Illinois progressives are in a bit of a bind with the governor's race. Rod Blagojevich is the current governor and a Democrat (a good thing, I suppose), but he's been a study in ethical tragedy and fiscal irresponsibility (clearly a bad thing). Judy Baar Topinka is currently the Illinois State Treasurer and is the Republican candidate. She's done all right as Treasurer, but her campaign is basically "I'm less likely to get thrown in the clink; vote for me". And besides.... can we really vote for a Republican?
Well, I can and I have. It gets you on some pretty strange mailing lists, but you do what has to be done. Nonetheless, I'm not going to do it this time. (Michael over at Musing's Musings is probably fuming into his morning coffee. Sorry, dear one.) I'm going to vote for the Green Party candidate, Rich Whitney. This little burg isn't Los Angeles or Portland or even Madison, Wisconsin. The Green Party here is slightly... invisible. Actually, it's nonexistent; invisible would be an improvement.
Yet when I read the literature and listen to the speeches, I hear something different -positions I can affirm rather than merely tolerate. Social justice, diversity, universal health care, feminism, community based economics.... I'm sold.
Am I throwing away my vote -tacitly supporting Blagojevich? I don't know. Maybe. Okay, probably. But for right now, I'm rejecting the "lesser evil" strategy of voting (which I've done many a time, and it's never worked out well) and opting for something a little more positive. Besides, those of you who know me know that I have a long-standing fondness for lost-but-lovely causes. The Green Party deserves a bigger voice in Illinois politics. So, I'll do what I can.