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Thursday, May 15, 2008

If this isn't redemption, then what is?

It's ludicrous to suggest that 5Ws/DL (ain't renaming fun?) has been subject to anything like the vicious attacks that have been heaped on 1) the draft that this Platform Committee currently endorses and 2) that draft's authors and supporters. 
I wouldn't agree that not adopting a platform of entirely novel language, nor even re-using any of it for a recycled-text proposal, is the same thing as "ignoring" it.
Like it or not, there are three distinct kinds of texts in play here:
  1. Texts that consist of Recommendations currently and duly adopted by vote of this Committee.
  2. Texts that have enough support on this Committee to constitute a series of minority reports.
  3. Texts (like my EcoLibertarian Manifesto) that have shown no sign of being able to achieve enough support for even minority reports.
I've always argued and advocated that any texts in categories 1 and 2 should be put before the delegates and membership via the same channels (web, email, print).  I want the delegates to have maximum information about the choices that will actually come before them, and to not be distracted with Hail Mary passes like my EcoLibertarian Manifesto.
I don't believe in quotas or affirmative action for texts in category 3 (like my EcoLibertarian Manifesto), but some part of me wouldn't mind too much if we multiplied the number of Restore04-style texts that get dumped in front of the delegates.  I've heard that Restore04 is going to be circulating the entire 2004 text on the floor in Denver and that prominent Restore04 members want to move for initial un-deletion of the 40 deleted planks.  You yourself have put in play a third 2004-based text, and a prominent Restore04 signer -- the Chair of the original 1972 Constitution and Bylaws Committee -- wants ALL the past LP platforms to be voted on in Denver.  The more Restore04 proposals, the better, if you ask me. :-)
Unfortunately, conventions acting like an 800-member Platform Committee is how the Platform got into the hole it fell into in Denver.  The way to get it out is with a Platform Committee that exhibits some leadership from members willing to set aside their own wet-dream texts and demands for purity, and instead come together around a repair proposal that includes all and only the principles that unite the vast majority of Libertarians.  That we are on track toward this goal is evidenced by 1) the overwhelming approval among respondents to the Chair's survey on our Vegas recommendations, and 2) the deafening silence of specific complaints about principles and positions our draft leaves out.