For the “Delicate Balance” project, I invited Independent Gubernatorial candidate Emily Peyton to participate in Electival, a Green Mountain College student-sponsored event on October 3, 2012 aimed at raising voter awareness of policy issues facing Vermonters.
Ms. Peyton faced difficult odds in the November election. Major media outlets usually do not cover third-party platforms, like hers, until just before the election. She attempted to take part in Vermont’s Gubernatorial debate on Vermont Public Radio (VPR) but was ultimately not invited to participate in the debate between incumbent Governor Peter Shumlin, a Democrat, and Republican candidate Randy Brock, who is a state Senator.
While a lack of support from the mainstream political parties and media made Ms. Peyton’s ultimately unsuccessful bid a steep climb, she has argued, nevertheless, that her positions resonate with the independent spirit of Vermonters. Peyton feels that our political system is broken. The result? A lack of economic and personal prosperity, health, independence and trust in our institutions. She believes that Vermonters are ready to rebuild our political system so that all may benefit.
Ms. Peyton is a major proponent of hemp industrialization, calling for an end to its prohibition and seeing it as a key to our manufacturing and environmental future.
Here at GMC, her positions may especially resonate for students who are seeking to make a future in a green economy that moves us away from traditional fossil-fuel-based industries. This message also corresponds with our college’s mission, which is framed on ideals of environmental responsibility, public service, global understanding, and lifelong intellectual, physical, and spiritual development.