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FSP -- General Discussion => Prospective Participants => Topic started by: Aaron on February 28, 2003, 09:25:16 am

Title: Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Aaron on February 28, 2003, 09:25:16 am
I just discovered the FSP several hours ago; and as a long time libertarian I am on the verge of signing up.  I have read the entire thread 'is 20,000 enough?' as well as most of the articles posted on the main site.  One question that keeps nagging me is that you seem to use how much money the Dems and Reps have spent in recent years as a factor in a state's viability.  What makes you think that the two parties won't immediately flood our 'free state' with ten times as much money as soon as we choose it/move to it/start making a difference/etc.?  It seems that this is a plausible (if not probable) scenario given the fact that they 'coincidentally' raised the number of signatures required for candidates to be placed on a state's ballot every time the LP had even a modest success.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: JasonPSorens on February 28, 2003, 02:00:35 pm
Welcome to the forum, Aaron; hope you stick around, whether or not you decide to sign up.

Regarding your question, I suppose anything's possible.  However, if we infiltrate one of the major parties that will make it difficult for outsiders to target exactly who should go down and who should win.  Also, we won't be going anywhere; our efforts will persist year after year.  Could they throw millions of dollars at our state every election cycle?  Both state and federal races?  Doubtful, especially with the new regulations on "soft money" (unconstitutional though they are) preventing parties from giving substantial amounts of money to candidates.  One thing we do know, though: battling the political establishment on the state level will be a lot easier than doing the same on the national level, which libertarians are trying to do now.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: ShrineGuard on February 28, 2003, 09:21:44 pm
If we did choose a state like Wyoming, I think the major parties would simply blow us off.  Races that would matter would be the ones where there was a chance of the election going either way.  Beating out the other major party is infinatly more important than stopping a small group of Libertarians who have crazy delusions of granduer ;)

But the soft money point shows us what I think makes Libertarians so great!  Even though campaign contribution regulations (real ones, anyway) would make it much easier for us to get our views across, we stick to our views, and maintain that there should be no limits on campaign contributions.  Libertarians never sacrafice ideals, and we never should!
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Aaron on March 02, 2003, 08:16:06 am
Well, After a couple all nighters reading these threads, I did sign up.  I'll try to get my wife to sign up as well.  Thanks for the auto-respond, Jason.  Delaware was an opt out state for me.  (For full disclosure, though my address is now SoCal, I was born and raised in suburban Philly--close enough to know firsthand what Delaware is like.)  I am truly frightened of that creepy Dupont family.  My problem with the proximity to the Feds is not that it is too close to Capitol Hill, but that it is too close to Langley.  I can't be alone in this.  You wouldn't have made that comment about the mysterious circumstances surrounding the murder of the AIP leader if you didn't know you had an audience for a little conspiracy paranoia.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: jgmaynard on March 20, 2003, 10:19:49 am
Hi Aaron:

Glad you joined.
Yes, I too expect the D/R's to throw money into the free state after we get there. BUT we have a TREMENDOUS advantage they don't.
Let's pretend the FS is NH (I live here, so it is what I know best, and I think it is the best choice).
Last Governor's race, the D's spent $2M. R's spent $9M (self-financed - it was a fluke). And each had a couple hundred volunteers throughout the state. Compare this with the LPNH's $12,000 spent on the 2002 Governor's race.
20,000 FSP'ers donating $100 each means a budget of $2M! That gives us spending PARITY with the D's.
Let's say they double the spending. Even that would allow us 1/2 the money of the D's, and ONE HUNDRED volunteers for EVERY volunteer either the D's or R's have.
In elections, money and volunteers can be substituted for each other. With $2M and 20,000 volunteers, we can reach a LOT more people than either the D's or R's.
We will be able to do a LOT more outreach than either of the two old parties.

Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: craft_6 on March 20, 2003, 10:53:48 am
Yes, I too expect the D/R's to throw money into the free state after we get there. BUT we have a TREMENDOUS advantage they don't.  Let's pretend the FS is NH (I live here, so it is what I know best, and I think it is the best choice).  Last Governor's race, the D's spent $2M. R's spent $9M (self-financed - it was a fluke). And each had a couple hundred volunteers throughout the state. Compare this with the LPNH's $12,000 spent on the 2002 Governor's race.  20,000 FSP'ers donating $100 each means a budget of $2M! That gives us spending PARITY with the D's.  Let's say they double the spending. Even that would allow us 1/2 the money of the D's, and ONE HUNDRED volunteers for EVERY volunteer either the D's or R's have.  In elections, money and volunteers can be substituted for each other. With $2M and 20,000 volunteers, we can reach a LOT more people than either the D's or R's.  We will be able to do a LOT more outreach than either of the two old parties.

