14 December 2009

Back from the Modern Whig Meeting

I got back yesterday from the Modern Whig meeting, and haven't had to chance to get back in the groove of blogging.

It was an excellent meeting, and not just for meeting others that I have only talked to over the phone or by email, but also to share ideas, and develop the way forward.

Fortunately, we had a state chair who has been working on a way forward for our effort, and has started testing it in his state.

We decided at the meeting to begin implementing his ideas nationwide, and they will form a core part of our effort. As I gather my thoughts, I will be blogging about our new approach as well.

First, at the meeting, we had a presentation and discussion on why third parties fail. There is no shying away from the mountain of problems that a third party faces. We are under no delusions. We also had a presentation from our first candidate on how his effort was received. As part of the presentation was a program on how we will be addressing these issues, with concrete, realistic steps that we can take to deal with the reasons that third parties have failed in the past.

Second, we had a presentation on how to develop the Modern Whig Party both internally and externally: how we are different, and how we can do things a better way. Going forward, we will have a method of developing party leaders and candidates from within the party. Also, party members will be able to develop the issues and priorities of the party.

In contrast, if you were to join one of the major parties, do you really think you have any say in the development of party policies and issues? Aren't all of the party's positions developed centrally by party insiders? Local meetings turn into little more than pep rallies for candidates and issues that are developed far away. That will not be the approach of the Modern Whigs.

Instead of picking a set of issues, and hope to attract people, we instead focused on how to give individual members the tools to decide issues and to propose solutions as we go forward. Over the next several months, we will be implementing this approach.

In the major parties, to move up the party hierarchy, you have to toe the line and pay off favors with favors. The Modern Whig approach, going forward, is to give our members a real say in party affairs and the development of party issues. Future party leaders will not be picked from above, but will be those who have participated and helped to develop the party.

This bottom-up, grass-roots approach will be central to the future of the Modern Whig Party.

Third, we refined and expanded the tenets of the party. They will reflect not only our core beliefs, and how we will develop, but what kind of political party we will be: moderate, reasonable, transparent, grass-roots and member-oriented, and decentralized. It is a positive solution-oriented approach that will demonstrate a better approach to political activism and community involvement.

There are three different types of Whig Tenets, Ideological, Perceptual, and Structural:

Ideological
It might be strange that we claim to be non-ideological and yet hold five ideological tenets. The reality is these are critical to the welfare of the country and the Party. These ideals bind us as moderates, unify us as Americans, and also serve to exclude radicals.

FISCAL RESPONSIBILITY - Any action of the government must respect principles of fiscal responsibility and public accountability.

ENERGY INDEPENDENCE - Develop practical domestic energy sources to reduce dependence on foreign energy sources.

STATE'S RESPONSIBILITY - Each state can generally determine its course of action based on local values and unique needs.

SOCIAL ACCEPTANCE - When the government is compelled to legislate morality, every citizen should be considered as equal.

EDUCATION AND SCIENTIFIC ADVANCEMENT - Increase public and private emphasis on math and science to promote American innovation to compete in the global economy.

VETERANS AFFAIRS - Vigilant advocacy relating to the medical, financial, and overall well-being of our military families and veterans.

Structural
Structural Tenets are the most important to the Party. These are truly our core differentiators. Our structure is what makes us fundamentally different, non-ideological, non-partisan, and not confined by the political spectrum.

DEVELOP REAL LEADERS -- This central tenet of the Party is to help leaders both grow and to exhibit leadership.

SELF DISCOVERY -- As a Whig it is important to always be learning and growing. This means it is the Party's responsibility to pull information together and to help members discover for themselves their stance.

Perceptual
We have become a reactive society. While there is little we can do about the underlying problem, as a Party we must always consider many perspectives, including a long term perspective.

FOCUS ON LONG TERM PROBLEM SOLVING -- We have developed into a reactive nation. The only issues being seriously considered are those who make the top of each media hour, however it is important to be talking about and solving issues that are foreseeable before they are major issues.

1 comment:

Old Grunt said...

What I have read about the Modern Whig Party truly impresses me. Our country is politically split. Red States vs. Blue States. This divide was very evident in many American homes where Mom or Grandma ordered "no politics". The interest groups, lobbyists and power brokers control our nation from the local, state and national level. Corruption and hypocrisy are widespread. No one seems to want to sit down across the table and ask "what is the best for America?' All want to shout their way into power by condemning their opposition. The Modern Whig Party seeks another way for governing the nation, moderation...very close to what the Apostle Paul stated..."moderation in all things".