Green Party Presidential Ticket Compared to the Democrats on Major Issues

Over the past several weeks, the corporate media’s coverage of the elections has been entirely dominated by the conventions of the two major parties and their vice presidential picks. However, during the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the Green Party released a lengthy comparison of their candidates and the Democratic Party candidates on a number of important issues.

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Over the past several weeks, the corporate media’s coverage of the elections has been entirely dominated by the conventions of the two major parties and their vice presidential picks. However, during the Democratic National Convention (DNC), the Green Party released a lengthy comparison of their candidates and the Democratic Party candidates on a number of important issues. As part of our ongoing commitment to presenting the views of third party candidates, their comparison is reprinted below:

The War on Drugs

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* oppose the War on Drugs, calling it a war on African American, Latino, poor, and young people. They favor legalization of marijuana and medical treatment for drug use and abuse instead of prosecution.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* support the War on Drugs. Mr. Obama will continue the Andean Counterdrug Initiative, which has funded US assistance for repressive police and military forces in seven South American countries (Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Panama, Peru, Venezuela) since 2001.

The Justice System

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* have spoken out strongly against police and court abuses, including the Sean Bell case, the Jena Six, and the Mumia Abu Jamal case.

* oppose privatization of prisons, which has created a new industry demanding increasing numbers of inmates for corporate profits. As a result of the Prison-Industrial Complex, the US incarcerates more citizens than any other country in the world.

* call for abolition of the death penalty.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* remain silent or have equivocated on many cases of police and court abuses.

* are silent on the privatization of the prison system.

* support the death penalty.

Human Rights

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* would repeal the USA Patriot Act, Secret Evidence Act, and Military Commissions Act.

* have spoken out for the rights of survivors of Katrina in 2005. Ms. McKinney was directly involved in efforts on behalf of people in New Orleans and has criticized bipartisan policies that have displaced thousands of poor and African American residents in the wake of the hurricane (http://www.gp.org/press/pr-national.php?ID=94). She joined the Select Bipartisan Committee to Investigate the Preparation for and Response to Hurricane Katrina, disobeying Democratic leadership’s call for Democrats to boycott the committee.

* support full and equal recognition for same-sex marriage.

* support full reproductive rights.

* support reparations for the descendents of African American slaves in the US.

* support statehood for the District of Columbia, with self-determination and full representation in Congress equal to other states (http://www.dcstatehoodgreen.org).

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* support the USA Patriot Act (Mr. Obama voted for reauthorization).

* were not involved in assistance for Gulf Coast residents in Katrina aftermath.

* favor limited and unequal recognition for same-sex couples.

* would allow states to restrict late-term ‘partial birth’ abortion.

* do not support reparations for the descendents of slaves.

* favor the ‘DC Vote’: a single voting seat in the US House for DC. Statehood for DC was removed from the Democratic Party’s national platform in 2004.

Democracy and Election Integrity

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* take no money from corporate contributors.

* have spoken out against the Republican theft of the 2000 and 2004 elections: see Ms. McKinney’s documentary ‘American Blackout’ (http://www.americanblackout.com). Greens led effort to expose Republican obstruction of African American and young voters and manipulation of votes in Ohio and New Mexico in 2004 (http://www.iwantmyvote.com).

* seek public financing of elections, free time on public airwaves for all candidates, repeal of ballot access laws restricting third party and independent candidates.

* support instant runoff voting, proportional representation, and other reforms to ensure democracy in US elections.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* have taken hundreds of thousands of dollars from corporate contributors (http://www.opensecrets.org).

* have not responded to election irregularities in Ohio in 2004 or to the Conyers Commission’s evidence that the 2004 election may have been stolen.

* are silent on many needed election reforms. Democrats and Republicans have together worked to pass laws limiting third party and independent participation in elections.

Health Care Reform

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* support Single-Payer National Health Care (Medicare For All: see http://www.pnhp.org), which would provide all Americans with quality health care regardless of ability to pay, employment, age, or prior medical condition. Single-Payer will remove HMOs and insurance firms from control over health care, give Americans choice of health care provider, provide no-cost or low-cost prescriptions based on need, and ease the burden on physicians and other health care providers. Under Single-Payer, working people will pay for less for coverage, and no American will go bankrupt because of health care costs.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* reject Single-Payer. They favor reforms that fall short of universal care, fail to reduce the high costs that Americans pay for health care compared to the rest of the world, and leave HMOs and insurance firms in control over health care. The HMO and insurance industry profits by excluding people from coverage and limiting treatment for those who are covered. Mr. Obama has taken major contributions from corporate HMO, insurance, and pharmaceutical contributors (http://www.opensecrets.org).

Labor & Economic Justice

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* oppose ‘free trade’ agreements and unelected international trade authorities (NAFTA, CAFTA, WTO, GATT, ‘Fast Track’, etc.) that give corporate power and profit priority over labor rights and environmental protections; Ms. McKinney has voted against these agreements and advocates withdrawal.

* support democratic workplaces and repeal of the Taft-Hartley Act (restrictions on union organizing).

* support human rights protections and amnesty for undocumented immigrants, an end to raids, and tearing down the border wall. They call the flood of new immigrants a result of economic policies and agreements (e.g., NAFTA) that impoverish people and drive them across borders.

* favor a strong safety net for middle- and low-income working people and families, with support for Main Street (small businesses and local economies) instead of Wall Street, and a massive transfer of federal funding from military contract and war spending to human needs.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* support amended ‘free trade’ agreements and unelected international trade authorities; Mr. Biden voted for many such agreements and for ‘Fast Track’ presidential trade authority.

* are silent on Taft-Hartley. The Democratic Party has failed to deliver for working people despite Election Year endorsements from unions.

