Think, Live, Vote Independently … How to Fix Political Parties

I was recently invited to join an anti-political party group.
Here’s the comment that got me invited:

“John, anyone puts their party ahead of their country is an idiot. We have two parties so the idiot vote cancels out! Elections are decided by the thinking people who support people based on the candidate’s principles, not party ideology.
Think independently, live independently, vote independently and Independence thrives. Independents decide elections; independents RULE!”

The sponsor of this group seems to have formed it to sooth his decision to not support the candidate of his party, but still support the “philosophy” he thinks his party represents.  I went on to explain my opinion:

So you see, I’m somewhat beyond supporting “my party’s philosophy” and actually believe the ideal is 2 parties with only one ideology, and that one limited to the Constitution of the United States. The beliefs, philosophies, strategies, goals (and unfortunately, biases and weaknesses) of individual candidates are why I would choose one over another. “Party” affiliation should be irrelevant.

There is the natural human desire to form “gangs” so as to offer each other support, feeling of community, team membership, etc. One could think the equivalent of this in the sphere of politics is the “political party” and thus be tempted to create lots of parties to capture all the diverse philosophies and interests we each may have. Unfortunately, this does not work for two major reasons:

1) (practical) our state voting laws so bias elections in favor of the two party system as to make minor parties powerless,
2) (game theory) the objective in an election is to establish a majority consensus …achieve majority voter buy-in… around a candidate who will represent us. Simply put, having only 2 parties guarantees the winner has buy-in from the majority of voters.

Thus I feel we are stuck with 2 parties, and out of pragmatism choose to move on to the question of how we get these 2 parties to represent our diverse philosophies:

1st) In my ideal world, each party would be a training ground and support group raising, educating and testing candidates for office, independent of philosophy EXCEPT the common ground defined by the Constitution as to the limits of government, duties of officers/candidates, and the organization of government. This common ground evolves only through the formal amendment process.

2nd) We promote our view by interactions within and across parties as we prepare ourselves as candidates and support each other based on our philosophies, beliefs, etc. We do not endow either party as the sole home for any one of our personal philosophies, ideologies, biases, etc. No litmus tests!

3rd) We maintain balance of power between the two parties by shifting our allegiance between parties to achieve the key advantages of competition: a) checks and balance to assure efficiency and integrity, and b) having a viable leadership team to switch to when the current team fails through exhaustion, corruption, disaster, or whatever else would lead to loss of trust among the voters.

How we achieve this “balance” between the parties?
Precisely by being, thinking, funding and voting independent of party label.

Can’t be done? …look who decides elections! The independent vote is very often the deciding vote. The knee jerk voters cancel each other out, empowering those of us who vote for the individual, not the party label.

Think for a moment how much more effective we and our government could become if we act this way deliberately, consciously, and regularly. We have the power in our grasp to punish the party that most recently lied to us (abused their power.) Rock the boat! Shift the center of gravity back and forth until both parties are shaken out of their ideological straight jackets and return to the ideals of our founding fathers!

It can’t happen quickly, requiring multiple election cycles, but it CAN happen! In fact, I believe our country can only survive as our founding fathers intended IF we break the back of the ideologically biased party system we have today.

What say you? With me in this bottom up independent voter revolution?

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