One Law School graduate didn't just run for governor of Massachusetts — he started his own political party.
1994 Penn Law graduate Evan Falchuk founded the United Independent Party to bring fundamental change to the two-party political system. Rather than merely abstaining from any existing party label, Falchuk decided to create a party all his own.
The UIP subscribes to "fiscally sensible solutions" and "pragmatically progressive ideas," according to the party website.
Candidates running for an established political party can also raise 15 times more money in elections than their independent counterparts, Falchuk said.
“It’s a pretty skewed and a corrupt way to run elections, but it’s the way American politics work right now,” Falchuk said.
In the recent midterm elections on Nov. 4 , Falchuk earned 3.3 percent of the vote in the Massachusetts gubernatorial race, giving his UIP official recognition in the state and allowing future UIP candidates to raise more money in elections.
“I believe that the political process today and our government is not representing the people," Falchuk said. "The only way to bring about meaningful change is to build a new structure — thats what motivated me [to create my own party]."
Falchuk prides himself on the fact that his party is giving the people what they want. In Massachusetts alone, 53 percent of registered voters are independent , the highest percentage in any state . Additionally, 60 percent of American voters reported that they would like to see a new independent party, according to a recent Gallop poll.
At Penn, many students similarly dislike the partisanship that divides the Democratic and Republican parties.
“Stagnancy occurs in the government when parties compete with each other rather than work together to accomplish their goals,” College junior Brittany Marsh , chair of the Independent caucus of the Penn Political Union, said.
Falchuk takes much of his political inspiration from studying law in the historic city of Philadelphia.
“One of the things I learned at Penn Law ... is that you do not have to accept what you’re given," Falchuk said. "All you need to do is go down to Independence Hall and see what people can do in brave ways. In politics [today], you often don’t see that same spirit."
In order to maintain party status, the UIP needs one percent of eligible voters in Massachusetts to be registered with the party in 2015. Falchuk not only hopes to exceed that one percent, but also plans to run candidates for the Massachusetts State legislature in 2016.
“We walked away with something historic, which is a new political party in Massachusetts,” Falchuk said.
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