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Saturday, September 26, 2009

Did Platform Reform Repel Thousands Of LP Anarchists?

Brian Holtz // Sep 23, 2009 at 12:18 am

Matt, it’s not tenable to claim that any and all recent negative trends in LP membership and contributions have been due to anarchist resentment of the 2006/2008 platform changes. I would suspect that many LP insiders would agree that NatCon delegates are generally more radical than our 13K-or-whatever rank-and-file LP members, and yet the NatCon easily approved the platform by the requisite 2/3 supermajority. Indeed, 44% of those delegates were prepared to nominate an avowed anarchist for President, for only the second time (if you credit reports that Bergland in 1984 said he was an anarchist).

In fact, there weren’t “thousands” of anarchist members available to leave in the first place. A 2008 Liberty Magazine poll in 2008 found that only 10% of LP members are anarchists, down from 31% in 1987. I doubt you could name even 20 anarchists who would say they quit the LP because of the 2006/2008 platform changes.

Brian Holtz // Sep 23, 2009 at 9:08 am

I agree with Debra that activist burnout is a big problem. We need to make as much of our activism as possible yield non-perishable results that move the ball forward and/or make things easier for the next cycle or next activist.

Brian Holtz // Sep 23, 2009 at 12:18 pm

Michael, I was able to take LP materials and create eleven briefs across a broad spectrum of the issues. See the Evaluate menu at

The one issue where I couldn’t find decent LP-generated material for was the environment. My brief on that issue is adapted from

Brian Holtz // Sep 23, 2009 at 1:13 pm

I’ve created such a stock campaign flyer:

Zander Collier and I paid for customizing a few thousand of them that Chris Agrella distributed for his recent special election:

I currently have several thousand of the generic one, where the space for a name/url/photo is available for ink-jetting or stamping. I’ll mail some to anybody who can convince me they’ll actually pass them out.

Note that, at least here in California, most local races are non-partisan — i.e., no primary is held, and no party affiliation is printed on the ballot.

Brian Holtz // Sep 23, 2009 at 2:33 pm

Mike @29, creating the flyers was a labor of love. The hard part was Chris and and the rest of you guys on his S. Cal team distributing them by hand — many of them door-to-door, from what I heard. The design is done, printing costs in volume are only about 4 cents per card, so distribution is the real challenge. My favorite low-hanging fruit is windshields in the parking lot of the mass naturalization events they hold at the county fairgrounds here.

Brian Holtz // Sep 24, 2009 at 1:03 am

MDH: the end of a state-neutral platform has cost the LP thousands of memberships

Holtz: there weren’t “thousands” of anarchist members available to leave in the first place

Blanton: most of the anarchists or radical libertarians were gone by 2006