Written by Julia Kisla
As election day approaches, we are faced with a looming question: how can the American people make real change in the era of extreme division and hyper-partisanship?
The polling data from September 2022 puts the approval rating of the United States Congress at 23 percent. Yet over 90 percent of incumbents keep winning reelection. This means that winning elections is no longer linked to finding solutions and the majority of Americans do not have a meaningful voice.
The real problem is in the incentives. Our national idea is crammed into a rigid, top-down, two-party political system that is drifting toward the fringes, making solutions impossible. Because 88% of all seats in congress are non-competitive, our congress candidates only have to appeal to the 10% of the people who show up to their primary. This keeps the extreme wings of the parties satisfied but prevents effective governance.
Our representatives must be allowed to search for common ground and be free to work with those of opposing parties to craft solutions for our country’s problems. In congress, good-faith negotiation, common ground solutions and compromises should not be seen as capitulation. They do not threaten basic liberal or conservative principles.
The Forward Party is launching a new movement of American citizens who believe it’s time to fix broken incentives and break down the barriers that stand between voters and their political choices. It is the first open party: Democrats, Republicans, and Independents are invited to be a part of the process, without abandoning their existing political affiliations. We are focusing on finding bottom-up, local solutions that help cultivate our civic responsibilities and develop leaders on the ground. We will advocate for electoral changes such as ranked-choice voting and open primaries – two reforms that will enable a winner with a majority appeal without a third-party spoiler effect to be concerned about. We will push for the end of gerrymandering and for the nationwide protection of voting rights to make voting easy and secure for everyone.
I invite everyone to learn about The Forward Party and to join the New York community by visiting https://www.forwardparty.com/newyorkforwardparty . There are plenty of opportunities to help lead this movement.
Not left. Not right. Forward!