The mission of the Transpartisan Alliance is:
- To motivate and inspire Americans to work together across divides
- To unite America by practicing and teaching the principles of transpartisanship and
- To provide a Transpartisan Forum (be a Neutral Convener) where unlikely connections, cooperation and partnerships happen.
The Primary Goal of the Transpartisan Alliance is:
- To catalyze a shift away from the dysfunctional, divide-and-conquer political game and toward a more respectful, accountable, cooperative and productive political game using proven methods of dialogue, deliberation and conflict resolution. Our primary focus is fostering authentic citizen empowerment where ALL points of view are valued and where citizens from all sides take responsibility for cooperating to create win-win policy options that 80% of people can say “Yes!” to.
In the face of uncertainty, cooperation is our call to action.
The American democratic republic is faced with a choice. We as individuals, and collectively as a country, are yearning to return to the values our nation was built on: a culture of courage, faith, love, trust, respect, inclusiveness, security, freedom, communication and cooperation.
The competition for 51 percent to win power and control, has divided the political field in two. Our winner-take-all, two-party political system and the significant influence of narrow interests, is largely responsible for the state of our union today. That is why it is important to shift our political culture away from compromise solutions that favor insiders, and towards common ground solutions that tap the wisdom and serve the well-being of the whole.
A growing number of citizens are less inclined to identify with, or be defined by, red and blue boxes. The current breakdowns that are featured every day in headline news reveal the complexity of our economic and social systems. People are talking about these challenges and more of us are recognizing the need to find common ground and better ways to politically collaborate. We are developing a greater appreciation for our differences, not as something that divides us but rather as different windows on the whole we are all trying to understand. The nation is at a tipping point, it is yearning for a new way of connecting to get things done.
Now is the time to unite America one conversation at a time.
The Transpartisan Alliance will connect and empower citizens to work in partnership, to transform our politics and to awaken the genuine spirit of government of the people, by the people, for the people. We will do this by:
• facilitating a shift in the political culture – beginning at the smallest scale – from competition to cooperation in which every point of view is valued;
• amplifying the voice of the people for the general interest by providing them with the tools and means to bridge divides and collaborate;
• engaging the passion, brilliance and creativity of average citizens and leaders to deliver generative, innovative solutions as alternative ways to solve our most pressing challenges;
• reconnecting Americans to the sense of ownership inherent in responsible citizenship.
Citizenship in ancient Rome was a privileged social status afforded to a few. The American evolution of the term offers this status to all human beings willing to be accountable for, and committed to, the well being of the whole. A citizen is one who takes ownership in, and responsibility for, the future of their community and nation. The Transpartisan Alliance is a facilitator of healthy, empowered citizenship.
A Plan of Action: The Role for Empowered Citizenship
In the spring of 2005, Ashland Oregon’s city charter was up for review. A charter is a constitution and a new version was being proposed which would have made Ashland’s government less transparent and accountable. In response, a handful of citizens decided it was important to have a high quality, communitywide dialogue about the question, How do we choose to govern ourselves in Ashland? So, they went out and knocked on a couple hundred upper, middle and lower class doors, inviting a microcosm of the community to an “Ashland Constitution Dialogue.” A serious six month discourse of weekly facilitated library and café conversations sprang from that initial grassroots effort. What the citizens of Ashland discovered was that all sides of the community shared a core set of values and principles for governance including, openness and transparency, protecting the commons, high citizen involvement, checks & balances and accountability.
On July 4, 2005, the participants self-published a printed newspaper with their findings entitled “By the People.” It was distributed from the people who took part in the dialogue, to the people of the community and rapidly seeped into the public conscience as the accepted way to govern the city. While it took two years for the official charter changes to make it onto the ballot, when they did, 77% of the citizens voted them down in favor of the values and principles that emerged from the dialogue.
What happened in this city could have happened anywhere in America. The important thing to take away from this story is that this dialogue was transpartisan. It included homeless people as well as people who live in the wealthiest part of town. It was not a lobbying effort from the people to the officials or special interests; it was an inclusive, expanding community conversation about what the people were for, not what they were against. It was a trust building public conversation based in listening, respect and honoring of difference that catalyzed subsequent dialogue efforts that now serve as a resource for creative options for local decision makers.
