Marc Milllett, an intelligent, well traveled, young professor of political science at Stanton University, has spent four years researching the evolution of the U.S. political system into its present day, voter-unresponsive state (‘The Project’). His research shows that voter apathy has grown alarmingly - more than 52 % of those eligible do not vote. In order to find the cause of this disenchantment he has arranged to monitor the campaigns of the major candidates in the upcoming presidential election - one of which is Senator Harry Stennis.
Harry is a charismatic fourth generation Texan with more than enough money to self-finance his independent party campaign ('The People's Party'). He is driven by a strong need to give back by returning the government to the people. Harry has selected a young go-getter campaign manager, Jerry Hogan, who is committed to running a campaign based on serving the needs of the voters by promising to deal with the real issues.
Marc and Harry gradually develop a personal relationship which blossoms into an invitation to appear on national TV as part of a town meeting Q&A session set up by Jerry Hogan. After assuring himself that his part will be limited to explaining The Project Marc accepts and he scores with the viewers. Because of his stage presence and the recognized need for The Project he becomes a sought after talk show guest and a beacon of hope to the disenchanted voters.
Harry’s main competitor is Republican Senator Claude Hankings, a self made man from rural Ohio. Claude’s campaign is based on giving something to get something. He has an old-school Washington campaign manager who knows who to give it to and what to get back. Claude easily wins his primaries and leads by 8 points in the polls with only 10 days left before the vote.
The only options which would give Harry an outside chance to pull off an upset win are: to make a deal with the big labor unions and accept the strings attached which would violate his campaign pledge to the voters; or, to make a last ditch, all-out effort to motivate those disenchanted non-voters. After much soul searching, Harry decides to make a sincere appeal to the apathetic non-voters and try to convince them that if they voted for The People’s Party they would be electing a government “of the people, by the people and for the people”.
Jerry Hogan has saved three ten minute national TV slots for a final push. Harry uses those slots to explain his reasons for running; to introduce his selection of those who would serve as his cabinet members; and to let the man he has selected as a running mate speak for himself.
At noon on voting day, Claude Hankings leads by 4%. Harry and his team
Can only wait and watch as the TV reports the vote count.
"The People's Party" is a timely novel factually portraying how the U.S. arrived at today's broken electoral system which produces governments answering to the moneyed special interests groups rather than the will of the voters. It is factual enough to be believed and entertaining enough to be enjoyed