Business Politics and Current Affairs

October 21, 2010

US Politics – Libertarian Party

Filed under: US Politics — ispoli @ 10:06 am

Libertarian Party

The LP, founded in 1971, bills itself as “America’s largest third party.” 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”). Typically, the LP fields more local 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 the most media attention. Former 1988 LP Presidential nominee Ron Paul is now a Republican Congressman from Texas – although Paul is still active with the LP. The LP’s biggest problem: Ron Paul, former NM Governor Gary Johnson, 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. LP Presidential nominee Harry Browne carried over 485,000 votes (5th place – 0.5%) in 1996 and 386,000 votes in 2000 (5th place – 0.4%). The LP has affiliates in all 50 states. The LP web site features a link to the World’s Smallest Political Quiz … take the quiz and see if you’re a libertarian (a bit simplistic – but interesting just the same). Keep up on the latest from the LP by reading the Libertarian Party News online. The College Libertarians also maintain a web directory. A “reform” faction (anti-Browne) within the party attempted to wrest control in 1999-2000 away from the incumbent leadership (pro-Browne), alleging that the controlling faction among the incumbents have serious ethical conflicts of interest as to which favored consultants receive the bulk of the LP’s money (note: the incumbents denied the allegations and held control of the LP’s top posts … but this internal dissention is likely to continue for a long while). Other related sites are: American Liberty Foundation (Browne’s group) and (LP outreach).


1 Comment »

  1. ‘:~ I am very thankful to this topic because it really gives up to date information “`.

    Comment by Network Switch — January 25, 2011 @ 4:31 am | Reply

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