Tuesday, January 16, 2007

The Atlantic's "Surprise Party" for Unity08

As the leading (only?) radical centrist magazine, it was probably inevitable that The Atlantic would spend some considerable ink on Unity08. The pleasant surprise is that they didn't merely regurgitate press releases or editorialize, but provided some fascinating background about how and why it got started:
All of the founders recognized that this new technology was poised to transform politics, just as greatly as television had in their own era. They had seen television’s effect on the political process grow more and more pernicious as the years went by, poisoning the dialogue while forcing candidates to raise ever-greater sums of money to pay for it. They recognized that the Internet, in its political infancy, was a force that could still be shaped for good.

Importantly, this isn't the lament of academic outsiders, but the very insiders (from the years of Ford and Carter) who had helped make TV the political monster that it is today -- and have undertaken a quest to redeem themselves!

The other juicy tidbit is the fact that by deliberately calling it Unity08, they've signalled that they:
envision their enterprise not as the establishment of a permanent third party but as a one-shot affair—a dose of medicine strong enough to bring the two parties to their senses.
In addition to the inherent optimism of putting all their eggs in one basket, this (and their ages) ensures that they aren't trying to turn this into an ongoing political monument to their own egos. :-)

Hear, hear!

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

David Brin's Pragmatic Platform

Though phrased in terms of advice to the new Democratic Congress, David Brin's suggestions would also be a worthy platform for Unity '08 candidates to adopt.