From Joseph Gerth at the Louisville Courier-Journal, interesting and encouraging news about the newest state Green Party:
Tired of Democrats and Republicans who don’t speak to the issues or solve the problems important to them, about 35 people gathered Saturday in Anderson County to form the Green Party of Kentucky…
Geoff Young, a retired state government worker, said he decided last fall that there needed to be a Green Party chapter in Kentucky. “People in Kentucky are becoming desperate for a real alternative to the two established parties,” he said. “Many people, including myself, feel that the two established parties don’t offer enough new ideas, enough ideas that work and do not propose solutions that will actually address Kentucky’s most serious problems.” The party supports policies that would improve the environment and is opposed to war, Young said.
The article also details the challenges faced by third parties in Kentucky, challenges we are familiar with here at politicalcontext.org as part of our context2012 effort to publicize and offer a voice to similar alternative political organizations. Ballot Access News reports that: ”In Kentucky, if a group polls 2% of the vote for President, it is a qualified minor party for the next four years, and can nominate by convention, with no petitioning needed. The only parties that have attained that status, in the last 80 years, are the Reform Party 1996-2000, the Anderson Coalition 1980-1984, and the American Party 1968-1972.” This statistic seems more reasonable than the apparently misreported 20% figure quoted by both the Courier-Journal article and Green Party Watch.
Kentucky is certainly a state needing some fresh political voices. The state’s Democratic Governor, Steve Beshear, seems to be in bed with big coal. Like much of the rest of the country, unemployment in the state has increased not just dramatically, but critically. And, of course, Kentucky gave us Rand Paul. But oppressive conditions give rise to solidarity, and closed political doors in one house may well inspire hard-working activists to build a new and better house. Good luck, Kentucky Greens!