It seems that some of the eUS does not really “get” SFP. Some think that we are actually tea partiers masquerading as socialists because we sometimes support lowering taxes. Some think that we are independents, without a single ideology at all, because we don’t always vote together. Some think that we are a voting block, that we always vote together, because we sometimes vote together. Some think that we may have used to represent a socialist ideology, but that we are getting watered down by the T5 status. There is obviously some clearing up that needs to be done, especially given Resoula’s article. This article is inspired by his article and our conversation in the comments as well as several other articles that have come out recently calling SFP hypocrites.
First off, I want to clear up the notion that we are without an ideology. We do have an ideology. It was established in our Constitution, first. A couple months ago, as we were quickly approaching T5 status, we decided to set out and write down what already existed, our general ideas that we hold as a party. We made a Committee of Correspondence, who went to work creating a great representation of our ideology for all the eEarth to see, a Party Program. It was approved by the party almost unanimously (with the exception of a single troll vote).
So, yes, we have a party ideology. It is clearly defined and clearly socialist. It is also, however, theoretical, leaving room for different interpretations as to its applications. This is where the confusion seems to come from. There is a difference here between party ideology, as we set in our Constitution and Party Program, and a party line as it is commonly used in game.
A party ideology is a list of goals that we, as a party, want to see achieved. We clearly have this. We as a party agree on the goals set forth in the party program. That does NOT mean, however, that we all vote the same. Though we agree on the goals, we do not always agree on the best means to those goals.
That disagreement is where the difference in our individual beliefs about the best policy come from. Just because you as an individual may think that there is only one way policy that makes sense for us to follow given our goals does not mean that we as individuals will agree with you. Hence, your confusion with individual’s opinions on particular policies does not mean that we have abandoned our ideology. It just means that there is a disagreement on which policy is best to achieve that goal. THIS is where we disagree as a party, when we disagree. We do not disagree on goals, but we do disagree sometimes on the policy to achieve those goals.
This is where the confusion as to whether or not SFP has a party line comes into question. Let’s try to define a party line before we move any further. If we use party line as the most common usage, meaning voting together, then absolutely not. We do not vote together. We do not officially take stances on particular policies. We do not coerce or encourage our Congressmen/women to vote in a particular way as a policy.
What we DO do is debate policies as a party so that we can explain to our fellow members why we plan to vote the way that we do. Sometimes, we convince each other, especially when one of us is on the line. We do not call out SFPers as traitors, however, for disagreeing on how a particular policy aids or harms our goals as a party.
This is why SFP says that we have a party ideology, but we do not have a party line. Get the difference? I’ll happily answer any (relevant) questions in the comments or PM.