Saturday, May 02, 2020

Platform Committee -- and National Convention -- Update


Earlier today, the Libertarian National Committee voted to:


  1. Invoke the "impossibility" clause in its convention contract with the JW Marriott in Austin Texas; and
  2. Postpone the 2020 Libertarian National Convention to a place to be determined, and an opening date no later than July 15; and
  3. Adjourn their e-meeting to next Saturday to consider options for that move.
It is my opinion that the LNC had no authority to do (2) above, and that it is now operating outside the scope of its bylaws. Others disagree, but that IS my opinion.

It is my further opinion that a bylaws-compliant 2020 Libertarian National Convention could not plausibly take place in meatspace by July 15, or for that matter by the bylaws deadline of August 31, even if the LNC did have the authority to reschedule.

That leaves two options:

  1. Call the whole thing off and let the LNC nominate a presidential ticket (and itself serve for another two years apart from resignations or, in the case of regional reps, replacement by the state parties in their regions); or
  2. Hold some kind of "online convention."
In a previous post, I supported option (1) and explained why I think option (2) would be a train wreck.

I won't say I have changed my mind exactly, but I'm leaning more and more toward (2) on both practical grounds and for reasons of "legitimacy" considerations.

Since we are operating beyond the scope of the bylaws already,  I'm not that worried about bylaws considerations.

But I do think we should get a presidential ticket nominated ASAP -- around the time the original convention was scheduled to take place -- rather than continue to kick the can down the road pretending that a "meatspace" convention is likely.

And I also think the party's members would be happier if they saw that nomination take place by delegate vote rather than by LNC "vacancy-filling."

Just to be clear, this is an advocacy AGAINST INTEREST:

If we have a "meatspace" convention, I plan to go, and although I am only a lowly alternate, I expect that attendance will be low enough that I will end up being seated as a full delegate.

If we have an "online" convention, there's no damn way I get a delegate seat.

Furthermore, an "online" convention is much less likely to get any platform work done. It will be removed from the agenda in favor of doing nominations/elections and getting things over with. I think the platform committee has done really good work, I am proud of my part in that work, and I would prefer to see that work considered by delegates in convention assembled.

But I don't think we should continue fucking around pretending that a "meatspace" convention is likely to happen.

And that's all I have to say about that.

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