Wednesday, April 05, 2017

Libertarian Party of Florida Convention Motions, Part 1: Platform


The Libertarian Party of Florida's 2017 convention is coming up next month (and you should hit the support links in the right sidebar to help me get there!). The party's Platform and Rules Committees have published their recommendations for changes to the party's platform, Constitution and bylaws here.

Here are my thoughts on some of the platform proposals. Just because I don't mention something, it doesn't mean I don't have an opinion on it. In fact, I'll focus on the proposals I disagree with in some way. I may be back with more later, including stuff I agree with, but this is my first pass at things that really pop out at me.

Motion: 2017-ABM-P-03

Title: Motion to strike Platform Item Preamble

Text: Motion by the Platform Committee to strike Platform Item Preamble

PREAMBLE

Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.

People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

I oppose this motion. The preamble is a good general summary of what the Libertarian Party stands for and why. It should be retained.

Motion: 2017-ABM-P-04

Title: Motion to amend Platform Item I State Government

Text: Motion by the Platform Committee to amend Platform Item I State Government

I. STATE GOVERNMENT

[most of this motion elided, I'm concerning myself here with only the following part]

11. We oppose using state and local resources to enforce federal immigration laws against foreign nationals who do not pose a credible threat to security, health or property.

No, no, no, no, NO.

Why? This is an anti-libertarian poison pill that's cribbed from the final sentence of the national LP's platform, plank 3.4, which I am on record as intending to see deleted at next year's national convention for the same reasons.

I've run into more than one immigration authoritarian in the LP who argues that the verbiage "foreign nationals who ... pose a credible threat to security, health or property" is license to put the Libertarian Party in support of banning whole categories of persons from entering the United States on the basis of statistical claims that their religious or cultural backgrounds make them inherently "credible threats."

Even LP members who are not libertarian on immigration (the libertarian position -- the ONLY libertarian position -- on immigration is "open borders") should be able to get their heads around the idea that we don't want language in our platform that leaves an opening for statists to exercise broad authority rather than proving actual harm or threat on an individual basis.

Proposed alternative:

We oppose using state and local resources to enforce federal laws, or to hold prisoners in state or local correctional facilities for handover to federal agencies or agencies of other states in the absence of valid warrants, judicial orders or extradition requests.

Motion: 2017-ABM-P-05

Title: Motion to amend Platform Item II Elections

Text: Motion by the Platform Committee to amend Platform Item II Elections

II. ELECTIONS

[most of this motion elided, I'm concerning myself here with only the following part]

Campaign finance laws are unwarranted restrictions of free speech or association and should be repealed. Keeping in accordance with the tradition of all government being run in the Sunshine, we We support making all political contributions public records.

I oppose this motion.

Alternative proposal: Everything up to and including the word "repealed" should be kept, everything after discarded.

Whether or not a candidate makes his or her campaign contributions public should be up to that candidate -- and people who disagree with the candidate's decision can vote against the candidate. Personally I will be disinclined to support a candidate who hides where his or her money comes from, but that's a matter for candidates and voters to hash out among themselves, not for the law to dictate.

Motion: 2017-ABM-P-07

Title: Motion to amend Platform Item VII Economy

Text: Motion by the Platform Committee to amend Platform Item VII Economy

VII. ECONOMY

[most of this motion elided, I'm concerning myself here with only the following part]

The condemnation of private property for public use should only be allowed when necessary for the protection of the rights of the citizens. Eminent Domain is only appropriate for immediate concerns of public safety.

I oppose this motion.

Proposed alternative:

"Eminent domain" is a fancy word for "theft." If government wants to acquire property, it should be required pay the owner's demanded price just like any other buyer, and if the owner declines to sell that should be the end of the matter.

blog comments powered by Disqus
Three Column Modification courtesy of The Blogger Guide
Some graphics and styles ported from a previous theme by Jenny Giannopoulou