise want, but it's not really not that hard a price to pay.

    • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Insightful)

      by BrainInAJar ( 584756 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:37PM (#10331941)
      Canada, land of social health care, pays 9.3% of it's GDP on health care.

      The states, 14% source []
      So, I don't know that your taxes would be that much higher
    • Re:Taxes (Score:4, Interesting)

      by YellowBook ( 58311 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:55PM (#10332207) Homepage
      What percentage would a Green party president expect an average American making $75,000 a year pay to support all these social plans?

      Bah, I wanted to moderate rather than post in this thread, but you've baited me into it. If you think an average American makes $75,000 a year, you are completely out of touch. The median household income for the US was $43,318 [] last year. Per capita income was 35,000, but that counts children, so isn't really applicable.

      Also, it's rather naive to talk about "tax percentages" as if there were only one tax out there and it affected everyone equally. Most people pay a variety of state and local taxes along with federal income tax (progressively graduated) and federal payroll taxes (slightly regressive because of how it's capped). Tax reform is a complex subject, and it can't be reduced to "what do you think the rate should be." If you're interested, you should have a look at a very good overview [] of the different possibilities and their consequences.

  • by anzha ( 138288 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:54PM (#10331265) Homepage Journal

    Thank you for your time. Recently in San Francisco, Matt Gonzalez, a popular local Green Party politico, has been pushing for the ability for noncitizens to vote in some of the local elections. While there are other places that offer this long before SF, it seems as though this erodes the differences between having citizenship or not. Rather than expanding the franchise this way, why not work to streamline the process for getting citizenship and encourage people to seek it?

    Can you expound and explain a bit on your stance on this?

  • Meta-game strategy (Score:5, Interesting)

    by TiggertheMad ( 556308 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:54PM (#10331269) Homepage Journal
    Hello, Given that the current system of voting tends to reinforce the positions of the two major parties (e.g. you must vote for a candidate or for their closest challenger), have you given any though to supporting election reform as a method of making inroads for your party? It would seem that if all the 'second class' political parties supported election reform you would be able to make larger strides than trying to play the republicrat's game.
  • by cascadingstylesheet ( 140919 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:55PM (#10331282)

    As President, you would at best be able to veto bills and direct some agency policies (within the confines of legislation).

    Why are you seeking the presidency, particularly? Why is it the best strategy for achieving your goals?

  • National debt? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by isotope23 ( 210590 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:56PM (#10331296) Homepage Journal
    Mr Cobb,

    What in your view is the proper scope and size of the federal government?

    Do you think environental issues are best solved at the federal, or local (state county etc) level?

    • DOH! (Score:5, Interesting)

      by isotope23 ( 210590 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:00PM (#10331362) Homepage Journal
      My Bad got sidetracked there and cut the first question out....

      Mr Cobb,

      What is your view of our national debt versus
      current entitlement programs? How would you
      balance the federal budget and would you support
      paying off the national debt?

      What in your view is the proper scope and size of the federal government?

      Do you think environental issues are best solved at the federal, or local (state county etc) level?

  • Voting Machines (Score:3, Interesting)

    by jabex ( 320163 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:56PM (#10331298) Homepage
    There's much talk about the security and reliability of current electronic voting machines. What do you think needs to be done about it (if anything), and can it be done without being elected by them in the first place?
  • Reparations (Score:5, Interesting)

    by christopherfinke ( 608750 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:57PM (#10331310) Homepage Journal
    On the Green Party website, it states that you support "reparations for people of color in the form of monetary compensation."

    Where would this money come from, if this plan was enacted and how would the recipients be determined? If the money would come from tax dollars, what do you say to people, such as myself, whose ancestors had no part in slavery or major racial discrimination and don't think their tax dollars should be spent on these reparations?
    • Re:Reparations (Score:5, Insightful)

      by El ( 94934 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:21PM (#10331678)
      More importantly, if you are of mixed race, do you have to pay reparations to yourself?

