We, the Independence Party of Minnesota, stand for government and political leadership that serve the highest long-term interests of our state and nation. We oppose politics based on self-interest, extremism, or special interests. We are advocates for public policy that prepares Minnesota and the United States for a better future and we support political leaders who embrace the values and goals described in this platform
THE CORE VALUES OF THE INDEPENDENCE PARTY:
We believe defined values are essential to guiding political reform and assuring policies that benefit all. These are our core values:
1) A democratic process with integrity and broad citizen participation
2) A justice system that is fair, wise, unambiguous, swift, affordable, and accessible to all
3) A society that is inclusive, embraces diversity, and protects everyone’s rights
4) Government policies which encourage and expect personal responsibility
5) Government that is fiscally responsible: equitable in its collection of taxes, careful in its spending, and honest in its financial reporting
6) Government that is a good steward: protecting the environment, preserving our public institutions, prudently managing public assets, and leaving for our children a better world
7) Government that is controlled locally whenever possible
8) Rights of privacy and personal liberties under the US Constitution, the Minnesota Constitution, and the Bill of Rights of the United States shall be strongly defended
9) An educated citizenry with the knowledge and understanding to preserve our freedoms and maintain our prosperity
10) Political leadership that acts for the greater good and prepares us for the future
o Cornerstone Plank
· Supporting Plank
Responsible Government and Leadership
o We believe in honesty, even when it has a political cost.
o We support fiscal responsibility and oppose mortgaging the future for short-term political gain.
o We promote policies for clean, fair and open politics. We believe that serving the interests of all the people should be a higher priority than serving the interests of a powerful few.
Taking Care of Our Tax Dollars
o We believe in completely and straightforwardly reporting the cost of government.
· We support the use of budget projections that honestly report the future costs of government programs, including future liabilities like public pensions.
· We believe the national debt of the United States should be reported accurately, including the sum of all debt owed to public bondholders and all debt owed to federal trust funds such as the Social Security Trust Fund.
· We support government budgets that are structurally balanced and avoid shifting of expenses or borrowing to make them appear balanced.
· We believe it should be a priority to gradually reduce the total national debt as a percentage of the gross national product.
· We insist that the government fully fund the mandates it places on other units of government or otherwise allow governmental units to “opt out” of unfunded mandates.
o Government should be accountable to its citizenry, respectful of private property, and responsible in its management of publicly-owned resources.
· We believe the success of our government should be measured by the results it achieves. Therefore, in addition to budgeting financial expenditures, we favor associating time-specific, measurable goals with government programs and then monitoring actual progress towards achieving them.
· We believe the government must be prudent and responsible to citizens and private landowners when it buys, sells, or leases natural resources (including land, minerals, timber, grazing, environmental carrying capacity, and broadcast airwaves).
· We believe that government should make every effort to assure that such transactions reflect fair market valuations and that they are conducted publicly and openly, with adequate provisions for recourse in the event of dispute.
o We support Instant Runoff Voting or another runoff process that allows us to vote our conscience and ensure that winners are supported by a majority.
· We support same-day voter registration to ensure that all eligible citizens have the ability to vote and to maintain Minnesota’s tradition of high voter turnout.
· We support partial public funding of elections to reduce candidate dependence on fundraising, thereby making politicians more independent and responsible to voters.
· We support lowering the minimum age to run for state elective office to 18 years of age.
· We support the establishment of an independent nonpartisan commission to implement legislative redistricting.
· Resolved that the IP support an amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution stipulating that candidates for public office can only receive financial donations from eligible voters who reside within the jurisdiction of the office they seek.
· Resolved that the IP support an amendment to the Minnesota State Constitution to limit the term of office for elected officials for state or national office to no more than 12 consecutive years.
· An important role of government should be to support commerce and invite corporate investment in the state by assuring reasonable taxes, a well-educated and productive workforce, good transportation infrastructure, and an excellent health care system.
· We believe that small business is important to economic growth in Minnesota and the United States. We support reforming government policies and regulations to allow small businesses better opportunities to compete in the competitive marketplace.
· We believe that many rural economies are challenged by a lack of access to the highest quality telecommunications, technology and transportation. We support policies that will allow rural businesses to compete effectively in the global economy and we also support government initiatives to assure that affordable and state-of-the-art internet connections are readily available to all citizens.
· We believe in funding the research, development, and promotion of new value-added products and processes using Minnesota farm products.
