Nov 28, 2007


LIBERTARIAN PARTY - The LP, founded in 1971, bills itself as "America's largest third party" (and, along with the Greens, are definitely among the two largest third parties in the nation). The Libertarians are neither left nor right: they believe in total individual liberty (pro-drug legalization, pro-choice, pro-gay marriage, pro-home schooling, anti-gun control, etc.) and total economic freedom (anti-welfare, anti-government regulation of business, anti-minimum wage, anti-income tax, pro-free trade, etc.). The LP espouses a classical laissez faire ideology which, they argue, means "more freedom, less government and lower taxes." Over 400 LP members currently hold various -- though fairly low level -- government offices (including lots of minor appointed officials like "School District Facilities Task Force Member" and "Town Recycling Committee Member"). In any given election year, the LP fields more local and federal candidates than any other US third party -- although the LP has clearly been eclipsed by the Greens in size since 1996 in terms of having the largest third party following and garnering more media attention. Former 1988 LP Presidential nominee Ron Paul is now a Republican Congressman from Texas -- although Paul is still active with encouraging the LP. The LP's biggest problem: Ron Paul, former NM Governor Gary Johnson, humorist/journalist PJ O'Rourke, the Republican Liberty Caucus and others in the GOP are working to attract ideological libertarians into the political arena -- arguing they can bring about libertarian change more easily under the Republican label. LP Presidential nominee Ed Clark carried over 921,000 votes (1.1%) in 1980. Subsequent nominees for the next dozen years, though not as strong as Clark, typically ran ahead of most other third party candidates. The late financial consultant and author Harry Browne was the LP Presidential nominee in 1996 (485,000 votes - 5th place - 0.5%) and 2000 (386,000 votes - 5th place - 0.4%). Computer consulant and tax-resister Michael Badnarik was the LP Presidential nominee in 2004 (397,000 votes - 4th place - 0.3%). And, FYI, the LP typically obtains ballot status for the Presidential nominee in all 50 states. The LP also has active affiliate parties in every state. The party has been divided for years between two warring factions: a more purist/hardcore libertarian group and a more moderate "reform" faction. The hardcore group are uncompromising anarchistic-libertarians in the Ayn Rand mold. By contrast, the moderates are interested in focusing on only a handful of more popular issues (drug decriminalization, gun rights, tax cuts, etc.) in exchange for attracting a larger number of voters. Allies of the hardcore faction firmly held control of the party from the late-1980s until the moderates seized control at the 2006 national convention and gutted the party's original platform. Other related LP sites are: the Libertarian Party News (official LP newspaper), College Libertarians (official student group), LP Ballot Base (official GOTV site), (official LP outreach), Libertarian Reform Caucus (LP moderates), LP Radicals (LP purists), Libertarian Leadership School (official LP training program), LPedia (official LP Wiki history site).. The LP web site features a link to the World's Smallest Political Quiz -- designed by LP co-founder David Nolan -- and take the quiz to see if you're a libertarian (a bit simplistic, and slanted in favor of the LP, but interesting just the same).

For a Complete List of all Parties Check out: DIRECTORY OFU.S. POLITICAL PARTIES

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1 comment:

Ted said...

I have looked into the LP several times but their views have changed somewhat from what I now believe. At one time I remember seeing ad's on TV for them, I think when Clark ran for President. Not a lot since then.

I am a registered Green myself but No one really runs in Nebraska on that party, usually they don't even have ballot access.
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