Presenting the new "Peoples Party" platform for 2016
As I understand it:
The Peoples Party* starts as a coalition of American voters and the Platform, below, is a required candidate pledge. All party machinery and experienced activists (Occupy) are currently in place. The Platform was written by Occupy and needs only a preamble. Platforms change over time; this first platform addresses the past wrongs and injustices that must be fixed to improve the lives of the People and give them a meaningful future.
To begin, the Peoples Party will not have candidates, but will grow a national coalition of voters registered to the Peoples Party. The larger the number of Registered Peoples Party voters, the more powerful the coalition. In order to gain votes, Republican or Democratic candidates must pledge to the platform of the Peoples Party. If they do not, votes and money will be withheld during that election. Businesses and industries can pledge to the Peoples Party PAC.
If a Presidential candidate does not pledge to the Peoples Party Coalition, Party members will be told to withhold all campaign contributions during that cycle. Direct contributions to the Party, and contributions from affiliated businesses and industries to the People's Party PAC, will be used to grow the size of the Party's registered voter base and groom future Peoples candidates. Businesses that do not affiliate with the Peoples Party will be designated as "enemies of labor, Democracy, and essential human rights" and will be subject to a organized, years-long, nation-wide boycotts.
Without votes from the Coalition of the members of the Peoples Party, US Federal elections will not receive total vote numbers that are plausible in a Democracy. The Peoples Party will spring into actions to make this known throughout the world. Thus, the US government will be declared by the world to be "rogue, illegal, and invalid." The power will return to the people. At this point, Peoples Party candidates will stand for elections throughout the nation.
That's how it is done.
What's not to like?
- Corporatism – Firmly establish that money is not speech, corporations are not people and only people have Constitutional rights. End corporate influence over the political process. End corporate welfare that enriches the few and instead treat government investment as something that all profit from, ensure corporations pay their fair share by ending corporate loopholes and tax subsidies and put in place a global tax so that off-shoring of money does not avoid taxes. Protect people and the environment from damage by corporations and end corporate trade agreements and partnerships that undermine consumer, labor and environmental protections.
- Wars and Militarism – End wars and occupations, end private for-profit military contractors and end the weapons export industry. War crimes, crimes against humanity and crimes against peace must be addressed and those responsible held accountable under international law. Reduce the national security state and demilitarize the police.
- Human Rights – End exploitation of people in the US and abroad. End discrimination in all forms (race, gender, sexual orientation and ethnicity), guarantee equal civil rights, and the right of people to travel across borders to work and live. Make the Universal Declaration of Human Rights a reality.
- Worker Rights and Jobs – Guarantee that all working-age people have the right to safe, just, non-discriminatory and dignified working conditions, a sustainable living wage, paid leave and economic protection. Put in place policies that allow worker owned and managed businesses, e.g. worker-owned cooperatives, so workers can build wealth and have greater control over their economic lives.
- Government – Guarantee that all processes of the three branches of government are be accountable to international law, transparent and follow the rule of law. Respect the civil rights of government employees. Create a work environment in government that empowers service to people, participation, honesty and integrity and that protects whistleblowers. Build policies and infrastructure that allow people to participate in decision making.
- Elections – Guarantee that all citizens 18 and older have the right to vote without barriers and establish universal voter registration. Guarantee that all candidates have the right to be heard in open debates and to run with low-threshold ballot access laws. Count all votes in a transparent method open to the public. Institute new voting systems so that more than majority views are represented, e.g. proportional representation; and voting systems that avoid voting based on fear of the greater evil, e.g. instant run-off or ranked choice voting. Create a level playing field by funding public elections with public dollars and clean election laws. Require that all donations directly and indirectly to elections should be transparent, i.e. no anonymous funding of elections.
- Criminal Justice and Prisons – end stop and frisk and other racial profiling police practices that lead to police harassment, brutality and even killings of civilians; respect constitutional rights against search and seizure, right to counsel and against self-incrimination. End the drug war and adopt a public health, evidence-based drug policy that respects individual rights and does not rely on law enforcement. End private for-profit prisons, end mandatory sentencing, recognize prisoners have the right to humane and just conditions with a focus on rehabilitation and reintegration into society and abolish the death penalty. Police need to protect the right to peaceably assemble to redress grievances and the right to Freedom of Speech without infiltration or other police practices that undermine those rights.
- Healthcare – Create a national, universal and publicly financed comprehensive health system, i.e. improved Medicare for All, which provides full health coverage throughout life with no out-of-pocket costs. Promote wellness in public policy. Recognize that health is a human right not a commodity.
- Education – Guarantee that all people have the right to a high quality, publicly-funded and broad education from pre-school through vocational training or university.
- Housing – Guarantee that all people have the right to affordable and safe housing. End predatory mortgage and foreclosure practices.
- Environment – Adopt policies which effectively create a carbon-free and nuclear free energy economy and that respect the rights of nature. Confront climate change with a rapid and comprehensive transition to an energy efficient, wind, solar and other renewable source-based economy that ends the wasteful use of energy. End the extractive economy and move toward a circular system where there is no waste and everything is re-used. Remake land use planning to support a healthy environment.
- Finance and the Economy – Break up the too big to fail banks, develop public banks in every state and major city, encourage community banks and credit unions, create local stock exchanges to allow investment in local communities and create microfinance loans to encourage entrepreneurship and support local businesses. Re-make the Federal Reserve into a transparent, democratic institution that responds to the needs of the economy and not to the needs of big banks. Put limits on the discrepancy between worker and executive pay. End policies which foster a wealth divide and move to a localized and democratic financial system. Guarantee that people’s deposits are protected and that the public does not pay for financial institutions that fail. Reform taxes so that they are progressive and provide goods, monetary gain and services for the people including creating a guaranteed national income.
- Media – End the concentration of media by a small number of corporations. Democratize the media by recognizing that the airwaves and the internet are public goods and recognize independent and citizen’s media as legitimate media outlets. Require that media be accurate and accountable to the people and that the internet be accessible to all people, respect people’s privacy and promote the sharing of information.
- Food and Water – Create systems that protect the land and water, create local, affordable and sustainable food networks, encourage community supported agriculture and farmer’s markets and diversify local food supplies so that food does not depend on transit over long distances. Encourage organic food production free of chemicals and end genetically modified foods. Guarantee the right to produce and harvest seeds. Stop commodification of water and guarantee access to water as a public good.
- Transportation – Provide affordable, clean and convenient public transportation and safe spaces for pedestrian and non-automobile travel. Develop land use planning that creates walkable and bikeable communities, with mass transit so that people do not depend on automobiles. Improve travel by train, rapid transit and commuter rails, so people are not dependent on air travel and automobiles.
Published with permission of the actual 99 Percent formed by the Occupation movement.
* The original People's Party first formed 110 years ago in 1896. It was a short-lived political party in the United States that historians agree was on the left wing of American politics. It was highly critical of capitalism, especially banks, and allied itself with the labor movement.
After 100 years of labor abuses, injustice, social repression, predatory capitalism, asset-stripping of the nation's resources, banking corruption, corporate welfare, and the privatization of public works — the People's Party is back.