How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

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How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby Harry K » Wed Feb 10, 2010 7:30 am

If the old axiom goes "All politics are local" then I believe that's where the new movement should start. It has been proven for a generation now that a plutocratic organization has infested all of our lives and its time to lance the wound in order to draw out the poison of corruption. Thoughout the american narrative there have been plenty of historical information on what is sustainable and what isn't. We all know the republican and democratic parties have not existed forever and ground breaking parties can vanish in an instatnt.

I never thought myself as a leader. I'm a profund believer in the synergy of working in unison for the greater good. We do need leaders, dreamers, realists, and a common cause. I also believe the cogs of representitve government have been sabatoged and the citizens like myself have not taken the responsiblilty the Bill of Rights and the constitution provides.

In my case I live in New York (upstate) so if I was to name a party it would be "New York first". I think the charter would be basic at first. Only accept campaign funds from state residents only. Take a more serious look at the laws on the books and amend/eliminate those that are out of touch with the present. Compel our county and state legislatures to appear and be questioned on why they voted the way they did. Any lastly on a quarterly basis open up all the books for the constituents to see so we are all on the same page.

But I also know my limitations. I do not have extensive knowledge of the law, nor claim understanding of how people think or react. I would prefer people running for office to be a little younger and wet behind the ears versus an old veteran stuck in thier old ways. Technology and the droning of the 24hr newscycle are moving faster than the tortise of the branches of government. If there are residents of New York that are interested your expertise is most welcomed. If there can be a document produced and approved as an example on how this can be accomplished that will be an enduring legacy.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby Sirchicken » Sun May 29, 2011 11:39 am

I don't know about the feasibility of this, but I also think an important idea would be to have complete transparency with campaign and party funds. One of the things I find most repulsive in our political system is the back-door dealings between the parties and their financial backers (whether they're corporations, media outlets, or even unions). Tell people exactly who's paying for a third party is the first step toward the kind of integrity we need in the US.

What we need is multiple local "independent" style parties to crop up and get some representatives elected to the state and national legislatures. From there, the groups can unify into a third party (or not) as they see fit. Even if that movement doesn't directly create a third party, it would still get things started and provide a third party with some freshly plowed ground to take root in.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby TheOneX » Tue Jun 14, 2011 12:09 am

I agree with you guys are going here with starting small. The best case would be to look for somewhere where people aren't so dedicated to one party or the other, and have a decent amount of third party people. From my understanding Vermont or Oregon would be good places to start. Get people elected in those states, and grow them so they become powerful options at least in the state legislator then you have a good launching pad for national elections, and moving into other states.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby Cid » Wed Jul 06, 2011 2:21 pm

Why not start on a larger, national scale, but prohibit espoused members from voting for a candidate that is corrupt, or apart of another corrupt party? Attempt to properly convey to people that it is better to withhold a vote than to vote in the promotion of a person or persons that will negatively effect the outcome, even if it is less so than an alternative.

I think Dan had a fantastic idea when he promoted the anti-corruption contract. I think the very first thing a third party should do is to promote a bill in congress that would make it illegal to have a vested interest in legislation, be it personally OR for their constituency .

If my representative does something solely for the benefit of my district, and to the expense and detriment of others, then he is acting in a role which is counter to his place in government.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby TheRidge » Wed Jul 06, 2011 3:56 pm

Cid wrote:Why not start on a larger, national scale, but prohibit espoused members from voting for a candidate that is corrupt, or apart of another corrupt party? Attempt to properly convey to people that it is better to withhold a vote than to vote in the promotion of a person or persons that will negatively effect the outcome, even if it is less so than an alternative.

I think Dan had a fantastic idea when he promoted the anti-corruption contract. I think the very first thing a third party should do is to promote a bill in congress that would make it illegal to have a vested interest in legislation, be it personally OR for their constituency .

If my representative does something solely for the benefit of my district, and to the expense and detriment of others, then he is acting in a role which is counter to his place in government.


Of course we have the National Centrist Party, but I guess clean party politics don't sell as well as we hope.

NCP Principles

https://www.nationalcentristparty.org/?q=node/10
4: Only candidates of the highest quality in terms of integrity, competence, honesty and practicality will be supported by the NCP.

