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ecoalex

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Reply with quote  #16 
Well. I voted for Ralph Nader in 2008,and Rocky Anderson in 2012.My vote is a protest.I'm not expecting the Justice party to make much headway,regarding restoring justice,as Eric Holder Obama's boy was a Wall St solicitor,so he covers for them as well as the bush crime family.

I voted my conscious.  Thanks Rocky.

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barefootalways

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Reply with quote  #17 
Yes, I still believe it would be hard to get another party out there. The system of greed and corruption needs to change in order to get honest politics. It seems that no one wants to do it.
Yes I like the eco lifestyle
hell go barefoot, use products that are sustainable to our planet, eat organic and live freely.

Craig

"future barefoot lawyer"
JPDrake
Reply with quote  #18 

I see a lot of optimism here. That is good. But it is important not to lose sight of the minority of the Justice Party; there is essentially no chance of Rocky or any other Justice candidate winning the presidency in 2016 at this rate. It is foolish to pour so much money and energy into the presidential campaign when it is obvious they will lose; that money could be used to fund runs for state legislative seats. More than 2,000 state legislative seats were uncontested this year; all it would take are some willing Justice candidates and some motivated campaign organizers in the area.

Sadly, such efforts will be much more difficult in solid-red Oklahoma, where Libertarians are more likely to make headway than Justice or Green candidates. Any third-party movement that starts in a state like this will have to compromise and adopt more conservative stances than the national party in order to attract more voters. This will particularly apply to energy policies, since Oklahoma is home to a thriving oil and natural gas industry.

CTJustice

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Reply with quote  #19 
JPDrake,
I would agree that the local elections is the key. Having our party in those positions can help us chip away at the laws and policies that discriminate against voices other than Rep/Dems.

That said, having some high profile runs for Senator/President/Congressman/Governor doesn't hurt.
I see it more of a way to bring attention to the party (a bit like PR).

But, you are right, the greatest change will happen within our states.

It's hard to predict 2016 landscape. If I were to venture a guess, many of the Tea Party and ultra-conservative Republicans will continue to go their own way and not compromise on many issues. This will lead to frustration on the part of the public. So that will open up the opportunity for more moderate Republicans (in primaries) and Democrats to take over those offices. This presents, to me, the best time to get our candidates running.

Not to mention that (and this is over talked about in the media), that Republicans are scratching their heads wondering 'how do we get Latinos with our policies'? While Democrats are thinking that they will forever hold the vote of this growing population. No reason why the Justice Party wouldn't appeal to them I think.

Overall, there is a lot of common sense in this party. That is what people will look for in 2016. That along with the ability to 'bridge' the two sides, left and right. I hope the platform will remain centralist and progressive. In a state like yours, perhaps the issues you would focus on would be more appealing to the a little to the right, and for blue states, a campaigner might emphasize our policies that best match their situation.

Don't misunderstand that I call 'being all things to all people'. It will always be necessary to state what makes us different and special, but I think it will be ok to lean a little this way or that way for each situation. The hardest thing will be to get in office. Once in office, an official can work towards winning more minds to our way of thinking while working within the system to remove all those barriers to entry (laws and policies that keep 3rd parties for succeeding.)

Remember, ALL political parties started some place. Some which were part of our history and considered 'MAJOR' are no longer with us! We, as members of the party have to have the strongest conviction that a third voice can and should be heard. Otherwise, we won't ever be able to sell this idea to people outside this party.

Cheers
Carlos

p.s. I'm looking for other members in Ct to join me:
http://www.facebook.com/groups/justicepartyct/

JPDrake
Reply with quote  #20 
CT,

Aye, it wouldn't hurt to have some high-profile candidates for national offices, but how will we get experienced, well-known candidates? By starting at the bottom; city councilors become mayors, good mayors become state legislators, successful state representatives become viable candidates for Congress and Governorships. Finally, good Senators, Congress(wo)men, and Governors can run for the presidency. Johnson had an extra edge over Rocky and Stein because of his experience; Johnson was a governor, Rocky was a mayor, and Stein hasn't held any office above the local level.

