George Washington, in his farewell address, said this about political parties and associations:
“However combinations or associations of the above description may now and then answer popular ends, they are likely, in the course of time and things, to become potent engines, by which cunning, ambitious, and unprincipled men will be enabled to subvert the power of the people and to usurp for themselves the reins of government, destroying afterwards the very engines which have lifted them to unjust dominion.”
Though George was clearly right, what our founding fathers missed was the chance to limit the power of parties as "potent engines" by enshrining in the U.S. Constitution the rights of the American people to a multi-party system. That is what we fight for here at LIV -- competitive elections, more choices and retaining abuses of power.
Build the independent political movement to win competitive elections.
Policy — not politics • Fix problems — don’t make them.
Electoral competition — not chaos!
What is LIV and its purpose and what's an independent voter, anyway?
LIV is a 501c4 nonpartisan, nonprofit membership association for voters of all persuasion who call themselves independents..
LIV's purpose is to develop independent voters. Independents are identified largely by pollsters who believe very few Americans are independents. According to this 2019 study by the respected Pew Research Center, most independents lean towards either major party. While we do not disagree with this assessment, we also wonder what else you would expect in a deeply entrenched two-party system.
We found this statement I paragraph 31 of the Pew Study very helpful to understanding what is a basic for independent voters:
Large majorities of both Democrats (85%) and Democratic leaners (81%) say the U.S. economic system unfairly favors powerful interests. Most independents who do not lean toward a party share this view (70%).
We at LIV think that just who independents really are must be established by independents themselves. To do so requires they (we) get organized. That's LIV was founded in 2013. LIV is a membership association for independents to self-organize and define themselves.
As Ross Perot said,
"If you really want to know who's responsible for the mess we're in, all you have to do is look in the mirror. You and I own this country, and we're responsible for what happens to it."
What Does It Mean to Join LIV? Or, how can I become an independent?
LIV members are voters who vote for the person, not the party. Membership, in no way, changes your status as a voter.
The state of Texas does not have partisan registration. Your party identification is solely based on if/when you vote in a party’s primary or attend a party convention as a voting delegate. Therefore, your identification lasts for only two years until the next primary.
For now, the parties in existence in Texas are Democrat, Republican, Libertarian and Green. There is no "independent party," though there are new parties now organizing in Texas seeking to become established parties. They are SAM (Serve America Movement) and the Forward Party. AND, wishing not to confuse you here, do know that candidates can run as "independent" -- unaffiliated with any party.
Does LIV participate in the primaries?
LIV encourages voting in the party primaries where the electoral action is, for now. This is where the winners are decided in lopsided (gerrymandered) districts. But there are likely 5-6 or even 7 million out of 13 million of us independent Texans. Most of us, as do many Democrats and Republicans, want more than two choices. So, LIV seeks to bring our into the primaries and into the general election. We want candidates and office holders in all parties or independents to more directly "woo" independent voters with honest intentions to address our concerns. These concerns start with competitive elections -- more than two choices -- and our developing work explained in our Beefs section.
Does LIV Support Candidates
or Ballot Measures?
LIV is here to help you learn the mechanics of getting candidates of any persuasion on the ballot. We also have deep experience in the petition process for local local measures using our municipal petition rights guaranteed by the Texas Constitutional Amendment for Home Rule. (See our section on Homegrown Petitions.)
On occasion, LIV supports candidates for nonpartisan races — City Council, school boards, water boards, -- though electing candidates is not our primary mission. We require a 2/3 vote to gain our candidate endorsement.
LIV supports and opposes ballot measures. AND, sometimes, we help local groups develop their own “homegrown petitions” for a public vote on local issues. We require a 2/3 vote to gain our measure endorsement.
LIV does work to get candidates and office holders to adopt our policy agenda. The more members we have, the more likely they are to listen to us.
You're also invited to get Involved in LIV!
LIV by-laws allow for the election of up to 36 board members representing geographic districts across Texas. You may view on LIV's Districts Page. Become a member and get involved, y'al!!