"Egypt’s highest court declared the parliament invalid Thursday, and the country’s interim military rulers promptly declared full legislative authority, triggering fresh chaos and confusion about the country’s leadership." - CNN, 6/14/12

A major characteristic of skimmerhat is the concept of ideas, and using ideas to find and fund candidates who believe what you believe. Our hypothesis is that this caters to a large and growing group of issues-based voters — citizens who first want to characterize themselves based on their beliefs as individuals. And, still, even those who define themselves through party allegiance because ultimately their allegiance is defined by a set of ideas.

We also feel like looking at candidates through the lens of ideas and issues — and being educated on each — can begin to cut through the seething divisiveness that is present in today’s politics.

We may be correct. Or we may be totally off base.

But when gazing at the landscape, one thing is for sure — citizens are fed up with Congress (which is our concentration with skimmerhat). The lack of progress on a range of issues frustrates many Americans who feel their representatives are unable to accomplish the objectives that are expected of them, just as every citizen is expected to perform their individual  job to a certain standard on a daily basis.

One organization that clearly displays this frustration is called No Labels. No Labels is:

A movement of Democrats, Republicans and independents dedicated to the politics of problem-solving.

Their description continues:

We stand united behind a simple proposition: we want our government to stop fighting and start fixing.

No Labels has set forth a dozen proposals to Congress under the campaign “Make Congress Work!” The first and most popular proposal/initiative is called “No Budget, No Pay" which is described in this way:

Congress rarely passes spending bills on time, which makes it virtually impossible for members to intelligently consider why they are spending taxpayer dollars in the first place.  No Labels Solution: If Congress can’t make spending and budget decisions on time, they shouldn’t get paid on time either.

There are over 65 Congressional co-sponsors of the No Budget, No Pay legislation and No Labels as a whole has been rapidly growing with a healthy grassroots movement and social media following.

Organizations like No Labels helps citizens look at progress through a different lens; in their case, through non-partisanship.

At skimmerhat, we aren’t naive enough to think that people won’t congregate behind parties or factions or organizations. There will always be labels — after all, even when you search for a candidate within skimmerhat through a certain stance/side on an idea or issue, you are labeling or characterizing yourself in a certain way.

However, that doesn’t mean we don’t think there can be a better way to make sense of and push progress in a complicated, and some would say convoluted, political environment. It all starts with the collective power of individuals.

With No Labels, there are Americans who recognize this and are making their voices heard.

And with skimmerhat, we hope citizens will realize it as well, so their voices are more accurately represented in Washington.

— Spencer