Democratic Party Platform: What’s in it, and Why

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Each party votes on a party platform during their convention, but we rarely hear about what’s in it or how it got there. John Nichols, DC correspondent for The Nation, joins us from Denver to discuss the Democrats’ 2008 party platform and what role it will play in the rest of the presidential campaign.

Weigh in: Have you ever read a political party’s entire platform?


John Nichols

Comments [3]

Vanessa Scanfeld from New York

Progressive activists recently united to take part in an experiment in participatory platform writing. Over the course of 3 weeks, this disperse group worked on 11 platform planks resulting in a final document that was submitted to the National Platform Committee. (Available at Even more exciting than discovering our collective policy writing skills was embarking on a bold experiment in “open-source democracy.”

Our goal in drafting a progressive political platform was to articulate our shared goals and influence the national platform process. We used a completely open, transparent, and democratic system… netroots style.

After weeks of active writing, mixing, and rating, we sent the final 29-page platform to Michael Yaki, the head of the National Platform Committee. They were able to include a small piece of our platform in the national document and scheduled a phone call to discuss it. We were surprised that our conversation focused as much on the potential of this kind of collaborative technology to enable citizen participation as on the policies in our platform. Among the proposed ideas—-state platforms, think tanks, and bottom up initiatives at any level of government.

Feel free to get in touch with any questions or comments at

Aug. 26 2008 01:40 PM
yourgo from astoria

I dont know what their platform is but it should be how horrible the Bush administration and the Republicans have been over the past 8 years. Whats wrong with the Democratic speech writers? Why are they so subdued in this message? Show some fangs, fight back becuase thats exactly what the Repulicans will do in their convention. Kerry made the same mistake at his convention and he lost. FIGHT Democrats Fight!!! our future is at risk.

Aug. 26 2008 12:21 PM
Paulo from Paterson, New Jersey

During the Civil War, the Democrats in 1864 decided to run on a peace platform which their nominee, General George McClellan, opposed. With the fall of Atlanta, it was clear that the war would end with a Union victory and as a result the Democrats were thrashed.

Aug. 26 2008 12:20 PM

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