Do you like the concept of an open source political party? |

Do you like the concept of an open source political party?

An open source political party?
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That's the same question that crossed my mind when I came across this site. Highlighted in green at the top, "Liberty, Democracy, Transparency!" So far so good. But is this for real?

One of my favorite things about working at Red Hat is a very prominent "take the ball and run with it" attitude that persists because of the open source way. If you're passionate about something--do it. See if you can get people to do it with you and make it better. And I think that's what this Open Source Party concept is about.

My curiosity got the best of me. I started looking into the different resources mentioned on the Open Source Party site. I reached out to the media contacts to find out more, and Trevor Tomesh responded. Whether you think the Open Source Party will take over the world or it's just a vision for a few passionate people who want a different political world, hear what Tomesh has to say in my interview with him.


I'm Trevor Tomesh, and I helped co-found the new International Open Source Party with R.U. Sirius. I am a BSc in Physics and Mathematics from the University of Wisconsin - River Falls, and am currently working towards my PhD in Computing. I am a firm believer in the freedom of information and open source principles not only in software design, but in academia, governance, and culture. Open source is my code of ethics.

The Open Source party, as it stands, is an exploratory group. We have varying ideas as to how we should approach it. Personally, I believe that we should use Raymond's "The Cathedral and the Bazaar" as the starting point for our platform.

Originally the "Open Source Party" was formed around R.U.'s essay: The Open Source Party Proposal. The original idea went into remission until I read R.U.'s essay and emailed him about reviving it. Give the original essay a read.

Also, a new essay was published by R.U. on the revival of the Open Source Party in h+: Open Source Party 2.0: Liberty, Democracy, Transparency!

We have a website (although it has not seen as much action since the introduction of the Facebook group.)

Tell our readers about the Open Source Party. What is it and what are you looking to accomplish?

We are an exploratory net-roots campaign to re-envision the world political system and government as an open source exercise in democracy rather than what it has become -- to a large extent, an oligarchy of the super-rich, and a playground for mega-corporations aimed at optimizing goals other than human good. See R.U. Sirius's article in H+ Magazine for more information.

Is the Open Source Party movement related in any way to Occupy Wall Street?

Officially, we have no involvement with the Occupy Wall Street movement. However, I would be bold enough to guess that the vast majority of our members do support the movement.

What role do you think open source plays in government?

The American government, currently? None. The American government, as with many western governments, is run under an opaque, closed-source, almost corporate model. Of course, there is the illusion of democracy, but the ability for the people to choose our leaders is no more democratic than the Pepsi corporation allowing Mountain Dew fans choose the new flavor. Think about it.

Now, what role should open source play in government? Well, that's what our entire party is about...coming up with an answer to this question. Of course, there are various answers from various members as to how to utilize open source principles. I am personally of the view that the old system should be completely replaced with a new model based on Raymond's essay.

How do you see the Open Source Party interacting with the Open Government Partnership?

Well, our goals are the same: Transparency and accountability. We approach "Open Governance" at a more literal angle. However, as with all good open source projects the Open Source Party thrives on cooperation.

How does someone get involved with the Open Source Party?

Simple. Join the Facebook group and ask what you can do!

What do you think about the Open Source Party?


About the author

Jason Hibbets
Jason Hibbets - Jason Hibbets is a senior community architect at Red Hat which means he is a mash-up of a community manager and project manager for He primarily works with the DevOps Team and Open Organization community. He is the author of The foundation for an open source city and has been with Red Hat since 2003. Follow him on Twitter: @jhibbets for a fun and shareable feed of his open source (and other)... more about Jason Hibbets