Greens receive undeclared victory

The Green Party was quite fortunate to retain minor-party status.

Candidates running for the Green Party of Minnesota did not win any races this year. In addition, none of their statewide candidates achieved the 5 percent that was necessary for them to regain major party status. However, the Greens did achieve some unheralded successes.

Instant runoff voting passed in Minneapolis with 65 percent of the people voting in favor of changing the city charter to allow for a more democratic way to vote. The Green Party has been supporting this change for years. Unlike electing a candidate, getting IRV passed in Minneapolis changes the very structure of the voting system. This bodes well for the future for the Green Party in Minneapolis. No longer will citizens be afraid to vote their beliefs because of the spoiler argument. Another positive electoral result this year was the election of Mark Ritchie to the position of secretary of state. Unlike his predecessor, Ritchie supports IRV on the statewide level. By working with him, the Greens should be able to transform the entire structure of voting in the state.

In addition to the success with IRV, as the Green Party candidate for state auditor I did receive 2.33 percent of the statewide vote. The 49,072 people who voted for me made it possible for the Green Party to remain a minor party since I received more than 1 percent of the statewide votes cast. We will be able to continue to receive Political Contribution Refund program funds and are still recognized by Minnesota as a political party.

Retaining minor party status this year was no small feat. In fact, given the results of this election, we are now the only minor political party recognized by the state of Minnesota. The Constitution Party (0.25 percent), American Party (0.17 percent) and the Quit Raising Taxes Party (0.44 percent) all failed to gain minor party status.

There are still three major parties in Minnesota: the Independence Party, the DFL and the Republicans. However, only ONE of the Independence Party candidates for statewide office received more than 5 percent of the vote (Peter Hutchinson with only 6.43 percent of the vote).

Given this trend against third parties, the Green Party was fortunate to retain minor party status. This fact, combined with the IRV success in Minneapolis and the potential of its success statewide, bodes well for our political movement. We are still standing and now ready to take off under IRV.

 

Dave Berger is a University alumnus.
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