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Gallup Poll: Party Affiliation

GPUS-4pillars-logoThe concept of party affiliation is an interesting one. What we are doing is admitting that we are either aligned with or follow the influence of a body of people and ideals. You’ll find I’ve posted the Green Party’s Ten Key Values, which include the Four Pillars elsewhere on the website.

There is an eight page platform for 2014 that offers a wonderful guide that may have had a few small changes at a convention or caucus since the copy I have posted online.

The Gallup Poll on Party Affiliation

has been gathered every month, sometimes with varying frequency focused on relevant moments in history, since 2004. Representing a decade of asking the same question of various people can offer significant trend information.

In politics, as of today, do you consider yourself a Republican, a Democrat, or an independent?

I’ve compiled these graphics from the information shared by Gallup.

PartyIdentificationByAge

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Two Party Focus

When the press and political analysts and survey organizations follow up a question such as the one used for the above with an invalidating question such as “which way do you lean – Republican or Democrat“. You can either take the bait and answer or say that your answer stands. Most of us are brought up to answer questions in a conversational manner, so the majority have answered the “leaning” question, even if in fact they might not really lean at all.

What this approach has done with Gallup’s polls is offer a full set of graphs that lumps leaners with those initially responding. Statistically these views simply don’t work for those wishing to understand better the preferences of independent voters.

The press works toward achieving ratings and that means popular topics. The most interesting thing is being independent is more popularly held, but is down-played in the process of divining where the outliers (who are the majority) sit in relation to the created view by the press. This view has lots of corporate, foundation, and even international funding behind it. That created “normal two-party majority view” is marketable even if it isn’t the true norm of society.

Comments and sharing are welcome, and thank you!

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Candidate Response: APIAvoteMI and others

Saturday, October 11 will be a candidate forum with a focus on immigrant rights. A collective of organizations have come together to host the event.

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Another candidate forum by many of the same groups is being held in Hamtramck on Sunday, October 26, which is on the events calendar.

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I’m providing a copy here of the questionnaire sent to candidates with my answers. If the copy below is difficult to read I’ve pasted the content below it.

1. Why should New Americans like Arab, Asian, and Muslim American voters in your district vote for you? What expertise will you bring to this position sought?

I strive to offer an active listening for people struggling to be heard. American society is not as free and liberal as marketed around the world. Our harshest critics are in our immediate community. There is reluctance to embrace new ideas and people from different cultures, this is xenophobia. It divides not only new-comers, it divides classes of people. This includes those who have, denying access and friendship until proven in some manner or simply due to bias both personal and societal.

2. Do you believe schools are inclusive and meet the needs of immigrant and economically disadvantaged families? If not, why not and what solutions would you propose?

There is a great deal of information missing and misdirected in the lessons we teach students here. A great deal of injustice committed by the United States is removed from our textbooks. It is important that our lessons reveal truth, especially for our First Nations people (“American Indians”) and those who have generations of slavery in their history. Systemically our schools are the first place students experience evaluating differences between people from around the world. These are where bias and prejudice is taught and it will take teachers with experience and awareness to set a healthy path for our young to learn from. I do not support the continuing privatization and marketing of charter schools working to be profit centers for education. I believe a blend of teachers with years of experience and those with fresh new perspectives is healthy. Compassion and listening must be leading traits for our teachers, only then will students learn these themselves.

3. Is it important for Michigan to be a welcoming state for immigrants? Please comment. How familiar are you with current “welcoming” initiatives and what else should be done?

Immigrants bring fresh perspective. New eyes on situations long-standing. The biggest challenge will be listening for why and how things are as they exist now. I have to admit I’m not fully aware of current “welcoming” initiatives. I hope from my prior response you understand that I can imagine they would push information and perspective upon immigrants more than show, prove and answer questions of why. Critical dialog is important and few people face criticism without experiencing it as an attack upon what they know of themselves.

4. What are your views on ensuring equal access to the polls and voting materials for voters of all communities regardless of English speaking and reading ability?

The amount of assistance and access is quite often reflecting the attitude and awareness of the election commission and city clerk. One group are appointed, the other is an elected official. We need issues to be worked on by those most familiar with the situation. This is why civic engagement is so important, and doing this in a supportive community is vital. These support communities can strengthen their position by regularly bringing in officials and leaders from outside for workshop lessons that address issues the immigrant community is focused on.

5. What are your views regarding access to in-language, culturally appropriate healthcare?

Healthcare itself can be difficult to deal with since it mostly shows up when things aren’t going very well. The stress of health status compounds and magnifies when language or customs are a barrier. I support “Single Payer Health Care”, otherwise known as “Medicare for All”. I believe the relationship between doctor and patient is more important than having an insurance company dictate procedures. Doctors and patients could conduct an interview process to get to know each other better. Creating a structure for such an interview process could take into consideration language and culture, getting to know bias, prejudice, and appropriate actions within cultural norms. The quest for a good doctor should be a personal one leading to trust and great health. Mandates on insurance companies will be more difficult. This is why doctor and patient relationship is so important.

