Transpartisan Note #54
by A. Lawrence Chickering and James S. Turner
Our country’s partisan divide impacts the way we do business, whether we work in commercial, nonprofit, academic, or government programs. The following short article, written with fellow public policy analyst A. Lawrence Chickering, explores one of the many facets of this impact when examined from the “Transpartisan” perspective.
Introducing The Centrist Project
Today we present The Centrist Project’s announcement of its first Washington, DC press conference…
Independent elected officials from across the country will join together for the first time in Washington, DC, on Wednesday, July 12, for an ‘Independents Day’ event organized by The Centrist Project.
The group of Independents will participate in a news conference at the National Press Club at 10:00 a.m. to describe how they are playing a unique role in bringing both political parties together to solve pressing challenges and in growing the Independents’ movement to impact national governance.
- Governor Bill Walker (I-AK)
- State Senator David Johnson (I-IA)
- State Representative Jason Grenn (I-AK)
- State Representative Owen Casas (I-ME)
In Alaska, two independent state representatives helped flip control of the state house for the first time in decades from the GOP to a new ‘bipartisan governing majority’ — comprised of several moderate Republicans and the House Democratic Caucus. The bipartisan governing majority has been instrumental in putting forward balanced and bipartisan proposals to address the state’s historic budget deficits.
In Maine, since two independent state representatives were elected in 2016, three incumbent state representatives — one Republican and two Democrats — dropped their party affiliation. Now, neither party controls an outright majority in the Maine state house. The Independents have been outspoken in advocating for structural political reform, including protecting a Ranked Choice Voting ballot measure passed by Maine voters last year.
In Iowa, State Senator David Johnson became the first serving Independent legislator in 45 years after he left the Republican Party in June of 2016. He acted during his fourth term as an objection to Donald Trump’s campaign. ‘I am feeling more comfortable with my votes than I ever have,’ Johnson recently told The Des Moines Register.
Independent voters now comprise the largest and fastest growing segment of the American electorate, at 40% as of May 2017 according to Gallup. This figure is significantly higher among millennial voters.
In France, a new centrist, independent* movement (‘La République En Marche’) recently propelled a first-time candidate to the Presidency and a near super-majority of Parliamentary candidates into office. With a majority of voters holding an unfavorable view of both political parties in the United States, according to Pew Research, many political observers speculate that a similar movement can take hold in America.
The Centrist Project is a national organization that seeks to bridge the partisan divide in government by promoting centrist, independent leadership and policies that put ‘We, the people’ before any party or special interest. For more information, please visit www.CentristProject.org.
We at The Transpartisan Review see left, right and other collaborations such as these springing up across the country and around the world as an expression of the Transpartisan Imperative.
Powerful subjective and objective forces drive these efforts and point to new political forms to express our democratic impulses. On July 17 we will post Vol. I, Issue 2 of the Transpartisan Review. Read it for some ideas for new forms of organization.
Our times offer great opportunity for innovation.
*En Marche! considers every person who submits identification information (date of birth, email, full address, and telephone number) and adheres to the party’s charter to be an adherent. Unlike other political parties, it does not require adherents to make a monetary donation. Emmanuel Macron has indicated that it is possible to adhere to En Marche! while remaining a member of “another republican party.” (Wikipedia)
This is Note #54 in a series of transpartisan explorations of current issues, written, in part, to promote the Transpartisan Review Issue #2, available July 2017.