Monday, October 22, 2012

A follow up on voting libertarian

I had a few emails roll in over the last 24-hours since I posted this article One email pointed me to a link for what passes for the LPC's voters guide. I've recreated the guide below:

Libertarian Party of California Voters Guide

  • Proposition 30 - No
  • Proposition 31 - No
  • Proposition 32 - No
  • Proposition 33 - Yes
  • Proposition 34 - Yes
  • Proposition 35 - No
  • Proposition 36 - Yes
  • Proposition 37 - Yes
  • Proposition 38 - No
  • Proposition 38 - No
  • Proposition 39 - No
  • Proposition 40 - No position taken

The good news is, I now know what the Libertarian Party expects from its members, what I don't know is why I should vote yes or no on any of the propositions. If left to my own devices, I will always make up my own mind. Take prop 32 for instance. Why should libertarians vote for more regulation?

A little research shows that democrats appose the initiative while republicans support it. To put it another way, unions appose it, while businesses support it. Dig a little deeper and you find that Charles Munger Jr. poured $22 million into the initiative while the California Teachers Association poured $20 million.  Why does Munger support prop 32? He wants fair elections. Oddly enough, so does the Teachers Union.  Does prop 32 make for fair elections? No; not really. It limits union money from entering campaigns by attacking their funding. The initiative does not do the same thing for businesses (although it says it does). Businesses do not raise political donations from their employees. The notion that they would is absurd. If prop 32 were fair, it would the ability to contribute funds. 

My acid tests:

Is this proposition part of a Republican strategy to change the balance of power in California? If yes, then I vote no. Having a stronger Republican party does not advance libertarian ideals. It weakens our ability to influence policy. Republicans are increasing led by dangerous theocrats. Any link to libertairian principles are subverted by a Christian social agenda. We gain smaller government at the cost of inviting the government into our bedrooms? Doing anything to help the republican cause is insanity. 

Is the initiative fair? In this case, it is not fair. It attacks one side of the problem while leaving a gaping loophole that only business can exploit.  Balance is lost. Our system will suffer. 

Since I do not know why libertarians should support prop 32, I will vote NO unless I hear a better argument. 

This is my point - I want to know why we take a position on a proposition. I want a well written and professionally crafted document accessible to all that tells the story in language we can understand. If we have this, then people like me can  promote our position. Each month my blog has tens of thousands of visitors. I've racked up 2 million page views in the last couple of years. My articles post highly in search results. If I write about an issue, I can influence others in a small way. Yet without leadership, little happens. I must research and develop content on my own and guess at the motivations of our libertarian leadership. It still blows my mind that we cannot get our act together. Instead we talk about the unelectable Gary Johnson as if campaign matters. I don't get it. Gary who?

Where the hell is my voter guide? Where is my candidate analysis? I want to know which candidate, of the electable candidates, is most closely aligned with libertarian thinking. Trust me - very few libertarians who run locally are electable. Why vote for an unelectable libertarian if our ability to influence policy can best be implemented via a democrat?

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PersephoneK said...

How are the democrats a better option? This makes no sense. Republicans and Democrats are two sides of the same non freedom loving coin. At least Republicans have a tiny understanding of the economy versus democrats, even if they dont stick to their own rhetoric. why vote for unelectable libertarians? Because they are more closely aligned with a libertarian viewpoint than non libertarians, if that is your viewpoint. we must start voting for 3rd party candidates to break to death grip of the two feckless parties in power.

vjack said...

Most people across the political spectrum seem to be too lazy to do their own research. They vote along party lines. As you know, it takes some effort to evaluate every candidate and issue independently. I try to do that too, and like you, I'm often frustrated with the lack of information.

Anonymous said...

Prop 30's opposition - uber-conservative right wingers just got headlines - "the largest contribution ever disclosed as campaign money laundering in California history."