Monday, December 30, 2013

Open Source Party: Part II

I was an active Democrat from 2004 to December of 2009. It’s a long story but I quit this group because I got tired of volunteering for a Super Pac / soft-money conduit around campaign finance rules. The GOP is just as bad, and again, that’s another story. I am also an active Grange member — a community group that takes on issues but steers clear of party politics and elections for public office. My point is that I have experience with groups and this is what has led me to conceive an Open Source party.

Social networking is transforming our world. I am perplexed that social networking has not made more of an impact on political association. These two are closely related but any merging has been limited to top-down efforts.

My idea, as a believer in the power of association, is to have a bottom-up structure for people to feel ownership in a virtual party.

I have been trying to organize such an endeavor in Washington State. It can still happen for the 2014 election, however, I feel my greatest hindrance is my personal situation. I get the feeling that the good people that I have approached are expecting me to throw myself into such a thing with full gusto. And I should be, but considering some of my ongoing commitments, I can’t be Chair of a new party.

This gets me to why I am sharing this idea with netizens. I believe that a virtual party is bound to happen sooner or later, so I might as well get the idea out there! Here is how an Open Source Party could work.

We need to get some kind of interface together — probably a WIKI engine. The WIKI can have draft by-laws (which I already have and will publish next). Users then can go over the drafts. (I know that WIKIs can get into tug-of-wars, but we can have a rule that you can cut and paste your own version of the by-laws and users will gravitate to the drafts that they best support.)

A time-table should emerge for our next step: organizing the party.


If things can keep together, in the next couple of months we can organize our party. This means two things: 1. ratify our by-laws / constitution, 2. elect our officers. (See the upcoming by-laws for how this will happen). We need some kind of election software or vender to help us get off the ground.

Here is a question we will have to resolve. Will we have individual state parties or a national party? Perhaps both? Will we be targeting Congress or just state legislatures? Or both? This depends on financial resources, so let’s get to that.


The biggest motivation for Open Source is to provide a platform for people to amplify their voices. In the United States, money is political speech so why not just run with that concept? Open Source should have a $5.00 monthly membership fee. The dues offer privileges. Members can submit resolutions and party planks. Members also vote on nominees and party officers. The goal is to harness the vast numbers on the internet to provide a monthly income stream to the party to use in campaigns for our candidates.

In addition, we need to agree on individual campaign contribution limits for our candidates. It could be like $100.00 or $250.00 — our candidates can’t raise more money than our imposed limit. Candidates can’t self-finance either. The idea is, through the awesome power of social networking, for something real to be done about the distorting influence of money in politics.


The election of officers can be held over several days on the internet. Those elected as leadership need to start having meetings. These meetings could be streamed to members with published minutes. Officers could even be compensated if resources permit such an expenditure. And if resources allow, an executive director and daily staff will be hired.


Members can run for the Open-Source imprimatur. We should see home-made videos on a favorite or popular video streaming service. The elections will have to be timely with local filing rules.


Open Source candidates will work with the party leadership. This is where the leadership need to demonstrate political acumen. Check out my article on the 2010 UK general election and how a third-party managed to win seats in a two-party system by targeting selected races. We’ll need good candidates to be credible and hopefully our nominations can provide them. In the end, the party leadership will have to work with resources to support those who seem viable and worthy.


If you think you’re participating in politics by commenting on blogs and newspaper articles — think again. Open Source provides an actual value of real participation for your time and money. You could be elected Chair! Run for office! Plenty of kinks to iron out but this is new terrain. I will post the by-laws soon. Thanks for reading.


  1. John Lennon said, " Give me the solutions." Your idea, sounds like the ultimate solution. I believe in you and our country. Just give me more details, on how to do it. Here's my e-mail,

  2. I couldn't really find another way to reach you, Krist. I doubt you'll ever read this, but on the off chance you do, I have a few things to say to you.

    First and foremost, thank you for providing the songs that got me through life until this point. If it wasn't for Nirvana, I'm unsure where I would be.

    Secondly, thank you for showing me that there was a lifestyle outside of the typical sexist republican male stereotype. Thank you for introducing me to everything from Cat Butt to The Gits. Thank you for drunkenly demanding a contract from Sub Pop and saving their label.

    I should probably stop thanking you now. I sound like a psychotic fan. I had an opportunity to interview you once for Sirus XM Lithium, but I got nervous and blew it. I've spent a large portion of my life reading up on the musical explosion that dwindled down when I was about 2 years old, so what could I ask? I know everything. I guess I should have asked that if you could do anything differently from Sept of 91 to the day in the airport with Kurt, what would it be? I blew that chance though.

    I respect you as a musician, a politician, and a human. Your bass lines are etched into my soul.

    P.s Sweet 75 was better than The Foo Fighters ever were.

    I don't know, just, thanks for existing.


  3. Hello, Krist. I am 17 years old, so I haven't been around for the Nirvana phenominom. Also, sorry if I send three versions of the same comment. My internet is being weird. Basically, I would like to thank you. Like the comment above, I cant say that I will not be a "crazy fan" because Nirvana has made me who I am today, even if I didn't live through the years. I would like to thank you for your music. Nirvana has been the first band where I can just sit and listen for hours, listen to the melody and the bass and the drums. It seems other bands are just loud noise, and Nirvana has meant more than just lyrics.

    I think you are a great person - in politics, in music, and in general. I love that you covered yourself in fake blood, and jumped out of a window, and was just an all around fun person. I would love to get an email from you (, but just knowing that you might see this is enough. If I could do anything in the world, I would love to go back and see one of your first concerts (You guys had one in my home town once.) but otherwise, I would love to meet you, Dave, or even Chad. I just cannot express my love for Nirvana, and by Nirvana,, I mean the whole band. All of you, not just Kurt.

    Your musical talent has inspired me to try to learn an instrument.

    Thank you for existing.


  4. someone just posted something similar on reddit:

  5. Hey Krist,

    I am attempting to start a direct democracy party called Your Choice Party and was told to check out your site. I think that by combining a lot of similar ideas floating around the web in regards to ground up, user based political parties, we can really nail down something that appeals to a growing mass of people that feel disenfranchised by our current two party system.

    If you have any interest in discussing it further, feel free to contact me @

    All the best,
    David Brooks

  6. Hey Krist,

    First off, I love the approach you have on politics. Reading everything you listed above, the one that struck a chord with me most is the money bomb. It's tiring and deeply saddening how much money is dumped into the political system. I know these people must make a living, but when they use tax dollars on slush funds, a line must be drawn.

    I have two passions in life. Politics and Nirvana, and your blogspot has merged the two beautifully. I had a few ideas regarding your idea of the above listed system you mentioned above. Being a web designer myself, I was embarking on a political network to share ideas as well but my commitments strayed me away from that. I would value a minute of your time via email regarding some of these things if you wouldn't mind. My email is Thanks and good luck on Fairvote and creating this online party. Everyone's vote should count.