Where is the Green Party?

As climate change become increasingly apparent, many wonder why the Green Party is being ignored in the US election.

Some Americans say climate change is an important issue, but the two major parties don’t focus on it (GALLO/GETTY)

In the race for the White House, both Barack Obama and Mitt Romney have talked about sustainable development.

Yet the Green Party ticket, whose stance on the issue outpaces those of both the Republican and Democratic parties, is virtually unknown by the vast majority of US voters.

Romney, who has campaigned while standing in front of a coal mine in Ohio and enjoys support from the billionaire Koch brothers who made their fortune in oil, gas and chemicals, is the bane of many environmentalists.

Meanwhile, Obama has been criticised for not cracking down on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, a technique that uses chemicals and water to blast through underground shale formations.

Obama, who has stated that “climate change is the one of the biggest issues of this generation” and promised to “begin to slow the rise of the oceans and heal the planet”, has nevertheless given the green light for offshore oil leases in the environmentally sensitive Arctic Ocean, leaving the 66 per cent of US citizens who favour tax breaks to curb greenhouse gas emissions without a candidate.

Six-time presidential candidate Ralph Nader blames the absence of awareness of the Green Party among most Americans on what he calls an “electoral system dominated by a two-party tyranny” and “a duopoly of the Republicans and Democrats”.

“The Green Party not having a chance in this election is not because its proposals aren’t supported by the majority of Americans,” Nader told Al Jazeera. “Polls show their proposals like a living wage, cracking down on corporate crime, ending corporate bailouts, campaign finance reform, and many others, are what most people want. But since the two main parties are dialing for the same corporate dollars, they are the two heads of the corporate party, and this makes it nearly impossible for people to get on the ballot if they aren’t in one of those parties.”

Read the full article at Al Jazeera English.

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