No Labels

by Glen

It was bound to occur at some point, but the emergence of the group called No Label became inevitable even years ago as the hper-partisanship of Washington D.C. began to systematically tear down many of the accomplishments and hopes established in America following World War Two.

No Label is a group of Republican, Democrat and Independent lawmakers and supporters committed to the simple premise that it’s time for politics to get off its devolving cycle and start functioning effectively again. As the group put it in one of their press released:

“We understand that there are real philosophical differences between Democrats and Republicans, and we don’t expect anyone to check their principles at the door. But we do expect our elected officials to replace the politics of partisan point-scoring with the politics of productive problem-solving.”

The rationale behind the movement is a simple but clear one: citizens have had enough and no longer trust their government to solve their greatest challenges and problems. The group launched back in 2010, recognizing even back then that the madness had already gone on far too long. Now, years later, its need has become even more pronounced. They have asked citizens to join the movement, while at the same recognizing that the current president and Congress might have to be swept away before the real reform can begin.

At present, the group includes over 70 what they term as “bipartisan” members – evenly divided between Republicans and Democrats. Understanding that Donald Trump has no interest in supporting their efforts, the group produced a hopeful paper titled The Policy Playbook for America’s Next President. Inside of five years, No Labels has signed up over half a million supporters from all states and established student chapters on 100 college campuses.

The problems with initiatives like this is that what sounds great on paper is often impossible to deliver on, and people become cynical as a result. Yet perhaps the process is the important aspect here – dozens of lawmakers seeking to work out their differences, even enduring opposition from their own parties, is itself a remarkable thing in a Trump and divided Congress era. Perhaps it’s about preparing the field for future harvest instead of being overrun by weeds. If so, then No Labels spells hope in a darkening era, even for Canada’s growing grumpy Parliament and provincial assemblies.