6. What are your views on preventing discrimination in the workplace? How will you address workplace issues generally?

Discrimination takes many forms and our workplaces can be difficult to manage through government. Unionized labor can either help prevent or it can more bureaucracy causing it tougher to be heard. I support workers rights. I’m opposed to right-to-work laws that grant corporations more rights than their employees. I also have seen OSHA disregarded in industrial settings which jeopardizes the well-being of workers. I support greater protections for whistleblowers reporting improper corporate and government behavior. The Green Party platform recognizes civil disobedience as a means toward demanding justice, and is one of the few parties to recognize this.

League Of Women Voters Questionnaire

Vote411-logoStephen Boyle’s response to the candidate questionnaire from the League of Women Voters in Michigan. This information is on the site Vote411.org

Biographical Info

Campaign Website
www.boyleformichigan.us
Facebook Page
http://facebook.com/BoyleForMichigan
Occupation / Current Position
Community Activist & Freelance web developer
Education
2005 MS Business Information Technology, Walsh College
1983 BS Computer Science, Wayne State University
Qualifications / Experience
When in the corporate business world Stephen was in board positions with professional organizations. Today he organizes with activists and frontline communities impacted by policies and law they seemingly can’t control.

Campaign Questions

  1. PRIORITIES: What are your top three national legislative priorities? Why did you select them?

    Environmental Issues – Green Energy Jobs, eliminating Cap & Trade bringing greater responsibility to source polluters, and tighten cleanup requirements.
    Education – the future depends on our youth being engaged in critical and constructive thought. Public education has to be preserved from marketing attacks by private profiteers masked as educators.
    Reform Government – Current centrist approaches are creating big government widening gaps in class consciousness. Decentralism must be embraced to allow localized needs to be addressed most appropriately. Localism is the key toward growth of our people.
  2. ECONOMY: What should the federal government do to strengthen the national economy, reduce unemployment, and address the widening income gap?

    Reduce military spending through an audit of DoD spending on equipment that is obsolete and approaching sunset of use. We need to question the functional use of equipment passing through the 1033 Program of NDAA and how it benefits law enforcement and keep a watchful eye on how safety officers become seen in our communities as oppressors. The widening gap is expanding the grey and black markets. Society’s dispossessed are moving to economic modes that bear a lot of personal risk that propagates into communities at risk. We have to work with the least common denominators who are suffering the most.

  3. ENERGY & ENVIRONMENT: What steps would you propose to secure America’s energy needs while protecting our water, air and land?

    Elimination of cap and trade, bringing responsibility and penalties on source polluters. An effort has to be made to be proactive in reducing pollution. Most employees at corporations polluting are not living near work, increasing local resident employment and accountability to community are requirements that could make a difference. Make sure whistleblowers are protected. We can increase employment through changes to infrastructure that increase clean, renewable, sustainable energy. We have the ability to be responsible stewards of our planet, it is time to move aggressively in these directions.

  4. MONEY IN ELECTIONS: Do you support the Disclose Act, which would require disclosure by outside groups of large campaign contributions and expenditures? Why or why not?

    I support the DISCLOSE Act and believe big money has swayed our country’s political, ethical, and moral compass for far too long. There are additional influences in elections including the media’s reluctance to offer voice to independent parties equal standing when the primaries are coming up. I believe tax payer dollars need to be removed from primary elections and favor running all candidates in ONE election for public office. If a party wishes to narrow the field of candidates it should be done through that party’s caucuses without pulling from the public.

  5. IMMIGRATION: What specific changes, if any, would you propose to current immigration policy? Please explain.

    Immigration in the United States has changed so much in 300 years. Our society has trampled on the rights of indigenous people. We have moved communal land to private interests and ensured ownership matters more than taking care of where we live. Our commons are being sacrificed to privatization. Enable organized immigration into supporting community groups.

  6. HEALTH CARE: What changes, if any, should be made to federal health care policies or programs? Please explain.

    I prefer the adoption of Single Payer health care, also known as “Medicare for all”. There are gaps in the Affordable Care Act (ACA) which Single Payer addresses. Reference Physicians for a National Health Program to understand the differences. I also believe the most important health care relationship exists between the patient and their doctor. Insurance companies have dictated medical policy and procedure through pricing and regulatory practice. Therefore we end up with tighter doctor-insurer relationships and the patient seeming to simply be the subject being treated.

Stephen Boyle – Green Party Candidate for US Congress 14th District of Michigan