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Greens for Trump?

The Green Party's US presidential candidate, Jill Stein, sounds like Ralph Nader in 2000, who argued that there was no real difference between Al Gore and George W. Bush. It's as bad an argument today as it was then – and even more dangerous, given that it could help elect Donald Trump.

MELBOURNE – I’m a Green. I’ve twice been the Australian Greens’ candidate for a seat in Australia’s federal parliament. But on November 8, all of the good that the Green political movement has done since it was founded could be outweighed by the Green Party in the United States if Jill Stein, its candidate for president, brings about the election of Donald Trump.

We’ve been here before. In 2000, Al Gore would have become president if he had won Florida. George W. Bush won the state by 537 votes, while 97,241 Floridians voted for Ralph Nader, the Green candidate. Nader subsequently wrote on his website: “In the year 2000, exit polls reported that 25% of my voters would have voted for Bush, 38% would have voted for Gore and the rest would not have voted at all.” If we divide up Nader’s vote in that way, the result is that, without him in the race, Gore would have won Florida by more than 12,000 votes.

Before the election, a group of former activists for Nader published an open letter calling on him to end his campaign. “It is now clear,” they wrote, “that you might well give the White House to Bush.” Nader refused, saying that there was no significant difference between the two major party candidates.

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