The national party cannot micromanage the minutia of so many state and local levels, but they can most definitely encourage those who can. It all falls down to local parties; they must take a thorough look at their districts and determine how they can best appeal to the populace. I believe the national party's best role would be to determine which districts are the most open to a growing Justice movement (areas hit hard by the economy or with a history of discrimination) and augment their efforts with their own resources.

The Justice Party should also reach out to the Blue Republicans - those liberals who registered as Republicans so they could vote for Ron Paul - and socially libertarian communities. Anyone who has a complaint with the current regime could be swayed to vote for a third party, if not at the national level then definitely the state and local levels. School board members, mayors, and city councilors are rarely assigned the same dire importance as presidents and senators, and they require exponentially fewer votes.

Hell, the number one way to get support for the Justice Party is just to get the word out. We can't rely on media to take the initiative, so volunteers need to get motivated. Sit down with some friends and a phonebook and start going down the list; have a short, sweet presentation for anyone who spares the time to listen, probe them for interest, and at the end, ask for an e-mail for further contact. Record all of those e-mails and numbers for future reference so you can easily reach these interested persons again. You'll get denied by some people, but it's important to stay determined.

I confess to sympathizing more with the Greens than the Justice Party, but I prefered Rocky over Stein in this election and have thus far been impressed by the community. I believe a solution to the question of Green-Justice relations is not necessarily a merger, for the former represents the left and the latter sits in the center. However, I do believe that local Justice and Green parties should coordinate campaigns to avoid spoiling one another's results; if a Justice candidate has a higher chance of victory, then the Greens should withdraw their candidate and endorse him or her, and vice versa.

I was unable to vote in this election, as I don't turn 18 until next month, but I have been taking steps to contribute to furthering the cause of third parties in Oklahoma. For the last month, I have been fighting for the ability to form a Young Independents Club at my school to give an option beyond the Young Republicans and Democrats. I've finally submitted the proper paperwork and am awaiting the principal's signature; we have three teacher sponsors and 40 prospective members. To put that in perspective, the Young GOP and Dems at my school have about 45 and 35 members, respectively. When all is done, I plan to find like-minded members and get them involved in getting the word out.

I have one more barrier to hurdle than most third-party activists, but I have four years to rally the leftists and libertarians of Oklahoma County. I'm typically a cynic, but now I'm feeling oddly optimistic.
swansok4

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Reply with quote  #21 
I think that JPdrake hit the nail on the head. Local elections are where to start. Only those people that really care about their right to vote bother to vote in local elections. As such a highly educated and well spoken candidate can do well by winning over the electorate with their message.
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #22 
Yes to what swanson said. 

I've been an advocate for this bottom-up approach since I got involved in politics.  It is the only approach that will allow the party to gain attention, increase expertise, and build credibility. 

Careful selection of candidates for those offices is necessary as well.  I've seen more than a few people who were not fit to operate a can opener, much less run for public positions of power.  That goes for party positions as well.  We need solid leadership and solid incumbents.

Others have pointed out that the platform needs to be worked out.  Before the platform, though, the party must consider whether it will be supporting oppressive policies of the right (as in Democratic and Republican Parties and their elected order).  Careful consideration and thorough deliberation must be given to party principles -- what are they exactly?

Rather than picking through the dry rot of the duopoly parties for candidates and membership, why not focus ourselves on the now better than 50% of the country who do not currently affiliate themselves with either of the two big parties?

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
Robert

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Reply with quote  #23 
I think we have to keep in mind that the main task of the Justice Party is building a movement, not winning elections. This is why Rocky has devoted so much effort to his campaign. Defining the movement and making it grow is what we need for success. Whether we win elections or not is secondary. We need to keep focused on the goal, a movement to change America so that we have a true democracy where elected officials represent the people and not just corporate interests.
CTJustice

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Reply with quote  #24 
I think both are important. With a movement that is attractive to those 50%, we will gain access to the government. Once inside, we can begin the process of making the changes that are necessary. Making those changes will bring more people to our movement. So it is a matter of doing both.

For movements, I see one type as Occupy style, which sets politics at a distance and on the other side, the Tea Party, which doesn't run people under its name, but influences politics. Some candidates will pander to them and some will truly believe in their message.

