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Outsiders Become Insiders: You Decide The Parties' Platforms

Outsiders Become Insiders: You Decide The Parties' Platforms

Welcome to the smoke-filled room! This week, Democrats announced that the party will seek public input on its 2008 platform, the document representing the party's vision for the next four years. Today, the Republicans followed, signaling that the major parties care about the ideas and needs of everyday citizens.

Democrats say that the process will empower all Americans who just want the best for their families. They want Americans to host and attend meetings joined by policy experts. Leaders will then consult written summaries when crafting the platform.

The GOP says its initiative is the most grassroots-driven platform development effort in the history of American politics. You can offer your ideas using text or video.

Responding to the parties' request could require a leap of faith, as I wouldn't be so sure that my ideas would be seriously considered compared to "scientific" polling data coming from swing states. Either way, this sounds like a great way for the parties to justify a party platform flip-flop — "the people have spoken!" What policies would you suggest to the Democrats of Republicans?


lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
Laine, I have to respectfully disagree, as I have seen many polls showing that gay marriage is not opposed by a majority of people. 2000 was a long time ago and a lot of people have turned 18 since then. I will look for some polls to post later today.
Geisha-Runner Geisha-Runner 9 years
It will be interesting to see if the parties actually listen to the people and follow thru with their promises.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
I believe our elected officials should vote for their constituents. That's why they were elected. Presumably their views mirror those of the constituency, that's what (should have) earned them the votes. If they do not, odds are it's because they misrepresented themselves during the election. The only time I would differ from that opinion is if the majority of the constituents want to take some action that is obviously immoral and/or illegal in the extreme. Something like vigilante justice-style public executions without a trial. "Voting your conscience" is what has given us activist judges and out-of-touch congresscritters.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Because you can vote, or appear to vote, with the people as long as it doeasn't violate your conscience. My view on our elected officials has always been, find the guy/gal who best resembles my characteristics, and vote him into office. That way, when he votes his conscience, it will be almost like I'm voting as well.
Kimpossible Kimpossible 9 years
I've heard "vote your conscience" for a long time, I never even considered that for the politicians though - I don't know why. I guess I was just thinking about the citizens voting for the politicians. Anyway, so if the politicians are going to vote their conscience as well then why bother asking what the people want? why pretend to care about their voice?
raciccarone raciccarone 9 years
If they wanted regular people to participate in this "democracy", maybe they should call it something like People's Government or something like that instead of some weird Greek word. Idiots.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
IMO - You have to vote your conscience. It may cost you your job, but you don't have to sleep with our constituents.
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
lilkimbo: I don't think your guess is correct. Even in California, gay marriage is still not favored by a majority of the people. Proposition 22, the California Defense of Marriage Act, passed in March 2000 in California, 61.4% to 38.6%. It read: "Only marriage between a man and a woman is valid or recognized in California." Polls earlier this hear seem to indicate that the divide may be a little closer, but the outcome is probably the same. You can bet that vast wasteland between the coasts (as liberal elitists see it) is even less in favor of it.
lilkimbo lilkimbo 9 years
I think this is interesting and could make a difference; it will all depend on the level of commitment from party leaders. I am curious to see what changes will be made. For example, I believe a majority of people in this country (particularly Democrats) are in favor of gay marriage, but I don't necessarily see either party changing its platform on that. It will be interesting to see, though. On a side note, I think this brings up a larger question. Should a leader devote as the country desires? As his or her constituency desires? As he or she thinks is right? Of course, it should be a combination of all of these things, but which is most important? What if a member of Congress receives an overwhelming number of letters indicating that he or she should vote one way, but his or her values dictate a vote in the other direction? We discussed this in depth in my political theory class and I always found the debate on both sides so interesting.
BeachBarbie BeachBarbie 9 years
From the polls last year, when both parties were trying to pass the amnesty bill (I believe it is the H.R1645), 81% of U.S. citizens were NOT in favor of illegal immigration NOR amnesty, and they were IN FAVOR of securing our borders. However, neither party seems to be jumping onto those obvious platforms. If, they don't...this country is bound to sink. So, Lain, you totally had it right; it's all pomp and circumstance. It is a means to pretend they give a rat's arse so, let's expose these politicians as they are. We all need to come together on the issues that are imperative to our country's long term survival, for the sake of current generations and those to come.
Jillness Jillness 9 years
For the Democrats, Obama's campaign is receiving such an overwhelming response of people that want to attend, that they are trying to find more places to host them because the reservations are overflowing. It will be interesting to see how this works out. I am hoping to go to one of these meetings, so I will let you know how it turns out! (Chaos or productive).
Cassandra57 Cassandra57 9 years
This actually strikes me as throwing a bone to the peasants. I'd be stunned if either party actually considered any suggestions from the unwashed masses. I heard earlier this week about the RNC's web site but haven't had the time to explore it. My suspicion is that it will mostly be lists of checkboxes, thus limiting the true feedback.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Well, I'll smoke enough cigars for the both of us then.
janneth janneth 9 years
Only problem is, I don't smoke.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
I always thought square jaws were kind of silly. I have a distinct feeling we'll be providing a lot of entertainment this election cycle.
stephley stephley 9 years
It's your team's turn to provide some entertainment! Unlock those square jaws and get silly.
Jude-C Jude-C 9 years
This goes along quite well with Obama's stated intent to create far greater political transparency and accountability and openness to the voting public. As far as what I'd suggest...there are so many things that it will take me a while to figure out which ones come first :)
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
But Stephley, I've really enjoyed their 'shooting themselves in the foot' platform. It's always been good for a laugh or 40 over the years.
stephley stephley 9 years
The Democrats could have an 'end to pissing moaning and shooting ourselves in the foot' platform: in it, they would call on themselves to actually listen to themselves when they make public speeches and statements about supporting the Constitution and human rights. Then, when an issue concerning the Constitution or human rights comes for a vote, they will vote in accordance with what they publicly proclaimed. It'll be tricky to implement but after a while, and the loss of a couple of long serving hypocrites' seats, they might get the hang of it.
yesteryear yesteryear 9 years
hmm. this could be good, if we knew they'd actually take our suggestions to heart.
UnDave35 UnDave35 9 years
Do you know what this says to me? It says: "We have no idea what the people want. We've lost all contact with the common man. Let's open it up and hope they can give us an idea where we are supposed to be."
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