Citizens wishing to run for office as a National Centrist Party candidate must interview with the appropriate NCP Candidate Review Board. The Board will test candidates and grade them according to their understanding of current law, the issues of the day and the will of their constituency. Only candidates who demonstrate their competency will be permitted to run on a National Centrist Party ticket. NCP candidates who pass the Board are required to take an Oath and are held accountable to this oath by the NCP Candidate Review Board. This assures the honesty and integrity of the candidates. Any National Centrist Party Member can register a claim with the National Centrist Party that any NCP official (i.e. candidate, elected official, or NCP representative...including Board members themselves) has violated their oath. Each claim will be investigated by the appropriate Board. If the Board determines the NCP Official did fail to fulfill the terms of their Oath, they will not be permitted to run for the same level of office (or higher) until they have served at a lower office. Service at the lower office allows NCP Members to prove they have learned from their experience.

8: Dirty politics will not be tolerated. NCP candidates must always present their views and the views of opponents in context and in a forthright manner.

The antagonism that currently exists between the two outer parties is believed to be a main reason they are unable to cooperate to address the great number America’s problems. This antagonism is partly rooted in the bitter campaigns fought to achieve elected office. Further, and possibly by design, dirty politics practiced by other parties "turn off" the interest of Centrists who are disgusted by it. Conveniently for the outer parties, this maintains a staus quo competition between extremes with the political center unrepresented. The situation is further complicated by all of the mis-information, which is primarily a tool used to sell an inferior brand of politics to citizens who would be better served by another brand.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby blahface » Tue Nov 08, 2011 7:12 pm

I think we need to unite all 3rd parties into one party with the ultimate goal of making the system more fair to 3rd parties and making elections more competitive. It would have inner parties such as the Libertarian Party and the Green Party and we'd have our own online primary that would use the Condorcet method to select our candidate. Each party would have to support this candidate regardless of his views until we change our first-past-the-post voting system to a voting system that minimizes the effects of spoilers. After that happens the inner parties can break off.

We would need to organize our goals into priority tiers. We would try to do the most non controversial goals first and in an order that helps facilitate the later goals. Different inner parties could break off after the goals that they supported have been completed. The listed priorities would be something in the line of this:

1st priorities
  • On the state level, change the voting system to an open-non-partisan primary with approval voting. The two candidates with the most votes will go onto the general election.
  • Make sure any electronic voting machine has a paper trail.
2nd priorities
  • On the state level, create an official internet message board for each race in which candidates could debate from throughout the election. In order to run for office, it would be required to post at least one message introducing yourself and explaining why you are running.
3rd priorities
  • Change the way campaigns are funded. Don't allow corporations to donate any money. Citizens can donate a maximum of $100 for each candidate per year. Citizens' donations towards all PACs cannot total more than $1000 per year.
  • Give congress a pubic message board so they can debate point-by-point.
  • Divide Congress into four main caucuses. On each issue, there will be an organized timed debate. Each caucus would select one of their members or a special expert to represent them in the debate. After the time is up, they can vote to continue the debate.
  • Have a point system for lobbying. Each citizen gets 100 points a year to distribute among PACs. PACs can spend points in exchange for time an elected official must spend listening to a lobbyist from the PAC. Also, the top 300 PACs would have an official message board in which they could debate each other. Each PAC could have two representatives to post messages and make their case to the public.
4th priorities
  • Allow citizens(not corporations) to organize into entities known as Government Watch Committees. Every four years there would be an election through proportional representation in which citizens would vote for one of these GWCs. Based on the amount of votes, the GWC's would select a number of representatives to a Pubic Press. This Pubic Press would have the power to conduct mandatory interviews with government officials and candidates for office. The Public Press would also elect moderators to official public debates and create questionnaires on political positions that candidates for office must fill out in order to run. This Public Press would be in addition to the private press and not a replacement.

I think the best strategy is to do this state by state. First, try to raise funds nationally to become a powerhouse in a small state like Vermont. After each state victory of switching to approval voting, we can move onto the next state, but this time word of mouth will have spread and it will take less resources to do it again. Also after each victory, it will be easier to elect honest candidates to federal office because citizens won't have to worry about being forced to vote for the lesser of two evils.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby Harry K » Tue Nov 08, 2011 8:21 pm

A couple of things to consider:

How far are you willing to bend your principles in order to get people on board? How knowledgeable are you or others in getting ballot access? How many people can be mobilized to obtain the signatures?

