My half-brother and two of his sons are visiting Houston this week, having driven down from Phoenixville, Pennsylvania. That's good news. But there's other news from the Keystone State that has me positively giddy.
The Green Party of Pennsylvania announced yesterday that it is officially a minor party, no longer merely a "political body" in the eyes of that state. GP of PA has satisfied the criteria imposed by Pennsylvania's election code by having at least one candidate receive more than 2% of the vote in a statewide race.
The press release fudges the numbers a bit: Kristin Combs in the race for Treasurer, and Jay Sweeney for Auditor General, arrived at "3%" only by rounding up to the nearest whole percentage. Here are the official statewide results.
The official tally guarantees not just ballot access for the 2017-18 electoral cycle, but the option for residents to register Green.
Sweeney was also one of three Green candidates for the Pennsylvania House of Representatives. It's not every state that allows a candidate to run for two offices.
Just last year, a lawsuit forced Pennsylvania to modify its strict ballot access laws—specifically in regard to the criteria for petitioning to get on the ballot in the first place—which the court deemed blatantly in favor of the two major parties.
Texas requires 5% of the vote in a statewide race to retain ballot access. If the Lone Star State had the same 2% criterion, the Green Party of Texas would also have extended its ballot access through 2018, with three statewide candidates earning 2% or better this year. This election was the first in which more than one Texas Green candidate broke 2% in races with both major parties represented.
The Green message hasn't exactly spread across the nation like a political prairie fire, but our numbers are increasing year by year. For someone who has been in the trenches since 2000, the progress may seem agonizingly slow, but it is measurable. From the steadily increasing percentages, I take whatever encouragement I can get. The announcement from the PA Greens has given me a transfusion of hope.
The Two-Headed Party of Wall Street keeps finding ways to stem the third-party tide: election laws, virtual media blackouts, online harassment from paid trolls, etc. But the duopoly's apologists cannot ignore the fact that a majority of voters are tired of its shit.
Meanwhile, parties that actually stand for something (other than corporate hegemony) must resort to expensive petition drives and lawsuits just to get a seat at the kids' table, rather than eating scraps tossed on the floor.
Blogging Sporadically since 2014
Here you will find political campaign-related entries, as well as some about my literature, Houston underground arts, peace & justice, urban cycling, soccer, alt-religion, and other topics.