Political Innovations 101:

How Non-partisan Reforms Can Save Our Republic!

Do you know how many times the words “political party” appear in our beloved Constitution? Zero. Not once. And yet, our two major, private political parties get to write all of the most important rules in the public political system that they dominate and control! The result is dysfunction and gridlock, by design.

Our country is a representative democracy set within a Constitutional Republic. The Constitution is the foundation and structure for our governmental “house.” Our political system is like the “operating system” on your smartphone or computer.  In 2021, we are still using OS version 1.0-1776!! Yes, there have been some changes to our political system, over time, thankfully. But today, we are still using what the Center for Election Science calls, “the worst possible voting system on the planet” (plurality voting).

In my opinion, the most important political book of 2020 was “The Politics Industry:  How Political Innovation Can Break Partisan Gridlock and Save Our Democracy,” written by Wisconsin businesswoman, Katherine Gehl, and Harvard Business School Professor Michael Porter. The book comes from many years of research and a groundbreaking report they first released in the fall of 2017. Katherine Gehl had the novel idea of studying politics just like any other industry. In this analogy, “we the people” are the customers. The conclusions are straight forward: the lack of real competition in our two-party “duopoly” is the root-cause of much of our dysfunction. In any other industry, with so much dissatisfaction, there would be new competition and new innovations. Instead, in an effort to maintain their dominance, the two major parties prevent real competition or innovations at all costs.  

Here’s the good news: it doesn’t have to stay this way! We don’t have to settle for the status quo: a dysfunctional democracy where, every two-years, the two major parties promise they will solve all of our country’s problems. Then, when nothing changes, they blame everything on the other party; using fear and extreme rhetoric to divide us, so they can sell more ads and raise more money. We are living inside what one author has termed, “the two-party doom loop.”  Stalemate, obstruction, demonize the other side — that’s the name of our never ending political blame game.

So, what’s the solution? Simply put, more competition. We can create more competition through reforms such as open, nonpartisan (single ballot) primary elections, and through voting innovations, such as approval or ranked-choice voting.  We need a “free political marketplace” where the best candidate with the best ideas can win, regardless of party.  But how do we get there?  Well, if “all politics is local,” and state legislatures write most election laws, then that’s where we need to start—local.  City by city and state by state, we need to implement common sense, non-partisan political reforms to FIX THE SYSTEM ITSELF as a first priority. 

I’ll go into more detail on specific reforms later down the road. In the meantime, please consider joining a non-partisan or cross-partisan political reform organization in your state. Here’s a great resource from Bridge Alliance (a national umbrella organization for political reformers).

There are hundreds of great reform organizations, and millions of Americans working on implementing reforms to fix our dysfunctional “democracy.” I sincerely believe that we are at the start of a new, desperately needed “reform era” for our country. No one single person or reform is the “silver bullet.” But together, we really can build a more perfect Union!

We’d love to have you join us today, in the fast-growing reform movement!

#politics, #politicalreforms, #innovations, #democracy, #elections, #voting

Published by Eric B.

Man of Faith. Husband to Halli. Dad of three amazing kids. Navy Vet. Recovering attorney. Real estate broker turned full-time political reformer. Helping lead "Show Me Integrity" in Missouri and now, actively building Veterans for Political Innovation (VPI): a fiercely cross-partisan, nationwide political reform community to inspire veterans to engage in the fast-growing reform movement. The goal: implement proven political reforms, such as Open, NONpartisan Primary Elections, with Ranked-choice (Instant Runoff / RCV) or Approval Voting---making our political system more open and competitive. Because more competition means better choices and better results!

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