      Yes, I beleive we should acknowledge that slavery was wrong and appologize for it. But the whole concept of reparations is flawed on two fundamental issues: who should receive reparations, and who should pay?. Ancestry is nearly impossible to trace; should someone whose great-great-great grandparent was a slave receive 1/32 of a reparation payment? Not all blacks are descended from slaves. A few blacks were even slave owners! This issue is simply not as black-and-white as everybody seems to think...

      • Re:Reparations (Score:3, Insightful)

        by Just Some Guy ( 3352 )
        Yes, I beleive we should acknowledge that slavery was wrong and appologize for it.

        Over 360,000 Union soldiers died during the Civil War, largely to put an end to slavery. How much more can possibly be said?

        • Re:Reparations (Score:5, Insightful)

          by Daniel Boisvert ( 143499 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @03:07PM (#10332347)
          Over 360,000 Union soldiers died during the Civil War, largely to put an end to slavery. How much more can possibly be said?

          Well, how 'bout the bit about the War between the States not being even remotely related to slavery? You know, that whole thing about it being a federal gov't vs. states' rights thing, and Lincoln using the elimination of slavery as a tool to win that war.

          I was raised in the North, and didn't fully grasp the lies I was taught as a child in school until I read a letter in Lincoln's own hand spelling out his feelings on the slavery issue (the letter I read is currently part of the collection at the Wadsworth Atheneum in Hartford, CT). I don't mean to imply that I'm in favour of reparations--I'm not, doubly-so since my ancestors weren't even in this country during the time period in question. I do think it's important to do things for the right reasons, though. :)
  • by Nick Fury ( 624480 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:57PM (#10331314)
    Obviously we here at slashdot are a bit on the techie side. I know that I have personally watched my rights being taken away from me over the past few years. Mainly my right to fair use. Under current law it is illegal to watch CSS encoded DVDs under Linux or any other Open Source operating system. What are you and your party's feelings on loosening certain restrictions to make the act of fair use a right again.

    Also, on the concept of intellectual property and copyright laws. What are your party's and your feelings on the current trend of extending the length of copyright terms? Do you have any plans to reverse the current trend or perhaps to set the lengths back to their original terms?

    ---Nick Fury
  • Drug Reform (Score:5, Interesting)

    by L3on ( 610722 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:58PM (#10331338) Journal
    What is your stance on the use of medical-marijana? What do you think can be done to change the way in which the war on drugs in America is being fought, either legalizing/decriminalizing and taxing or otherwise?

    Furthermore, How will you deal with our budget deficit and reform the GOP's relentless tax cuts and the Democratic Party's exorbanent spending?
  • by hoborocks ( 775911 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @01:58PM (#10331339) Homepage
    What is your stance on the DMCA and surrounding issues (upcoming acts like the INDUCE act)? Should legislation like this be curbed, watered down, or tightened?
  • Simple question (Score:5, Interesting)

    by greg_barton ( 5551 ) * <greg_barton@y[ ] ['aho' in gap]> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:00PM (#10331368) Homepage Journal
    Why doesn't the Green Party support nuclear power?
    • Re:Simple question (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Elwood P Dowd ( 16933 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:19PM (#10331656) Journal
      a href equals Issue: Nuclear Power Dangers []
      There is no such thing as nuclear waste "disposal."
      All 6 of the "low-level" nuclear waste dumps in the United States have leaked. Generation of additional nuclear wastes must be stopped.
      We call for the early retirement of nuclear power reactors as soon as possible (in no more than 5 years); for a phase-out of other technologies that use or produce nuclear waste; and for an intensive campaign to educate the public about nuclear problems, including disposal, clean-up and long-term dangers.
      I'm not a green, but my bullet point would be the Price-Anderson Act []. The Libertarians seem to think that deregulation would allow nuke plants to be able to afford their own insurance. I don't see why. If nukes can fly without government subsidy & indemnification, then I'm pro-nuke too. But they have to pay for their own waste disposal, and if they fail to contain their waste, they should have to pay for the damages, too.