How are you going to get the message across in the cheapest and most economical way?

Limiting how much a person and corporation can donate will be struck by the courts. Would you accept limiting the money politicians can accept?

Just some food for thought.
Merlin: Looking at the cake is like looking at the future, until you've tasted it what do you really know? And then, of course, it's too late.

[Arthur takes a bite]

Merlin: Too late.


"Quiet desperation is the drtech way,
The time is gone, the gun is handed over,
Thought you'd had something more to say."
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby blahface » Wed Nov 09, 2011 2:29 am

Harry K wrote:How far are you willing to bend your principles in order to get people on board? How knowledgeable are you or others in getting ballot access? How many people can be mobilized to obtain the signatures?


Personally, I'd bend them pretty far. If I needed to vote for a candidate that supported prayer in public school and making it extremely difficult for women to get abortions, I'd hold my nose and vote for him. We can go back and fix his mistakes later. We need to keep our eyes on the prize. As for doing actual activist work... I don't really know too much about it. My experience is limited to yelling from message boards. I have no clue on how to start a Party or PAC.

How are you going to get the message across in the cheapest and most economical way?

The obvious thing that we need to do is get a well designed website that will effectively communicate to people what we want to accomplish and how we plan to accomplish it. This site will also need to make it very easy be help establish meet-ups and organize volunteers. If we have blogs in which volunteers can talk about what they are doing to help, maybe it will raise morale and encourage more people to volunteer.

When we target a state, we need to make clear mention of each state legislator's status in terms of support for our objectives. This would range from “Doesn't support it”,” hasn't talked about it”, “mildly supports it”, and “enthusiastically supports it.” If a legislator hasn't publicly expressed an opinion it, we'd have to hammer him on it until he does. If some of them don't support it, we can take a few of them to the woodshed to make an example of them. We would run local ads and make phone calls to his constituents telling them that he supports oligarchy, supports uncompetitive elections, is an enemy of democracy, etc. If they do support it, we need to get them to tell us what they plan to do to implement our objectives.

As a group, we need to organize our volunteers to target bloggers and media personalizes (new and traditional) to get them to support and bring awareness to our cause. We can do this by bombarding them with emails, tweets, and YouTube videos. I think it would be helpful if we also did annual protests in DC or the capitol in each state. We could also do protests on headquarters of the big news channels if they don't cover us. We can organize call ins to radio pundits and get them to address our issues.

We should also open our books and be very transparent about how we spend every cent. It is important that donors know that their money is not being wasted frivolously.

Limiting how much a person and corporation can donate will be struck by the courts. Would you accept limiting the money politicians can accept?

I think for that part, we'd have to get a constitution amendment through. That is why it is one of the lower priorities. However, after we get a different voting system, it will be so much easier to get an amendment passed. Most Americans support getting money out of politics – our political system is just too disorganized and chaotic to make it happen at the moment.
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Re: How do you build an infrastructure for a 3rd party?

Postby exposno1 » Wed Nov 09, 2011 7:21 am

Cid wrote:Why not start on a larger, national scale, but prohibit espoused members from voting for a candidate that is corrupt, or apart of another corrupt party? Attempt to properly convey to people that it is better to withhold a vote than to vote in the promotion of a person or persons that will negatively effect the outcome, even if it is less so than an alternative.

I think Dan had a fantastic idea when he promoted the anti-corruption contract. I think the very first thing a third party should do is to promote a bill in congress that would make it illegal to have a vested interest in legislation, be it personally OR for their constituency .

If my representative does something solely for the benefit of my district, and to the expense and detriment of others, then he is acting in a role which is counter to his place in government.

I certainly agree with this in principle, but this becomes very difficult to put into practice.

Unless you're independently wealthy, you need to fund your candidacy from somewhere. That money comes from those interested in seeing you succeed. That creates an incentive.

If you vote for or against any issue, a line likely can be drawn back to that incentive. This might be corruption. You then have to look at motives. How does one determine if the incentive was the motive? That's like trying to look into someone's heart--it's usually a waste of time. It might be easy in some situations, but I imagine it's nearly impossible in the vast majority of situations.

Unless someone votes consistent with stated principles/stances stated in a campaign each and every time, without compromise, you can never know. This is easy for an ideologue like me, but so much of governing seems to be pragmatism, though, so where does that leave you?
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