America is currently facing a crisis of confidence in its political system. Many Americans are frustrated with the gridlock and dysfunction in Washington, D.C., and feel that their voices are not being heard. The two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans, seem more interested in fighting each other than in addressing the fundamental issues facing the country. There is a pressing need for a new political party that is focused on systemic and electoral reform that doesn’t define itself as left or right. 

Forward Party has entered the chat.

At the heart of the new Forward Party’s approach is the belief that the people themselves are best positioned to determine what policies are needed to address the challenges facing their communities. Rather than relying on a small group of mostly out-of-touch politicians to make decisions for the entire nation, Forward is focused on systemic reform that will empower citizens to take an active role in shaping the policies that affect their lives.

Additionally, Forward is heavily focused on reforms that address the issue of political polarization. The current two-party system often pits Americans against each other, creating a toxic political environment that is not conducive to meaningful dialogue and compromise. By promoting electoral reform and greater citizen participation in the political process, Forward helps to break down the barriers that divide Americans and instead bring them together around common goals and values.

So what are the reforms that will move us Forward? 

The current winner-takes-all voting system leads to a number of problems, including vote-splitting, wasted votes, and the election of candidates who are not widely supported by the electorate.

Ranked-choice voting (RCV) addresses many of these problems by allowing voters to rank candidates in order of preference. Here are some ways RCV can fix the problems with plurality voting:

  • Eliminate vote splitting: In plurality voting, two or more candidates who appeal to similar voters can split the vote, allowing a less popular candidate to win with a relatively small percentage of the vote. RCV eliminates this problem by allowing voters to rank multiple candidates in order of preference. If their first-choice candidate is eliminated, their vote is transferred to their second choice, and so on. This ensures that a candidate with broad support is more likely to win.

  • Reduce wasted votes: In plurality voting, votes for candidates who don't win are considered "wasted" because they don't contribute to the election outcome. With RCV, voters can rank backup choices in case their first-choice candidate doesn't win. This means that fewer votes are wasted, and more voters have a say in the outcome of the election.

  • Increase voter satisfaction: With RCV, voters can express their preferences more fully, which can lead to a higher degree of voter satisfaction. Even if their first-choice candidate doesn't win, voters still have a say in the election outcome by ranking other candidates in order of preference.

  • Promote consensus candidates: RCV tends to reward candidates who are broadly acceptable to a majority of voters, rather than candidates who appeal to a small, but passionate, segment of the electorate. This can lead to the election of candidates who are more representative of the entire electorate, and less divisive.

Closed primaries are a type of primary election in which only registered members of a political party are allowed to vote to select the party's candidate for an upcoming election. Closed primaries can be problematic because they exclude independent and unaffiliated voters, reinforce party loyalty, limit competition, and can lead to more extreme candidates being selected.

Open, non-partisan primaries can promote greater voter participation, reduce partisanship, and encourage a more inclusive and collaborative approach to politics.

  • Encourage greater voter turnout: Open, non-partisan primaries allow voters to choose any candidate they prefer, regardless of their political affiliation. This means that voters who are not affiliated with a political party can still participate in the primary process and have a say in selecting the candidates who will advance to the general election. By expanding the pool of potential voters, open primaries can increase voter turnout and engagement in the political process.

  • Reduce partisan influence: Closed primaries often lead to more extreme candidates being selected by the party faithful, who tend to be more ideologically polarized than the general population. By contrast, open primaries give all voters a say in the selection process, which can lead to more moderate candidates being selected who are more likely to appeal to a broader range of voters.

  • Encourage coalition-building: Open primaries can encourage candidates to reach out to a broader range of voters and build coalitions across party lines. This can lead to more constructive and collaborative campaigns, as well as more centrist policy positions that are more likely to appeal to a broader range of voters.

  • Reduce partisanship: By breaking down party lines and promoting a more inclusive approach to politics, open primaries can help reduce the extreme partisanship that often characterizes closed primary systems. By promoting a more inclusive and collaborative approach to politics, open primaries can help reduce polarization and promote more constructive policy outcomes.

One of the most pressing issues that Forward seeks to address is the problem of gerrymandering. In the United States, political districts are often drawn in such a way as to favor one party or another, resulting in a lack of true representation for many Americans. 

To address this issue, independent redistricting committees can be established to draw electoral district boundaries in a fair and impartial manner. These committees are typically made up of a diverse group of individuals, including members of the public, experts in redistricting, and representatives from different political parties.

Independent redistricting committees use a variety of methods to draw district boundaries, such as using computer algorithms and statistical models to create districts that are compact and contiguous, and that preserve communities of interest. By taking politics out of the redistricting process and using objective criteria to draw district boundaries, independent redistricting committees can help ensure that all voters have equal representation and that the election results accurately reflect the will of the people.

In some cases, states have passed laws requiring the use of independent redistricting committees to draw electoral district boundaries. These laws can help prevent gerrymandering and ensure that the redistricting process is transparent, accountable, and impartial.

Creating a new political party is not an easy task. It requires a great deal of effort, resources, and organization. But the current state of the American political system demands bold action, and a party focused on systemic and electoral reform is just the kind of bold action that is needed. Forward is up for the challenge.

By prioritizing the interests of ordinary citizens over those of the political elite, Forward will restore trust and accountability in the political system. By promoting electoral and systemic reform, Forward will ensure that all Americans have an equal voice in the political process. And by breaking down the barriers that divide Americans, Forward will help to create a more cohesive and united society and a better, brighter future. 

That is something worth fighting for.

Alison Backscheider


Ali is the Director of Growth Strategy and Innovation at Forward Party.