      Do you really think nuke plants could get built without government subsidy? No one has ever really tried to convince me, but maybe it's possible.
  • by vg30e ( 779871 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:00PM (#10331371)
    Not trying to be an overall pessimist, but one of the most difficult parts of being the president is that having a very partisan congress makes any proposed "good idea" from anyone a big target. I would really like to see legislation for Industrial Hemp, Biodiesel, and many other non-fossil fuels take root as an energy policy, but special interest lobbying groups would make passing any major changes through the legislative branch almost impossible.

  • Viable Third-parties (Score:5, Interesting)

    by thewiz ( 24994 ) * on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:01PM (#10331383)
    Mr. Cobb,
    What do you believe is necessary for your party or any other to become a viable third party in American elections? Even though George Washington warned against having a partisan political system in his farewell speech, America seems to have developed a two-party system that forces third-parties out of the political process.

    Also, what do you think of the Democratic and Republican parties shift away from what's good for America toward what is good for their respective parties and the businesses / people that support them while leaving the majority of Americans out?
  • Corporate News (Score:5, Interesting)

    by stupkid ( 16083 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:01PM (#10331384)
    What do you see as the greatest problem with US News media? What do you think is the best way of restoring more objective news outlets? How would you change current media regulations and how would you encourage independant non-profit news outlets?

  • by Quixote ( 154172 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:02PM (#10331390) Homepage Journal
    In the words of Tip O'Neill, "All politics is local".

    What is this desire to aim directly for the Whitehouse? Why not pool resources and fight the local battles? By aiming for the presidency (and ignoring the local politics), you are setting yourselves up for a fall. We all know that in a 2-party system, rigged the way it is, your chances of winning the Whitehouse are somewhere between 0.00 and 0.000. Then why waste the resources on this race?

    How many members of Congress do you have? How many locally elected officials does the Green Party have? How many judicial appointees do you have? See the pattern here?

    Maybe this isn't a question as much as a rant, but if you feel like, please answer why you are wasting the time and effort on a run for the Whitehouse, when the same resources, applied at local levels, would yield immensely more benefit.

  • by phaln ( 579585 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:02PM (#10331400) Homepage
    Thanks for your time, Mr. Cobb. How do you reconcile your more socialist-leaning positions with the letter of the U.S. Constitution? Meaning, how are they a valid function of the Federal government, as opposed to, say, state and local jurisdictions? Also, I understand that "social programs" are a large part of what comprises the GP platform, but how do you plan to actually create these new programs, remain fiscally responsible, and at the same time quell the [very] valid arguments against large increases in taxation? Please define what compells your candidacy to further a notion of "greater good" while perhaps others do not share your definition thereof.
    • The Green Party isn't left leaning. They are free enterprise until it hurts somebody else. ie run your business they way you want but once you begin poluting then its everyone's business and you need to stop or be taxed liek mad. A view I agree with.

      In fact, its my view of freedom.
  • by Cryofan ( 194126 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:03PM (#10331408) Journal
    I think it is now becoming conventional wisdom among the American Left that America politics as a whole has moved rightwards (more conservative) in the last 30 years. Among the most cogent analyses of the move to the right are those that trace the flow of money (over $2B) from the ultra rich and the large multinational corporations to conservative rightwing foundations and thinktanks (see for example the essays at, and google "tentacles of rage").

    The more visible component of this propaganda machine are the talk radio shows and the cable tv news shows. But they sprang from, and still largely depend on, fodder from the think tanks and foundations.

    Many on the American Left now accept that unless this inexorable flood of rightwnig propaganda is somehow countered or neutralized, electoral politicking (e.g., fighting to elect Kerry, or voting 3rd party) is somewhat moot, because this decades-old flood of propaganda has also moved the Democratic party to the right much the same as the GOP. Also, the undemocratic structure of the electoral political machine in America (single member, winner take all districts, etc) would seem to disempower 3rd parties except for a spoiler role.

    Given the situation outlined above, what good does it do to engage in 3rd party electoral politics?

    And more to the point, what can American leftists do to move America to the left, given the power that 3 decades of rightwing propaganda has had on the American political mind?

    Would it be more productive trying to land a talk radio gig somewhere?

