May 25 2016

The Citizen Party

We either need to completely revamp our old political parties or we need a new party. There is a long list of complaints against our political process, but the main ones are:

  • They concentrate more on accumulating power than doing the right thing
  • They have become so dependent on financial donors that they answer to them more than the electorate
  • They have rigged the primary election process to favor insiders
  • They turn first to government based solutions because that feeds back into supporting their political power

Many have suggested we need to start a new third party rather than try to reform the old ones. This makes sense because the problems in the old parties involve their own “mass and inertia” that makes it difficult for them to change. It also seems that this resistance to change is built into their organizational principles and cultivated by the insiders in charge. This makes any attempts at reform unlikely to succeed.

If we are to consider forming a new party, we want to ensure that we don’t simply clone the existing two parties, but with a different platform. The problem with the old parties is not primarily their platforms, but their organizational principles. In order to change the political process, we’ll need to use different organizational principles in a new party:

  • Instead of a party that accumulates power, we need a party that disperses power and concentrates on doing the right thing
  • Instead of a party controlled by large financial donors, we need a party financed by small donations from individual voters
  • Instead of a party controlled by political insiders, we need a party controlled by ordinary citizens.
  • Instead of a party that turns first to government solutions, we need a party that shuns political power and turns to citizen based solutions

In order to support these principles, our new CITIZEN PARTY will need to integrate them into the platform issues, as follows:

  • Protect and defend the Constitutional principles of limited government and separation of powers
  • Limits on political contributions and full disclosure
  • Across the board term limits, not just for elected officials, but also for party officers
  • Less government is better, more individual responsibility is better

A new CITIZEN PARTY would need to consider how to apply the same principles to self organization in order to create a new LITE version of a political party, with less “mass and inertia” and less resistance to change. The new party should also consider how congressional districts are defined and how party primary election processes are defined, with a focus on doing the right thing instead of merely maintaining power.