I had an idea, although I’m uncertain how feasible it would be. The idea would be to create a voting league, or what would essentially be a candidate-less political party.
Membership would be completely voluntary, but members would pledge to vote for the choice of the league as a whole, irrespective of their own wishes. The decision of the league would be determined by either an internal vote or by the decision of a guiding body, although I believe an internal vote would be the preferable method.
The goal would be to form a large bloc of voters that could be counted on to vote together, thereby turning themselves into a group that would need to be catered to by political candidates.
I feel that one large problem for people in elections is that they feel that their votes don’t matter. This would attempt to solve that problem through creating a union of voters. Maybe you feel that your one vote doesn’t matter, but what if you were assured that a hundred thousand other voices would join yours when you voted? It might help eliminate some of the electoral apathy currently plaguing us.
As for the goal of the league itself, I think it would be best to focus on a particular issue that has bipartisan support. A league focused on, for example, the elimination of the estate tax would probably just vote Republican anyway, without any special effort devoted towards it. A bipartisan issue might bring together people who might otherwise vote for either party, which would make its votes more important in an election. I feel that something easily measurable would be best, something like “separation of church and state” would be preferable to “freedom,” for example.
There are a number of issues, though. Firstly, you can’t verify how any member votes. You’d simply hope they actually follow the league’s decision. Secondly, unless you limited membership in some way, it would be extremely easy to infiltrate and sabotage, if the decision of the league were to be decided my internal vote, which is one argument in favor of a guiding council, instead.
If done well, though, you could hopefully gather together a large number of people who care about a particular issue, but just feel that they can’t get politicians to listen to them individually. You’d be essentially unionizing the electorate to get better conditions. Voter turnout has been below 65% for a long time in the US. Even a small increase could make a large impact. The logistics would probably be difficult, but if you could make it work, the benefits would be worth it.