Tuesday, July 04, 2006

Press Release from Libertarian Reform Caucus

Libertarian Party Gets Practical in Portland

Reform Caucus Finds Huge Victory at Libertarian Convention

(Portland, OR) In a dramatic weekend at the Libertarian Party National Convention in Portland, OR, Libertarian Reform Caucus (LRC) members worked to substantially alter the party platform. The Libertarian Party (LP) is more ready than ever to attract a broad base of support from the public, according to caucus participants.

"Our goal at the Portland convention was to achieve some degree of reform, which would allow the party to present a less utopian political program and offer reasonable, practical, and achievable solutions to problems facing America today. In doing so, we would expect the party to grow into a viable political organization which so many Americans are currently longing for," explained Bernard Carman, one of the founders of the reform group.

After two stages of balloting, 80 percent of the original platform planks were removed by the delegates. Never before in its 35 year history has the party’s official statement of its positions changed so drastically. The magnitude of the victory somewhat surprised caucus members such as Carman.

"We never expected this kind of success to be had at this convention, as our LRC movement has only recently begun. The delegates were obviously tired of seeing the party continue being a minor player in the political arena. At the convention many delegates spontaneously jumped on board the reform bandwagon,” he said.

Reformers were also pleased to see reform-minded individuals elected to the party’s national committee. William Redpath of Leesburg, VA, who reformers view as a moderate, was elected as LP Chair, and Libertarian Reform PAC board member Chuck Moulton of Philadelphia, PA was elected as LP Vice Chair.

On the convention results, Moulton commented, “The Libertarian Reform Caucus has achieved great success at effectuating positive change on the Libertarian Party platform. All libertarians are now welcome in the party.”

The Libertarian Reform Caucus was founded in 2005 by the Libertarian Party of Buncombe County, NC. It currently has nearly 700 members. More information can be found about the LRC at www.ReformTheLP.org.

7 comments:

Debbie said...

"Our goal at the Portland convention was to achieve some degree of reform, which would allow the party to present a less utopian political program and offer reasonable, practical, and achievable solutions to problems facing America today."

That's interesting that he used the word utopian. Anyone who has at least mildly studied libertarian philosophy knows that it definitely is not utopian. Heck, that's why it seems to scare so many people.

So I wonder why he chose that word.

LP Mike Sylvester said...

Because it is Utopian. You could also call it Libertopian.

Please answer this question for me Debbie:

Why does the LP have a plank that advocates ZERO taxation when the Constitution provides for both government and taxation?

Any serious person who reads this plank immediatley thinks Libertarians must be crazy anarchists...

I look forward to your reply.

Mike

Doug H. Sec, Lib Pty AC said...

To All,

I have not yet seen our new platform as of 5 July 06 1835 Hours, so I cannot comment on it with much accuracy.

However I can say that what I have heard initially is somewhat disappointing. One of the major arguements I have ALWAYS heard is that "our platform is too big". What is "too big"? What do we compare our platform to in an attempt to qualify "big"? One thing we cand do is compare our platform to the Democrats and Republicans respective platforms. So I did this several years ago. Our platform when printed was 34 pages long. But, loe and behold, the Democrats was 46 pages long and the Republicans 2004 platform was 92 pages long!!!

I asked myself "how can Libertarians whine" about our platform being "too big" when it is ALMOST A THIRD the size of the Republican platform for heavens sake!!!

I think our biggest problem is that we haven't been able to embrace or spin our views into something that is palatable to many Americans, even though I believe that most Americans agree to some extent with what Libertarians stand for.

It is unfortunate that we have been unable to sell our views because too many Libertarians are incapable of defending against the attacks of others publically. That is what a good politician is supposed to do after all, defend the stance of his or her party by presenting sound reasons why the party is correct.

Now, that said, I do strongly disagree with several of the Libertarian Parties views and wholeheartedly believe that some changes, corrections, and reforms were well in order and long overdue.

I am just afraid that in Portland the baby went out with the bathwater.

I'll comment more intelligently once I see our "new and improved" platform.

Respectfully,

Doug Horner

Debbie said...

Please answer this question for me Debbie:
Why does the LP have a plank that advocates ZERO taxation when the Constitution provides for both government and taxation?

Mike, libertarian philosophy is not based upon the constitution. It has to do with the non-aggression principle. Libertarians simply take the "golden rule" ethic and apply it to governments as well as individuals. If it is theft for an individual to take another individual's money by force then it is also theft for a government to do so (because government is a collection of individuals). Therefore, taxation is theft and that is why libertarians would advocate for no taxation as the ultimate goal.

Any serious person who reads this plank immediatley thinks Libertarians must be crazy anarchists...

Why do you think every person who reads this would immediately think that? You may have, but that doesn't mean everyone does. It all comes down to where you are in your study of libertarian philosophy. If one understands the basic principle underlying the philosophy before reading it, then I don't see how they could be surprised at this notion of no taxation as something to strive for.

The other piece that says a lot about your perspective is that you automatically think of the word anarchy as something bad. (Which isn't your fault, government officials want us to think of the word anarchy as bad.) But anarchy simply means the absence of government force (and now you can see why government officials would want us to think of it as a bad thing). But it is really value-neutral in is essence. Kind of like the word "naked." Naked can be thought of as very bad or dirty but in it's essence it simply means the absence of clothes. :)

Most of the time, when you hear the word anarchy used nowadays, they mean chaos. The ironic thing is that this chaos always arises from the failure of government to perform in the manner people thought it would.

Jeff Pruitt said...

If you want to wax philosophical about society then you can discuss zero taxation. However, it's quite ironic to have a national political party use this as a planck at their convention. Any libertarian that cares about the party gaining power and exposure would not advocate a zero taxation policy - it will never be implemented and the majority of Americans will dismiss the party immediately after hearing this. Anyone that doesn't believe this is just living in some sort of libertopian fantasy land...

Mike Kole said...

Quite agree, Jeff. This is why I advocate a 1% in budget cuts. Nothing radical about that. For the most part, it's a cut our usual economic growth can grow into and turn deficit into surplus in short order.

Robert Enders said...

I would propose this. Make taxation voluntary. But if you choose not to pay taxes, the police will not respond if you dial 911, nor will the military avenge you if you are killed by a terrorist.