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The Cazort.net Political Platform
This political platform is intended to serve as an example political platform that can be used as a starting point for social change and activism. The goal of the platform is to build consensus by making a simple, common-sense platform that people of many different backgrounds (liberal, conservative, libertarian, socialist, environmentalist, strict constitutionalists, etc.) can agree on. Although much of this platform is common-sense and consists of views that most people support, these issues and stances are often lost in the back-and-forth of partisan politics.
Please take some time to read and reflect on these issues, please comment if you think this platform could be improved, and please share with others if you like what you find here.
- Respect and Positivity - Keep political dialogue as respectful and positive as possible. Focus on solutions and positive goals rather than problems, and refrain from personal attacks. Respect those who disagree and look for common ground with competing candidates and opposing parties and movements. Listen to critics in good faith and attempt to find valid concerns in their critiques, using them to refine our platform.
- Simplicity & Transparency - Make the law as simple and concise as possible. Make the law self-explanatory and written in common language that any literate citizen can easily understand. Simple laws make corruption more difficult. Overly complex law tends to benefit entrenched power interests, since legal expertise becomes more important than justice as the law becomes harder to understand and navigate.
- Nuanced thinking - Base policy on clear thinking and sound reasoning. Rather than blindly embracing sweeping principles like "Lower spending" or "Lower taxes", focus on doing things well. For example, rather than focusing on reducing the quantity or total amount of spending or taxes, make sure money is spent wisely and taxes create good incentives.
- Eliminate Loopholes - Make laws have as few exceptions as possible; modify laws immediately whenever people are using loopholes to get around the law. Design laws in anticipation of deliberate attempts to comply with the letter of the law while avoiding the spirit of the law, and punish such attempts to whatever degree possible.
- Sustainability - Any civilization that is unsustainable will by definition eventually crumble. Thus, the capacity to endure in the long-run is a keystone of the Cazort.net political platform. We see sustainability as encompassing protection of the environment, cultural diversity, and an effective military. Most importantly though, sustainable policies are ones that do not create additional social or economic problems.
- Traditional Conservativism - If it's not broken, don't fix it. We do not believe in changing laws unless there is a real need to change the law in order to address a specific problem: this applies to both creating new laws and repealing or modifying existing ones. We also support traditional conservative ideals of small government and working with the free market rather than against it.
- Traditional Liberalism - If it *is* broken, fix it. We believe in continuous gradual change to our laws in order to solve problems and improve our society.
- Banking and Finance Reform - Simplify the banking system and financial markets. Create an economic and regulatory environment that favors smaller, local and regional banks, and decentralization of power instead of a continual consolidation of large corporations. Ban the more complex forms of financial derivatives, and return to a system in which only the simplest forms of banking and investing are used. Separate the currency system from government to a greater degree than the current Federal Reserve system does, and facilitate or encourage the use of community currencies. Ban revolving debt and other lending practices that are predatory or parasitic (designed to extract wealth) and ensure that all lending serves the purpose of creating wealth.
How to implement our platform?
We believe that the ends do not justify the means:
We believe in maintaining the utmost integrity in our political rhetoric, refraining from exaggeration, and engaging in issues rather than making personal attacks.
We support the advancement of our political platform only through consensus building and voting on individual issues, and not through political trades or compromise. In the context of voting and the creation of bills, this translates to supporting only small, separate bills which are as simple and minimal as possible and which can be voted on in such a way that is more likely to reflect the consensus of the population. We thus will vote down any bill that contains unnecessarily-packaged components, out of principle. If all components advance our political platform, we will weigh the benefits of advancing these interests with the downside of supporting a political process we oppose out of principle.
Specific Stances on the Issues:
- The Economy - The centerpiece to our political platform is the belief that the current U.S. and global economy is not working well for a majority of people, and needs to be restructured. We believe there are simple, incremental ways to move towards the reforms we advocate. One of these is the notion of sustainable taxation. We also support reforms that keep the banking and finance system as simple as possible.