This explains pretty clearly why I think it is a mistake for the FSP to write off the chances of working through the LP, based on the LP's historically poor showing in elections.  An influx of 20,000 liberty activists in a small state will be an entirely new phenomenon, and could put the local LP over the legitimacy threshold in the minds of voters.  With spending and advertising parity, and a big edge in volunteer activities, voters would no longer consider a Libertarian vote as a wasted vote.    
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Zxcv on April 20, 2003, 11:50:52 pm
Great, we'd get 10% of the vote instead of 2%.  ::)

The only thing the LP will do for us, is work in races where the two major party candidates are clearly, unequivocably statist (and those ought to be the races an LP candidate would have the best chance, anyway). There are just too many people who will vote against a Libertarian because the baggage that has been attached to that label, and there are just too many people who will vote R or D no matter who is running with that label. We have to make those tendencies work for us, not against us, by working within a major party.

There is just no way the FSP is going the LP-only route. Ask any of the board, for one thing. If people are basing their membership on the expectation we are forming a super-LP, they had better re-think it.

But anyway, your contention, craft_6, will be easy to test, because undoubtedly we will be running some LP candidates in some races where we don't have a major party FSP-endorsed candidate. And that LP candidate will have the about same resources. If we find we actually can make a reasonable percentage of LP candidates win, then great, we're all set. We can go with the LP exclusively.

But I don't think that will happen.

As to major political money flowing into the state, I don't expect the parties to do it so much as the trough-feeders: NEA, other unions, big corporations in bed with government. That happens even now when any state has an initiative on the ballot threatening these interests.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: freedomroad on April 21, 2003, 01:13:01 am
This explains pretty clearly why I think it is a mistake for the FSP to write off the chances of working through the LP, based on the LP's historically poor showing in elections.  An influx of 20,000 liberty activists in a small state will be an entirely new phenomenon, and could put the local LP over the legitimacy threshold in the minds of voters.  With spending and advertising parity, and a big edge in volunteer activities, voters would no longer consider a Libertarian vote as a wasted vote.    

We are individuals, not a group.  We will all be connected through a group like the FSP but we can join any party.  The Democrats among us might join the DP and make it more centrist.  At the same time, the Republicans will joing the RP and make it somewhat libertarian.  Imagine that, having a DP that is centrist instead of statist.  That would completely change most of the states in the county.  And, even better, a RP that is somewhat libertarian, instead of centrist.  

Of course, the Libertarian Party will still be around, and pretty powerful in a state like AK, NH, WY, or VT.  In fact, the LP will grow by many times in size and strength and will be there to point out all mistakes by the Republicans and Democrats.  The major parties will naturally become liberty friendly because you and I will be members of them and the LP will be watching them.  

The power will go to the people because we will work with all of the parties.  We will be members of the state and we will treat the state like it has and will always be our home.  Freedom will reign.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Dalamar49 on April 21, 2003, 06:11:48 pm
Although I kinda like the FreedomRoad's idea of us joining whatever political parties suit us, the problem would arise from us running against eachother.

We need to make a united attempt (sounds a tad collectivist) to influence one of the state's political parties.

Whether we (as a group) join the Republicans, Democrats, or Libertarians we'll need to do it as a group.

The biggest challenge will be trying to decide which party to "take over."  ;)

I lean towards the LP myself.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Leonard on April 21, 2003, 09:26:07 pm
I'd think the Republicans are likely to be the best party to join en masse.  The party of Ron Paul has some hope, I think.  But activists will be helpful whereever they are.  

Surely one of the first things we'll want to work towards is a more third-party friendly voting system (probably approval voting).  Fusion is also worth considering and easier than changing voting methods.  Either of these will cut down on the "waste your vote" conundrum.  And they both should be supported by most of our people, no matter what party they are in.

I don't think it really matters what party porcupines register with.  What matters is (a) how we game elections by entering, or not entering, 3rd party candidates (at least until we get a decent election reform), and (b) the sort of people that get past primaries.  If we have pricklies in the D party, and they put up a typical big government type candidate, then I'd expect a lot of defections from the D FSPers.  Whether they go R or L - that's a different matter, and one we should consider carefully on a case-by-case basis.  (Of course, the same sort of thing works the other way, if there's a lousy R opposite a good D.)
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: PongGod on April 22, 2003, 04:48:23 pm
This is a great discussion topic and brings up what I believe to be one of the biggest potential obstacles (and one that I haven't seen addressed yet) to the FSP.  While getting 20,000 activists to move to a chosen state is a challenge, I'm quite confident that it can be accomplished.  What I'm not at all confident about is how we will be able to harness this newly concentrated energy for freedom and channel it into electoral success.

Even as like-minded as we are about freedom, unless we can somehow ensure that we all vote the same way, our efforts will be wasted.  Although I am an LP member, I tend to agree with the opinions of many others that we are far more likely to achieve our goals through one of the major parties, particularly the Republicans.  I'd like to think that the LP would be supportive of our efforts whichever strategy we take because we will be working toward the same goals as they.