Posted by Walt Roberts on 01/22/2010
Katrina vanden Heuvel seems to have a handle on the need for pro-democracy reforms and the conditions being right for a transpartisan uprising; “There is fertile ground on which to rally people in a transpartisan political reform movement.” I’m keeping my eye on Katrina. Enjoy. Walt
posted by Katrina vanden Heuvel on 01/19/2010 @ 10:11pm
….Leadership on pro-democracy reforms are also desperately needed to end the corruption of our politics and to stanch the corporate money flooding and deforming of our democracy. Connect the dots for people: explain how needed reforms are gutted when both parties succumb to the pervasive corruption of our money politics. If the GOP’s obstructionism has a silver lining, it is in exposing how an anti-democratic, super-majority filibuster has essentially made our system dysfunctional. There is fertile ground on which to rally people in a transpartisan political reform movement…….
“Thoughts on politics, current affairs, riffs and reflections on what’s in the news and what’s not–but should be.”
Katrina vanden Heuvel has been The Nation’s editor since 1995 and publisher since 2005.
She is the co-editor of Taking Back America–And Taking Down The Radical Right (NationBooks, 2004) and, most recently, editor of The Dictionary of Republicanisms, (NationBooks, 2005)
She is also co-editor (with Stephen F. Cohen) of Voices of Glasnost: Interviews with Gorbachev’s Reformers (Norton, 1989) and editor of The Nation: 1865-1990, and the collection A Just Response: The Nation on Terrorism, Democracy and September 11, 2001.
She is a frequent commentator on American and international politics on MSNBC, CNN and PBS. Her articles have appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, The New York Times and The Boston Globe.
By Mark Tapscott |
Neither Democrats versus Republicans nor liberals versus conservatives will define 21st-century politics. Citizen legislators versus career politicians will. The citizen legislators will win by embracing the Internet and the wisdom of crowds.
Politicians in both major parties who repeatedly seek re-election to keep “bringing home the bacon” while feathering their own nests are careerists. Candidates in both parties who bring the real world to Washingtonto clean it up — and who can’t wait to return home — are citizen legislators.
Careerists thrive on the power, perks and prestige that come with being insiders. Until now, their power stemmed from a monopoly on information, which they selectively shared with the rest of us. Theirs is the world of old media, big impersonal institutions and spinning “experts.”
By contrast, citizen legislators thrive on the power of principle and the liberating independence that comes with being outsiders. Their power stems from their cultivation of information to the widest possible audience and the accountability that comes with such transparency. Theirs is the world of Internet-based new media and the collaborative networking that thrives there.
As long as the careerists remain in power, they will continue aggrandizing themselves, while making government bigger, more costly and less able to deal with emergencies like Hurricane Katrina and the coming entitlement crisis.
It doesn’t make much difference anymore which party has the congressional majority. The Senate’s Water Resources Development bill, for instance, has 446 earmarks, the House version 692. (Earmarks are measures giving members of Congress exclusive control over the spending of federal tax dollars on a project they favor.)
Those figures exceed the then-unprecedented total for the 2006 GOP version of the same bill, despite Democrats’ promises last year to clean up the Republicans’ culture of corruption epitomized by the explosion of earmarks between 1996 and 2006.
And House Speaker Nancy Pelosi’s defense of Rep. John Murtha’s angry spittle-laced tirade of threats last week to forever cut off a GOP representative from getting earmarks for his district confirms that the new boss is pretty much the same old boss, just a different party label.
What’s needed is a massive and continuing infusion of new blood — citizen legislators — in Congress. The careerists will never agree to that, of course, so it will have to be imposed from the outside. That’s where the Internet, the wisdom of crowds, term limits and a potential new post-partisan political movement converge.
The evidence of this percolating movement is seen in the successful campaign last year to win passage of the Federal Financial Accountability and Transparency Act spearheaded by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., and Sen. Barack Obama, D-Ill.
Coburn-Obama directs the Office of Management and Budget to create a searchable, Google-like Internet database of most federal spending by 2009. Bloggers and Internet-savvy advocacy groups from across the old political spectrum made the critical difference in getting the bill passed. Backers believe the new database will rally public support for more effective controls on federal spending.
Many elements of the same transpartisan coalition of bloggers and advocacy groups came together again this year in the OpenHouse Project led by the Sunlight Foundation to create a lengthy list of Internet-based recommendations for opening up the House of Representatives to greater citizen access.
But these two measures only hint of what could be if the transpartisan coalition coalesces into a genuine movement. Using the Internet to transform government by making it far more transparent and enabling vastly greater citizen participation can unite people across the ideological spectrum.
What if their energies are focused on breaking the career politicians’ stranglehold? Coburn-Obama and the OpenHouse Project encourage change at the margins. Term limiting Congress would fundamentally shift power back to the people.
It can be done because the Constitution allows states to propose amendments. Three-fourths of the public supported term limits before the Republican congressional leadership killed it in 1995. There is no reason not to think the same or even more support would come forth today.
