Introduction to the Maine Green Party Platform Document
The 1996 Platform of the Maine Green Party sets forth our vision of a future based on the ten key values.
The year 2020 is the 400th anniversary of the Pilgrims landing on Plymouth Rock.
Our 20/20 vision is focused on a peaceful and prosperous community life characterized by value-based grass roots democracy, environmental and economic sustainability, fulfilling and gainful work and leisure, and interdependence of individuals and their environment.
We recognize that this platform is an evolving document that will change in response to events and developments. Yet it will remain firm in its adherence to our basic values.
The Maine Green Party and all Maine Greens will use it as a guide to develop strategies and policies for making the changes that will take us forward.
Our earth and its natural systems are ready to teach us how to redesign our social systems to achieve equity of opportunity, justice, and peace. When we speak about social justice, what we are talking about is our way of life. We are talking about how this way of life focuses on rights, responsibilities, and opportunities which have their origin in our nation’s Constitution and Bill of Rights, and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of the United Nations.
Nature and its natural systems reinforce the importance of family, and within families, the safety and nurturing of our children and our elders. We accept the diversity of family and of relationships and will work to assure human rights to all people of color, gays and lesbians, physically and mentally disabled, and of all ethnic and religious beliefs.
Personal and Global Responsibility:
The diversity and multi-specie acceptance of our natural systems is our basis for condemning racism. We are committed to upholding, promoting, and protecting the human rights of every individual. This commitment is reflected in our Bill of Rights and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights and reaffirms faith in fundamental human rights and in the dignity and worth of every human person.
We reject racism in every form and work to expose and eliminate it when raised by individuals, organizations, or institutions. In particular we will identify and work to eliminate cultural racism whenever it appears.
In communities and in neighborhoods we must develop systems which support gainful and meaningful employment for those with the ability to work as well as employ gainful and meaningful support for those who can’t. We want to build neighborhood and community systems that provide food, shelter, clothing, education, and health care for every individual.
Gender Equity/Post-Patriarchal Values:
Affirmative action advocates fair and impartial treatment for everyone while making an extra effort to identify and assist disadvantaged persons in securing employment, pursuing education, and utilizing community services.
We support affirmative action programs designed to eliminate institutional barriers that minorities and women encounter in seeking employment and education and thereby redress historic imbalance favoring white males.
Sustainable Use of Resources:
Our natural environment and our resources are the foundations on which we build our social systems, our way of life. Treating our environment and resources as though they are limitless has been the basis for developing social, economic, and governmental systems which have begun to fail us. We need to rethink and rebuild these systems to reflect natural laws and limits. Doing justice to our fellow human beings and our natural environment are an exercise in applying the same laws and principles. Stewardship of nature and of each other is the basis both for sustainable use of resources and sustainable communities.
We condemn the use of hatred, fear, and violence in any form.
We support the abolition of the death penalty for we recognize that it is an immoral action of the state. Its use is, in the words of Justice Harry Blackman, fraught with arbitrariness, discrimination, caprice, and mistake. In our own nation it has become a form of institutionalized racism as it is carried out in disproportionate numbers upon racial minorities and the poor. Its use as a deterrent to crime is unsupported and unproved. It must be ended.
We do not support terrorism in any form and will work to eliminate it whether used by government against individuals or against individuals by government. We will work to eliminate all oppression and work carefully to assure that the changes we make are not the substitution of one form of oppression for another.
The Green Party supports and advocates an environment for men and women that is free from violence and abuse. This support includes, but is not limited to, people of color, gays and lesbians, physically and mentally disabled, and young and older individuals. Life is too precious and at times too short to waste in hatred or violence. We must value each and every moment with tolerance and respect.
We reaffirm that a person accused of a crime is always innocent until proven guilty. We must support one’s right and desire to live our lives as free, innocent, and yet responsible persons.
The Maine Green Party believes that it is in our communities and our neighborhoods that true social justice can be made to thrive. If our national and state governments had a commitment to the development and support of sustainable communities, there would be a natural and parallel commitment to the importance of the development and maintenance of citizens who are truly engaged in their communities.
Respect for Diversity:
Today more than ever, diversity is becoming our way of life. In our work places, as part of our families, and in our everyday lives the true meaning of diversity means recognizing, accepting, and supporting differences in people.
Grass Roots Democracy:
Sustainable neighborhoods and communities can only be developed when responsibility for governing rests as close to home as possible. With community-based economics, diversity with strong community identity, gainful and meaningful employment, citizens will be truly engaged in the life and governance issues affecting them. Engaged citizens strive for a balance between economic needs and environmental capacity, recognize and support healthy interdependence between themselves and their governmental , social, and economic systems.
As a Green Party, we must build a society and way of life that tears down its prisons because there is not enough people to fill them. Isn’t that a better alternative that having to build bigger prisons because of overcrowding? To do this we must raise the minimum wage, strengthen our educational system, support sustainable neighborhoods and communities, create an affordable health and dental care system, reinforce the meaning of family and respect for our youth and elders, and assure religious freedom.
The 1996 Platform of the Maine Green Party, as adopted at the Green Party State Convention, Winthrop, Maine, May 19, 1996.
Source: Green Independent Party Internet site http://www.mainegreens.org/electoral/party/platform1996/index.htm Accessed May 19, 2005.