It could be that it’s too late for real electoral reform in this country but a few things suggest that Americans are still looking to find ways to express their dissatisfaction with the parties. One is Ron Paul – his appeal is in large part because he doesn’t spout a party line. Another is Chris Christie – not for his ideas, but for his candor which has been so lacking in our politics for so long. Even the Tea Party (which may have started as a legitimate independent movement but was quickly co-opted by Americans for Prosperity ) arose out of dissatisfaction with the parties. That movement quickly attracted an ugly element, which will ultimately delegitimize them (even if they’re everyone’s favorite prom date this week).
Grass-roots movements pop up in every election cycle (anyone remember the Natural Law Party?), who tend to make a small splash and then slide back below the waves.
Here’s one that looks promising. It is at least unique and reflects some original thinking. It’s not a protest movement,; these guys want to get right in there and mix it up. I like their idea. We’ve changed the way we nominate and elect national candidates many times over the years and there’s no reason we can’t do it again.
Americans Elect has a plan to host the first ever, nonpartisan, online convention and put the resulting ticket on the ballot in all 50 states, bypassing the two parties. They’re collecting the necessary signatures to get on those ballots and have almost two million already.
This is from the PBS News Hour last week:
Go sign their petition.