I joined a new political party today — the Forward Party — because it has real promise to make lasting change to our rotten political system and return power to the people.
Andrew Yang, who ran for President in 2020 and left the Democratic Party last year, started this party after concluding that neither of our two dominant parties will fix the problems that are dividing our nation. Those problems are largely created and maintained by the parties themselves, which benefit from conflict instead of compromise. This antidemocratic, inefficient, and harmful standoff persists because just about the only thing Democrat and Republican party leaders can agree upon is that they must prevent independent challenges. We have a two party system only because we use a primitive plurality method of voting. Moreover, major parties in virtually every state erect as many barriers as possible to ballot access by outsiders. This is why, despite abandonment of both parties by voters (over 40 percent of whom consider themselves Independent), most elections are not competitive. When challengers do appear, they are called “spoilers” because they threaten to draw more voters from one or the other of the two dominant parties who are accustomed to splitting the votes between themselves. But as the Forward Party FAQ page states, the system is already spoiled (for the voters); over 70 percent of elected positions have only one candidate.
Other parties have been around for many years (Libertarian, Green, Constitution, etc.). What’s different about the Forward Party? The platform. Instead of positions on hot button issues like health care, the economy, and the environment, the Forward Party is focused on three election reforms that will restore power to all voters and make all elections more competitive: Ranked choice voting, nonpartisan primaries, and independent redistricting commissions. Fixing the process first demonstrates interest in an inclusive electorate and incentives to serve all constituents. The party welcomes anyone — Democrat, Republican, or Independent — who is interested in a system that welcomes new ideas and ways of resolving our problems.
We the people can still run this country, but only if we seize the reins from those who would divide us. Please join me and thousands of others who have decided to look for a new way.