A Message from the Founder and Chairman.
Ken Block is the founder and Chairman of the Moderate Party of Rhode Island. Ken owns a software consulting business (Simpatico Software Systems, Inc.) and a traffic signal manufacturing business (Cross Alert Systems, Inc.) which are both located in Rhode Island. Ken was the Moderate Party’s gubernatorial candidate in the 2010 elections.
One of the most common questions that I am asked is: “Why go to all of the trouble and effort to create a new political party?” The answer to that question also answers what is wrong with Rhode Island today.
Rhode Island’s political system is broken. The two main political parties swipe at each other and play partisan games (as much as one can when one party controls more than 80% of legislative seats), but the parties fail to act as beacons for how to fix our state. Neither major party has a state-based platform to which they expect their candidates to adhere. Neither party appears to strive for anything more than to obtain or to keep power. The parties are adrift.
Rhode Islanders need solutions to our problems. For the average, non-political citizen, the desire is for politicians who will act in that citizen’s best interests. Sadly, those with the best representation in our government are those who pump colossal sums of money into the system, not the average citizen. For far too many years, our politicians on both sides of the political aisle have tended to vote for special-interested or narrow-interested reasons.
The economic and educational crises that grip our state require careful, informed and thoughtful law making. In far too many cases, special interest-sponsored legislation fails to move our state towards solving our crises.
The time has come for a new breed of politician: citizen-candidates with broad educational backgrounds who will make informed decisions on how to run our state. Every law enacted, every line item in the budget and even every bill debated in the legislature can radically influence how the state is perceived by those inside and outside our borders. These same issues can also radically impact our economy – something that decades of bad lawmaking has proven to be sadly true.
Rhode Island does not need career politicians. We need dedicated volunteers who are problem solvers and who are willing to serve the public for a limited time.
The two party system is moving more and more to producing elected officials who live at the extreme margins of the political spectrum. Activists in both parties favor the political extremes, and that influence is powerful. Centrist candidates in both parties are derided by their party’s activists. Centrist Democrats are sneered at and called DINOs (Democrats in name only). Centrist Republicans are vilified and labeled RINOs (Republicans in name only).
Ideology cannot fix the problems that face Rhode Island. Self-identification as a (D) or an (R) does not provide the voting public sufficient information to know how a candidate for office will fix the problems at hand. The 2010 Rhode Island Gubernatorial elections were shockingly devoid of substance. Concrete plans are needed to solve problems as complex as Rhode Island’s – and voters should demand these plans from their candidates.
The reality is that the real solutions to our problems do not lie at the extreme fringes of the political spectrum. The best law making comes from the art and act of compromise. ‘Take no prisoners’ posturing appeals to the rabid base, but does not in practice yield long term, smart decision making.
The Moderate Party exists to serve the needs of the average, non-political citizen – the moderate middle. The basic building blocks for a great quality of life (economy, education, ethics and environment) are the primary focus of every Moderate Party candidate. Every decision Moderate Party office holders will make will be made with a sharp eye on the impact of those decisions on these basic quality of life issues.
Why the Moderate Party? Because our current political system has failed the residents of our state. The two party apparatuses are not transformable in the way needed to quickly address Rhode Island’s problems. The Moderate Party is the only way to provide a neutral platform for our society’s problem solvers to engage in the political system and serve the public.
Rhode Island’s problems are not insurmountable – but they need to be well addressed by elected leaders attuned to the needs of the many – not the needs of the few.
The time is now.