Portland: The Aftermath

Ok, so the LP now has new leadership and a new slimmed down platform. But there is still a pledge… and now dues. Kind of.

This is just an open topic for debating the results of this weekend’s convention. If you happened to miss any of the action, check out Joe Magyer’s Convention Journal by clicking here.

Who won? Who lost? What’s next?

17 Responses to “Portland: The Aftermath”

  1. NewFederalist Says:

    Appears to me the LRC made some serious headway in turning the party into a real party focused on winning elections rather than a pressure group more interested in educating the public. I think it is too soon to tell if the reformers have won enough friends on the LNC to keep the momentum going.

  2. Gavin Says:

    I think that the changes were for the better. I’m interested to see if this helps candidates to win in 2006. I think that this year will be the best chance we have to get a few libertarians in Congress and the state legislatures, and this, in my opinion, will help us to do that.

  3. Stuart Richards Says:

    I did a writeup on HoT but to sum it up, it’s looking good. Major changes happened for the better, the purists positively contributed, plenty of people changed their minds right there at the convention (proving we’re a party of open minds), and I think that the party is poised to become a major player sometime between now and 2008.

    The platform will need to be rebuilt but I’m confident that the two caucuses can work together on that when the time comes. Yeah, the LP is probably gonna lose a few of the megapurists who can’t stand to be in a party that they don’t rule. It’s sad, but it’s unavoidable and we need to focus on winning the political game.

  4. Will Says:

    The reformers won, but the victory was messy and I’m guessing neither side is really all that happy with what they got.

  5. H. Rearden Says:

    Why would one have wanted to eliminate planks in the platform if the agreed with them? If one is a libertarian why would they have eshewed most of the platform?

  6. This Shall Not Stand Says:

    There is skullduggery afoot here!

    Demopublican-itis, perhaps. But more likely a most sinister and organized infiltration of the party by those who oppose us. The omnipotent cult of the state is doing more than just watching us!

    We have been bamboozled out of our own party!

  7. Richard Winger Says:

    The blogs I have seen that describe the LP convention, haven’t mentioned that some members of the national committee who were opposed to spending any national LP money on ballot access are no longer on the committee. Bill Redpath was always in the minority on the old national committee. He was chair of the Ballot Access Committee but the national committee wouldn’t appropriate any money. He was told to raise it on his own. Then, when he did, the party took 10% of all the proceeds (sort of a “shipping and handling fee”) and took the rest of it to pay itself back for what it did appropriate in 2004 to get Badnarik on the ballot. That’s why there has been so little petitioning to get the party on 2006 ballots. Fortunately the Iowa, Kentucky, Minnesota, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New Mexico, New York, Ohio and Washington state LP’s are taking care of themselves (because most of those states have fairly tolerant laws).

  8. Politically Homeless Says:

    The Lp has betrayed it’s lifetime members. You all took advantage of members who were unable to afford the trip to Portland. Maybe in 2008 you can use our membership dues to have the convention on an expensive cruise ship.

    Spineless! You could’nt keep your own party from being taken over by neoconservative bible thumpers, so you take over the Lp, and label lifelong Libertarians as “megapurists” and “anarchists”.

    Anyone and everyone that took part in what transpired this weekend had to have signed the pledge, the same pledge I signed. You have violated your contract between the party, and all the lifetime members such as myself. Can we sue for breech of contract? We’ll find out soon enough.

    If you can betray the members you can betray the voters.

  9. joe average Says:

    actually… forcing someone to take that ignorant pledge is a violation of the pledge itself. So is a suit for breach of contract. That “non-initiation of force” principal cuts both ways, pal.

  10. Austin Cassidy Says:

    “Skullduggery” and “bamboozled” in the same post… wow.

  11. Politically Homeless Says:

    No one forces anyone to sign their name to a contract. You had a choice. You chose to sign it. Violating a contract is fraud. Is it the position of the new Lp that government’s role is not to protect it’s citizens from fraud through adjudication of contractual disputes?

    The old Lp should’ve thought of these things before they offered lifetime memberships (maybe they did), and WE the new Lp should’ve thought through all the potential consequences of violating OUR end of the contract with each other.

    The form I filled out, which I still have a copy of, requested my signature on a blank line below the pledge and the Statement of Principles. The same Statement of Principles in the Lp platform found on the Lp website, and the same Statement of Principles printed in really fine text on the back of my membership card that also has my signature.

    Speaking of the website are WE the Lp leaving the old platform on the website in hopes that more people will join under false pretenses?

  12. Stuart Richards Says:

    There is skullduggery afoot here!

    Demopublican-itis, perhaps. But more likely a most sinister and organized infiltration of the party by those who oppose us. The omnipotent cult of the state is doing more than just watching us!

    We have been bamboozled out of our own party!

