Third Party & Independents Archives

Unity '08 launched

In what’s being stated is an alternative to partisan politics Unity ‘08 hit the internet yesterday. Rather than being based on a Third Party or Independent candidate it’s based on an agenda first where those who join select via the internet who will be the Presidential and Vice Presidential choice.

There have been several newspaper reports out about this, one from the Denver Post as well as the Washington Post but for the most direct information I'd suggest going directly to the Unity '08 website.

According to the news reports some of the names involved in creating this are:

Doug Bailey, a former Republican consultant and the founder of The Hotline; Hamilton Jordan and Jerry Rafshoon -- veterans of the Carter administration; Nicco Mele, webmaster for Howard Dean's 2004 presidential campaign; and Roger Craver, a Democratic direct-mail consultant intimately involved in John B. Anderson's independent presidential bid in 1980 (and a co-founder of The Hotline with Bailey).

The Founders Council list on the Unity '08 website includes many more. In reading their Statement of Purpose it sounds impressive, especially this:

Unity08 believes that neither of today’s major parties reflects the aspirations, fears or will of the majority of Americans. Both have polarized and alienated the people. Both are unduly influenced by single-issue groups. Both are excessively dominated by money.

For most of the 20th Century, the contest for the U.S. presidency was waged over those “in the middle.” Recent Presidential elections, however, have not been focused on the middle but on the turnout of each party’s special interest groups – with each party’s “base” representing barely ten percent of the American people.

We believe that, while the leaders of both major parties are well intentioned people, they are trapped in a flawed system – and that the two major parties are today simply neither relevant to the issues and challenges of the 21st Century nor effective in addressing them

It's too early to tell if this idea will be embraced by the American voter. I think it holds a great deal of promise which is why I felt it was important to post this and to see what your thoughts are.

Posted by Lisa Renee Ward at May 31, 2006 5:01 PM
Comment #153111

So they want two presidents, one Republican and one Democrat? Or rather one party has the presidency and the other the vice-presidency? One problem is those two positions are not remotely equal. Neat idea though.

Posted by: Max at May 31, 2006 5:46 PM
Comment #153123

Lisa, I agree with their assessment entirely. But, their solution is in reality, no solution at all, unless and until, they motivate the voters to cancel irresponsible incumbent tickets in the Congress, both federal and state. For the election system and 2 party system are corrupted by and in favor of the two parties. No amount of analysis will rectify that corruption. Only voting incumbents out again and again until Congress’ are filled with Freshman who have ending the corruption and making the reforms their first priority, will bring the needed changes to the system. Splitting power in the Executive is treating the symptom, not the problem.

I am reminded of a wisdom, if you love someone set them free, if they return your love will be requited, if they don’t, it would never have been requited in the first place. This is true of power. The way for voters to get responsible, accountable, and constitutional governance is to demand that those in power refuse to make power their first priority. Voting for those seeking to hold on to power will never bring requited representation of the voter’s issues to the forefront.

Posted by: David R. Remer at May 31, 2006 6:22 PM
Comment #153131

“The American worker has to eat at the same capitalist restaurant. Sometimes the waiters are Republican, sometimes the waiters are Democrat—but they still serve the same, thin Wall Street gruel.”

Huey Long

Posted by: Tim Crow at May 31, 2006 6:44 PM
Comment #153171

Great quote, Tim

I saw a piece on this on CNN. Great idea, but the question is, like Dave Leterman asks, “Will it float?” Cue Paul Shaffer.

Posted by: gergle at May 31, 2006 8:55 PM
Comment #153178

That’s what I wonder too gergle. I don’t get cable so I didn’t see it on CNN which is why I thought people might be interested in hearing about it.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 31, 2006 9:09 PM
Comment #153180

Instead of wasting time on this, it would be better to get more people to vote. Only 65% vote nowadays which is the main reason we get nuts in Office.

Posted by: Aldous at May 31, 2006 9:23 PM
Comment #153192

I’d like to see more people vote too, some believe this could be a solution since it would advocate another choice. Unless we make it more “sexy” to attract the American Idol bunch how do you actually get more people to vote? Forcing them to vote doesn’t guarantee a better informed result. Bribing them by offering another paid holiday probably won’t work.

I spend a lot of time trying to encourage people to get more involved, some do yet if talking about an idea like this would work? I’d be all for it.

I am not a fan of Sherrod Brown here in Ohio but he related a personal story to me that I did find inspiring. His mother who is quite elderly started getting people to register to vote, but she didn’t stop there, she would check in with them every so often to make sure they remembered to change their address, knew where they were voting and were going to vote. She’d also remind them closer to election day. Other people started joining her and they did create an increase in voters who were paying attention.

