Support the news

The Future Of Third Party Politics In Massachusetts

Evan Falchuk, who won enough votes in the Massachusetts governor’s race to win official political party designation, is pictured at his Boston campaign headquarters, Monday, June 23, 2014. (Stephan Savoia/AP)MoreCloseclosemore
Evan Falchuk, who won enough votes in the Massachusetts governor’s race to win official political party designation, is pictured at his Boston campaign headquarters, Monday, June 23, 2014. (Stephan Savoia/AP)

Here’s the conventional wisdom on politics in the U.S.: The American people are deeply divided and distrustful of government, but they are split over what to do about it. They are not sure whom to blame, but they think it’s the fault of one party or the other.

There’s some truth to this, but I don’t think it’s the right diagnosis.

Over the last two years, as a candidate for governor in Massachusetts, I criss-crossed the state and met thousands of people from every walk of life. The truth of what’s happening in the Commonwealth is more complicated — and more troubling. Simply put, the bulk of voters feel misunderstood, ignored and disrespected by their political leaders.

The world has fundamentally changed over the last decade, but the political process continues as if it had not. We live in a time when rigid old institutions are regularly “disrupted” by innovative, smart competitors. No matter the industry, those competitors who succeed do something too often viewed as “radical”: they listen to, and respect, their customers. Listening to voters, and treating them like the adults they are, was a centerpiece of my campaign. It is a fundamental principle of Massachusetts’ new United Independent Party.

Related audio

We need this focus on voters — on their needs and priorities — in our politics. A new political party, I believe, will be the structure for pragmatic, more independent-minded candidates to run for office, to bring new ideas and perspectives, and to organize for positive change. Nowhere is it written in stone that our democracy is meant for solely two political parties, and here’s our chance to prove that.

I’m convinced one of the reasons my campaign for governor was able to earn enough votes to make the United Independent Party an official party — something that pundits and insiders told me could not (or should not) be done — is that voters want to see people willing to do what they do every day: work hard for something in which they deeply believe.

It’s been an honor to be a part of a remarkable team that worked so hard to turn a simple idea into a reality. But establishing the United Independent Party is not enough. Now, it’s time to get to work, by enrolling the 1 percent (roughly 43,000) of voters we need to maintain our official party status, and by running smart, effective, winnable candidates in 2016.

Nowhere is it written in stone that our democracy is meant for solely two political parties...

I believed all along that we could help improve things in a way that serves voters and respects their intelligence. And I am truly grateful for voter interest and support I’ve seen in our early days.

Success in trying to make things better will come down to diligence, dedication and an unshakeable resolve to do the hard work of making the case for smart, brave reform. Trite as it may sound, this new political party and its principles genuinely inspire many of us in Massachusetts.

Progress, reform, greater voter participation — all of this is possible. To paraphrase what a recent Lowell Sun editorial expressed about this new political movement: I wouldn’t bet against us.

Editor's note: Evan Falchuk, an attorney and former health industry executive, is founder of Massachusetts’ new United Independent Party. The party earned official major party status alongside Democrats and Republicans when Falchuk earned more than 3 percent of the vote in the 2014 Massachusetts gubernatorial race.

Related:

Evan Falchuk Twitter Cognoscenti contributor
Evan Falchuk, who ran for Massachusetts governor in 2014, is founder of the state’s new United Independent Party.

More…

+Join the discussion
TwitterfacebookEmail

Support the news