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The page below is an old version of my Business Plan for a New Political Party. Due to popular demand, I have updated the Plan considerably and put it into Kindle Format. You can buy it here.

Yes, it costs a bit of money. But the return on investment is enormous if you are serious about starting a political party.

Are you serious?


Open the first three bottlenecks and you have a membership base. To open them further, you need to get some of them active. Here are some options.

Less Easy
Moderately Hard/Expensive
Very Hard/Expensive

Appeal to altruists

Fun/productive parliamentary procedures

Fun culture

Recruit proven activists

Internal educational materials on issues, including the details.

Internal educational materials on running a local affiliate.

Internal educational materials on campaigning.

Mentoring programs.


The first two are powerful and easy. Here is an opportunity to be stronger than the existing third parties right from the start.

The Libertarian Party for the most part came out of the Objectivist movement, which called for an ethic of rational self-interest. While the party has recruited from other threads, the message still emphasizes individualism and self-interest.

The problem comes from the fact that third party politics is an altruistic enterprise. The only satisfactions are social networking and working towards a better society. Unless such a third party is on the verge of true victory, there are few other benefits. The selfish individualist is better off pursuing “freedom in an unfree world.”

Freedom can appeal to sociable people. Mercy, justice, prosperity and efficiency are all appealing to people who like people. One can be a social animal without being a socialist. Such people are the best pro-freedom politicians: they like campaigning more, and the public trusts them. (Rational self-interest within government is a formula for corruption!)

Improved parliamentary rules are an area where our new party can be better than any existing party! Robert’s Rules of Order are stifling and boring. They really break down when the room is filled with opinionated people. It is also possible to game the system to the point where determined minorities can temporarily dominate the proceedings, which magnifies acrimony.

I have come across two technologies that work better:

  1. Range voting. See Range voting allows a group to intelligently decide between more than two alternatives. With range voting you can get away from many of the points of order and the like which lead to frustrating meetings. All variations of a motion can be considered in parallel. (With voice votes, 1-5 sentiment polling works. For electronic voting, finer gradations are feasible.)
  2. Open Space Technology. To come up with and refine the options to vote on, it is well to break up the body into dynamic committees. Open Space Technology is a formalism for doing so, a mix of market and parliamentary thinking that has been embraced by many “pro-democracy” activists. See

Note that I should probably move some of the items leftwards. Compared to the challenges of awareness, belief and credibility, none of these items are as hard. Internal education materials on issues can be mostly the same materials used for outreach. Activist education materials can be as simple as a library of PDF files of lessons learned on a web site. Mentoring programs need not be formal. They are simply a discipline of not asking new activists to act on their own at first; pair them experienced activists first. Holding classes can be somewhat expensive due to travel expenses and hotel rentals. But even they are far cheaper than 50 state ballot access, running a real presidential campaign, etc.

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Starting from Scratch
The Low Hanging Fruit
Finding the Early Adopters
Name and Theme
A Local Agenda
Geographic Focus
Holding Things Together
Minimizing Overhead Costs
So, is Bootstrapping Possible?
My Plans to Date
Why Third Political Parties Fail
The Constraints Third Parties must Obey to Succeed
A Strategic Framework for Third Political Parties
Lessons Learned in the Libertarian Party