  • here goes again (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MORTAR_COMBAT! ( 589963 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:03PM (#10331418)
    I'll ask the same questions I posed to the Libertarian candidate:

    Would you approve of, and what would you think would be the results of, the following election reforms:

    1. Abolition of electoral college, president is elected by simple popular vote.

    2. Federal mandate that electoral votes from a state be split proportional to the popular vote within that state. (e.g. if California splits 60-40 Kerry-Bush, then their electoral votes are split 60-40 as well). This helps move away from the very brittle "all or nothing" electoral system, where as few as 1 fraudulent or defrauded vote can change the outcome of the national election for president.

    3. Constitutional amendment granting naturalised citizens the eligibility to run for president or vice president. This would allow for the 2008 ticket for the new political party, C.O.P. (Cast Of Predator) to field Arnold Schwartzeneggar and Jesse Venutra as their presidential ticket.

    Lastly a question: is the democratic system as instituted in the United States hopelessly mired in a two-party stranglehold, leaving corporate interest in defacto charge of the discussion? Is legal election reform necessary, or even possible?
    • Re:here goes again (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Keebler71 ( 520908 )
      Well, I am not the Green candidate, but I will take a swag at answering anyway. First off though, I suggest reading up on the issue [].

      Abolition of electoral college, president is elected by simple popular vote.

      As a practical matter, not even worth discussion as a Constitutional ammendment to this effect will never happen. There is no way that the small states for whom the EC gives more voting power would vote for this, hence this ammendment will never be ratified. Nevermind the discussion on whether or

  • by Mateito ( 746185 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:07PM (#10331470) Homepage
    Declare that if you win, you'll give the Whitehouse an environmentally friendly paint-job, so we can then call it the "GreenHouse".

    Will make it a more difficult target for terrorists too. Camoflague!
  • Party Image (Score:3, Insightful)

    by dasmegabyte ( 267018 ) <> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:07PM (#10331471) Homepage Journal
    America is ready for a third party -- the Democrats seem to have lost their thunder, and many Republicans feel that their party isn't meeting their needs.

    However, the name "Green Party" invokes in many people images of socialism and even ecoterrorism. The ecological movement has been painted as an anti-worker and even anti-American concept by people who believe that conservation and the reduction of pollution should be voluntary undertakings. I know that's not what the party is about, but that's doesn't stop older voters like my father from equating the movement with, for lack of a better term, neo-hippism.

    How does the party plan to improve its public image and distance itself from more radical anti-corporate, anti-ecological groups? And how do you intend to endear your humanistic social goals to the institutions that currently fund the political system, namely rich individuals and corporations?
  • Gun Control. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by e9th ( 652576 ) <`e9th' `at' `'> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:08PM (#10331482)
    Your 2004 platform is "coming soon," but the 2000 version calls for "thoughtful, carefully considered GUN CONTROL [capitalization yours]."

    What exactly does that mean? Registration? Licensing? Confiscation?

  • racism (Score:3, Interesting)

    by AstroDrabb ( 534369 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:08PM (#10331493)
    Where do you stand on racism laws? From watching your debate it appears as if the Green Party feels that racism is when a white person is racist against a black person or when a male is racist against a female. According to []

    1. The belief that race accounts for differences in human character or ability and that a particular race is superior to others.
    Wouldn't this mean that racism is really one race thinking they are superior to others and not just white vs. black? Exactly how would creating laws that favor blacks or women end racism?
  • by cindy ( 19345 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:10PM (#10331520)
    When The Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik was interviewed [] on Slashdot, there was a comment made about how disruptive it would be to implement his (and his party's) ideas. His response, in essense, was that since the only way he would get elected was if hell had frozen over, that it made sense to create a platform for that situation. While that makes for a nice way for people to give the finger to "the man", it hardly provides a real alternative to the current system.

