A scheme to flexibly accommodate party formation

  1. The baseline–nomination on the theory of elections being between individual candidates without attention to party.
    a)Here we adopt practices of some combination of petition nomination and candidate payment of fees, with neither set so stringent as to make it difficult for small but significant grassroots movements to get someone nominated without undue sacrifice on a working class budget.
    b) Looking ahead to electoral processes integrating the whole electorate, there can be two tracks to nomination; petition based on a single district, or on meeting an absolutely larger but relatively smaller systemwide target, with a formula to mix and match, so that half a district quota and half a systemwide one add up to registering as a nominee in a specific race.
    c) For purposes to be clear soon, each candidate is given an alphanumeric code at random, using perhaps a version of DEC Alphabet with standard letters dropped that can easily be confused with others–indeed we might just go with the first six letters A-G (formatting G, the first omitted letter in DEC Alphabet to minimize ambiguity) for standard hexadecimal encoding, or use 10 highly distinct letters (from each other and from Arabic numerals) so both sets are base 10. I’d suggest a format always starting with a number and alternating with a letter code (which would limit the available hexadecimal coded numbers of course, requiring more digits for a given application. Voters will generally encounter first rank (to be defined below) individual candidates and parties separate from candidates written out by default on the ballot to mark, and also have a write in mode to enter the codes along with written out descriptions if they have a mind to.

  2. formation of candidate coalitions by unanimous mutual consent–
    a) upon two or more candidates submitting a document with each approving the joint candidacy of all others on the petition, the body governing the election shall issue the combination another shared code, this with the opposite format (letter, then number if it is the other way round for a candidate–also random assignment is biased toward the opposite end of the character set for the first 2 characters to minimize confusion in case of dropped or obscured digits). The system will report all such coalitions by listing their members along with the group chosen name (typically moderated by the authorities–here in Nevada the Secretary of State recently vetoed naming a new party the “WTF Party” on the grounds it might be deemed offensively obscene by some voters! Also moderation involves policing attempts to create confusion (or accidental confusion) by similarity to well established names). It updates these reports as coalitions accept members, expel them or some leave on their own, and in an election these are the bodies that aggregate votes systemwide, conventionally called “parties” in electoral theory discussion. Independents remain parties of one candidate.
    b) in addition to forming by agglomerating separately nominated candidates, a coalition may also name, again by unanimous agreement of all existing candidate members or some other procedure (see 3 below) a candidate in a district without petition–if fees/deposits are involved these must be paid. Thus in principle one independent upon qualifying by nomination, can simply name a handpicked candidate in each other district. By default upon nominating them by registering them with their countersignature, agreement to accept all others named and subsequent agreement to other additions, they become fully equal coalition members as far as coalition operations are concerned, their unanimous consent being also required for additions or exclusions.

  3. to form parties in the accustomed sense, it is possible for such a coalition at any time, again by unanimous consent of all candidate members, who must include at least one properly petition-nominated one, to adopt an alternate charter containing all by-laws.
    a) Certain blackout rules analogous to that in NPVIC would prevent certain categories of alteration from taking effect in a time window from prior to the next election until that election is decided.
    b) This would be a legal document; the electoral officials have standing to enforce the specified modes of nomination by demanding suitable verification of whatever conditions the charter specifies; other party operations are not in the election authority’s wheelhouse but are subject to general common law; persons with standing may sue regarding alleged violations and perhaps criminal investigation and criminal justice action might also apply.
    c) This is open ended and such parties might be pretty much deregulated if we have an electoral system that provides positive representation, on the theory that voters who dislike something a party chooses to do can effectively vote for someone else, and the credible threat of their walking gives them leverage in remonstrating with whatever party officials the charter establishes, as well as any legal recourses holding them to faithfully execute their charter.