Achieving Excellence in Education
o We believe that the quality of Minnesota’s colleges and universities are vital to the long-term success of our state. We support policies that promote access to high quality and affordable higher education.
· In a competitive global economy, excellence in education is the most important determinant of our future quality of life. We believe education begins in the home, and we call on parents, family and all members of the community to actively participate in the education of our young people.
· We support innovative and results-oriented schools because we believe outcomes matter. With the cost of education consuming half of the state’s budget, we must ensure efficient use of our education resources.
· We support government funding, standards and incentives that also reward advanced achievement, improving the education of our “average” students, and realizing the full potential of all students.
· We believe early childhood programs will generate excellent returns on investment by reducing future, more expensive educational needs and developing better-educated and more productive citizens.
· We believe it is important for all residents, native or foreign born, to achieve English literacy, in order to ensure their ability to fully participate in our civic, economic, political, and legal institutions, as well as to be an integral part of our nation’s social fabric.
Access for All to Quality and Affordable Health Care
o We support transparency of information regarding health care provider cost and quality so that consumers can make informed choices.
· We support policies to enable every individual and family to afford and pay directly for routine and predictable health care costs, and carry health insurance coverage for catastrophic needs.
Making Transportation Work
· We support further development of a fully integrated, multimodal transportation system that could include automobiles, light and high speed rail, personal rapid transit (PRT), and High Occupancy Vehicle, high-speed bus lanes.
· We support permanent and predictable funding for transportation projects. Funds from excise taxes and user fees should be dedicated to transportation only.
Protecting the Environment
o The Independence Party is committed to preserving the quality of our environment for the use and enjoyment of future generations.
o We support strong enforcement of environmental protection laws.
Reliable, Affordable, and Clean Energy
· We believe it is important to decrease America's dependence on foreign oil and fossil fuels, to protect the environment by promoting the use of the clean energy, and to have access to reliable and affordable energy to support our economy.
Protecting Liberty, Justice and Security
o We strongly defend the Constitution of the United States, the Bill of Rights, and the Constitution of Minnesota.
o We support high standards of morality, family values and personal responsibility, but we oppose having the government impose state-sponsored morality or values on people of good conscience with differing views.
· We support the separation of church and state for the benefit of all.
· We believe that all law-abiding citizens are entitled to the full rights and protections of citizenship and that discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion are contrary to American values.
The Independence Party of Minnesota's principles are the foundation and guide for everything the Independence Party of Minnesota does. They are part of the party constitution and candidate endorsement criteria. The same principles apply to every Independence Party of Minnesota leader, candidate, and member as they perform their respective duties. These principles define the party, provide a reference point when interpreting unclear matters, and serve as the Independence Party of Minnesota's moral compass as the party and individual members engage controversial matters and encounter the temptations of political power. The Independence Party of Minnesota's principles help assure members and the general public that the Independence Party of Minnesota is indeed the party it claims to be and its candidates are worthy of the public trust.
The Independence Party of Minnesota's principles are:
We are what we are and we don't pretend to be something we are not. Our word is good and we are accountable for the promises we make. In our personal actions and party affairs, we seek to exemplify the same fair, open, and democratic processes we advocate for our government. Before we evaluate others in the light of our principles, we stand first in the light ourselves.
We respect all people as equal human beings possessing certain inalienable rights which include life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. Each member has an equal voice and vote in our party, and we conduct ourselves so as to honor the people and institutions we serve. As a party, we advocate public policy only where broad member consensus exists and respectfully leave action on other matters to the free exercise of individual conscience and discretion.
All citizens deserve equal rights, protection, and opportunity under the law. In our party and public affairs, we are ever vigilant to promote only those rules and laws which assure equity and freedom for all citizens.
We are accountable for our actions or failure to act, and it is up to us to generate the results we want. We readily assume the duties mandated by our purpose, and we seek to manifest excellence in performing our agreed upon tasks.
Political power belongs to the people and is only entrusted to those who serve. In our endeavors, we work for the benefit of all citizens, not ourselves alone. Our job is to fulfill the expectations of those who have honored us with their trust.
As individuals, party, and nation, we live in relationship with each other and the earth. While exercising our rights and pursuing our individual interests, we are also mindful of the good of the whole. As a party, we endeavor to articulate the public good through open democratic processes and then manifest that good in our communities, state, and nation