    My question is: are you guys ready or able to play on the same stage as the Democrats and Republicans, can you get the attention of the media, and can you sell your message to the average american? Convince me that voting for you would be of more use than voting for the lesser of two evils.
  • by pyro101 ( 564166 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:10PM (#10331527) Homepage
    You mention support for public financing of elections, how would you stop private financing of the candidates but still allow freedom of speach? For example would Fahrenheit 9/11 classify as private financing or comercials that are critical of candidates?
  • The Bible (Score:4, Insightful)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:11PM (#10331536) Journal
    Since the green party platform calls for the banning of homophobia would you make it illegal for Christian preachers to preach on that topic? It has happend in Europ.
  • by formal_entity ( 778568 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:12PM (#10331550) Homepage
    • Was the invasion of Iraq illegal under present international law?

    • Do you think a "war on terrorism" is the most effective way to reduce terror?

    • Do you support the ICC (International Criminal Court)?

    • Do you think it's justified that certain countries have a permanent right to veto decisions in the UN security counsel?

    • What's your view of space exploration?
  • Nuclear Power (Score:5, Insightful)

    by iammrjvo ( 597745 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:17PM (#10331627) Homepage Journal

    Thank you for taking our questions, Mr. Cobb.

    Your party's issue statement on nuclear power [] calls for "the early retirement of nuclear power reactors as soon as possible." Could you please explain your party's position on nuclear energy (1) in light of new [], safe reactor designs and (2) in light of the necessity of the United States to wean its dependence on foreign oil?

    Thank you.
  • by crush ( 19364 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:17PM (#10331633)
    Mr. Cobb,

    the Green Party and your candidacy in particular has been accused of being dominated by Democratic Party insiders who seek to undermine Nader's campaign using un-democratic methods.

    A well-researched example [] of this is Marnie Glickman, one of the three members of the Green Party's National Co-ordinating Committee, who has a history as a committed and succesful (over $10 million) Democratic Party fundraiser.

    The article referenced above concludes:

    The upshot is not a single incumbent Oregon Democrat member of Congress has any possibility of the PGP [*] impacting their reelection. Add in Cobb's current polling at 0% and some might say "Mission Accomplished."

    Given that your campaign would appear to have a number of recent "ex Democratic Party" activists and that your campaign seems mainly to have served to attack Nader's candidacy do you feel that you've been played for a patsy by more experienced politicos?

    * PGP = Pacific Green Party

  • by eataTREE ( 7407 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:25PM (#10331723)
    Mr. Cobb:

    I am what is usually described in the United States as a 'liberal' or 'progressive'. As such, I share most, if not almost all of your party's ideals and goals.

    Nevertheless, neither I nor anyone I know who shares my political views plan to vote for you in November. While your positions on the issues may match my own more closely than any other candidate, I believe I have a better chance of seeing at least some of my positions enacted as public policy if I vote for John Kerry.

    With all due respect, Mr. Cobb, you are not going to win the election this year. To a certainty, the winner will be either John Kerry or George Bush. If George Bush is the winner, then he will continue to govern according to his extreme right-wing beliefs. Most, if not all progressive causes that you and I support will suffer significant setbacks. As President Bush will most likely be able to nominate one or more Supreme Court judges during a second term, those setbacks would long outlive his administration.

    If, on the other hand, John Kerry is elected, he will govern according to the political preferences of the Democratic party. While Kerry and the Democrats are, in general, quite a bit more conservative than I am, the simple fact is that the progressive causes I support would fare far better under Kerry than they would under Bush. I am sure that a President Kerry would do things that I strongly disagree with, but I am also sure that his goals and mine are not fundamentally incompatible. In short, I am certain that I can live with Kerry, just as I am certain that I cannot live with George Bush.

    According to the polls, this election is going to be extremely close. If John Kerry is to win, he needs every vote he can get. I do not have the luxury of knowing that whoever ultimately wins the election will be at least somethat acceptable to me. Bush must be defeated or the ideals I stand for will be in serious jeopardy.

    Thus, my question to you is: How is voting for you, as opposed to Kerry, make it more likely that the ideals I support will be reflected in public policy? Is there a *pragmatic* reason why I and other progressives should vote for you?
  • Health Care (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:25PM (#10331728) Journal
    "We support universal health care and a single-payer insurance program, that is publicly financed at the national level, administered locally, and privately delivered with freedom of choice of provider. It would cover all standard medical procedures, as well
    as drug treatment, dental care, medication for chronic and terminal illness, equal coverage of
    mental illness, and abortion."

