Thursday, March 01, 2018

A Promise Fulfilled

It's a promise I only vaguely remember, but someone recalled it to my attention this morning and I do like to keep my promises, so I did.

That promise was that if I ever served on the Libertarian Party's national platform committee (something I didn't expect would ever happen when I made the promise, but that has now in fact happened), I would propose the adoption of the World's Smallest Political Platform. To wit, replacement of all planks in the platform with a single one:

The Libertarian Party supports reducing the size, scope and power of government at all levels and on all issues, and opposes increasing the size, scope or power of government at any level or for any purpose.

A few notes:

  • The only part of the platform that would not be superseded/replaced by this, because it's hard-coded in the bylaws to require a 7/8ths vote to touch, is the Statement of Principles. Other than that, everything -- the preamble and all the planks -- would be replaced by that single sentence.
  • No, I do not expect the committee to approve, nor the convention to adopt, the WSPP, for a number of reasons, many of them good, including but not limited to the process being, well, parliamentarily arduous (it would presumably require a separate vote on the deletion of each of the other planks).
  • No, I'm not sure I would want it to be adopted, especially since it is just half of an agenda, the other half (creation of a biennial program) of which would have to be dealt with in bylaws. The platform without the program would be less than ideal.
It takes four co-sponsors to bring a proposal to an email ballot. In addition to me, Darryl W. Perry of New Hampshire is sponsoring the proposal. That's not especially surprising given that he has in the past served as chair of two of the three political parties which have used the WSPP (the Boston Tea Party and the New Hampshire Liberty Party -- the third, of which he has not served as chair, is the Libertarian Party of Maine).

I don't expect to see third and fourth co-sponsors or an email ballot, but if that does happen I'll report back.

Anyway, promise kept. And now that I think about it, I wonder if anyone has ever written a political platform adopted by three different political parties in the same country before? I rate the WSPP as a big part of my exceedingly tenuous claim to eventually being a minor historical footnote in American politics (along with being one of only two, so far as I know, former US vice-presidential nominees who are also former Marines, the other being Darrell Castle of the Constitution Party, in the same year I ran; if the LP had nominated Larry Sharpe in 2016, he would have been the third that I know of).

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