Wednesday, April 04, 2007

Thoughts on how to start a new political party in Washington State

I've been meaning to write a blog post like this for a few weeks, but a post at Washblog put it over the edge for me. This is a cross between a mental exercise and simply writing down what I've been thinking over the past few weeks.

1. Register as a minor political party here. Actually try to stay classified as a minor party as long as possible, as far I as I can tell, the benefits of being considered "major" are far outweighed by the regulatory burdens.

2. Avoid running candidates for any statewide elected office. First, if you get over 5 percent, you're automatically a major party, and as I said above, that is to be avoided. Second, you waste a lot of energy on getting one person elected to a highly unlikely seat.

3. Find low interest local seats and districts, where one party is dominating, that is where your opportunity is. These are places where if there is a minority party, its obviously pretty ineffective. Like my own 22nd LD, the Republicans are pretty far gone, their status as the small minority has made them not more reasonable, but rather more ineffective and extremely extreme.

4. Be the party of more engagement. Both major parties (mine included, sigh) have been working the past couple of years to get people less interested in civics, their government, and actually getting involved. From both parties messing with the primary to just the Republicans actually trying to prevent people from voting, their is a real opportunity of a "civic" party.

5. Take a page from Unity08 or rather these guys. Be a web party. From organizing local chapters on a type system to writing a party platform via wiki, there is tons out there

At the same time, avoid being like Unity08, those sad-sack insiders.

6. Also, be like Blue Tigers, make your new party about more than just getting people elected, its about making your community a better place.

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