Welcome C-SPAN Viewers !

You may have just seen my Politics for the People event on C-SPAN where my guests, former Congressman Mickey Edwards and IndependentVoting.org President, Jackie Salit discussed the role of independents in U.S. Politics.

Let me hear your thoughts on this critical topic in the comments section below.

In 2002 I founded Politics for the People as a  free educational series for independent minded New Yorkers and I’m thrilled to be “taking it national” with a Blog, a Book Club for independents and now this  C-SPAN broadcast.

So, sign up at right below the “Follow us via Email” heading.  You’ll receive updates when new posts are made to the Politics for the People Blog and join my Book Club for independents.  We’re about to make our next selection which we’ll discuss together in a national conference call in June!

Independently Yours,

Cathy L. Stewart

PS – Jackie Salit and Mickey Edwards both have forthcoming books which are available for pre-order  from your favorite online bookseller.

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4 Comments

  1. Steve Kimpland

     /  May 4, 2012

    I really enjoyed this dialogue; in fact, in this season of often low-minded political barbs and vacuous partisan “messages” from the untethered Super-PACs, it revealed a deeper substantive conversation. The common theme between Salit and Edwards’ perspectives (that being, “the people are not the parties”) is best expressed to me as a disconnect between managing our social compact without the effects of disabling partisanship.

    I agree that much of the incongruity between the “ruling class” and those who’ve agreed to be ruled (the voting populous) is somehow tied to the realities of a legislative body that requires a pledge of loyalty in exchange for elevated positions of influence within the leadership “pecking order” (committee chair positions, etc.). This red party vs. blue party alignment in the ruling class doesn’t match the 40% Independent/NPA demographics of those being governed in the real world, because that leaves about 60% of the populous split (usually fairly closely, a 30% to 30% loyalty split, R and D, correspondingly).

    A three party reality as expressed in the general public’s sentiment is represented by a two party system! Weird math. This conundrum is nothing new, but the best anyone has ever done on corralling that was “that crazy man” Perot, and he only captured only about half of that independent group if you accept that the same 40% number existed back when he ran.

    In sum, you’d think that eventually a political “market demand” of sorts would claw its way back into the system to better represent this phenomena, but it just has not come to pass. The (minority?) two parties have much better organizational skills and that’s the only way I could even get close to explaining how the above referenced “disconnect” has managed to persist in spite of itself.

    Pardon the “thinking out loud”, but I’m really interested in how in this age of instant communications we have yet to build a better mousetrap (i.e., find a closer parallel between public sentiment and representative leadership). The concept of more “citizen legislators” is a start though…

    Reply
  2. Kenneth Grindley,19016 Nashville St.,Northridge, Ca 91326

     /  May 7, 2012

    I certainly intend to watch your blog, but in the meantime I would lik to know of any grass roots effort to organize and recruit a mass audience. I would gladly volunteer to assist in any such effort.

    Reply
  3. catanalbarnes

     /  May 10, 2012

    I found the interview with former Congressman Mickey Edwards and IndependentVoting.org’s president Jackie Salit to be very invigorating. Too many discussions about independents, the independent movement and political reform are severely deficient in knowledge, and are oftentimes very belittling. Fortunately, knowledge, passion and positivity resonated throughout this discourse.

    I was particularly moved by the invaluable insight Mr. Edwards, as a former congressman, provided about the ways the parties control their members which, in turn, exert power over the political process. As an independent voter and the leader of an independent organization, I speak to this point nearly every time I have a conversation with someone about the independent movement and what we are trying to achieve. Unfortunately, the way the system is currently being run is so hardwired that many people, including some independents, do not believe that the needed political reforms can be achieved.

    In congruence with Mr. Edward’s point about the parties, Jackie Salit made a point that I feel was equally invaluable, she said, “It’s time to remind ourselves that parties are not the people, and we have to find ways to take action politically that reflect that and express that.” I absolutely agree with what Jackie said and I believe that becoming an independent is the strongest action people have taken thus far. However, until we take legislative action and demand to have our power back (the power granted to the people by the constitution), the power over the political process will remain with the parties.

    As I stated before, I found this interview to be invigorating. It was refreshing to listen to people who have a great deal of knowledge about independents and political reforms speak to the audience rather than at the audience. I hope there will be more discussions like this one.

    Reply
  4. catanalbarnes

     /  May 10, 2012

    I found the interview with former Congressman Mickey Edwards and IndependentVoting.org’s president Jackie Salit to be very invigorating. Too many discussions about independents, the independent movement and political reform are severely deficient in knowledge, and are oftentimes very belittling. Fortunately, knowledge, passion and positivity resonated throughout this discourse.

    I was particularly moved by the invaluable insight Mr. Edwards, as a former congressman, provided about the ways the parties control their members which, in turn, exert power over the political process. As an independent voter and the leader of an independent organization, I speak to this point nearly every time I have a conversation with someone about the independent movement and what we are trying to achieve. Unfortunately, the way the system is currently being run is so hardwired that many people, including some independents, do not believe that the needed political reforms can be achieved.

    In congruence with Mr. Edward’s point about the parties, Jackie Salit made a point that I feel was equally invaluable, she said, “It’s time to remind ourselves that parties are not the people, and we have to find ways to take action politically that reflect that and express that.” I absolutely agree with what Jackie said and I believe that becoming an independent is the strongest action people have taken thus far. However, until we take legislative action and demand to have our power back (the power granted to the people by the constitution), the power over the political process will remain with the parties.

    As I stated before, I found this interview to be invigorating. It was refreshing to listen to people who have a great deal of knowledge about independents and political reform speak to the audience rather than at the audience. I hope there will be more discussions like this one.

    Reply

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