by Jim Nintzel
Green Party candidate Gary Swing is ready to rumble with his fellow Green candidates on Arizona's Feb. 28 presidential primary ballot.
When Richard Grayson, a Green Party rival, declared himself a "favorite son" is the race, Swing begged to differ, firing off the following press release:
Richard Grayson, a 2010 Arizona Green Party candidate for US Representative, recently announced that he has filed as a candidate for the Arizona Green Party's Presidential Preference Election on February 28. In his campaign announcement, Grayson stated: "I am happy to be Arizona's favorite son candidate in the Green Party presidential primary."
Gary Swing, a cultural events promoter from Denver who ran as a Colorado Green Party candidate for US Representative, has also filed as a candidate for the Arizona Green Party's Presidential Preference Election, and hopes to challenge Grayson for the position of favorite son candidate. According to an impartial and scientific survey that the Swing campaign conducted of Tucson resident Mary Swing, 100% of the respondent indicated that Gary Swing is her "favorite son" among the candidates in the Arizona Green Party's presidential primary.
In addition to the "Favorite Son" vote, Gary Swing's campaign is also planning to target the much cherished "Swing Vote" in the upcoming election for President of Arizona.
Swing's tough truth-telling worked. Grayson backed off his claim, admitting: "My own mother's favorite son is either my brother Marc or my brother Jonathan. Luckily they are not running." Grayson candidly admitted that the loss of Swing voters would be "quite a blow" to his campaign.
Swing's bio from his own Web page:
Gary Swing is a cultural events promoter who lives and works in Denver, Colorado. Gary was born in Cinnaminson, New Jersey, but most of his immediate family now lives in Tucson, Arizona. Gary worked previously as a public policy researcher. He has a BA in Political Science and a Masters Degree in Public Administration from the University of Colorado. Gary is a bicycle commuter, a vegetarian, and childfree by choice.
In 2007, Gary became the sixteenth person to climb all of Colorado’s 637 mountains over 13,000 feet. In 2008, he thru hiked the Appalachian Trail, which runs 2,175 miles from Georgia to Maine. In 2009, he finished walking the 481 mile long Colorado Trail. In 2011, Gary backpacked the length of the Pacific Crest Trail, 2,660 miles from Mexico to Canada, through California, Oregon and Washington. He has also section hiked about 900 miles of the 3,100 mile long Continental Divide Trail.
Gary Swing was a Green Party candidate for state representative in Denver in 1996 and a Green Party candidate for US Representative in 2010.
Swing doesn't get into it in his manifesto below, but cinnamon rolls occupy a significant plank in his platform:
My name is Gary Swing. In 2010, I was a Green Party candidate for US Representative in Denver. I have filed as a candidate for the Arizona Green Party's Presidential Preference Election on February 28.
The Green Party is a global movement that nominates candidates for public office in most democratic nations around the world. The Green Party is founded upon the principles of nonviolence, ecology, social justice and grassroots democracy.
Green Party candidates have been elected to national parliaments in many other countries, primarily because most democratic countries use proportional representation voting systems rather than the winner-take-all voting system that we use in the United States. Proportional representation refers to voting systems in which political parties or candidates win representation in legislative bodies in proportion to their share of the votes. For example, if the Green Party wins five percent of the vote, they would win five percent of the seats in a legislature under a proportional voting system.There are different forms of proportional representation. Under party list systems, each political party nominates a list of candidates to represent it in legislative elections. Under a single-transferable vote system, or (STV), voters rank individual candidates in their order of preference. First choice, second choice, and so forth. If a voter’s first choice doesn’t get enough votes to be elected, then their vote is transferred to their highest ranked candidate who can be elected. The same candidate ranking method is used for what is known in the US as instant run-off voting. However, instant-runoff voting is used in a single-member district to secure the election of the most popular candidate, while STV is used in multiple member districts to secure proportional representation.
In a nine-member district, a candidate could be elected with one tenth of the vote. The national platform of the Green Party advocates proportional representation for legislative offices and instant-runoff voting for single winner executive offices. Australia combines STV with an alternative party list vote, for its Senate elections. Ninety-five percent of Australian voters choose to cast what they call an “above the line” vote for a party, rather than ranking the individual candidates in what they call a “below the line” vote.
As a Green Party candidate, I propose to abolish the US Senate and elect the US House of Representatives by the method of proportional representation used to elect Australia's Senate.