Using the Internet and trusting the wisdom of crowds is the way to force that infusion of new blood and radically change American politics and government.
Mark Tapscott is editorial page editor of The Washington Examiner and proprietor of Tapscott’s Copy Desk blog.
Are You Sick Of The Partisan Crap Yet?
Do you consider yourself a moderate? Or maybe an independent? Are you happy with the actions of the US Congress?
We have been a witness to the partisan crap in Washington since the early 90’s….we have seen just how pathetic the political system is today……and we are ready for the change that has been promised to us for a decade or more….but as the old saying goes, “crap in one hand and hope in the other and see which one fills up first”……
If Americans are truly fed up with the partisan BS being played in Washington, then why not look for an alternative?
First, why not try the Tea Party, the real ones…the ones that are more Libertarian than whack job…..they have gotten a bad name and are the butt of many jokes, but the original Tea Party folks we dedicated to change in Washington, but unfortunately the whackos from the Far Right have tried to hijack the brand…..
Second there is the Transpartisan Alliance:
Goal: Motivate and inspire Americans to work together across divides by practicing and teaching the principles of transpartisanship
Principles and Values:
* Respect other points of view
* Value other points of view
* Open-minded to others
* Listen well to others
* Suspend judgment of others
* Build bridges with others
* Give others benefit of doubt
* Value cooperation
And third there is the Modern Whig Party:
The reality is these are critical to the welfare of the country and the Party. These principles bind us as moderates, unify us as Americans, and also serve to exclude extremes.
· 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.
II. Structural Structural Principles are the most important to the Party. 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 good citizenship through 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 on any social topic.
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.
These are just a few of the options open to independent…….these are more on the moderate side…of course there are the left and right fringe parties that have NO hope of succeeding….the ones listed above are good alternatives with good principles…if any American is looking for a party or organization of principles then they could do NO better than the ones listed….
So people do NOT be a coward…if you truly want to change the crap in Washington then do something about it….talk is cheap….actions are the only answer to ending the partisan crap we now live with daily…..Just do it!
Written by lobotero
5 January 2010 at 0851
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More seriously, I get the point. But, being 150 years old (on a bad day), I’ve come to the conclusion that NO political party o politician should EVER seek to legislate on maral issues. We need to be defended effectively (because without defence there won’t BE a country); we need the economy to be managed effectively for the benefit of ALL who DO work and those who CAN’T work due to illness etc. and let everyone else go hang; we need all basic services to be provided such as healthcare, policing, education, etc; and DAMN ALL ELSE!
Religious leaders have a right to preach (and I have a right not to listen) and politicians do NOT! There should be a TOTAL BAN on moral and social engineering of ALL KINDS by governments and other authorities. How ordinary people choose to live their lives and what values they hold beyond basic respect for others is NONE OF THEIR GODDAMN BUSINESS!
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James Turner is a principal in the Swankin & Turner law firm, a founding member of Integral Institute, and its Integral Politics and Integral Business centers. He is also the host of “Of Consuming Interest” on the Progressive Radio Network.
Written by Corey W. deVos
In this third and final installment of James Turner’s dialogue with Ken Wilber, the look of a truly “trans-partisan” governance is explored in closer detail. In the first two parts of this discussion, the history of America’s two-party political system was carefully traced, having taken root in Alexander Hamilton’s “top-down” Federalist party (the first political party in the U.S.) and the “bottom-up” Republican-Democrat party, founded by Thomas Jefferson as a counterbalance to the Federalist ideology. Ken and James also discussed how America’s early political landscape has influenced today’s political scene, as the Federalist and Republican-Democrat parties slowly morphed into the political bodies we know today.
“The people in this society are not recognizing that their identities and their expressions are alienated from the political structures that are being held out to represent them. Representative democracy is not representing their unique human identity… they have been taught through the political process to believe that they have to pick one side or the other of their own value set.”
In the first two installments, Ken and James explored the past and present of American politics, whereas in this section they look to the future of American governance, as they discuss what “trans-partisan” politics actually means, why it is so needed in today’s world, and how we might go about beginning to transcend the party lines.
As James mentions, there are millions of Americans who feel altogether alienated from the world of politics, unable to find their own unique combination of perspectives, values, and identities reflected in the representational options available to them. “They have been taught through the political process,” James tells us, “to believe that they have to pick one side or the other of their own value set.” But the trans-partisan impulse is to move beyond such intensely polarized politics, recognizing that many of our values and beliefs are often in conflict with each other—especially as individuals begin to approach an authentically integral value system, and capable for the first time of recognizing the importance of other preceding value systems. It is an extraordinarily complex world, requiring equally complex perspectives in order to make sense of it all—and as no political party in history has had a monopoly on truth or justice, we must begin to look to all possible political parties, past and present, in order to find and synthesize a new set of tools for a new century.