There have been so many 'movements' in America in the past 30+ years. They have done good on different levels. However, the system goes mostly unchanged. For me, I don't want to be the equivalent of the Tea Party in the Democratic party. (aka a movement). I want to push the Dems and GOP out of the way, breaking the chains that shackle themselves to each other and lobbyist. For me to do that, I must as 'No Difference' stated start at the bottom. Selecting people that have the values and truly share in Rocky's vision. Supporting them with a top-class campaign and giving them the foundation of a movement.

Otherwise, we are just a bunch of people beating on drums and doing human mics. That's good at a certain level, for example, Hurricane relief, but to vastly change our system, we MUST be part of the election system.

Cheers,

CTJustice
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #25 
I want to recognize all the posters in this forum who have voiced support for the type of "bottom-up" approach I have been advocating.   I did not realize there were so many of you who either agree, or are open to the concept.  It is at this very early point in organizing this party that we have a unique opportunity to shape the strategies and tactics we might use to achieve the stated vision of the JP.

As I have been reading your responses, I am increasingly realizing that there is a sort of "caucus" here which advocates for this unusual approach to party building.  I say "unusual" because it is not at all present in the duopoly parties, and nearly non-existent but for a few gratuitous headnods in the smaller parties.  At any rate, this country has never really seen a political party rising out of the thin air that could still be said to exist, say, twenty years out.  And it will take such a long-term vision -- even longer, maybe generations -- to effect the kind of policy explicit in the party's stated vision.

Since the "thin air" approach only works for a brief and ineffectual length of time, it should seem obvious that we need a much different approach.   But before abandoning this approach entirely, I feel compelled to say something in its quite deserved honor.  And this is to say that the (John) Anderson, Perot, Nader, and current Anderson campaigns do serve a purpose in and of themselves, belonging to the domain of advertisement and branding.  This is, in fact, a relatively inexpensive and effective method of attracting attention to a set of policies that would not get the public's listening otherwise.  That said, those were not grass-roots (i.e., local) campaigning any more than any given campaign is.  A bottom-up approach is also local, but more importantly, it begins and ends with the most local input and outcome.

I favor starting out building primarily on city council and school board elections for a number of reasons.  First of all, any elected candidates will be accessible to those who invested themselves in time, money, energy, and perseverence against the formidable odds of the American political landscape.   This is no small acknowledgement; failure to win at these low levels branded by our party may contribute to even more disillusionment with the system.  So it is important that we actually win these local races, or at least the majority of them.

One strategy I emphasize, in order to help assure wins of a majority of our candidates, is to run multiple candidates to the same bodies in a given jurisdiction.   For instance, if a school board consists of 5 seats, it might be wise to run 3 or 4 candidates rather than just one with the hope that at least one of them, possibly two, will win.  Not only will this build public confidence in our party, it will also provide a sort of "caucus" within those school boards.  In the case of city councils, this may be more challenging.  If a city is divided into discrete, single-member districts, my proposal cannot be applied.   But if the city council is elected at-large, then the same approach can still be used, resulting in a caucus.

Again, winning is important.  There is no point in running a half-hearted race, knowing the whole time your party cannot win.  For one thing, it is not fair to people who really do want the candidate to win!  We can't continually disappoint the thin support we will have at first by treating them to one failure after another, if that support will even tolerate more than once.  Let's not discredit ourselves, or the smaller parties in general, in the eyes of an already very disappointed and cynical public.

Another reason, which I think should be convincing, is that these races are usually relatively inexpensive.  This is an ideal price for a new party with very limited support and monetary resources.  State legislative races might be out of reach for us at the outset of the party, even in states with election laws providing money for so-called "clean elections."  And Congressional races are certainly out of reach for us immediately, that is, if we truly expect to win.

In running local races, we must also address the very real issue of non-partisan races, which is often but not always the case in local elections.  Now, this is not quite the enigma it may sound like, but it is worth visiting just for knowledge's sake.   The term "non-partisan" is actually misleading; there is no law any jurisdiction can enforce prohibiting a group of people such as a political party from running or endorsing a political candidate.  No candidate is forced to sign a form or take a pledge of non-partisanship, which would be unenforceable, if not just laughable, in most cases anyway.  All the term really means is that "Justice Party" won't appear on the ballot itself; but there is no constitutional prohibition from openly and boldly displaying candidate literature with our party name on it.  The same goes for lawn signs and newspaper, radio, and television advertising.  

