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What is Centrist/Centrism

by cpadmin last modified May 02, 2013 03:12 PM
Centrists don't have party lines. Centrists believe that solutions are more important than bias. While there is no set rule for what a Centrist is, there are some generally accepted guidelines that seem to depict the Centrist mode of thought. Centrism is a political ideology based on reason and pragmatism considerate of short and long term thinking - Centrism is not defined by compromise or moderation, it is considerate of them. Centrism is about achieving common sense solutions that appropriately address current and future needs; support the public trust; and serve the common good with consideration of risk and capacity in context of these needs.

Modern definitions sometimes conflate Centrism with moderation but the Centrist Party tenets generally oppose moderate views. Let's just call moderates 'moderates' and Centrists 'Centrist'.

Salient points about Centrism from the CP perspective:


  • Centrism is not about doing what is popular, it is about doing what is right.
  • Centrism is not moderate but rather supports strength, tradition, open mindedness and policy based on evidence not ideology.
  • Centrism is not about compromise but rather allows for it as reasonable.


Main Entry:
Date: 1872


  1. often capitalized : a member of a center party
  2. one that holds to well reasoned views considerate of short and long-term needs



  1. considerate of traditional values and new ideas in the context of evolving needs : they have more practical views toward politics and relationships than some people.
    • favorable to or respectful of individual rights and freedoms in the context of community needs : centrist citizenship and governance laws.
    • (in a political context) favoring reasonable individual liberty and regulation in political and social reform : a centrist republican democracy.
    • ( Centrist) of or characteristic of Centrists or a Centrist Party.
  2. [ attrib. ] (of education) concerned mainly with broadening a person's general knowledge and experience, as well as scientific, technical or professional training.
  3. (esp. of an interpretation of a law) well reasoned, construed or understood; considerate of context and precedence but not strictly literal or exact : they could have given the 1968 Act a more centrist interpretation.


Centrists are independent thinkers. They gauge situations based on context and reason, consideration and probability. They are open minded and exercise conviction. Willing to fight for reason as opposed to ideology.

  1. Ideology limits the capacity of reasoning
  2. Centrist conviction is not limited by ideology
  3. Reasoning is based on pragmatic reality and circumstance.

Centrism is not a belief. It is an open book to an unfolding situation. This does not mean it is moderate, but that it is considerate of changing circumstances that may require reconsideration based on the intelligence available, and reason itself.

  • Centrists are independent.
  • Centrists argue based on reason and context to define relevance of a given point.
  • Centrists tend to be pragmatic and avoid extremes whenever possible. Of course an extreme may be a required action so luckily Centrists tend to exercise reason in application.
  • Centrists tend to dislike special interest influence and unfair practices. They don’t appreciate spin from candidates or news organizations.
  • Centrists tend to believe that if we dealt with the facts and concentrated on working together we could fix a lot more problems than two polar opposite parties constantly embattled in their own agendas and ideologies.
  • Centrists seek accountability in governance.
  • Honor & Integrity - Centrists tend to believe that political spin erodes the integrity of the vote and certainly that of the politician.


  • To honor the electorate candidates should be motivated by the strength of their reasoning and the wisdom to know that convictions are merely perspectives based on current understanding and circumstance; and that learning is key to future solutions.
  • Honor in intention: means not just being honest, but to be honorable. Not just saying "I did" or "did not" say "that" but "I mean "this" or "that". America is tired of being misled by politicians that handily word craft their way in and out of positions and rely on popularity polls to figure out what they need to say next, in order to pander to some special interest, or get more votes.

What Centrists Are Not

  • Centrists are not moderate.

Moderation has more in kind with compromise than working toward the best solution. The reality of modern politics is that compromise is the status quo. This leads to policy that is not based on pragmatism but rather on the needs of compromised points of view.

The goal is not compromise, but rather pragmatism based on reasonable considerations, short and long-term. In other words, decisions and policies based on the best answer, not the compromise between two flawed perspectives that are ideologically opposed.

When necessary, compromise, but fight for reason and present the case to bring others closer to the most pragmatic solution or policy.

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