- Agriculture - We support ending to agricultural subsidies, pricing fixing, and other market interventions. We support mandatory labelling of food containing any ingredients from genetically-modified organisms (GMO's), and additional restrictions to prevent escape of GMO's into wild ecosystems. We support taxes on synthetic inputs, including any inorganic fertilizer, and any synthetic chemical that is not naturally occurring, whether used as herbicides, pesticides, or for any other purpose, in order to recover environmental and health costs associated with these inputs.
- Trade - We believe in fair trade, and free trade to the extent that fair trade is possible, however, we are wary of not-so-free setups bearing the name "free trade". Fair trade is trade that is sustainable and pays a living wage. We believe in designing laws so that trade cannot be used to circumvent environmental, labor, or human rights legislation, or to avoid tax. For example, currently, in the U.S., people buying out-of-state mail-order goods can avoid paying sales tax due to a loophole. Companies can also avoid tax by moving certain operations overseas.
- Religion - We believe that freedom of religion is essential to long-term prosperity. Freedom of religion, however, is not the same as a secular society; rather, freedom is when people are allowed to practice their own religions--not just separate from their work--but in the context of their work. I.e. true freedom of religion does not exist in a society that systematically shuts out any long-term vision and a sense of meaning and purpose, making all work about money and economics. Such a money-driven society is hostile towards religion and is not "free". It does not matter if one has freedom on paper, if one cannot have economic freedom. In our society, many people are forced by economic circumstances to work in jobs that they don't believe are doing any good for society. This violates religious freedom--according to these peoples' sense of purpose and meaning in life, they believe they would rather be doing something else. This desire to do something else stems not from a selfishness of wanting to have an easier or more fun job (which is not a human right) but rather, a genuine desire to be helping others with their life (and this is a human right).
- The Environment - We embrace the protection of the environment as one of the highest priorities. However, we oppose the traditional regulatory approach historically taken by most liberals. We believe in integrating the protection of the environment into our economic system, such as through wisely-placed taxes, so that such protection happens naturally, and does not require the intervention of an external authority.
- Culture and Diversity - We believe in the preservation of local cultures, indigenous cultures, and the creation of an environment that cultivates and preserves cultural diversity as a major guiding principle in our government. This has great political implications: it points to occurrences such as the "Cultural Revolution" in China as the catastrophes that they are, but it also points to problems at home: the wal-martization of America has systematically destroyed our culture in a more decentralized, but equally coercive way, using economics rather than physical force. We believe in using the preservation, creation, and development of culture as a guiding principle of both domestic and international policies. However, rather than promoting direct investment in the arts through government grants, we believe in cultivating an economic environment where the arts and culture flourish.
- Gender equality - We believe in equal legal rights for people of all genders, which includes protection against employment discrimination and wage discrimination, as well as making men and women pay equal costs for health care, rather than making women pay more in association with reproductive health.
- LGBTQ rights - We support full equality for same-sex couples, giving them equal treatment under the law as is given to opposite-sex couples. We support legal protection for people against discrimination in employment or housing on the basis of sexuality, gender identity, or gender expression. We support gender-neutral restrooms and oppose any attempt to enforce gender in public spaces, such as restrooms.
- Intellectual Property - While we support the notion of patent and copyright as an incentive to create new ideas, as well as a mechanism to ensure credit is given to the authors of new ideas, we oppose much of the current structure of "intellectual property" law in the U.S. For example, we are opposed to software patents. We also believe in re-examining Pharmaceutical patent law to see if there is a way to keep better incentives for keeping health care costs low while still promoting innovation and scientific progress. We support a requirement that any research funded by, or derived from research funded by public (taxpayer) money, directly or indirectly, be either owned by a public entity, or in the public domain: i.e. no private corporation or individual can hold intellectual property rights on research or work carried out with public funding.
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