Representation, more or less?
I recently learned of a new third-party initiative, called GOOOH (pronounced "go"), for Get Out Of Our House, focussing on the U.S. House of Representatives. GOOOH describes itself as more of a system for selecting candidates than an ideologically-bound party; as such, it strives to be more representative of the individuals in a given district. You can find them at goooh.com. Achieving greater representation is always a laudable goal in government, so initially I was drawn to the idea. Further reading of their site, however, has led me to discover some problems in their approach. Quotes under each heading are taken from the GOOOH website.
1. An ideologically split party is bound to fall apart in Congress.
"GOOOH does not define (or have) a platform. It allows elected candidates to represent their district's interests unencumbered by partisan politics. Candidates will define their own platform by filling out the Candidate Questionnaire."
Every district will select a GOOOH candidate through the GOOOH process; as their website says, this is likely to produce a leftist candidate in a left-leaning district and a rightist candidate in a right-leaning district. Let's assume that GOOOH manages to get a large number, maybe dozens, maybe even hundreds, of candidates elected to the House in 2010. What will those newly-elected representatives do then? They will seek out other representatives who share similar opinions on important issues. They will form blocs who tend to vote together on most issues, who work together to draft legislation, to convince others to join them, and to block legislation advanced by other blocs. Over time, they will need to raise money for their particular issues, or simply for reelection, to supplement the money they receive from GOOOH. These voting blocs will then work together to raise money, holding town hall meetings and fundraisers. read more »