Whether to form a third political party was one of the questions the Commission for Responsive Democracy, created by the National Organization for Women, took up at its first meeting last week.
The commission was formed to address concerns that the two-party system excludes women and minorities and ignores issues such as the environment and civil rights. "We're all agreed on the goals. The means we're going to use to get there will be a subject of very intense debate," said former New Mexico governor To- ney Anaya (D), a commission member.
He said the commission's goals were to enfranchise every potential voter and to change the nation's political agenda. "How we get there is an open question," he said.
Some panel members appeared to be leaning toward creating a third party. But others spoke of finding different ways to open the process, such as easier voter registration.
Former representative John Anderson (R-Ill.), who waged an independent presidential bid in 1980, said the two-party system is supposed to be "a great stabilizing rudder." Instead, he said, "the present system literally has become an anchor that has moored us in becalmed waters. We simply aren't moving."
The commission plans to seek testimony from the two parties and will hold eight regional hearings after the November elections. Its conclusions are expected in July 1991.