Here we can see the immediate value the Integral model has to offer: a comprehensive framework through which we can begin to understand the different values, motivations, and perspectives that exist in the world, all of which may be appropriate in certain historical and geopolitical and circumstances. In order to begin moving toward a trans-partisan civic in America, we must have an accurate account of the two major political parties, including such aspects as:
- stage-development factors (e.g. amber traditionalism, orange modernism, green liberalism, etc.)
- interior and exterior dimensions of human experience (e.g. the Left tends to attribute human suffering to unfair exterior social systems and circumstances, while the Right looks to interior personal motivation, family values, etc.)
- individualist and collectivist values (e.g. Libertarianism vs. Socialism)
There are several other important dimensions the Integral model can help us identify in the political arena, but when considering even just the three very general distinctions indicated above—considered by many to be revolutionary contributions to the realm of political thought—we can see that the future of politics will no longer be as black and white as it may currently seem. We must include values from all political ideologies—only this sort of comprehensive approach to governance can offer the degree of clarity and sophistication the world so desperately needs.
According to Wkipedia:
Transpartisanship represents an emerging field in political thought distinct from bipartisanship, which aims to negotiate between “right” and “left,” resulting in a dualistic perspective, and nonpartisanship, which tends to avoid political affiliation altogether. Rather, transpartisanship acknowledges the validity of truths across a range of political perspectives and seeks to synthesize them into an inclusive, pragmatic container beyond typical political dualities.
By: Paul Giblin, East Valley Tribune
Congressional candidate Annie Loyd largely laid out her political agenda 18 months ago when she founded the online magazine One Planet. The e-zine, which calls itself a “social entrepreneur publican,” serves as a forum on topics that includes the arts, education, economics, water policy, justice, energy and more.“We’ve had such a focus on what the problems are, but very little focus on what good solutions are. And that’s why we created it,” said Loyd, who serves as co-publisher.
This month’s cover story: “Gratitude: Maintaining Moments of High Resolve.”Her political campaign is built upon similar principles. Loyd, a 43-year-old Phoenix resident, is running as an independent in Arizona’s 3rd Congressional District. Republican incumbent John Shadegg and Democratic challenger Bob Lord also seek the U.S. House seat.Loyd said she plans a serious campaign in the urban district that takes in central and north Phoenix, plus Paradise Valley, Cave Creek and Carefree. She formally launched her campaign with a rally at Paradise Valley Park in Phoenix last weekend, but she essentially has been on the campaign trail meeting and greeting voters since February.Shadegg and Lord may spend more than she will during the next 12 months, but she promises she’ll campaign harder. She said she has a core committee of 30 volunteers and a broader network of 300 volunteers already in place.“Nothing seems insurmountable to me,” said Loyd. “It’s not that I’m not realistic, and it’s not that I’m not pragmatic.
There’s an old saying that says you don’t know what’s possible unless you reach for what is seemingly impossible.” The idea of voters electing an independent candidate to a major office seems more possible all the time.Voter registration records compiled by the Arizona Secretary of State’s Office show that independents comprised 27 percent of all voters in the district on Sept. 30.That marked a 1 percentage point increase for independents, and conversely, a 1 percentage point drop among Republicans since June 30.Independent voters are engaged with their communities, but they’re fed up with the current state of politics, Loyd said. She plans to reach out to independents, at school board meetings, charitable events, cultural actives and youth sports events.“From the two-party system, the political spin has been independents don’t care, that they’re not active, that they’re not affiliated because they don’t want to make a commitment.
That’s not what they’re saying at all. They’re saying, ‘Neither party represents fully what I believe.’”The very fact that voters are ditching the established parties to re-register as independents illustrates that they care deeply about politics, she said.Loyd’s primary goal is bridging the partisanship among sitting elected officials. Republicans and Democrats alike, she said, are at fault for creating gridlock that has stalled progress on any number of national issues ranging from education to Iraq, immigration, health care and taxes.“It’s not what you typically hear from political consultants. ‘It’s taxes. It’s the war.’ All of those issues are of concern, but No. 1 on people’s minds is how ugly politics has become,” she said.She plans to take what she calls a “transpartisan” approach — and she has experience in that realm. She has worked on both sides of the aisle for years.In addition to working in the public and mental health arenas mostly in California, and running a design/build residential construction firm in Arizona, she has served as a volunteer, paid consultant and staff member for more than 20 years in local, state and national campaigns for both Democratic and Republican candidates.Now, she said, it’s time for a fresh perspective.