Members of Green Party US and Justice Party of South Korea with signs protesting the dumping of radioactive wastewater from the Fukushima nuclear reactors.

My name is Howie Hawkins. I was the Green Party candidate for US President in 2020.

I want to thank the Justice Party for hosting this meeting with members of the Green Party of the United States who are in South Korea to attend the Global Greens Congress. As Greens, we want to work in solidarity with all progressive parties and movements for justice, freedom, democracy, peace, and the environment.

My presidential campaign had four principal policy themes: the Green New Deal, the Economic Bill of Rights, Peace Policies, and Inclusive Multiparty Democracy.

While they were addressed to the people of the United States, they are themes in our interconnected world that I believe we must achieve internationally.

As our late American comrade Martin Luther King Jr said, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere. We are caught in an inescapable network of mutuality, tied in a single garment of destiny.”

So with that spirit in mind, let me share a few thoughts about my four campaign policy themes.

The Green New Deal is designed to address the climate crisis. It is a plan — and we detailed a budget for it — to transform our economy to 100% clean energy and zero greenhouse gas emissions within a decade. The timeline is rapid because the climate emergency demands it but it takes 10 years because it will take that long to rebuild our economy with an emergency program. The technology we need exists. We can raise the financing. What is missing is the politics will.

The second theme is an Economic Bill of Rights, which goes hand in hand with Green New Deal. The idea of an Economic Bill of Rights was put forth by President Franklin Roosevelt in his annual address to Congress in 1944 and 1945. The was trumped again by the Black freedom movement in the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom and in Martin Luther Kings’ Poor People’s Campaign of 1968. Here we are 75 years later and none of the economic rights Roosevelt, King, and the civil rights movement called for have been realized. So out campaign picked up the baton for the Economic Bill of Rights and called for legislation to guarantee the right to a living-wage job, an income above poverty, affordable housing, comprehensive health care, life-long free public education from pre-school to college, and a secure retirement.

The third theme is Peace Policies. These include deep cuts on the order of 75% in US military spending with the savings devoted to a global Green New Deal promoting the conditions for peace in social and environmental justice and prosperity. Our Peace Polices also emphasized nuclear disarmament initiatives, including a policy of No First Use, dismantling our ICBMs, progressively reducing the U.S. nuclear arsenal to a minimum credible deterrent — and above all, with the disarmament initiatives to set an example, has the U.S. lead an aggressive diplomatic campaign addressed to the other nuclear powers seeking mutual nuclear disarmament to bring all nations into compliance with the new Treaty on the Prohibition of Nuclear Weapons.

The fourth theme is Inclusive Multi-Party Democracy. Our winner-take-all elections in the United States produces a two-party system that wealthy corporate interests are about to control with their money. It is an exclusionary system because the majority of Americans are more progressive than either of the two corporate parties, as we know from public opinion polls. The majority of people support a Green New Deal, Medicare for All, Tuition-Free Public College, and many other progressive social and economic policies that both major parties oppose. The fundamental problem of American politics is that public opinion is not translated into public policy. The two-party system represents the special interests of the giant banks and corporations and not the public interest of the vast majority of Americans.

That is why the primary demands we raised under the them of Inclusive Multi-Party Democracy are ranked choice voting for executive offices and proportional representation for legislative bodies through proportional ranked choice voting. I understand that South Korea’s electoral system provides for limited proportional representation, which has enabled the Justice Party to elect 6 members to the National Assembly. But 6 out of 300 seats is only 2% of the seats for a Justice Party that received nearly 10% of the vote in 2020. Limited proportional representation is limited democracy. It is exclusionary. America with no proportional representation has even more limited democracy and more political exclusion.

So I look forward to our discussions today about the common problems we face and what common solutions we should work for in solidarity. Thank you again for hosting out meeting today.

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