Falchuk believes the people of Massachusetts are not adequately represented by the GOP or the Democratic Party.
“What we don’t have is a functioning, multi-party democracy,” he said. In a recent DAPA Research poll, 58 percent of respondents stated they believe the state should have an official independent party.
“The United Independent Party is running on socially progressive ideas and fiscally sensible solutions,” Falchuk explained. “Most Mass. voters share these ideals, yet it’s something that neither the Republican nor Democratic Party represent.”
Seventy-three percent of respondents in the DAPA poll said they would support a candidate who has no political experience, but instead has a successful business track record and offers a centrist (moderate, middle-of-the-road) platform consisting of “fiscally sane solutions and social freedoms.”
The poll, questioning 600 Massachusetts voters, and with a +/- 4 percent margin of error, “represents a nearly identical snapshot of the state’s political landscape, with 51 percent of poll respondents labeling themselves as Independent/Unenrolled, 36 percent as Democrats, and 12 percent as Republicans. All respondents reported that they are currently registered to vote.”
Falchuk says, if elected, he plans to focus on paying for what the people want, which will include funding job training programs, anti-poverty related measures, and public health issues. Falchuk is also a strong supporter of protecting the people’s civil rights, marriage equality, and reproductive freedoms.
“There’s a great deal of money that’s not being spent appropriately,” says Falchuk, and he hopes to prioritize proper handling of government spending and resources.
One startling example of misplaced priorities regarding how Republican and Democratic lawmakers in the state spend public funds has to do with homeless shelters and state office furniture.
According to Falchuk:
“Last year, in an effort to save money by reducing the number of nights that families spent in homeless shelters, state lawmakers changed the rules by saying that if you want to sleep in state-sponsored homeless shelters, you have to prove that you spent one night sleeping in a place not meant for human habitation. This usually resulted in families sleeping in an emergency room or even on the street.”
He further stated that less than $1 million was saved by enacting this practice, but at the same time, over the course of the past two years, $15 million was spent on new office furniture for state employees.
“I don’t know why that’s acceptable,” Falchuk said. “If it comes down to whether a child should sleep on the street, or whether a state worker can wait a little longer for a new chair, I choose the child.”
So, how has a state with more than a 50 percent unaffiliated voting population been dominated by the two party system for over a hundred years? Falchuk points out that for one, laws have been designed to undemocratically favor the two party system and, in his eyes, prevent third parties from gaining traction.
One of the biggest hurdles for an independent candidate — and the first thing Falchuk says he will change if elected — are campaign finance laws. Under current Massachusetts law, Republicans and Democrats are allowed to receive a $15,000 donation per person per year, while independent candidates are only allowed to raise a maximum of $1,000.
When asked why an independent constituent — where independent, by definition, means independent of a political party — should support the United Independent Party, Falchuk offered the following:
“The reality is, how organizing works, you need some kind of organization to make sure you can put people on the ballot, get people out to vote, have an influence on policy, and provide a place where people can come and share ideas and perspectives. If you don’t have these things, it’s confused and easily ignored in the political process.”
He continued by saying that an official independent party provides a vehicle and platform which makes it possible for people to participate in the political process who may otherwise be shut out.
“Since the two major parties already have their system, if you want to make a difference against them, you need to have an organized structure to make it happen,” said Falchuk.
He stressed repeatedly that constituents need to vote for what they believe in instead of voting for the lesser of two evils or voting solely because a candidate belongs to a specific party.
“John Quincy Adams had a great quote about this,” Falchuk said. “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
Join the discussion Please be relevant and respectful.
You can't have an independent party because then by definition you are no longer independent. How about the real American party, the Green Party, the 99party.
I disagree with Evan's basic statement presuming that "an organization" is needed to carry on the "political process"!!!!
It is our political process itself which is the problem....requiring a candidate for office to solicit for money (donations) to be heard.
A 3rd party under such corrupt practices would only become another corrupt party as we already have under this Duoploy!! 1,2, or 3 or more "parties" IS NOT THE ANSWER !!!
A free and open discussion is what this movement is all about. Thank you for all of the interesting and provocative comments. Please visit our website to learn more about the United Independent Party (www.unitedindependent.org) and my campaign for Governor. Lots of discussion on Facebook, too! (www.facebook.com/EvanFalchukMA and www.facebook.com/UnitedIndependentParty ). Thanks!
this is a strange conundrum for Independents, it's kind of a weird irony forming a party under the "I" banner but at a certain point the benefits of organized structure are too important to ignore
I understand the need or desire to create a party to combat the two major parties, you'll have that infrastructure and binding element to be competitive. But in a way it contradicts the idea of being independent.
However, I would rebut that and say you can still be independent while registering with a party. Independent is more of a mindset and approach to politics than it is about affiliation.
It seems likely to me that the Unified Independent Party of MA complete with platform was formed to help a specific candidate gain ballot access more easily than through petition for his name to be on the ballot as an independent. Don’t think there’s a fair reason why rules are set up to make access easier that way. There are enough third parties already that seemingly have little chance of success against the two majors. I think that groups favoring effective access for candidates outside the two party duopoly should work together by first focusing on an electoral process that perhaps may prove one such candidate can succeed, eschewing ideologies that divide.
