Fear and Trembling over a Green or Libertarian Governor

 Note;  The above is the original title that the

Delco Times changed

alt
POSTED:  08/03/14, 9:56 PM EDT  |  UPDATED: 6 SECS AGO

3 COMMENTS

 
To the Times:
Let me start this with a question. Do you wake up in the middle of the night with a cold sweat and the fear that the November election results will give Pennsylvania either a Gov. Glover (Green) or Gov. Krawchuk (Libertarian)? Do you fear our next governor will not be named Tom, fill in the last name? If so, the state judiciary and Legislature has long felt your fear and tried to prevent a non-duopoly governor from ever, ever being elected. But, recently, the Third Circuit Court Court of Appeals threw a lifeline to the alternative parties in Pennsylvania.
 
 
Briefly, the court ruled that the three Pennsylvania alternative parties (Constitution, Green, and Libertarian) did have standing to challenge the constitutionality of state election code provisions that have been disadvantaging them. We have long maintained that if we are the ones being kept off the ballot we should be able to contest it. Jay Sweeney, Chair of the state Green Party stated, “The objective should be expanding democracy through ballot access rather than using ballot rules to diminish it.”
 
 
But what about the argument that the Democrats and Republicans own the votes on their party members and these outlaw parties should not be able to steal them. After all, that’s how we ended up with our last two GOP presidents, President McCain and President Romney. Oliver B. Hall, the lawyer for the alt parties, was quoted in a Pittsburgh Post-Gazette article saying, “This is about a free country and whether people are able to participate in the system or not.” It could also be added that, if we are sending our troops to fight for democracy in Afghanistan and Iraq, couldn’t we also have democracy in Pennsylvania?
 
 
Courthouse News Service quoted from the published 54-page opinion as saying, “It would be a sad irony indeed if the state that prides itself on being the cradle of American Liberty had unlawfully restrictive ballot access laws.” How restrictive, one asks. Pennsylvania, not Mississippi, not Montana, not Texas, is the only U.S. state ever cited as violating the Helsinki Accords Human Right Office Guidelines. In 2007, Pennsylvania was singled out for violating sections 7.5 and 7.6 of the Helsinki accords.
 
 
Closer to home it violates article 1, section 5 of the Pennsylvania Constitution, as Ken Krawchuk has noted. Article 5 states, “Elections shall be free and equal; and no power, civil or military, shall at any time interfere to prevent the free exercise of the right of suffrage.” Not even to preserve the two-party system.
 
 
In the 2008 Iraq elections, there were nine parties on the ballot. There are ten different political parties represented in the British Parliament, out of a total of almost 100 listed on the ballot. Britain currently has a coalition government, which actually manages to get their legislation passed out of their legislative houses.
 
 
This case will now be returning to the U.S. District Court. If you would like to know more about this, please friend the Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition on Facebook. You can also see the websites of the state Green Party, http://www.gpofpa.org or the state Libertarian Party, http://www.lppa.org. Closer to home there is a Delco Green Party, http://www.delcogreen.org.
 
 
ROBERT SMALL
Swarthmore
Co-Chair of Delco Green Party
 
 
Facilitator of Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition
 

About bobsmall1

Bob Small has read at Bacchanal, Barnes and Noble, Borders, The Booksource (Swarthmore), The Clark Park Festivals,Community College of Philadelphia Highwire Gallery, The Mad Poets Annual Food Fest Reading, The Middle East Restaurant, Nexus GalleryThe Painted Bride Arts Center, The Philadelphia Ethical Society, Robin's Bookstore The University of Pennsylvania and also in New York City, Trenton, NJ, Washington, DC, and in many Delaware Valley Venues. He is the author of numerous chapbooks, including El Otro Lado (with Maralyn Lois Polak), On watching America Die, Small Steps and Toes (with Lamont B. Steptoe), and The Unapoet. This is his first Reading in over a year. Bob Small was Founder and President of the two decades old Poets and Prophets, which presented Poetry Readings in both Delaware County and Philadelphia. Bob was the Chair of The Delaware County Green Party and was the First Green Party Candidate in Delaware County (2005). He was also a Green Party National Delegate, among other duties. He is the Founder and Facilitator of The Pennsylvania Ballot Access Coalition (PaBac), which is a Coalition of both Independents and Third Parties., seeking to legislatively improve Pennsylvania's Ballot Access Laws. (Facebook) Bob is also a founding member and Facilitator of Democracy Unplugged, and Delco Debates, which has presented Independent and Third Party Forums in Delaware County since 2004. Facebook) He was formerly involved with Cinema Resistance, and Delco Pledge of Resistance. Bob currently lives in Swarthmore with his wife and their menagerie of animals. He is currently focused on writing a Novel and organizing his Poetry, which he posts on his Blog (Bob Small1). He is retired from most of the above activities, except Delco Debates and Poets and Prophets, which he may return to.
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