Reports of the death of Maine’s Green Independent Party are greatly exaggerated.
It’s an easy mistake, if you take a party’s pulse by counting wins. As Douglas Rooks notes in “Greens Sound Fine, But What Have They Done?”, Maine Greens have been shut out of power since 2006. My run for state representative in 2010, when I lost to the incumbent Democrat by 192 out of 3,685 votes cast in Brunswick, was among the closest we’ve come since.
Maine is extremely unusual among democracies around the world in that just two political parties perpetually control access to elected office, excluding other perspectives from decisionmaking power. For example, while over 40 percent of voters are unenrolled or Green, none of our state senators are.
And that is the real answer to the question Mr. Rooks asks. Denied an opportunity to serve our state as elected leaders, Greens diligently work at the grassroots planting political seeds, which later take root in public policy.
As Mr. Rooks also notes, the principal value of third parties in our form of democracy has not been to win elected office, but to contribute to a meaningful political debate. If you share our values, we encourage you to join us, register as a Green Independent voter, get active with the Maine Greens, and help do the real work necessary for long-term political change in Maine.
Fred Horch, Brunswick, Maine