I did this the last primary here in Toledo, granted I only got six people to register and four of them ended up voting in the primary but I think the other two will vote in the general. Not a huge number but it was four more people. If I keep making sure all of those I know are registered and remind them to vote? It could grow and if they do the same? Could work. Or they will start running when they see me because I’m the “crazy voter lady”. (lol)

But in the meantime, finding new things like this are worth at least posting about.


Posted by: Lisa Renee at May 31, 2006 9:57 PM
Comment #153197

A National Holiday for Voting would be a first step. Right now, it costs money to vote. A Holiday would remove a main reason why people don’t vote.

Posted by: Aldous at May 31, 2006 10:09 PM
Comment #153254

It would end up just like Memorial day where it was a paid day off and had very little meaning for too many. If people have to be “paid” to vote perhaps their vote wasn’t important. Sides, there will always be people who have to work, essential personal type positions as well as retail. I can see it now “BIG ONE DAY ONLY ELECTION HOLIDAY SALE!”


Posted by: Lisa Renee at June 1, 2006 1:54 AM
Comment #153314

I WANT to believe that Unity08 is a good thing, I really do! Certainly Howard Dean’s campaign (before he folded his tent and went home to “mama”) made inroads into a huge independent grassroots base, and really showed the potential of the internet to organize that base.

But I have a sneaking suspicion that Unity08 is more of a temporary ploy for disgruntled Dems and their Repub friends who will return to the fold, bringing their campus contacts with them. The students will of course do the legwork for whatever lesser evil the Unity08 ticket comprises (if they even get that far). CommonDreams quotes from a press release:

“We are not in this be spoilers or to hurt either party. We are in this to win, give the White House a Unity Team that can provide leadership, and along the way jolt each party back toward the voters in the center. 2008 is an historic moment of truth for the parties, the people and the nation,” said Bailey and Jordan…

Well, Unity08 seems to me to be nothing but a fundraising machine (they’re handily organized as a 527) for the lesser of two evils, whoever it will be in 2008.

Unless we, as ordinary Americans, are willing to go outside the 2 party system, develop our own leaders, and organize our movement on the ground (or even in cyberspace), we’re stuck with the 2 parties, and those 2 parties aren’t going to be “jolted back” anywhere without a fight.

Like the Dixie Chicks, I wouldn’t be so ready to make nice…

Posted by: N. Hanks at June 1, 2006 10:06 AM
Comment #153564

That’s a valid concern N. Hanks.

Posted by: Lisa Renee at June 1, 2006 8:44 PM
Comment #153795

Since the president is the human symbol of the people of the United States,why should’nt it be a matter of popular vote?
If only we can get Ryan Seacrest to moderate,we could be looking at not only a dissolution of the Electoral College,but a record turnout.

Posted by: jblym at June 2, 2006 4:15 PM
Comment #198301

The reason people don’t vote is simple: THERE ARE NO CHOICES. My vote means nothing - sorry, but it’s true. It would be interesting if a law could be passed that required that at least two-thirds of the eligible population had to vote for an election to even be valid, but I don’t see that solving the problem until people have an alternative to the current system. Perhaps aspiring candidates should have to go through a background check and be trained in the basics of civility/ethics/morals/governance before they’re eligible to run for office, are limited to campaigning from Labor Day to Election Day only, can only serve for a limited number of terms but could be re-elected after spending at least one term out of office, are not paid a salary but have all their expenses paid 100% while they serve, don’t have to be affiliated with a traditional political party to be on the ballot, provided air/print time and campaign expenses free, and can take no money from any special interests whatsoever (because they won’t need to). I guarantee you if these items were implemented, voting would go up dramatically. REAL reform is hard, guys, but if you don’t want to continue to go down the same road as we are now and watch our country go the way of the Roman Empire as a result, we need to make fundamental changes now, not later.

Posted by: Mark Rhodes at December 8, 2006 10:53 AM
Comment #207388

After researching the history (using google) of the Bush and Clinton Family you start to realize it really doesn’t matter if their Democrats or Republicans. Most of our presidents in the last 16 years have had the same associations and connections with the same agenda from behind the scenes. Both parties seem to be funded and supported by the same core interest groups and they also have tight control of our major news media. It seems that all our presidents have to be anointed by the Council of Foreign relations and The Group of Eight (G8 - ) in order to become president. This just puts a horrible taste in my mouth and it’s the reason I don’t vote for either party. They really do not support the interests of the average American. I would like to see a president who will print our own U.S. currency (not the backed by Federal Reserve - world bankers), and one not affiliated with either of the global elitists groups, and restore and support our Constitution. If this Third Party option is not tied to or supported by any of the global elitist agenda’s, I’m all for it.

Posted by: RHoliday at February 9, 2007 4:51 PM
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