Guest Author - Tracey-Kay Caldwell
There is a new independent party for the 2008 election. This party is different from other political parties because it does not require you to leave your current party affiliation. Their goal is to pick a unity ticket that will consist of a candidate from each major party via a virtual and secure online convention. Anyone who is a registered voter in their state can register to become a delegate for the Unity08 Convention. Delegates will vote for a combined ticket with a president from one party and a vice president from the other party. Each candidate for president would pick his vice president running mate before the voting begins.
Unity08 believes that that the Republican and Democratic parties have focused on the special interest groups that comprise the party’s base, neglecting the middle. They feel that the national agenda should be focused on what they consider crucial issues. These issues include global terrorism, national debt, dependence on foreign oil, the rise of China and India, nuclear proliferation, global climate change, a corrupt lobbying system, education, health care and the disappearance of the American dream.
The Unity08 campaign will be funded solely by small dollar donations. They have put a limit of $5,000 for any one individual contributor. Any contribution in excess of $200 will be reported to the IRS and be listed on the website. Unity08 said, “Transparency is essential to public trust.” By only accepting small donations, the Unity08 candidate would enter office without owing favors to lobbyists and special interest groups.
Unity08 says that they have a minimum goal to effect major change and reform in the 2008 national election by influencing major parties to adopt core features of their American agenda. They said that they are not looking to build a new permanent party; that their objective is to fix the old parties. They believe that they can build a party of up to 20,000,000 voters online. They feel that this group of voters that will comprise 20% of the national electorate. They believe their voting block could decide the 2008 election.
Their American agenda will embrace issues selected by their online supporters. Their online supporters will participate in interactive briefings where non-partisan, expert views will be presented on the issues. Their online users will ultimately select key questions for the candidates, seeking the Unity ticket nomination, to answer.
We will have to wait and see if their delegates can identify issues and select candidates that will cross party lines and entice voters away from the traditional major parties. Mainstream America tends to favor the traditional parties and third party candidates have never served to do much more than to siphon off enough votes from the candidate most like themselves. But Because Unity08 does not require you to leave your current political affiliation, one could participate in Unity08 and the traditional parties with a hope of promoting important issues and making them a part of the national debate. This could have a lasting impact even if they don’t succeed in electing their own candidate. If this party catches on, it could 2008 elections more interesting.