LP Platform Committee Update

The Libertarian Party Platform Committee on Thursday May 22 adopted the several changes
to the recommendations it had adopted in February. The following texts are still subject to correction, but they are likely to be quite accurate.

2.2. Environment. We support a clean and healthy environment and sensible use of our natural resources. Private landowners and conservation groups have a vested interest in maintaining natural resources. Pollution and misuse of resources cause damage to our ecosystem. Governments, unlike private businesses, are unaccountable for such damage done to our environment and have a terrible track record when it comes to environmental protection. Protecting the environment requires a clear definition and enforcement of individual rights in resources like land, water, air, and wildlife. Free markets and property rights stimulate the technological innovations and behavioral changes required to protect our environment and ecosystems. We realize that our planet’s climate is constantly changing, but environmental advocates and social pressure are the most effective means of changing public behavior.

2.3. Energy and Resources. While energy is needed to fuel a modern society, government should not be subsidizing any particular form of energy. We oppose all government control of energy pricing, allocation, and production. Energy resources are increased as part of the same process by which man increases the production and supply of all other goods, namely, scientific and technological progress.

2.8. Education. Education, like any other service, is best provided by the free market, achieving greater quality and efficiency with more diversity of choice. Schools should be managed locally to achieve greater accountability and parental involvement. Recognizing that the education of children is inextricably linked to moral values, we would return authority to parents to determine the education of their children, without interference from government. In particular, parents should have control of and responsibility for all funds expended for their children’s education.

3.7. Self-Determination. Whenever any form of government becomes destructive of individual liberty, it is the right of the people to alter or to abolish it, and to agree to such new governance as to them shall seem most likely to protect their liberty.

The Committee appended five words of novel language to 2.9:

2.9. Health Care. We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system. We recognize the freedom of individuals to determine the level of health insurance they want, the level of health care they want, the care providers they want, the medicines and treatments they will use and all other aspects of their medical care,including end-of-life decisions.

To simplify floor debate in the presence of minority reports, the Committee combined its two recommendations about 1.3 (Personal Relationships) into a single recommendation (adopting the novel language recommended by Outright Libertarian leaders), and dropped its recommendation to amend 2.5 (Money and Financial Markets) with an extra sentence of novel language.

10 Responses to “LP Platform Committee Update”

  1. Ralph Says:

    The Frankenplatform of Richard Viguerie, who swore to destroy the LP with Jerry Falwell in the ‘70’s. Along with the Dominionist propaganda, all unleashed on his new site.

    Meanwhile, the one thing LNC and the Platform Committee won’t show are the complete reformatted platforms. Even Nolan has no copy.

  2. D. Frank Robinson Says:

    “We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies (by repealing the Federal Reserve Act),....” (amending language in parenthesis).

    Make it clean and clear cut. Defenestrate the Fed. This plank has too much cosmetics on it. The Federal Reserve system is not a financial “safety net”; it is an slingshot for the form of theft we call inflation.

    This plank is good in that it does not call for a government administered “gold standard”. Bravo for that.

    Any candidate for the LP nomination should pledge to seek abolition of the Fed. If not, they are unqualified. NO slack!

    2.5. Money and Financial Markets. We favor free-market banking, with unrestricted competition among banks and depository institutions of all types. Individuals engaged in voluntary exchange should be free to use as money any mutually agreeable commodity or item. We support a halt to inflationary monetary policies, the repeal of legal tender laws and compulsory governmental units of account.

  3. Kris Overstreet Says:

    D. Frank: Ah, for a return to the Good Old Days, when a person could lose everything when their local bank went belly-up and their bank-backed paper currency became worthless…

    ... when a thousand banks printed currency, which might or might not be worth anything close to face value…

    ... when banks could loan out unlimited amounts of money, with no requirement to maintain even a penny in reserves anywhere…

    ... and when the economy underwent catastrophic convulsions every twenty years or so as boom-bust cycles ran unrestrained by any outside force.

    NO thank you.

  4. Kris Overstreet Says:

    And it looks like the 2008 LP platform is going to be a direct reaction to the purge of 2006- with anarchy in the ascendancy.

    That’s sad enough, but you’d think the anarchists would at least be plain and simple about it. 2.8 could have been written, “Abolish all tax-funded schools immediately; people who can’t pay for their own education shouldn’t have any,” and it’d mean about the same thing.

    3.7, though, seriously worries me- worries me even months after I quit the LP. There’s no reason to re-state the right of rebellion unless you mean to exercise it. I look at that and I think only one thing: armed revolution.

    And you can bet a lot of other people will think the same thing- many of ‘em wearing badges.

  5. David Tomlin Says:

    This is my first look at the Committee recommendations. I like this platform a lot.

    The biggest problem is with 1.4. There should be some protection for abortion rights. I expect that will be added on the floor, unless the LP has moved even further to the right than I thought.

