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Visitors of this page are invited to suggest answers for these likely FAQs.

1.  How is integral politics different from existing ideologies and/or how does it compare with the mainstream political parties in western nations?
IP has borrowed the term 2nd Tier from Spiral Dynamics. One of the things that distinguishes 2nd Tier from 1st Tier is the ability to work with multiple positions. 1st Tier has a tendency to consider its view, whatever that may be, to be applicable to all people at all times. This leads to the imposition of partial, inadequate, and often inappropriate solutions. 2nd Tier however recognises both horizontal and vertical differences and seeks solutions tailored to the specific problem. Conventional ideologies are 1st Tier and seek to impose a set of values onto complex situations; they suggest a right and a wrong, and they also often act from parochial self-interests, a narrow set of motives. 2nd Tier sees a hierarchy of solutions to a hierarchy of problems. There is no one right or wrong way, rather a hierarchy of useful solutions. However IP does have one over-riding ethic, and that is that political health occurs when groups and individuals have the means to evolve; it is concerned with the health of the whole polity. By imposing inappropriate notions of right and wrong 1st Tier political groups and ideologies often act in a way that prevent other groups from evolving. 

The above answers highlight a point worth raising. This comes from the observation that in many instances the ‘problem’ that prevents core needs from being met and the group evolving is in fact that group’s values, the very thing that defines the group. This means that IP has to point out to that group that its values are, to be blunt, dysfunctional. Many ideologies are based on a closed view of the Kosmos, whereas the integral view unquestionably advocates an open view. It is therefore unavoidable that IP will challenge those closed views, and this just happens to include a good part of the Abrahamic religions.
Can we support a group, help it to define its core needs, if that group acts in a way to deny its member’s core needs? What do we do about groups whose core values dictate that they discriminate against other groups and actively seek to repress them, for instance, the Church’s position on homosexuality?  

2.  What is the "platform" propagated by integral politics?
Integral politics does not propagate a "platform" in the traditional political party sense, if we are using the term "platform" to refer to a "party line" that drives a set of positions on issues. The closest thing to "platforms" that we might see coming out of an integral political stance would be in the context of a recommended approach to handling a specific situation, issue, or group of related issues.

Apparent in such situational recommendations might be actions favored by conservatives to deal with one facet of the issue, along with actions favored by liberals to effectively deal with another facet of the issue, along with possible other actions no mainstream party has yet proposed.

In short, the only "platforms" we will likely see espoused by integral politics are approaches that defy traditional classifications into predictable position statements driven by a single political philosophy. 

Expressed another way, IP holds that political health occurs when each political group is able to secure its core needs and evolve. Problems arise when the actions of groups denies other groups access to their core needs and hence the means to evolve. The central platform of IP is therefore to seek solutions that allow all parties to meet their core needs and evolve. This means that IP is open to all solutions that serve the central platform. 
3.  If integral politics isn't a political party, how does it expect to influence policy and/or get its thinking into the mainstream?
The problem with political parties is that they operate from a First Tier perspective. They operate from a set perspective that prejudices what position they will take on any given issue. There is a ‘typical’ conservative position and a ‘typical’ liberal position, and so on. Furthermore, political parties have traditionally sought to act in the interests of 1st Tier constituencies, with the conservative parties acting in the interest of business owners and liberal parties in the interests of labour, consumers and affected parties. Because IP is concerned with the overall health of the polity it cannot therefore be defined as a 1st Tier political organisation.
4.  How is integral politics different than "politics as usual?"
Firstly, IP understands that there is no such thing as a ‘politics as usual’, but rather a set of political processes. If various groups have different values then it follows that their political processes will conform to those values. Thus the ‘terrorist’ group el Qaeda will pursue its political aims using a different process to that of the US government.
Because IP seeks to situate groups in order to transcend to meta-values it will be concerned largely with process. IP will seek to work with various groups to aid in the process of ‘transcending and including’ and eventually arriving at the next appropriate set of meta-values. Therefore, rather than the ‘usual’ politics of win/lose, IP prefers the politics of win/win through the process of transformation.
5.  Would integral politics advocate the dissolution of the ‘party’ system, the dissolution of adversarial politics? 

Rather than advocate the party system's dissolution, integral politics would perhaps serve it best by integral analyses of the comparisons, contrasts, and nuances of parties' positions on particular issues or conflicts. We might see it doing this in the context of its explanations for rationales behind recommending certain solution-approaches. For example, in discussing an integral political approach to a conflict, we might hear integral politics discuss how a given segment of one mainstream party and a segment of another mainstream party would both support the approach because of commonalities they share but perhaps were not aware of or hadn't articulated. We might expect that, over time, integral politics tends to dismantle entrenched assumptions about the need for oppositional party politics.

Certainly we look at each issue/conflict, but we would also I hope, look at the political process in general. One thing the adversarial two-party system does, worldwide, is dichotomize debates into false opposing positions. It actually tends to create conflict. A particular party acts to separate and differentiate itself from its opponents. A person is attacked, not for their actual position, but simply because they belong to this or that party or faction. Many a good policy idea has been destroyed because the opposing party has decided to, for strategic reasons, paint many proposals as wrong, incompetent or ideologically driven, in order to win the next election. How can you win the election if you admit that many of the opposition's policy proposals are in fact sound?
In those divisive election campaigns, it seems an integral politics would serve as Witness to identify distortions and insert into the divisive climate a higher degree of integrity and accountability. Integral politicians, as they arise and campaign for election, would do the same. It's another way of de-polarizing the combative dynamic, a primary "charge" of IP.

IP is about process. So, perhaps the response to the question needs to (1) not threaten the hell out of our brothers and sisters the politicians around the world (and plug up their ears) who depend on their party systems for their 'survival' and (2) advocate the dissolution of all practices (not singling out parties for attack) that polarize debates because they simplify and distort the questions that really need wise answers. And an IP would do that by providing/employing those essential integral political practices that engage the conflict/issue in an integral non-polarized way. Modeling what dissolution of polarized debates "looks like," and "walking our talk." It would not be "integral" - would it? - to advocate the dissolution of a structure upon which so much is built, without having created, offered, and modeled an alternative integral structure? Nor realistic, I wouldn't think.

Posted 15 Feb 2003