Well, I just realized that Tuesday was the last day to register to vote or to change one’s party affiliation in advance of California’s presidential primary. So, it’s Democrat–my current registration, more or less by default1–for me. I had considered re-registering Green, and may still do so, but it won’t be in time for the presidential primary. I had also considered re-registering Decline to State, but that would only have broadened my options to include the American Independent (in addition to Democrat), and there is noting at all “broad” about the American Independent party.2
I rather like the idea of being a dues paying member of one party3 while being legally able to participate in the nominating primary of another–I suppose that is a very American form of political party participation!
Besides, I have only a weak preference among the Green pre-candidates, and have mixed feelings about whether the party–yes, my party–should even run a presidential candidate.4 But if I vote for President in November, that vote will almost certainly be for the Green Party nominee,5 whoever it is–a party, not a personal vote. So, why bother to vote in a primary when you are almost indifferent as to whom it nominates (or even if it nominates anyone)?
Anyway, for those who will be voting in the Green presidential primary, be sure to listen to the recent pre-candidates’ debate. And also be informed that the most recognizable name in US Green politics is on your ballot, but at least as of now, is not an announced pre-candidate.6
Regarding the Green debate, I mostly agree with the review by Wes of California Greening.
So, I still have about two weeks to pick a pre-candidate from our–I mean, their–wonderful field.7
Epilogue: The list of parties not qualified for ballot status in the state, but seeking it, is rather interesting. Entertaining, even: I am particularly intrigued by the We Like Women and Science Party.
- Certainly not by any meaningful standard of “party identification.” [↩]
- If you are unaffiliated and were hoping to vote for a Republican candidate on 5 February, too late! But you can still vote for Obama, or any other Democrat–or an AI candidate. [↩]
- I joined the Green Party some months ago. Money where mouth is, and all that. [↩]
- But therein lies an inherent problem with presidentialism for minor parties: In such an institutional structure, you are pretty much nowhere as a party if you forgo a candidacy for the most visible office. Yet running a presidential candidate has serious risks for a party with no serious chance to win the office, and I am not talking about the “spoiler” charge; I am talking about the danger of personalizing a party that, by its very size and nature, strives to be a programmatic alternative. See, it is true: It isn’t easy being Green! [↩]
- Safe state under the absurd Electoral College system, and all that. [↩]
- In fact, of the seven pre-candidates listed, I believe only four are actually currently active: Johnson, McKinney, Mesplay, and Swift. [↩]
- No, still not convinced on Obama. Still about where I was at the end of 2007. [↩]