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Upgrade to the Green Party's 10 Key Values (english)
by Storm Bear Williams
Email: stormbear (nospam) jointherevolution.net
12 Jan 2003
You can have the very same idea and describe it where it is appealing, confusing or appalling. The current language is a good document if you are talking to the choir, but those folks are already on board. If we are going to have real political impact we need to seek the middle class, disenfranchised voter.
People do not vote for what they do not understand.
You can have the very same idea and describe it where it is appealing, confusing or appalling. The current language is a good document if you are talking to the choir, but those folks are already on board. If we are going to have real political impact we need to seek the middle class, disenfranchised voter. We simply cannot compete with the Repubs and Dems for the regular voters. Those folks are the hard-core partisans. Look how Ventura won. He got the youth and disenfranchised voters on board; many were first time voters. They put him in office. Those are our target groups.
I have been in politics for a long time and I know when you write a group mission, guidelines, goals or some other founding document, a lot of work, emotion and sometimes pain has gone into it. I kept this in mind when updating this document. It is not rewritten, but updated to communicate more clearly to the voters in today's world. With just a few exceptions, I respected the original ideas and language put forward as ratified at the Green Party Convention in Denver, CO, June 2000.
The order has been rearranged in order of importance as reflected in the minds of average Americans. This is done so when people begin reading the 10kv, they immediately grok the document and are encouraged to read further. When starting with issues that are the most important to the voters, they are more likely to agree with the whole document instead of reading the first few values and stopping since they were not moved. Getting them to come back onboard with the Green Party will be even more difficult the next time.
There is no substitute for a good first impression.
The updated version is geared to achieve 3 goals.
1 - Better readability. As the document stands now, it explains exactly what we stand for but it COMMUNICATES it poorly. I had two groups of 30 eligible voters each read it and only seven read the whole thing. Others commented that it was "too political," "sounds like a Bush press release," "I read it but got no idea what it said," "Wordy," "rambling" and "too radical" were some of the comments. "Too radical" was mentioned twice as a response.
In the new copy, most values have been boiled down to just a few sentences and testing shows that it explains our positions more readily and communicates our ideas clearly to average disenfranchised voters.
2 – More relevant. Essentially, some of the 10kv's are redundant and elevates some social injustices over others. The new copy allows us to support more ideas and remain at 10 key values. Each upgraded value now has a short bit of philosophy followed by suggested legislative examples. These examples are very important to voters.
3 – Change of target audience. I polled another small group split between "green-tinted folks" and "Farmer Jane/Waiter Juan" types. The green-tinted group were not associated with the GP, never voted GP and neither group had any previous exposure to the original 10kv. The Farmer Jane group were middle class or lower, disenfranchised citizens who do not actively vote.
All members of the green-tinted group understood the original language and liked it. The Farmer Jane group was left unimpressed and turned off. The original language is speaking to the choir and well understood by green tinted people. It is seen as irrelevant to average disenfranchised voters.
When presented with the updated language both groups got it and thought it was better. One woman responded that it was "something Mom would understand."
The changes... >--
Title remains the same with new legislative goals pertinent to the current political environment added. Also touches on some of the ills of corporate personhood without spelling it out.
Social Justice And Equal Opportunity CHANGED TO Equality
Some aspects of social justice has been spread out over some of the other values and this value has been compiled to deal with all issues dealing with equality including much of feminism. Responsibility has been moved elsewhere.
Ecological Wisdom CHANGED TO Environmental Security
I got very little positive response to this original value. The title seemed to be the turn-off. Changing ecology to environment and reminding people of how their great-grandparents respected the land lead to a positive response with the upgraded text. Switching from wisdom to security spoke to enforcing environmental law in the eyes of disenfranchised voters.
Non-Violence CHANGED TO Diplomacy
The greatest objection to "non-violence" was it reflected in the test subjects minds that the Green Party was filled with hard core pacifists and would fail to protect the nation in times of real crises. A change to diplomacy was a welcome move (it actually came from a Viet Nam veteran in the Farmer Jane group). It answers the issues we are currently facing and will be for a long time to come.
Decentralization CHANGED TO Economic And Taxation Reform
This and community-based economics have been rewritten and further stratified. I have rearranged these issues to be more focused and on topic with the current state of politics. The out-of-control issue of corporate personhood is also reflected here in the updated language.