True proportional representation enables most voters to elect representatives of their choice and makes every vote count. This eliminates the perceived problem of voting for the lesser of two evils under a two party system, while providing fair representation for a diverse population, and encouraging more substantive public debate of real issues. Under the winner-take-all voting system that we have here, elections are largely a meaningless charade.
The outcome of most elections is pre-determined by the demographics of each voting district. Most districts are dominated by a single party. The corporate media only covers establishment candidates who represent their narrow agenda. They ignore dissidents who advocate genuine reform and exclude them from candidate debates.
The corporate media treats elections like horse races. They focus on distractions instead of real issues.
Campaign financing corrupts the political process, making elected officials indebted to the corporate interests that finance their expensive campaigns. As a Green Party candidate, I support a ban on corporate campaign contributions, a fair system of public campaign financing, caps on campaign spending, verifiable ballots, fair media access for all candidates, and open debates that include minor party and independent candidates.
The office of the president has become a military dictatorship, regardless of who holds the office. I propose to eliminate presidential elections and decentralize political power.
We should switch to a parliamentary system with a weak chief executive who is selected by Congress. Congress should be able to remove the executive at any time on a vote of “no confidence.”
The United States has built the most extensive empire in history. The US has engaged in illegal, immoral military attacks against the people of more than 70 nations since the end of World War Two, killing millions of people in the process of securing global economic imperialism. These war crimes are always sold to the public on a foundation of lies.
Sane people don't build and maintain an arsenal of nuclear weapons capable of exterminating all life on Earth. Sane people don't sponsor dictatorships and death squads in the name of freedom. Sane people don’t bomb hospitals and schools and churches and factories and power plants and water treatment facilities.
The Green Party has consistently opposed illegal US military interventions, including the bombing, invasion, and occupation and Afghanistan and Iraq. We demand the immediate withdrawal of all US soldiers from wars of aggression. As a candidate, I advocate upholding the Kellogg-Briand Pact, which outlaws war as a tool of foreign policy. The United States should shut down all of its foreign military bases, restrict its military to non-offensive defense of US territory, abolish its weapons of mass destruction, and eliminate the CIA. US foreign policy should focus strictly on humanitarian aid, respect for human rights, fair trade, and support for environmental sustainability.
I support a real criminal investigation into the US government’s role in 9/11 and prosecution of the people responsible for it. 9/11 was a false flag operation orchestrated by traitors at the highest levels of the US government, in order to create a false pretext for wars of aggression, seizure of dwindling oil supplies, and destruction of our civil liberties. I oppose the racist scapegoating of immigrants.
We must address the real causes of high immigration levels: an unsustainable, high consumption lifestyle in the United States; economic globalization policies that exploit Third World nations for the benefit of transnational corporations; and labor policies designed to drive down wages. We must reform international trade policies to protect labor, human rights, and the environment. Fair trade should promote local self-reliance, not foreign corporate domination. I support international work permits that are not tied to a specific employer.
Without the environment, there is no economy. Perpetual growth cannot continue within a finite environment. Climate change is happening now as a result of human industrial activity. We must reduce energy consumption at least 50% by 2030, restructuring our economy to run on solar, wind, geothermal and hydroelectric power. We must reduce greenhouse gas emissions at least 40% by 2020 and 95% by 2050. I support public investment to create jobs in energy conservation, renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, green construction and mass transportation. I support the use of carbon taxes to include environmental impacts in true cost pricing of new goods and services.
We must create an environmentally sustainable economy. Petrochemical agriculture threatens our health, food security and the environment. I support permaculture, organic farming and urban gardens. The livestock industry contributes to global warming, land degradation, air and water pollution. We should shift subsidies from animal agriculture to plant based agriculture and small local farms.
Overpopulation threatens our future. Human population has grown from 1 billion in 1804 to 7 billion now. If the average person on Earth consumed as much as the average American, the World Wildlife Federation estimates that the Earth could not sustain a population of more than one and a half billion people. We need to change the way we live to reduce consumption and decrease population by reducing birth rates. I support full public funding for family planning programs and public education about the overpopulation crisis.
The insurance industry profits by denying patients the health care they need. I support real health care reform through the creation of a single payer national health insurance program.
The Democrats and Republicans represent illegal wars without end, environmental devastation, corporate greed, and contempt for human rights. The Green Party is a voice for genuine reform. We welcome you to join us in working together to create an environmentally sustainable future based on social justice and respect for human rights, a future that values people over profits.