The National Organization for Women (NOW) created a political flurry at its national convention last summer when its members passed a resolution calling for the formation of a third political party. The group now has set up a commission to explore that and other options in an effort to make government more responsive to its concerns.

"We want to shake up the system," NOW President Molly Yard said in an interview Friday. "Voters are disenchanted and disengaged. There is no stirring political leadership. We need a political system that offers real choices."

"It's not just women's issues that are stalled," NOW Vice President Patricia Ireland said, citing the environment, civil rights and social justice. "There are a lot of disaffected constituencies whose interests aren't being addressed."

Members of the Commission for a Responsive Democracy, whose formation was mandated by last July's NOW national conference, include William Winpisinger, former president of the International Association of Machinists, D.C. City Council member Hilda H.M. Mason and Dolores Huerta, vice president of the United Farm Workers, Yard said. The 37 other members will be announced Tuesday.

Yard said NOW's ultimate goal is to elect more women, regardless of party, because they vote "more reliably" on issues important to women, such as reproductive rights, child care and family leave. "Women are not moving fast enough into politics," she said, noting that only 17 percent of state legislators are women.

Yard said the commission, which will hold a series of nationwide hearings, will begin work after the November elections.

Reflecting on the usefulness of third parties, Yard said women won the vote mainly because of efforts of the National Woman's Party. "We don't have to win {elections} to be effective," she said.