    Does this mean that you would make it illegal for a person to pay for medical care themselves? If not, how do you plan on inforcing the 'single-payer' portion of your plan?

    What about wages in the medical field? Would you limit how much hourly workers like nurses are paid?
  • by DAldredge ( 2353 ) <SlashdotEmail@GMail.Com> on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:27PM (#10331778) Journal
    Do you plan to force Home School and private schools to teach your diversity plan? IOW, to you plan to force religious schools to teach that other religions are just a good as the religion they believe in?
  • Clean Campaign (Score:3, Insightful)

    by AmericanInKiev ( 453362 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:31PM (#10331835) Homepage
    Given that Political Campaigns have been reduced to which side can out-litter the other with non-biodegradeable liver-poisening plastic signs on public property, roadsides, intersections, lamppoles etc - how does a responsible environmentalist participate in an (illegal)littering campaign?

    If the price of admission is trashing the environment - so how does the good side compete?

    (Arrested in NC for cleaning up illegal signs - including political signs.)

  • maximum wage? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX ( 816043 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:33PM (#10331855)
    Do you support the following part of the Green Party's platform?

    "Maximum Income: Build into the progressive income tax a 100% tax on all income, regardless of source, over ten times the minimum wage. With this Ten Times Rule in effect under today's extremely unequal distribution of income in the U.S., a 100% tax on income above ten times the minimum wage would allow us to cut the income taxes of everyone in the bottom 99%, by over half for the top brackets, by over three-quarters in the middle brackets, and totally for the lower brackets--and still generate about 40% more tax revenues than under the current income tax structure."
  • by Bill, Shooter of Bul ( 629286 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:34PM (#10331885) Journal
    Regardless of what anyone thoguth about getting involved in the first place, the current situation needs be dealt with. I'm sure you were against it, but thats not a reason to elect you now. We can't go back in Time and correct any mistakes that we have made. What would you do to achive a peaceful resolution in Iraq? Do you have any idea on how to deal with radical millitant Islamic fundimentalism in regards to the danger it represents towards the rest of the world that do not share their beliefs?
  • by ProgressiveCynic ( 624271 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:49PM (#10332107) Homepage
    While watching your recent debate with Libertarian candidate Michael Badnarik, I was struck by the fact that you seemed to agree with each other more often than not, and while there were some fundamental differences of opinion, you were both able to have a friendly, honest discussion on substantive issues, completely unlike the mainstream candidates' foaming rages against each other that seem orchestrated to cover up the fundamental lack of difference between their positions.

    While I'm sure this at least partially stems from neither of you having entrenched political positions to protect, it also mirrors my recent experience. I lean towards the Green platform, and I have many friends who are Libertarians. Our political discussions, while spirited, show some fundamental agreement on the kinds of urgent systemic change required in this country.

    My question to you is, do you see an opportunity to build consensus among those of us who see through the corporate oligarchy masquerading as democracy and focus on our areas of agreement rather than our differences? Specifically, would you support the Green party and the Libertarian party running joint drives in support of campaign finance reform, control of corporatism, ballot access and voting system reform?

  • by rumblin'rabbit ( 711865 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @02:55PM (#10332200) Journal
    Here are three technologies which environmental groups have generally been opposed to, but which have undergone major advancements in recent years:
    • Nuclear energy.
    • High-temperature garbage incineration.
    • Genetically modified foods.
    All of these technologies have drawbacks, but they also have many advantages over the alternatives. Nuclear energy does not produce greenhouse gases, incineration destroys toxic chemicals and does not require land fill, and GM foods can greatly reduce the amounts of pesticide, herbicide, fertilizer, or water needed to grow food.

    What is the Green Parties' stance on these, and do you see them changing their stance in the near future?

  • by Coryoth ( 254751 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @03:10PM (#10332402) Homepage Journal
    You often point out that pretty much every developed western country except the US has some form of single payer healthcare, and I think it is a valid issue, worth dicussing. However, having lived in a few countries that operate such a system I have generally found the governments involved to be having difficulties sustaining the system.

