Centrist Alliance Looks to Unify the Political Center

This week's column for CAIVN takes a look at the newly formed Centrist Alliance, an emerging coalition of third party groups which currently includes America's Third Party and the National Centrist PartyExcerpt:
A new coalition of moderate, centrist third parties called the Centrist Alliance is aiming to fill the void that separates Republicans and Democrats.  Following on the heels of organizations such as No Labels and GOOH, the Centrist Alliance is the most recent in a series of newly formed political groups emphasizing moderatism, centrism and a pragmatic approach to politics.

With the official launch of the organization’s website on Independence Day, the Centrist Alliance is working to organize the moderate center by coordinating the efforts of the numerous centrist parties that are active in the country.  Currently, there are two member parties in the organization: America’s Third Party and the National Centrist Party . . .


On the issues, the Centrist Alliance is currently maintaining a relatively open platform emphasizing a strong national defense, immigration reform, a sensible and pragmatic foreign policy, energy independence and electoral reforms that would encourage civic participation and provide an equal place at the table for alternative parties and Independent voters. The influence of other relatively new moderate, centrist political groups is apparent in the Centrist Alliance’s statement of principles, which echoes the motto of the No Labels organization – i.e. “Not left. Not right. Forward.” – in its concluding lines.

“We support a pragmatic approach that looks forward. Not to the left or to the right of the political spectrum. We support independent political thinking and independent political action,” states the group on its website.  “We have kept some of our principles purposely open so that individual parties can expand on them as they like,” said Hyman, who personally emphasizes the importance of ballot access reform.  “Simply passing a federal law that says the state [ballot access] laws must be the same for any candidate for the same office would be a huge step in the right direction,” he said.

The parties in the Alliance are currently working together to obtain ballot access in the 2012 elections and cross-endorsing one another’s candidates . . . 

15 comments:

David Weller, OSL said...

This is good. The internet can move this initiative as fast as the members are willing to move it. It's still in its early growing stages, and with a more open platform, more parties will find the Alliance to be of useful opportunity. Good going!

centrist in waiting said...

notice that neither of the parties in the alliance are parties, just internet sites claiming to be parties. how many of those have come and gone sinve the reform party? 20? 30?

i should start the 'take me serously because i have a cruddy website' party. id fit right in.

we need serious third party action, not amatuer hour like this, from naive pipe dreamers. ive never worked in politics, but having been active in other political causes since i cut my teeth during the reform party days, its obvious at first glance that these guys have no idea what theyre talking about. just idealists without the serious commitment it takes to learn what building a party really means

d.eris said...

Well, if that's how it is, then donate your time and show the so-called "amateurs" how its done. What are you "waiting" for, anyway, centrist in waiting? Or are you just partial to the professional partisans of the ruling parties?

centrist in waiting said...

i do donate my time. to both democrats and republicans who arent partisan extremist shills, and the occasional indy, when there is a serious and non wingnut that can be found. i also donate my time to a couple favorite charities

i couldnt be more for a third party coming from the center, but groups like this come and go for a reason. you dont start any kind of real group on some website, you go out and knck on doors, make phone calls, raise money, have booths at events... you know, grassroots organizing, not pipe dream 'if you build it they will come' mumbo jumbo.

im waiting for a real party to come along in my state. ive got a full time job, family and friends. im not going to waste my time pn garbage like this, when there are seriois people who actually know what theyre doing & that wont waste the time ill give tgem on fools errands.

and ypu can stow that crap about professional partisans. you dont have to be a professional to run a tight ship. ive been a paert of dozens of groups ran by people who learned how to make a difference in their communities. if these people had any grassroots experience, theyd be nothing like what they are. i heard somethong about an indy party in oregon that had fifty thousand members, with no staff.

THAT is real work. id be putting my time there if i was near oregon

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Having spoken with some of the people involved with the NCP (and the MWP... I haven't spoken with the ATP people), I'm not as negative as this guy above here, but he's right in the respect that they're putting their energy in the wrong place and have a lot of misconceptions about grassroots organization building. I hold out hope that they learn from their failures, find some political mentors, go to some political trainings, read some grassroots organizing manuals and go back to the drawing board.

I've heard this from dozens of people... people like us (centrist/moderate early adopter/political junkies) will pay attention to groups like this regardless, but to cross the proverbial chasm from a group like this into being a serious political player means you have to look, act and play hardball like a serious organization. The only organizations I see doing some of this are the IP in Minnesota, OneMaine, the IP in Oregon and No Labels. You can have a difference of opinion on how they are organizing themselves, as I do with all of them but OneMaine, but nobody can mistake any of them for a non-serious organization.

DLW said...

D. Eris,
Tnx for the heads up,
I emailed them...
The easiest way to ensure centrism in the US is the use of more multi-seated "more local" elections and more two-stage "less local" elections. If third parties can get foot-holds then the possibility of an exit-threat by moderates into centrist third parties would suffice to make both the two major parties more centrist.

dlw

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

Starting a centrist third party is a Mount Everest sized endeavor... totally changing the way we do elections in this country is more akin to sending a manned mission to Alpha Centauri. Definitely something to think about, but we can't wait until that happens to work towards making things better.

TiradeFaction said...

For "centrists", a movement like OneMaine is probably the best choice. As long as it remains independent and not beholden to leadership of either of the two major parties (or any for that matter) in Maine, it might do some good. Hopefully it doesn't get co opted like the "Tea Party". I'll certainly be keeping my eye to see how successful they are.

DLW said...

SK:totally changing the way we do elections in this country is more akin to sending a manned mission to Alpha Centauri.

dlw: We don't need to totally change the way we do elections in the US to change electoral rules for part of our country, with the expectation that successful reforms will catch on...

And theory/experience does suggest that certain electoral reforms are more fundamental to changing the dynamics of a political system than other reforms.

dlw

Solomon Kleinsmith said...

I'm well aware of what you support DLW. There are reforms that are wildly popular among the populace that could both help attract people to centrist/moderate and independent groups, as well as help take down barriers to winning elections.

But we both know that is not what you advocate for. In the most rosy of scenarios, with millions of dollars, it would take a decade to educate the public on the kinds of reforms you are always talking about before we'd even know if the public would support them.

DLW said...

Well Solomon, we'll have to agree to disagree.

The gist is not rocket science and the prez did advocate for something similar in 2001.

dlw

DLW said...

I should add though that FairVote is pushing for 3 or 4 seated US congressional elections for LA, NM and UT so it seems likely that the utility of low-seated national/state legislative elections are going to gain currency in the near future.

dlw

Cox said...

I don't understand the call for an elevation of "political centrism". Most centrists seem to be under the mistaken idea that the two major parties represent ideological extremes and what we need are "sensible reasonable moderate solutions". Anyone who calls the Democrats "far left" or Obama "far left" simply doesn't know what those terms even mean, or has no idea what the policy has been of the Democratic party for the past 20 years. In reality, you need a microscope to determine the differences between the two major parties.

TiradeFaction said...

@Cox

I agree. The only meaning(less) differences between the two party are culture war wedge issues, when it comes to actual meaningful policy, well, as you put it, you need a microscope to determine the differences. I think the goal is more to realign the center, rather than advocate for the current "center".

DLW said...

Well, this is what I mean when I write about political centrism.

dlw

 
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