Sure, there could be laws against doing this, but they would be in violation of our constitutional right of association.  Sure, some people will criticize us for not campaigning in some "non-partisan" manner and spirit they mistakenly believe is proscribed in such unconstitutional legal language, but it would never hold up under scrutiny.   It does not qualify as hate speech, so we cannot be disqualified.  (What do you think on this point?)

It is also worth pointing out that not advertising party affiliation is far more distasteful than any outright expression of partisanship.  I think that the public has the right to know EXACTLY who is backing a campaign.  To not show this clearly as the public prepares to vote is actually, in my mind, a deceptive and unethical practice.  Better the public be aware so they make clear and wise decisions.  I do not care to partake in any sort of "trick" to win elections by hiding who we are.

The most obvious benefit of running these local elections is that the same people who supported the party and the campaign will be the most direct and immediate recipients of the promised deliverables.  Unlike higher offices, where even contact with elected incumbents can be a major ordeal, local officials are very accessible, and they live right in the community that elected them.  Satisfaction of local issues will be a reinforcement, a reassurance to the voters in future elections.  Accessibility will be another, I feel.

Let's remember, too, that an issue like privatization is actually addressable at the most local level, and in fact may be the only place this issue can effectively be addressed.  The forces of privatization certainly do gather in smoke-filled rooms at such places as ALEC conventions and the like, but the actual act of privatizing transportation or school services is done right there in the city council, as the municipality slowly and surely sells off the public commons which I think every JPer will agree is illegal or at least very unethical.  Our incumbents can put a stop to it where they enjoy the majority, or can caucus with a majority, to do so; otherwise, they can certainly use their newly found pulpit to broadcast a supportive warning to the public.   City council meetings are broadcast on local cable and on the Internet these days, at least in larger cities.  It's a position that is very valuable to a new party like ours.

Sitting incumbents are an asset, whether in the majority or the minority.   At the legislatural level, we need a real majority to effect any change.  Unfortuntately, unlike the Westminster system where the official opposition is very involved in the decisions of the government (Prime Ministers Questions, e.g.), the American system is a much more one-sided result with the minority mostly sitting dormant; they can speak but they are brushed off as far as any real input into the lawmaking process.  Therefore, this multiple-candidate-hope-to-win-most strategy will need to be adjusted to establish a Legislative caucus that can create a "wedge" by stealing seats from both major parties and forcing them to work together with us, or lose altogether.  I believe that even with current majorities in state houses, this can still be effective in many of them.  Each case will need individual assessment.

Personally, I am not concerned with "giving away the house" by posting here.  For one thing, it is doubtful the other parties will copy.   If this were a threat to, say, the Democrats in local races, they would be doing this themselves.  In any cases where they are, it will make no difference.  But the appearance of a third party will.   They will be forced to listen and interact; there will be no more political space for equivocation.

I think I have cited many of the advantages of bottom-up party development.  A "hail mary" approach would be irresponsible not to mention embarrassing.  I have more to say, but I would like to give colleagues a chance to comment and/or disagree if they choose.  Thank you.

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
CTJustice

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Reply with quote  #26 
Many good points in your post. I recommend that you look to see if anyone has started the party in your state. If not, take up the cause. Build a website and start looking for capable people in your towns. Set up Facebook group and Meetup.com.

Also, you may want to get involved in the national 'Election Committee'. Not sure what they will be called, but basically comprised of people like yourself.

cheers

Carlos
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #27 
Yes, building a website, putting together the facebook and twitter pages, yada, it simple.

Trouble is, until it is determined exactly how much latitude each state party has in interpreting the intentions and platform, it doesn't make much sense to put up anything.  I'd rather wait until the committee decides the what-all and where-all before posting things that might just leave the public confused.

Ever-morphing agendas do nothing to advance any cause since people will never be quite sure what it is, and could be very disappointed to find out it changed on them while their back was turned.   I avoid that.

(I cite the Democratic Party as an outstanding example of this.   I am certain no one here wants to repeat that dreadful mistake.)

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
No Difference

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Reply with quote  #28 
Quote:
Originally Posted by CTJustice
Overall, there is a lot of common sense in this party. That is what people will look for in 2016. That along with the ability to 'bridge' the two sides, left and right. I hope the platform will remain centralist and progressive. In a state like yours, perhaps the issues you would focus on would be more appealing to the a little to the right, and for blue states, a campaigner might emphasize our policies that best match their situation.


