Terms Glossary

Good Party's Terms Glossary is a list of definitions of words from the political and elections world. These terms are from an independent's perspective with an eye toward reform. If you have a suggestion for a new definition, send it to ask@goodparty.org.

Tax Commissioner

In the United States, a Tax Commissioner is an elected or appointed official who is responsible for overseeing tax collection and administration for a state or local government. The specific duties of the Tax Commissioner vary from state to state, but generally include collecting taxes, administering tax laws and regulations, and enforcing compliance with tax codes.

Several states have an elected Tax Commissioner as part of their state government. The exact title and responsibilities of the Tax Commissioner may vary by state, but in general, they play a key role in overseeing tax collection and ensuring that tax laws are enforced fairly and effectively.

Some states that have an elected Tax Commissioner include Georgia, West Virginia, Oklahoma, and Nebraska. However, it's important to note that this list may not be comprehensive and that some states may have an appointed Tax Commissioner instead of an elected one. Additionally, some states may use different titles, such as Tax Assessor or Tax Collector, to refer to the official responsible for tax administration.

Tea Party

The definition of tea party is a conservative political movement in the United States that emerged in 2009. It is largely made up of grassroots members who advocate limited government fiscal responsibility, free markets, and constitutionalism. Tea Party members have been involved in various political campaigns and have had a significant impact on the Republican Party. It is a reaction to the perceived increase in government spending, taxation, and regulation over the past decade. Tea Party members are generally socially and fiscally conservative and support smaller government, opposition to government bailouts and deficits, and opposition to the Affordable Care Act. They often express concern about the national debt and government overreach. Examples of Tea Party initiatives include support for gun rights, opposition to immigration reform, and opposition to the Common Core educational standards.


Totalitarianism is a form of government that seeks to control every aspect of a society and its citizens, often through oppressive methods. It is characterized by a single, authoritarian leader, a single political party, and a strict adherence to a particular ideology. It restricts the rights and freedoms of individuals, often in pursuit of a greater collective good. Totalitarianism is the opposite of liberal democracy, where the people enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of association, the right to vote, and the right to hold public office. It is also opposed to independent candidates and a two-party system, as it seeks to consolidate power in one party or individual. Totalitarianism can lead to an oppressive society where dissent is not tolerated and where citizens are subject to strict control. Examples of totalitarian governments include Nazi Germany, the Soviet Union, and modern-day North Korea. Under a totalitarian system, citizens may be denied basic rights and liberties, including the right to privacy, the right to a fair trial, and the right to free expression. The risk of totalitarianism is a major reason why reform-minded individuals advocate for more independent candidates and an end to the two-party system. By giving individuals more choice and limiting the power of one party or individual, a more liberal democracy can be achieved.

Town Council

Definition: A town council is a local governing body elected by citizens of a municipality. It is typically responsible for providing services such as upkeep of public infrastructure, delivery of general services, and maintenance of public safety. Town councils are generally made up of elected representatives from two major parties, but the recent push towards greater independence and reform has resulted in the emergence of smaller, independent candidates. This has provided citizens of towns and cities with a wider range of choices and the opportunity to make meaningful changes within their community. Town councils are an important part of local democracy, as they provide citizens with representation and a voice at the local level.


The definition of township is a local government unit in the United States, typically located in rural areas, that is responsible for providing public services and governance to its population. Townships are typically governed by a board of elected officials and are managed by a supervisor or clerk. Townships are distinct from cities, counties, and states, and are often seen as a form of local self-governance. The autonomy of town governance can be used to promote independent candidates and independent policy initiatives, instead of the two-party system that has become the norm in U.S. politics. By encouraging independent candidates and initiatives, townships can create more diverse and representative forms of governance that better reflect the needs of their communities. Townships can also be used to create more transparent and accountable forms of government, increasing public trust in the political process and bridging the gap between government and citizens.


In the United States, a Treasurer is an elected official who is responsible for managing a state's finances and investments. The specific duties of the Treasurer vary from state to state, but generally include managing the state's budget, overseeing the collection of taxes and other revenue, and investing state funds in a responsible and profitable manner.

Many states have an elected Treasurer as part of their state government. The exact title and responsibilities of the Treasurer may vary by state, but in general, they play a key role in managing the state's financial affairs. Some states that have an elected Treasurer include California, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Kansas, Kentucky, Massachusetts, Michigan, Missouri, Nevada, New Hampshire, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Wisconsin. However, it's important to note that this list may not be comprehensive and that the specific duties and responsibilities of the Treasurer can vary widely depending on the state.

Two Party System

A two-party system is a political system where two major political parties control all levels of government. The United States is an example of a two-party system in which two major parties, the Democrats and Republicans, dominate politics from local to national levels in judicial, legislative, and executive branches. Two-party systems do not mean that there are only two parties. Rather, it means there are only two parties that wield political power. This is demonstrated by the presence of the Libertarian, Green, American Independent, and other alternative parties in the United States. These alternative parties are effectively pushed to the sidelines of the United States’ political system, as major political parties have significantly more funding and media recognition than alternative parties. 

This system is different from a parliamentary or multi-party system, in which different political parties must form coalitions to pass laws and form governments.

A two-party system is self-reinforcing, as opposing parties take opposite stances on issues to present a binary choice to voters. This is best demonstrated by the voting records of congress which fall closely along party lines. In 2021, over 70% of Democrats and 45% of Republicans voted for the party line more than 90%. This style of political system intentionally divides and conquers ordinary people by forcing voters to pick a side regardless of the candidate and their beliefs and abilities, rather than voting for a person they actually believe will be effective.