Community-Based Economics & Economic Justice CHANGED TO Jobs & Fair Trade
This and decentralization have been rewritten and further stratified. I have rearranged these issues to be more focused and on topic with the current state of politics. This solely speaks to unemployment and free vs fair trade.
Feminism And Gender Equity REPLACED WITH Education
The original value was relabeled and moved to equality and a NEW value was put in its place. Education is one of the TOP FOUR issues in the minds of Americans and it is absent in the original 10kv.
Respect For Diversity REPLACED WITH Healthcare
The original value was relabeled and issues moved to equality and a NEW value was put in its place. Healthcare is one of the TOP FOUR issues in the minds of Americans and it is absent in the original 10kv.
Personal And Global Responsibility CHANGED TO Ethics & Responsibility
Reworded to better communicate our ideas to average disenfranchised voters. Left out the joining of others and replaced with the abuse of power language.
Future Focus & Sustainability CHANGED TO Long-Term Vision & Common Sense Planning
Greatly shortened this part. The "unmaking" sentence really seemed to confuse people. Protection for the environment was moved to the environmental security value. Relabeling seemed to help people understand the thrust of this value.
The Ten Key Values 2.0 >--
1) ECONOMIC & TAXATION REFORM - The economy should benefit everyone. We support measures to control government spending,, end merger mania, and grow the jobs base. We also support equal and fair taxation of people and corporations plus seek to put an end to corporate welfare and corporate personhood in all their forms.
2) HEALTHCARE – Healthcare is a basic human right. We support a universal healthcare plan for all citizens that includes pharmaceutical, optical, medical and dental programs. We also support the building of more teaching hospitals and an increase in the numbers of healthcare graduates. Furthermore, we support legislation to allow registered nurses to be our first line of healthcare defense by allowing them to practice a limited range of medicine the reduction of healthcare paperwork which currently amounts to hundreds of BILLIONS of dollars wasted every year.
3) EDUCATION – We believe that education is the foundation of America. We seek to lower class size, build more schools, hire more teachers, raise teacher salaries and give all children a college education.
4) JOBS & FAIR TRADE - We recognize that free trade does not mean fair trade. We support the withdrawal from NAFTA, GATT and the FTAA. These programs have done nothing but kill our workforce, raise unemployment and lower wages. Only fair trade supports responsible, independently owned and operated businesses, co-operatives and enterprises. Our current free trade policies encourages executive misconduct, retirement fund raiding and employee abuse. Globalize the people and trade will follow.
5) DIPLOMACY - History shows us that war tends not to solve conflict but rearranges conflict. Diplomacy has shown to be the real lasting path to peace and conflict resolution. It is cheaper to deploy a diplomat than it is the 82nd Airborne and the results tend to be more effective. However, we recognize the need for self-defense and the defense of others who are in helpless situations. We do not support unprovoked military actions or first-strike military strategies.
6) ETHICS & RESPONSIBILITY - We encourage individuals to act to improve their personal well-being and, at the same time, to enhance ecological balance and social harmony. We seek to hold elected officials and corporate officers to the highest ethical standards and enforce the law on those who abuse the position they have been entrusted with.
7) LONG-TERM VISION AND COMMON SENSE PLANNING - Our actions and policies should be motivated by long-term goals. We must counterbalance the drive for short-term profits by assuring that economic development, new technologies, and fiscal policies are responsible to future generations who will inherit the results of our actions.
8) EQUALITY - We support and value all people. America is the most diverse nation on the planet and here every race and ethnicity co-exists, every religion practiced, every lifestyle followed, every language spoken, every culinary dish prepared and every culture present. We confront those who single out any group or individual and attempts to deny individuals their rights due to race, color, ethnicity, religion, belief, gender, orientation, creed, age or language. We support the legislation of the Hate Crime Act and a continuation of Affirmative Action.
9) ENVIRONMENTAL SECURITY - Just as our family budgets must balance so must our use of natural resources. We seek to encourage sustainable development, rebuild inner cities, deploy clean fuel technologies and practice wise farming methods as our great-grandparents did.
10) GRASSROOTS DEMOCRACY - The US Constitution starts with "we the people," not "we the incorporated." We seek to increase public participation in government and hold accountable those who hold office. We seek legislation to deny corporations the ability to fund or participate in the democratic process by outlawing corporate funding of candidates, campaigns, political action committees, parties or fund, produce or run issue advertising.