    LOL! It wasn’t just the Republicans and the Democrats orchestrating this, you know… the LRC specifically was doing the bidding of the Masonic Jewish Illuminati too. All in the mighty name of MechaHitler.

  13. Don Wills Says:

    Politically Homeless wrote -
    “Anyone and everyone that took part in what transpired this weekend had to have signed the pledge, the same pledge I signed. You have violated your contract between the party, and all the lifetime members such as myself. Can we sue for breech of contract?”

    Not true. I didn’t sign it and I was a delegate. There were many others. There is no requirement for delegates to have signed the pledge (ie. to be national LP members), and several states no longer require the pledge for state membership.

    This is symptomatic of the dissarray of the party. Another example is that California is technically in violation of the rules on affiliation because they removed the words “cult of the omnipotent state” from their state SOP.

    IMO I was witness to the beginning of the end of the LP, and I’m a “reformer”. The convention was a disjointed school yard brawl between multiple incompatible factions. I suspect it will be as bad or worse at the next convention.

  14. Tony Torres Says:

    I was also there and I have to respectfully disagree with Don. I think the reformers won. It was close in some areas, but the fact that the pledge was almost overturned and that 80% of the platform is gone is evidence of that. My personal feeling now is that reformers and purists need to make one last attempt at a dialogue toward creating a platform we can both support. We also need to work on an agreement on either eliminating the pledge or replacing it with something else…which almost happened this time around.

    If compromise can’t be made, then I believe 2008 will be a bloodbath that permanently establishes reformer control of the party. I believe that this convention was the birth of a New Libertarian Party and I think 2008 will decide whether the marriage between reformers and purists continues in a more cooperative and equal light or whether the marriage ends for good.

  15. Jonathan Gullible Says:

    Just for the record are the “purists” the paleolibertarians, and the “reformers” neolibertarians, or the other way around?

    neolibertarians and paleolibertarians will never get along inside the LP, because neolibertarians believe there is an acceptable level of pre-emptive force, and paleolibertarians believe the only acceptable level of force is self defense.

    The Statement of Principles reflects a paleolibertarian position. To include any platforms that would reflect an “acceptable” level of pre-emptive force would be a contradiction to the stated principles of the Lp, and would require elimination of the Statement of Principles, or revision to reflect neolibertarian principles.

  16. Tony Torres Says:


    I don’t think the paleo/neo labels can accurately describe the differences in positions. Essentially, reformers believe the party can be more successful with a more moderate platform, more candidate flexibility based on said moderate platform, and fewer barriers to entry to the party. I don’t think those are the only reforms that are needed. The party needs a new modern fundraising model that can scale to handle donor bases both large and small. Back to your question however, the Libertarian Reform Caucus and other reform organizations are all quite diverse and have libertarians from all kinds of backgrounds. Contrary to the spin by the other side, most of them are not former Republicans and war supporters who want to turn the party into Republican-Lite. Many are left-libertarians, long-time moderate libertarians, constitutionalists, and civil libertarians.

  17. Steve Burden Says:

    I was there, too. I am one of those LRC guys. The LRC had a meeting the night before the start of the convention. There were about 40 or so people there. One thing that was generally agreed upon was that there needs to be a purist element in the LP. Just as there are radical left and radical right elements of the R’s and D’s. There is a vital need to keep the party as a whole pure to the basic concepts.

    There is a key question, however: Is this a political party, or a debate club? If it is a debate club, then everyone can have a great time feeling they ‘know better’ but don’t expect to EVER effect a change in the direction of the american political system. Bitching and hoping does not solve real world problems.

    The only practical way to change the direction of our political processes is through gaining enough votes to get people elected. To do that, we need to compromise so as to appeal to a larger voter base. We have the potential; We have the best parts of the conservative, systemic process faction of the R’s via limited government and personal responsibility; and we have the best parts of the liberal, intentions based philosophy of the D’s with personal freedom and civil liberty.

    The general D and R does not completly agree with their own radical party base. They perform a trade off or compromise on which of the two parties represents the most tenable trade off for them, personally. But remember, there is a large base of independents who judge not at a party level, but at an individual candidate level. Often, this group values just what we do: Limited government, personal freedom and individual responsibility. As a party, that the group we need to get so we can move the political process in our direction.

    We also have a fantastic opportunity right now because most voters can remember the damage the D’s did, and are now witnessing the damage the R’s are doing. We can potentially take a good number of votes away from both. But we cannot constrain our candidates to being ‘pure’. It won’t sell.

    We can keep bitching and wanting it to happen, or we can attempt to exploit the opening we now have to actually get the country headed in that direction. But that takes votes.

    If we keep heading away from Galt’s Gulch, we will never get there (although, if one thinks of the concept as circular, then we might…but that is for another rant.) If we are willing to compromise—but keep ourselves honest as a party via the purists as the core, base, heart of the party—we can get there.

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