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Here we go again: Parker, the Green candidate in Va, got around 25,000 votes, and its safe to assume a solid chunk of those would have gone to Webb. Had Webb gotten even 15k of those votes it could have well pushed the margin of victory above the line where Allen would have considered a recount worth the fight, and even if he had, would have made success in that recount that much more difficult. The Greens better put on their armor (made from 100% recycled kevlar), because if Webb loses, in Virginia at least they will be in for some acrimony.

To be fair, I'm just not sure what I think. As an eco-voter I've gone Green  many times over the years, and I voted Green in the New York elections yesterday, so I cant exactly begrudge anyone else their choice. But that was in a state where the Dems would have had to get caught on video snorting meth off the naked bellies of congressional pages while strangling their Peruvian mistresses before they would have lost, so it was more symbolic than anything else and a protest vote against Hillary's (and Chuck's to a lesser extent) endless triangulation and refusal to stand still on any one position for more than 5 minutes.

There is also, as in 2000, the argument (valid, if hard to accept) that if Webb (Gore) can't win comfortably on their own then they cant blame the Green party for simply exercising their right to participate in electoral politics. And Gail Parker is not exactly your typical Berkeley environmentalist, as indicated by her willingness to negotiate with both the Allen and Webb campaigns when she did finally consider whether to withdraw. All the same, abstract principles aside, the Green party, if it wants to survive, will need to start making strategic decisions in elections like these. Its a given that the Greens MUST pull votes away from the Dems if they are to succeed, but every time they cost the Dems an important race like this they leave mainstream liberals with a bitter taste in their mouth and far less likely to vote Green the next time around, even for a deserving candidate, even in races that aren't make or break.

Originally posted to brooklynmatt on Wed Nov 08, 2006 at 07:09 AM PST.

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