    I agree with Robinson on the Fed.

    The border control language needs some tweaking. Who decides if a migrant is a security threat? I think the government should have to prove it in court, by at least a preponderance of evidence.

    I’m sure it needs some more planks for issues that haven’t occurred to me.

    I like this platform much more than 2004. The issue/principle/solution/transition format was an interesting idea, but it was poorly implemented. The result was too wordy and repetitious.

  6. DrGonzo Says:

    3.7 - is one of the biggest misrepresentations of Jefferson’s statements that I have ever seen. It makes it appear as if citizens should have armed revolution whenever they want. I suggest whoever wrote that pick up a copy of the Declaration of Independence and quit cherry picking parts out of it.

    2.8 - just another one of those unrealistic fantasies that seem to go throughout the LP. While we want parents to take responsiblity for their kids education, many will not. Many parents don’t even make their kids go to school now. What happens when we have a bunch of uneducated criminals running around? I guess that will be alright becuase it was their parents choice?

  7. D. Frank Robinson Says:

    To who it may concern regarding “...the right of the people to alter or abolish any form of government…”

    “God Save the Queen!” We made a terrible mistake. There is not right of the people to anything. Please give us back the aristocracy to guide us and protect us that we may gratefully perish in the belief that the greater good of our betters is well served.

    Give us a freaking break! If the American Revolution was unjustifiable, what does justify revolution? If the American Revolution was justifiable, was it just a one off exception which can never ever be repeated?

    Brief history lesson: The American colonists repeatedly petitioned the Parliament (which is in perpetual constitutional convention) to amend the British Constitution and allow substantial self-government by the colonies. The Parliament refused. The Parliamentary majority was confident it could prevail by force of arms. It didn’t.

    So from this history lesson what may be conclude? There is a right to alter (which the colonists tried by petition), but if that fails there is no right to abolish (secession and independence)?

    Suppose that a substantial minority of the people petition for a new constitutional convention to alter the form of this government? Suppose the Congress refuses because they are confident they can prevail by force of arms over any revolt?

    Or, consider the principle on a smaller scale. The U. S. Constitution alleges a guarantee to each state of a republican form of government - which it defined as following its own state constitution. But the state legislature repeatedly fails to fulfill a key state constitutional provision. Shall the people of that state have the right to alter or abolish that state government because the national government also refuses to enforce its own promises? Sounds theoretical, eh?

    History lesson: Oklahoma has been a state for one hundred years. The constitution of the State of Oklahoma mandates that the legislature shall (not could or may or advises) place the question of calling a constitutional convention upon the general election ballot every twenty years. It has never happened - never. Five legislatures have violated the Oklahoma constitution and that includes the 2008 legislature. Five usurpations by five legislatures controlled by the two political parties jointly. Has either party risen to demand accountability? NO!

    Now, do the people of Oklahoma have the the right to convene a constitutional convention on their own initiative?

    If such convention produced a new constitution and the legislature refused to place it on the next general election ballot, would the people have any right to invoke the guarantee of a republican form of government and ask the national government to supervise the referendum on the new constitution?

    And, if the national government refused to enforce the U.S. Constitution, do the people have a right to alter or abolish the national as well as the state government?

    What would Thomas Jefferson and Thomas Paine say? Well, they have already spoken. So what is your problem? That we are no longer British colonies?

    ON humanitarian grounds, who will enforce our constitutions for us? The UN? Will the Canadians ride to our rescue? You don’t seriously think Mexico would undertake to intervene under the threat on one nuke on Mexico City?

    Hey, it must be the obligation of the American people. A realistic assessment of the our political condition is that the operation of constitutions in these alleged United States is dead. WE have no constitution beyond the decrees of the nine member American Parliament aka SCOTUS (Supreme Court of the United States) arbiter of elections and anything else that interests them. We are now Britishers again. Governed by vague and flexible customs and brute force.

  8. DrGonzo Says:

    D. Frank,

    You again cherry picked parts of the Declaration. It goes on to say…

    Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism,

    I don’t need the history lesson, so I’m not going to go through and read it all. I’m also not talking about current conditions. I’m only talking about that part of the platform. Jefferson made it clear people shouldn’t just overthrow the government anytime they want. He said it should not be for light and transient causes.

  9. Michael H. Wilson Says:

    DrGonzo last time I looked an undeclared war and the deaths of thousands in that war along with the waste of money, the Patriot Act and the lies that lead to it all are worthy of an arrest of the president and his henchmen and tossing them all in the big house. Those are certainly not light and transient causes. Arrest Bush!


  10. DrGonzo Says:

    Yes our government is bad, but they did almost all that within the confines of hte law. Congress helped or did nothing on most of them.

    Lets be honest, we aren’t even close to the worst. We wake up everyday with food in our stomachs, hop on the internet and share our views. Americans are overly dramatic about our situation. It is bad, but not we are not living under complete despotism.

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