The North Carolina Board of Elections on Aug. 22 decertified the Libertarian Party — removing the LP from the ballot in all elections in the state. The party has been on the ballot in North Carolina continuously since 1996, despite restrictive ballot access requirements. (Read more...)
I don't think pulling out of the Libertarian Party is the best idea. All parties have wackos, but there are enough 'rational sounding' people in the two major parties to drown out the wackos. I think the problem that rational libertarians have is that we notice Libertarian Party wackos like the guy who turned his skin blue and ‘Starchild’ then don't join the party. If all rational libertarians join the Libertarian Party we have a better chance of drowning out the voices of the Starchilds.
I agree with Stephen (contra Peter) that 3rd parties -- in particular, of the libertarian variety -- are a net good.
Folks in the US like a good dichotomy, but dichotomies can be false and, therefore, wrong -- for mankind. Bipartisan politics is one of the best examples (on earth) of a false dichotomy. This dichotomy, for instance, is persistently used in order to adopt "lesser" evils (ie. to advance toward statism).
Quips like "a vote for Badnarik is a vote for Kerry" surface, and even gain headway -- in the small minds paying attention. Rand is noted as someone who totally busted false dichotomies, perhaps better than any other thinker who has ever lived. To say that there is no "third way" is a cop-out in rationalist garb. It is to say that a step in the right direction can be wrong -- because of range-of-the-moment, concrete-bound, anti-conceptual concerns.
I think long range -- and from my view, the libertarian party is right and good for man on earth. Shame on N.C. -- for actively perpetuating man's suffering on this planet.
The NC State Board of Elections did in October what it could legally have done in February. They delayed because they knew we were petitioning to regain official ballot status and didn't want to unnecessarily spend the money to change all registered Libertarians to Unaffiliated.
Currently we have collected about 1/3 of the signatures needed to regain ballot status. As long as the requisite signatures are gathered by May, 2006 the Libertarian Party of North Carolina will then be on the ballot thru the 2008 election.
Decertifying the LP at this time had two major consequences. First, it made it currently impossible to register as a Libertarian. Second, the only two partisan elections (municipal) this year lost their Libertarian candidates. One of those candidates collected signatures on his own behalf and will be on the ballot anyway, but officially as an 'Unaffiliated' candidate.
Because North Carolina is among the hardest states to obtain ballot status, the LPNC has filed suit against the State to essentially throw out all current ballot access requirements. The legislature would then have to start from scratch. Recent court decisions and opinions give strong reason to believe the suit can be successful.
If the suit is successful the petitions will not be needed. That is why a greater effort has not been made to complete the petition drive. It is, however, continuing. No one wants all the eggs in one basket.
The LPNC will be on the ballot for the 2006 elections and beyond. In fact, the only presidential election we've missed since 1976 was 1988.
Florida passed a constitutional amendment during its 20 year review cycle mandating a level playing field for all parties. Prior to that year 2000 change, the two major parties enjoyed significantly easier loadboarding of candidates onto the ballot than did any other party. I do not recall the details but I do recall the requirements as substantially more onerous for minor parties than for major ones. Now the Florida State Constitution requires all parties to meet the same ballot access requirements.
In 1976, when we founded the LPNC, getting signatures was our first hurdle.
With help from National, we were able to achieve that goal (with near exhaustion for all the crew).
Because of the refusal of our preferred gubernatorial candidate -- one Wilbur Smith of Wilmington, who wanted to be the candidate of both the LPNC and the American Party -- to submit to interrogation of his true political beliefs, the gauntlet was thrown to me.
Thirty years before Kinky Friedman said it, I responded to Chairman Bert Weiner's request with, "Why the hell not?"
I left North Carolina in 1977. I understand that the party gained ~15% in the 1978 elections, after which time it was taken over by anarchists and leftists.
I voted LP in 1980 and 1984, and even in 1992 when I was working in the White House. But sometime during the national LP campaign against our placing missiles in Europe to counter the Soviets, the LP left me. Even the CATO guys departed the increasingly unrealistic organization.
I am sorry that small parties are once again being screwed by the State. But any national party that could possibly run a Presidential candidate such as Harry Browne or the one in 2004 is not to be taken seriously. (About like the national Democrat party.)
Good luck with any new political ideas and campaigns, but thirty years later the LP is a failure, in my book. (It was fun but quixotic.)
-Arlan Andrews 1976 Gubernatorial Candidate of the LPNC (Google for other activities since...)
PS: If anyone knows Craig Springer, or Tom Ball, or Bert Weiner, or any of the other crew from that revolutionary time, please ask them to post here so that I may contact them.
I am sorry that small parties are once again being screwed by the State. But any national party that could possibly run a Presidential candidate such as Harry Browne or the one in 2004 is not to be taken seriously.
I brought up the question of how many lapsed members the LP has yesterday. Apparently, the ratio of ex-members to members is about ten to one. Those are the numbers for Texas.
Without doubt, this complaint is similar to the ones I often hear: "The LP left me." And I naturally ask the question: Where are you going to go instead?
I don't ever expect a candidate to agree with me on every single principle I hold. And throwing out candidate because of the 5% where we disagree doesn't seem fruitful. It depends somewhat on the issue.
Sure, it's hard to take the likes of Harry Browne and Michael Badnarik (2004) seriously. But what better options were there?
Here in Texas, by the way, I am seriously considering voting for Friedman instead of the LP candidate. Friedman has not said a whole lot.
My disillusion with the LP is more due to institutional corruption, incompetence, and laziness. Those guys could not sell ice water in the middle of the Sahara Desert. They do not understand self-evident and fundamental principles of marketing and selling. And the worst part is that they keep doing the same things over and over, as if these practices are some type of sacred cow.
I am beginning to think that the biggest waste of time and money is the idiotic "World's Smallest Political Quiz." I have tried to ask whether or not this is an effective recruiting tool. I only "recruited" once with it. I don't know if it worked or not. The last time I did recruiting, I just got people to sign petitions.
Every single marketing and sales tactic in the LP should be examined thoroughly and put to the test. They are not doing this.
"I don't think pulling out of the Libertarian Party is the best idea. All parties have wackos, but there are enough 'rational sounding' people in the two major parties to drown out the wackos. I think the problem that rational libertarians have is that we notice Libertarian Party wackos like the guy who turned his skin blue and ‘Starchild’ then don't join the party. If all rational libertarians join the Libertarian Party we have a better chance of drowning out the voices of the Starchilds."
I think your first problem, Stephen, is to convince people that I'm a wacko. Some people who love liberty seem to find me rather reasonable. Of course these people could be "wackos" themselves. Perhaps you'd care to post your definition of what constitutes a "wacko" so that its merits can be freely debated? Or are you simply applying the Supreme Court's standard on obscenity ("I can't tell you what it is, but I know it when I see it")?
Love & liberty, <<< starchild >>>
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