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Saturday, December 19, 2009

Platform Thoughts

Brian Holtz // Dec 16, 2009 at 2:04 pm

In Vegas my highest priority was these 5 changes that strengthen the defenses of our candidates:

* 1.0: informed competence or adulthood is required to exercise a right
* 1.2: drug freedom is not for children
* 1.4: oppose abortion subsidies and mandates
* 1.6: qualify gun rights as being for peaceful adults
* 3.5: parents may not abuse/neglect/endanger children

I also advocated 6 changes that fix semantic bugs:

* Preamble: planks, not “pages”
* 1.0: “choices in life” => e.g. “choices in his or her own life”
* 1.0: “mean we necessarily” => “necessarily mean we”
* 1.2: the 4th Amendment recognizes rights, it does not create them
* 1.3: “rights” => “treatment”, “gender” => “sex”
* 3.2: don’t falsely say the Bill of Rights has no wartime exceptions

The language I advocated is at

The LP should adopt more of the green-libertarian ideas of the Free Earth Manifesto.

The Green Party should make these green-libertarian changes to their 10 Key Green Values.

The Dems (and even the LP) could improve their platform by adopting this modified version of the Democratic Freedom Caucus platform.

I highly recommend the short but sweet platform of Prof. Fred Foldvary’s Free Earth Party (which is not so much a party as a transpartisan caucus).

And as a treat for platform wonks, here are excerpts from the original (1848) platform of the Free Soil Party:

Congress has no more power to make a slave, than to make a king. We have assembled in conventions as a union of freemen, for the sake of freedom, forgetting all past political differences in a common resolve to maintain the rights of free labor, against the aggressions of the slave power, and to secure free soil for a free people.

The free grant to actual settlers of reasonable portions of the public lands, under suitable limitations, is a wise and just public policy. Let the soil of our extensive domains be ever kept free for the hardy pioneers of our own land, and the oppressed and banished of other lands, seeking homes of comfort and fields of enterprise in the new world.

We the people, here assembled, remembering the example of our fathers in the days of the first declaration of independence, do now plant ourselves on the national platform of freedom. We will inscribe on our banner ”Free Soil, Free Speech, Free Labor, and Free Men”, and under it will fight on, and fight ever, until a triumphant victory shall reward our exertions.

Brian Holtz // Dec 17, 2009 at 10:50 pm

Carolyn, the fact that 91% of abortions are in the first trimester is precisely why it is indeed “weird” that so-called pro-choice Libertarians doggedly insist that the platform oppose even laws that outlaw only late-term discretionary abortions. As you are a candidate for Vice Chair, I’d appreciate if you told us whether or not you share in this dogged insistence.

Brian Holtz // Dec 17, 2009 at 11:55 pm

Carolyn, I’ve already acknowledged that your personal position is different from that of the LP Platform: “You and I have already agreed to a certain extent on an evictionist approach to abortion, but that’s not what the LP platform currently advocates.”

I’ve since been trying to figure out whether you realize that the LP Platform draws a bright line at birth, and whether you think the LP should continue to oppose any law that would outlaw discretionary killing of late-term fetuses.

In the other thread, you’ve now apparently said that your respective answers are “yes” and “no”. I like these answers better than what I understood you to mean by what you originally wrote: I also want to add my thanks to the women’s caucus for once again helping to protect the “abortion” plank, which I really see as more the “it’s not the government’s business” plank.

Brian Holtz // Dec 18, 2009 at 11:49 pm

Only three people are non-alternate members of both LNC and PlatCom. It was fortunate that alternate Starr had arranged to travel to Vegas, as full member Susan Hogarth announced only the morning before the meeting that she wouldn’t be attending.

I don’t know how many applications LNC received, but apparently not many LP members are up for the requisite travel and the non-stop deliberations — to say nothing of keeping abreast of the email traffic. At least one first-time member told me in Vegas that he wouldn’t be applying again.

Darryl, the LNC appoints 10 members after advertising for applicants in LP News, and the top 10 states each pick their own representative.