Sunday, November 20, 2016

A New Kind of Third Party

Do you like the idea of a "Third Party"?

This, I think, is an idea for a third party that can actually make substantive change.

This idea comes out of several different discussions, both before and after the last elections, regarding third parties, open primaries, and related matters.
In two years, 99.9% of the candidates elected will be either a Democrat or a Republican. Screaming about it won't change anything. It's a fact of the world we live in. If you want the next representative, senator, governor, council member, or whatever to more closely represent your views, you need to make sure that the next Democrat or Republican selected in your district better represents your views.

There is no value in voting for a losing candidate. The only measure of political success that means anything is getting your candidate elected.

Now, of these candidates, the vast majority will be selected in the primaries - not the general election. The vast majority of political districts in this country are one-party districts. The person who will be sworn in at the start of the new term is the person that the dominant party selects for that position.

All of this means that, if you want to have a say in government, you must devote your energies to deciding who the dominant party will select for that position. Everything else is just playing around.

So, here's the idea for a new political party.

I would like to call it, "The Party of Truth and Reason." This is a bit presumptuous, but names can be a bit presumptuous. By the way, it will not be the case that the party judges that it is the perfect and final arbiter of truth and reason. Rather, this identifies its goal - its ideal - never fully achieved, but always that which it aims for.

The way that this party works is that, if one party dominates the legislative district such that whoever that party selects to run the general election is the person who will be sworn in, then all of its members will register with that dominant party. If it is a Republican district, they register as Republicans. If it is a Democratic district, its members register as Democrats.

Remember, the goal of the party is to influence who actually gets sworn into office. It finds no value in spending time and resources on those who have no hope of winning.

The party does most of its work in the primaries, helping the dominant party select the most honest, reasonable, and rational candidate among those available. It can even run one of its own members. Here, too, it will not waste its efforts on candidates that have no chance of winning the election. It will look at those who have a chance of winning and, among them, put its efforts and political influence behind the most honest, rational, and reasonable among them.

I find it interesting to think about what would happen if this political party actually got to select candidates. A state legislature comes into session. In it, it is discovered that the Party of Truth and Reason backed four Honest and Rational Republicans, and three Honest and Rational Democrats. As the legislative session begins, perhaps it can host a dinner, and bring those Republicans and Democrats together and tell them, "We expect you to work together to create rational legislation based on the best scientific evidence."

Naturally, the more people one can find in a region willing to join in this project the more powerful the group will be. However, even one person can make a difference.

This would be a third party that has an actual chance of influencing the next election for the better. For somebody who actually has an interest in a third party, I would suspect that a third party that can make a real difference would be preferable to a third party that takes like-minded people out of the electoral process and have them throw away their votes.

2 comments:

Ross Balmer said...

David G. McAfee had the same idea! They do say great minds think alike.

Party of Reason and Progress (PORP)
Website: http://partyofreasonandprogress.org/
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Cafeeine Addicted said...

I like the idea, but I would refrain from forming it as a " party" due to the connotation.