NO! We don't need any more parties. We need nonpartisan elections. If you want to be independent, register as an "unaffiliated" voter, or as "decline to state."
Our structure as the way we designed it constitutionally. I was not making a value statement, just stating that it was designed as a two party system and will never be anything beyond that. The history of our party is extensive enough to demonstrate this, but if you want an example, the Greens, republicans, and democrats in 2000. Bush's election has been blamed on Nader for years, and the hate by democrats of the Greens follows. Every time there is a third party, the minority wins the election because of vote splitting. The parliamentary system is set up to be more democratic because it is designed to allow for more diversity in representation and for alliances to form between parties based on issues. Ours is set up to have a dominate voice and an oppositional one.
Which is better? That is up to each person to decide, but if you want to establish a 'independent party' you will have to replace one of the two already there. The Tea Party, for example, is considered a segment within the republicans, and the Blue Dogs are a segment within the Democrats. The Libertarians have had the greatest luck, but they generally pull the republican votes, meaning that they are simply replacing that party in the elections they win.
If you want to break the two party system, we would be better off looking at a parliament as opposed to our current system. A three party system is simply not possible under our structure. The Wigs is the example...
Again, you see how democrats and republicans have an advantage. They can raise 15 times more money than independents. This is crazy.
I really hope Falchuk gains a following and can offset the GOP/Democratic and perhaps set an example for the rest of the country regarding upsetting the two-party domination in politics.
No, then we'd have a three-party system which would eventually be just as bad as our current two-party system. The answer is the creation of multiple parties to finally give the American people a true choice as to how they wish to be govern and by whom!!! And yes, we would have fringe, extremist groups but we would have a variety of ideas to choose from.
OK, I'm lovin' it! A 3rd PARTY! Let's get onboard, shall we? I'll check out any INDEPENDENT first, to see if they are for TAXING the SUPER RICH on their OFFSHORE MONEY, increasing both the Income and Capital Gains Tax Rates on ANY making over $1 million per year, and bringing our TROOPS home, for starters....
Yes! We need a viable third choice! Not some radical wing party or extremist group, but a Common Sense party.
The solution is to push for ballot reforms that remove the special privileges afforded to the Ds and Rs, and allowing people naturally fill in the gaps. However, the primary reform promoted here (Top Two) would actually solidify big money dominating politics. There's a reason that every large "third party" opposes Top Two.
Perhaps party isn't the right work. Gathering is probably more like it. Of course, that's what the big two probably always worry about...independents finally organizing enough to influence election outcomes on a consistent basis.
Obviously a viable addition to the two most dominant parties would be a good solution to the problem. Having more than 2 ideas is usually helpful. The problem is that there is already a third, fourth, and fifth or more parties, but the Dems and Repubs simply suck all of the air out of the room or just coop supporters of those secondary partys supporters. Its a tough nut to crack, but i think theres some party realignment coming with progressive repubs caucusing with the dems and a more libertarian platform filling the void in the GOP...
Independent Parties like the GOP and Democrat parties are beholden to some benefactor who has an agenda no different than the two main parties. So to me a third party really is not a solution. It is a feelgood solution to people frustrated with the two parties but a independent party will just be more of the same and going up against a citizen's united world you would be outspent.
Also, great quote! “Always vote for principle, though you may vote alone, and you may cherish the sweetest reflection that your vote is never lost.”
In my opinion, the whole point about being an independent is that you DON'T belong to a party...you don't vote based on a party platform, you vote based on issue. An Independent party kind of goes against what, in my opinion, it means to be an independent voter.
@Evan Falchuk I like what you are standing for. It is much the same as where I am coming from. I wish that there was a United Independent structure to be tapped into better here in CA. Perhaps that will be my goal when this campaign is over. Keep it up!
Having run as an "independent," I can say the party advantages are enormous. Money, exposure, organization, experience and know how all fall to the party. Getting on the ballot wasn't that hard, becoming relevant was much harder. The media ignore you unless you are a part of a party. If the media ignores you, you have to work so much harder to get campaign funds and workers you don't already know. Interest groups view you as "fringe" or not viable and are scared to help until you prove yourself. Even then, you'll get outspent exponentially. If the local party starts to flounder or feels threatened, they call in the state machine to further their bid. To be a viable independent, you have to plot well in advance.
I think Evan has started something great that is going to go far politically! Many people (including myself who is an independent voter) are sick and tired of the polarizing two major parties putting forth candidates who just spew the polarizing propaganda of each party, while the majority of Americans meanwhile don't align with their views completely. I think it's time we had a new face and voice in MA politics that spoke the truth about our state government and came up with fair and balanced solutions that the majority of residents can accept. Great start Mr. Falchuk, keep it up!
Exactly, Jane. "Independent Party" seems to be an oxymoron. But, the only way to power is by organizing and massing, which requires a party. I think many of us who align as "Independent" amay truly be "moderate" and find the extremists of the major parties alienating.
@Gary Reinhardt This is exactly what I am running into. The organisations I thought might be able to give me support are having trouble getting behind a long shot. I understand this and am not bothered by it, but it makes my organizational structure much more limited and my ability to get the message out less successful