Green Party: Competition Provides Public Service
Like most of you, I have never voted for a Green Party candidate, and as of now I have no plans to. Still, I believe they are providing a public service by offering a respectably sized slate of candidates for state and national legislative office.
Nowhere is this more obvious than in the case of house district 39. The office was once held by Representative Dwayne Dobbins. Democrat Dobbins was forced to resign after his conviction for fondling a 17 year old. His wife ran for the seat and won it. That alone tells you that more competition for public office is needed. So staid is the Democratic party that no one was willing to "rock the boat" and run against her in the Democratic primary for re-election. Nor was any Republican willing to run against her in the heavily Democratic district. The last day of the filing period, her husband, the convicted sex offender, filed for the office. She neglected to mention that she was not going to run for the seat again. For a while, it appeared that he would win unopposed. It now appears that the Green Party has found an opponent for Dobbins. More on that on the jump.
In addition, it appears that neither the Democrat or the Republican party has recruited anyone to run for the other party's congressional seats. The Green party has found candidates in three of four districts. The Democrats are also putting forward three candidates, and the Republicans one- all incumbents.
71% of state legislative "races" had candidates who were unopposed in the general election in 2006. People are frustrated, but the system is not providing them an electoral means of expressing it. The Green party is sending six candidates to challenge for seats in the state house of Representatives. The GOP is running candidates in 39 seats, but about 25 of those are in districts they already control. The bottom line is that the GOP is challenging in about 12-15 new seats and the fledging Green party is challenging in about half that many. Not bad for an outfit just getting up and running.
Competition produces excellence, and right now the political system we have does not offer real choice. Whether or not I support their positions, I salute the Green Party for their public service of offering competition in public office.