Dr. Jill Stein lives and breathes the Green Party Platform for People, Planet and Peace Over Profit.
Dr. Stein graduated from Harvard Medical School and spent almost 25 years as a physician and researcher before transitioning into politics and social activism. As a practicing physician, Jill became aware of the links between toxic exposures and illness emerging in the 1990s. She began to fight for a healthy environment as a human right, assisting non profits, community groups and Native Americans combating environmental injustice and racism in dangerous exposures like lead and mercury in air and water pollution, incinerators and land fills, toxic waste sites and more. Her first notable exposure to politics came in 1998 when she participated in the campaign to pass the Clean Elections Law in Massachusetts, a bill designed to reduce the influence of big-money lobbyists and special interest groups by limiting public money from being used to co-finance the political campaigns of candidates who refused to agree to a $100 contribution cap. However, five years later, the bill was repealed by the Democratic-controlled state legislature, a decision which prompted Dr. Stein to break her ties with the Democratic Party.
In 2002 Jill ran for Massachusetts state governor under the banner of the Green-Rainbow Party and finished third in an election of 5 candidates behind Republican Mitt Romney and Democrat Shannon O’Brien.
Dr. Stein’s core political philosophy has always been centered on the environment, renewable energy and campaign finance reform. A cornerstone of her environmental platform is the Green New Deal in which renewable energy jobs would be created to address climate change and environmental issues. Additionally Jill advocates for racial justice and ending poverty. She stands for jobs, health care and education as rights for all. She is a strong supporter of a publicly financed, non-profit single payer health care system. To break the iron grip that our two major parties have over electoral politics, she advocates for a simple reform called ranked choice voting as the best way of opening politics up to more independent and third party candidates. How does this work?
How Ranked Choice Voting Works
1. Voters rank candidates in their order of preference (1st, 2nd, 3rd and so on). If a candidate has more than 50% of the first choice votes, s/he wins.
2. If no candidate gets a majority of the #1 votes, then the candidate with the fewest first choices is eliminated.
3. The voters who selected the eliminated candidate as their first choice will then have their votes added to the totals of their second choice.
4. This process continues until a candidate has more than half of the active votes or only two candidates remain.
Under this system, potential voters are empowered and encouraged to come to the polls because there will be more choices of candidates and the individual voter’s ballot will have more impact. In 2018 the state of Maine will implement rank choice voting for Congress, the state legislature and governor. Several cities in the U.S. are already using this system for municipal elections. Ranked-choice voting is used in Ireland and Australia in national elections, and it is used to pick the Oscar nominees for best picture.
To listen to and/or download this segment click the following link: Corinne Frugone talks with Jill Stein
To quote Jill, “It’s time to stop settling for the downward spiral of voting for the lesser evil, and stand up to build a better future by voting for the greater good.”