By John Waterman
By John Waterman
When students are asked about the ’08 general elections the question is usually followed immediately with a yawn or a look of dismay, because Americans are forced to settle for the lesser of two evils, eliminating diversity in our democracy.
The fact is that there are third party candidates in the race for the White House (namely the Green Party and the Independent Party) but these lesser known parties are generally thought to be a throwaway vote.
Simply put, third party representatives aren’t given the same attention as the Democratic or Republican Parties.
Issue oriented Riverside City College student Rollin Wilkerson recognizes the inherent fallacy that Americans are forced to vote for either one side or the other, and has taken the path less traveled by supporting Cynthia McKinney and the Green Party.
Wilkerson is a member of the Ujima Club on campus, and coordinates his efforts with RCC instructor Ward Schink in order to produce the student debates.
As the Green Party student representative in the Student Presidential Debates, Wilkerson aimed to educate students about the Green Party and its views on important issues such as the War in Iraq, the economy and the need to preserve our environment.
“What you can expect from the Green Party if you vote for us for president is to put the people first in our country. What we have today is a bipartisan political system that only includes Democrats and Republicans. What the people need to understand is that these parties keep the people outside looking in,” Wilkerson said. “If you vote for the Green Party you will have a seat at the table and the opportunity to have your views heard.”
Wilkerson explained how 53 percent of the national budget is used for national defense. It is understood that our soldiers need appropriate equipment in order to carry out there duties, but the budget could be distributed to other areas of interest such as: education, social security, healthcare, and investing in renewable energy. The Green Party also has taken the position that the War in Iraq should come to an end.
When the question of why the public should vote for the Green Party not so they can win the election, but for mere participation in the elections was brought to Wilkerson’s attention, Wilkerson responded, “the reason why we (the green party) need the participation at this time is so we may stop being misrepresented . . . and so the people can have someone on their side. Instead of saying to yourself ‘I don’t really agree with this candidate but I want my vote to be counted’ give it to someone that will cherish your vote. A green vote is a peace vote and more importantly it’s an intelligent vote.”