    The dilemma amounts to this: as medical science continues to advance, and as we in general live longer and longer, the amount of things that can be done continues to expand, along with the costs involved with any new technologically advanced treatments. Because of this, the costs of providing complete healthcare continue to expand at a rate faster than we can pay for. With healthcare, if something is possible, people tend to demand that it be done, even if we do not have the resources to do it.

    Complete provision of healthcare simply isn't a sustainable practice as the costs are not proportionally bound by population (and hence very roughly speaking, government income), but instead by the ever expanding limits of medical science.

    How do you intend to deal with this dilemma? Do you only plan to provide single payer healthcare for core and emergency services only? Do you intend to allow a parallel private health system to provide the more expensive treatments?

    Thank you.

  • by vinsci ( 537958 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @03:12PM (#10332426) Journal
    Are you working actively to change the voting system to the Single Transferable Vote [] voting system, where voters are "safe" voting for a candidate they fear won't be elected? Assuming you support it, are the other U.S. players opposing it or in favor of it?
  • Colorado (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Experiment 626 ( 698257 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @03:15PM (#10332478)

    What is your opinion of the proposal in Colorado to award electoral votes proportionally to the popular vote? It would seem this could potentially be a great benefit to your party, firstly by making the state uninteresting to the Democrats and Republicans (it would only have one or two electoral votes in play instead of nine), and also by allowing third parties to win an electoral vote with only 11% of a state rather than needing a plurality across a state (or district). How signifigant would such a change be for your party? Of other changes to the voting system that have been proposed, such as approval voting, Borda counts, etc. which would you favor to improve the viability of third parties?

  • OT - well, kind of (Score:4, Insightful)

    by mantera ( 685223 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @03:51PM (#10332978)

    This isn't a question to the Green party candidate, but to the slashdot person(s) who organize these interviews; well, where are the interviews with Kerry and Bush?

    I would tend to think that a medium with the traffic and mindshare of slashdot, the credentials in terms of all the people it had interviewed in the past, the political nature of many of the issues discussed on slashdot in 2004, and the fact that these elections may prove to be a one in which every vote counts would be ver persuasive to them to respond. After all, and without meaning to disrespect other candidates, it's either one of those two that is going to be the next president of the US and "leader of the free world".
  • by kwiqsilver ( 585008 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @04:13PM (#10333403)
    It's commonly accepted that power corrupts politicians. The Greens are always speaking out against politicians who sell favors to their corporate buddies or other special interests. But the Green party also espouses a system where the government strictly regulates most industry.
    How do you propose to have such strong government controlled regulation, without falling victim to the corruption inherent in a bureaucratic system?
  • Power Corrupts (Score:5, Insightful)

    by abb3w ( 696381 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @04:32PM (#10333665) Journal
    I'd like to ask you, especially as a presidential candidate from the Green Party, about the main problem of power: generating it. =)

    Oil is near or at the Hubbert peak for global production. Greens apparently are opposed to both fossil fuels and fission-based nuclear power. Hydrogen, while perhaps a viable storage mechanism, is not naturally available chemically unbound in measurable quantities, much less enough to constitute a fuel source. Modern American civilization is highly dependent on economical electricity and low-cost long range transportation of manufactured materials. And the Nixon era demonstrated the nasty effects of supply shocks on the economy, especially for something as fundamental as the cost of energy.

    Annual energy use in the United States is on the rough order of 100 quad. How would you propose that the United States continue to meet demand? Or, in three specific parts: What long-term technologies do you think we should pursue? What percentage reduction by conservation in the US annual energy use do you feel we should realistically try to achieve? And, most important, what technologies to you propose for use in the short term to sustain the supply needed (despite conservation) until whatever long-term technologies you plan for are successfully deployed?

  • by vkg ( 158234 ) on Thursday September 23, 2004 @04:58PM (#10334024) Homepage
    which seeks to concentrate libertarian activism in a single state to effect major real changes in a localized area as a demonstration that Libertarianism can work.

    Do you think a similar push by Greens would work, and would would you personally move to a place where green activists chose to concentrate their presence?

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