* Favor immigration reform but Mr. Obama voted yes on the border wall and more border policing and surveillance.

* support many economic policies that favor the wealthy, major corporations, and Wall Street, with limited aid for poor and middle-income Americans. Mr. Obama has praised the 1996 Welfare Reform Act signed by Bill Clinton, which severely hurt millions of Americans, especially women, during the recent economic downturn, and supports Bush-agenda ‘faith-based’ initiatives. Mr. Biden helped draft the 2005 bankruptcy bill that gave credit-card companies and other financial institutions greater power over Americans facing economic difficulties. See “Obama is flat-out kicking McCain’s ass when it comes to Wall Street contributions” (“Candidates for Sale” by Matt Taibbi, Rolling Stone, August 21, 2008, http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/story/22210615/candidates_for_sale)

Wars in Iraq and Afghanistan

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* call for US troops to be brought home safe and sound, with an immediate and orderly withdrawal of all US military and contracted personnel from Iraq. The Green Party and Green candidates opposed the invasion and occupation since the Bush Administration announced its intention to wage war on Iraq.

* have urged Congress to cut off funding for the war.

* would hold the Bush Administration responsible for deceiving the public with false claims that Saddam Hussein possessed WMDs, posed a threat to the US and to Iraq’s own neighbors, had conspired with al Qaeda, and played a role in the 9/11 attacks.

* have opposed ‘benchmarks’ that would allow US and UK corporations to take control over most Iraqi oil resources.

* support an end to the US occupation of Afghanistan.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* offer a delayed timetable for partial troop withdrawal, and would leave private US military personnel and tens of thousands of troops in Iraq to protect “American interests” (Iraqi oil resources), as well as expand US combat forces in surrounding nations. The Democratic Party leadership supported the Iraq War from the beginning, believing Bush Administration deceptions, and voted with Republicans to surrender Congress’s war power to the White House.

* continued to vote for President Bush’s requests for more war funding. Democrats, including Mr. Obama, approved all war funding bills after gaining control of Congress in 2006, despite their claim of opposition to the Iraq War.

* have supported ‘benchmarks’ giving US and UK corporations control over Iraqi oil, which would require continued US troop presence in Iraq to protect corporate interests. In recent campaign ads, Mr. Obama’s language about US access to Iraqi oil confirms the Democrats’ occupation-for-oil agenda.

* support continued US occupation and war on Afghanistan: Mr. Obama called for more troops to be sent to Afghanistan.

Foreign and Military Policy

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* would slash the US military budget, reducing it to the amount needed for defense of US, and redirect the savings to human needs.

* strongly oppose President Bush’s threats to attack Iran.

* support cutoff of military aid to Israel, and demand US pressure on Israel to end the brutal occupation of Palestine and suppression of Palestinian and Israeli Arab human rights, in accord with international law and UN directives.

* oppose manipulation by the Bush Administration and NATO of the Russia-Georgia conflict in order to isolate Russia and jump-start a new Cold War, citing White House approval and assistance for Georgia’s invasion of Ossetia.

* seek an end to the US embargo of Cuba

* favor nonviolent solutions to international conflict.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* support a huge military budget, voted for increases in military funding.

* have signed on to President Bush’s threat to attack Iran, repeating White House misinformation about Iran’s nuclear capabilities and embracing Bush-Cheney doctrine of preemptive warfare.

* avoid criticizing Israel and dismiss international law and UN directives on Israeli apartheid and occupation of Palestinian lands; would maintain a foreign policy that conforms to Israel’s regional military objectives.

* endorse most of the Bush Administration line on the Russia-Georgia conflict.

* favor a continued US embargo of Cuba.

Global Warming, Energy, and the Environment

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* call for far-reaching short-term and long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and favor major conservation programs to cut US energy consumption

* seek widespread economic reorganization and millions of new jobs in conservation and conversion to safe, clean energy sources.

* oppose nuclear energy, which creates huge amounts of toxic waste and multiple security risks, and off-shore drilling, and favor a ban on new coal fired-power plants and all mountaintop coal removal.

* oppose widespread conversion to biofuels that require agricultural land needed for food production.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* favor modest long-term cuts in greenhouse gas emissions and ineffective corporate polluter-friendly carbon emissions trading schemes (‘cap and trade’).

* don’t talk about cuts in consumption.

* support nuclear energy, biofuel production, and ‘clean coal’, and have dropped opposition to off-shore drilling: Sen. Obama receives major campaign contributions from nuclear and ethanol industries and supports their goals.

Impeachment of President Bush and Vice President Cheney

Cynthia McKinney and Rosa Clemente

* endorse impeachment of Bush and Cheney for high crimes and misdemeanors: deception and manipulation of intelligence to justify the invasion of Iraq; cover-ups of information about impending 9/11 attacks; use of torture; denial of habeas corpus and due process; warrantless surveillance of US citizens; hundreds of ‘signing statements’ to exempt the President from executing over 1,000 federal laws; censoring and tampering with scientific research to conceal the seriousness of global warming; responsibility for the deaths of as many as one million Iraqi civilians and over 4,000 US servicemembers. Ms. McKinney was the first member of Congress to introduce a motion for impeachment, in 2006.

* opposed the ‘telecomm immunity’ bill blocking prosecution of telecommunications companies that allowed warrantless spying on US citizens.

* call for a new investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

* support establishment of an International Criminal Court to prosecute war crimes.

Barack Obama and Joseph Biden

* oppose motions for impeachment, despite Bush Administration’s numerous crimes and abuses of power. The Democratic Party leadership has blocked efforts to pursue impeachment.

* voted for the telecomm immunity bill.

* do not support a new, independent investigation of the 9/11 attacks.

* are silent on establishing an International Criminal Court.

Author: mediamouse

Grand Rapids independent media // mediamouse.org