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Following is a discussion on the Book page item titled: The Whig Plan.
The goals of the Whig Party and its plan are pretty simple. The goals are three pronged but lead to one ultimate goal. Encourage independent thinking and acting making it rational for the American citizen to participate again actively in government and politics. Develop real leaders from the American citizenry, citizen representatives, not career politicians. Focus on long term problem solving when it comes to issues. All three of these goals lead to the ultimate goal of the Modern Whig Party; help the American people bring about the best government possible and always strive to put public service ahead of politics.
We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.
- Albert Einstein
Below is the discussion so far. Feel free to add your own comments!
The very most basics of what I think the Modern Whigs should stand for is as follows.
1. Military veterans should be treated right. Non-negotiable, 'nuff said.
2. Policy decisions should be based on fact, logic, and critical thinking, not on decades old ideological demagoguery.
3. Our members, leaders, and elected officials should be held to the highest ethical standards.
I wonder what the actions of the party to achieve the first prong might entail. For example, to the end of achieving independent thinking, the MWP encourages local chapters of the party to solve local issues with local input. The National Party helps finance studies on the subject by competent professionals/scientists and the local party works to make the public aware of the results and runs candidates who will adhere to the results.
On the second issue, are we talking about term limits, for example, and limiting lobbying influence?
In the case of the third issue, what does a thoroughly Whig position amount to on an issue like carbon emissions? I feel like there's an argument to be made on limits of some type or another, based both on the stated Whig position of energy independence, but also on the large body of scientific evidence suggesting that carbon emissions accelerate climate change (thus adhering to rational arguments and long-term thinking). I'm certain we don't all agree on that issue, and I'm not suggesting that our party define a single position, but rather what constitutes a Whiggish approach? What do all the Whig approaches have in common on the issue?
Thoughts on this, or on other applications of the Whig approach?
As far as a Whiggish approach to carbon emissions, I'd say the first step is to step back and take a wider look at the problem. There doesn't seem to be any need to make any decision based on climate change. There's plenty of incentive based on less controversial issues like pollution, and the resulting health problems, and national security.
And it doesn't seem like carbon emissions themselves are really the issue. Encourage the development and use of alternative, and cleaner, energy sources, ones that actually improve the situation (which pretty much excludes corn ethanol, for example) and the issue will take care of itself.
A Frame Work for Solutions for < Insert Problem Here >
When solving a problem, utilize this six-step problem solving process:
1. Identify and define the problem.
2. Analyze the problem.
3. Develop possible solutions.
4. Select and plan the solution.
5. Implement the solution.
6. Evaluate the solution.
As Twitchy points out, first step is #1 and we must QUESTION ALL UNDERLYING ASSUMPTIONS.
Example, I , for one, am not familiar with the carbon trading scheme, but it seems like a "trading" scheme more than an environmental scheme on the surface of it. So here, we would frame the problem as, " does a carbon trading scheme actually benefit emissions reductions or will it simply raise costs in the short run."
Clearly, that is a subset of the original problem, and often you do have to disaggregate things to define them properly. It also helps in assessing cross impacts of policies. ( how does NOT adopting a carbon tax affect the promotion of alt energy, for example)
Bottom line is, MWPh ( modern Whig philosphy)requries a dispassionate obbjective assessment. This is something that is SORELY needed in public policy, as is a change of perspective to the long-term from the next election. This is something the two corproate parties cannot do, as they are always "watching the other guy" to gain political advantage.
This anti-intellectualism needs to be banshined from governance. It's started to cost all of us quite dearly.
The goals of the party are really very simple and they can even be called noble. I like it that history doesn't come out of the interests of modern people and that historical roots are not neglected. The plan the MWP has is obviously very prospective. I'm all with you!