By Matthew Cardinale
ATLANTA - With media attention focused almost exclusively on the dramatic contest between Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama, millions of U.S. voters probably have no inkling that there is a ballot option beyond the Democratic and Republican Parties.
“There needs to be room for a lot of policy threads in American discourse. But the corporate media is not informing the people,” Cynthia McKinney, the front-runner for the Green Party presidential nomination, told IPS during a rare 90-minute interview.
Founded in 2001 as the successor of the Association of State Green Parties, the party’s platform revolves around environmentalism, non-violence, social justice and grassroots organising. It has slightly more than 300,000 registered voters nationwide, and a standing ballot line in 20 states plus Washington, DC. In other states, the party must circulate petitions to get its candidates on the ballot.
McKinney, a former congressional representative from Georgia, abandoned the Democratic Party last year in disgust at its failure to end the U.S. troop presence in Iraq, and is now poised for a presidential run on the Green Party ticket.
She has won Green Party primaries in Arkansas, Illinois, and Washington, DC. Ralph Nader, who gave the party national stature as its candidate in 2000, won in California and Massachusetts, prior to announcing he is running as an Independent instead.