Call to action
Making the vision of The People’s Platform a reality.
Robert M. “Fighting Bob” LaFollette once observed that “If the people want a government of their own, they must do the work of making it their own.” Within our present electoral system, we believe that work necessarily begins by making at least one (and preferably both) of our major political parties our own. We need a party of the people.
We believe that, based on the platform and the philosophical foundation of the Democratic Party, our efforts are most likely to succeed there, but we are hopeful that the populist uprising within the Republican Party will also succeed. We also intend to help build support for reforms that would break the duopoly and offer voters more than two viable parties from which to choose. The key to moving to a multi-party system is to pass legislation providing for proportional representation and/or ranked-choice voting.
In a poll conducted by the Public Religion Research Institute, 61% of respondents said that neither political party reflects their opinions. Nearly eight in 10 independents (77%) and a majority of Republicans (54%) took this position, while less than half of Democrats (46%) agree. A strong majority of millennials (71%) feel that a third major party is needed. (According to the results of an NBC News/GenForward poll.)
How we elect a Congress and state legislatures that truly represent the will of the people..
We, the people, need to make our expectations clear to candidates for Congress and state legislatures. If we want to see this legislation enacted, we must elect candidates to Congress who promise to support this legislation, regardless of the party they represent. In the upcoming election (November 6, 2018) we believe that means voting a straight Democratic ticket. In many states and congressional districts the Democrat on the ballot may not truly support the legislation in The People’s Platform. In nearly every case the reason for the lack of support can be traced to a candidate accepting campaign contributions from corporate interests that stand in opposition to everything in The People’s Platform. These corrupted, corporate Democrats will need to be challenged in primary elections in 2020 by Democrats who do support the Democratic platform, or in the general election in 2020 by Republican candidates who have rejected corporate contributions.
In the short term, this means disaffected Republican voters and Republican-leaning independents must be willing to vote for candidates running as Democrats. We know that is a large ask. As some Republican candidates begin to come around on these issues (hopefully by 2020), a bit of the burden will shift to Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to recognize which Republicans are more committed to the will of the people than some Democrats on the ballot.
There is strong cross-partisanship among the voters – there is almost none in Congress.
Polls indicate that the proposals included in The People’s Platform enjoy overwhelming support among Democratic voters and independent voters, as well as roughly half of Republican voters on most of the issues. The legislation included in The People’s Platform has been introduced and cosponsored by both Democratic members of Congress and by one very popular independent (Senator Bernie Sanders). No Republicans have signed on as cosponsors yet. We hope that will change. We also expect that some other independent and minor party candidates will support some, or all, of the legislation included in The People’s Platform.
To be successful, a movement must be broad-based and inclusive. We invite candidates and supporters from all parties to join our campaign. We will be begin by working largely within and through the Democratic Party, hoping to reform the party, neutralize, or minimize corporate influence within the party, and make the Democratic Party the party of the people it claims to be. However, we have been reaching out to members of other parties and independents from the outset and will continue to do so.
Our proposals for electoral reform (proportional representation, ranked-choice voting, and public financing of elections enjoy support from minor parties (The Green Party, Libertarian Party, etc.), independent voters, and a fair percentage of Republican voters – in fact from everyone who favors genuine democracy. According to various polls, 80 to 92% of voters would like more than two parties from which to choose. Proportional representation and ranked-choice voting (also called “instant run-off voting”) are the best and most obvious ways to achieve that worthwhile goal.
The initiative process.
Twenty-four states give citizens the right to pass laws (and amendments to the state constitution in some states) without the approval or involvement of the state legislature or governor. A list of states with some form of initiative is posted at the bottom-right of each page on this site. We encourage concerned citizens to utilize this powerful form of direct democracy to enact electoral reforms and pass needed legislation in those states.
With both major parties defending the status quo in a system where a majority of voters feel that our elected representatives are not doing a good job of representing the will of the people, voters need to communicate effectively across party lines and the political spectrum, compromise, and reach consensus. We, the people, must work together if we want a government of our own.
Change is in the air..
We can reform our election process and elect a government of, by, and for the people.
You are cordially invited to join our campaign.