(Please note that I am not singling out CTJustice since his statement seems to reflect that of a great many here.)

So, when someone asks me where does the JP stand on [fill-in-the-issue], would I tell them, "well, it all depends where you live.  In the  State of [fill-in-the-state], it stands for supporting [some-progressive-policy], but in States like [fill-in-other-states], the JP stands for supporting [some-compromising-policy].   It just depends on what the people in that state JP want to do."  Does anyone else wonder if there is even the slightest possibility of mixed and confusing messaging from that?

When Obama (and Romney for that matter) campaigned in the mid-west, the candidate said one thing.  When he was in the south, he said another thing.  When he was campaigning out west, he said something-else-entirely.  How would a voter like myself know for sure exactly what Obama stands for?  Which direction would such a candidate take us after taking office?   How would I know to support him or his party if he cannot take a consistent stance.

Are we in the JP certain we want to take this tack?  I am not in favor of this at all.  

Look, the American Left needs a cogent and reliable party that doesn't waffle on issues; they are sick of this; the American Left can get that from the Democrats, so there is no need for a JP if that is the case.  Every few years or so, some party or movement, whatever, comes along claiming to have a solution to working people's problems, recognizing the plight of students, and the fate of retirees.  There is a brief outpouring of support, monetarily and socially, posters are made, speeches are spoken by their supporters, a convention is held, balloons fall from the ceiling, and then... fizzzzzzzzzzzz.  A few years later, no one remembers who the party or group was or what it stood for.

My opinion is that such movements or parties have no enduring power in the first place.  Voters like myself are initially excited by the possibility of something new in politics, particularly something new in Leftist leadership, but then lose interest as the organization increasing starts to look like the last big populist conversazione of people from every political affinity, all proclaiming this new party or movement is headed in the Leftist, progressive direction. 

The problem is, as in the ORIGINAL(!!!) Tea Party movement (not the right-wing remnant), there are opposing ideas trying to make progress together, all the while pulling in different directions for different goals.   Unsurprisingly to me, even though the spirit is present, no significant outcome emerges.

Or take the Occupy movement.  While I admire them (as we all do) for their unique courage, because they are trying to bridge the gap in ideologies between their more leftward participants and their more rightward participants, they come up with such risible impossibilities for a solution, e.g., to health care issues such as "a single payer system with the right to opt out for those who don't want to participate."   They are adorable, being so innocent, so ignorant of what Single Payer actually means, so innure to the reality that some group of people will not be happy with any given solution; but these proposals are so completely ineffective and therefore useless as far as the Left is concerned.  I wonder what their solution to the abortion issue is, given that so many people are for choice and so many people are for outlawing it completely?  Let me guess... "Abortion should be safe and legal everywhere for all women, except for the following skatey-eight exceptions."  I don't know; I am guessing.

Then there is the convenient dismissal of labels, such as left and right.  If we are rejecting labels in the first place, how can one bridge them, given they have no meaning at all?  And what might "centrism" mean if there is no "left" and no "right" other than meaningless labels standing for nothing; so then doesn't centrism, the statistical mean or average of left and right, become just another label too; or does centrism somehow morally transcend the left and the right, incapable of being calculated from them?  For some reason, I cannot follow a line of thinking that bases itself on an outright rejection of definitions (labels) in arguing for anything that thinking might conclude drawn from premises which depend on those definitions to lend any meaning to it.  Did I sleep through an essential lecture in my logic class?

Convincing the public that you have a valid and sound proposal requires starting with well-explained definitions, positing facts based on those definitions, applying inference to those facts, etc.  Unless this group thinks it can feed the voters a political casserole that is simultaneously vegetarian AND meat -- and I honestly cannot imagine anyone HERE actually expects to get voters to eat that -- then please defend how you intend to dispose of any and all labels and definitions... consistently!

Or tell me you guys are just playing with me.  At least that way we can all have a good laugh and I won't go away feeling misled and upset.

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Cooperation, coordination, and clarity are essential to creating a political party based on equality. Cliches and equivocations will not move this or any other party forward.
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