I've often heard remarks suggesting that "getting a group of libertarians to agree on everything is like trying to herd cats", a statement which bears much truth.  So when the time comes, how are we going to get a voting consensus in order to maximize our influence?  Maybe the FSP will have some sort of candidate evaluation committee that will ultimately produce a slate of endorsed candidates.  Any thoughts?

- Robert -
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: JasonPSorens on April 22, 2003, 05:34:09 pm
The going consensus seems to be that a "non-partisan league" that endorses candidates from all parties would be the best route.  See these links for more information:

http://www.freestateproject.org/npl.htm

http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=20;action=display;threadid=1272

Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: jgmaynard on April 30, 2003, 09:24:24 pm
The Republican Governor of NH is meeting with the FSP-NH, and the chair of the NH GOP just made remarks welcoming the FSP to New Hampshire.

Looks like we'd only have a potential backlash from ONE party in NH, and the LPNH is probably over half their size already.

Your party is insignificant compared to the power of the FSP... ;)

JM
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: MarkLiberty on May 01, 2003, 02:49:16 am
I think the Non-Partisan League is a good idea, but I would ask everyone why people are supposed to vote for the LP in the first place if they think support for it would be wasted in the free state. Doesn't it make sense that we vote for the LP currently because our goal is to make a statement and show that there is a market for libery-oriented candidates? Why does that change in the free state?
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: cathleeninsc on May 01, 2003, 06:56:45 am
I think the Non-Partisan League is a good idea, but I would ask everyone why people are supposed to vote for the LP in the first place if they think support for it would be wasted in the free state. Doesn't it make sense that we vote for the LP currently because our goal is to make a statement and show that there is a market for libery-oriented candidates? Why does that change in the free state?

Currently, my LP vote is only good for that statement and I think that is enough of a reason to vote the LP. But in the free state my vote has the ability to accomplish so much more than a statement. We should consider where we can get the most bang for our buck.

Cathleen in SC
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: cheselka on May 01, 2003, 11:30:48 am
Voting "the party line" is way too collectivist and statist for me.  I'll always vote for "the best one".  Meaning, the candidate that I feel will do the best job doing the kinds of things I want done.  So while Jason's concept of a NPL is very appealing, I'll personally use it as an information tool only, and not as a way of following "orders".  That's a big problem with the R's and D's (and maybe a lot of L's) -- they don't seem to think very much.  My father is like that -- he always votes the party line even if he doesn't agree with the candidate.  Crazy.


Matt
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: JT on May 02, 2003, 11:35:42 am
So what's the plan?  Are we going to wait until everyone moves into the state before deciding on how to bring about "liberty in our lifetime"?  Since we are getting fairly close to deciding the state, we should start thinking seriously about how to get 20k people organized and on the same page.  

If we're not gonna vote LP, what are we going to do?  The Republicans don't need our support in many of the states.  Would we then tell the Democrats that we could help them win some elections if they become more of a fiscally conservative party???
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: JT on May 02, 2003, 12:40:38 pm
Yeah, I guess voting in the primaries could be a big help, but what if "our" candidate doesn't make it past the primary?  Do we then scour the list of candidates for the most Liberty-oriented person that's left?  And if there isn't a worthwhile candidate?  Write-in perhaps?  I'm not sure how to get a bunch of people organized to go out and promote a certain candidate.  Do we have people who are experienced in running campaings?  And I mean overseeing the day-to-day operations, not someone who simply put their name on the ballot and talked to a couple of people.   Sorry if I seem like I'm asking too many questions,  I'm just trying to figure out how things will work...
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: JasonPSorens on May 02, 2003, 01:05:13 pm
Yeah, I guess voting in the primaries could be a big help, but what if "our" candidate doesn't make it past the primary?  Do we then scour the list of candidates for the most Liberty-oriented person that's left?

We could endorse the most liberty-oriented candidate but give no money to him if he's not fully on board with the liberty agenda.

Quote
And if there isn't a worthwhile candidate?  Write-in perhaps?

If they're all raving statists, sure!

Quote
I'm not sure how to get a bunch of people organized to go out and promote a certain candidate.  Do we have people who are experienced in running campaings?

Most campaign managers are just in it for the money and don't have much of an ideology.  So long as we have money, we can hire good campaign managers for state and federal races.  For local campaigns, we will want experienced volunteers, however.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Radar on May 09, 2003, 07:18:36 pm
Quote
Voting "the party line" is way too collectivist and statist for me.  I'll always vote for "the best one".  Meaning, the candidate that I feel will do the best job doing the kinds of things I want done.

The Libertarian party is the only one with candidates who will do what they say and will do the best job.  The others will lie to you, steal from you, and then insult your intelligence.  All other parties result in larger, more expensive, more intrusive, government that attacks more and more of our civil rights and violates more of the Constitution.

I will never vote for a non-Libertarian whether or not they are a member of the Free State Project.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: freedomroad on May 10, 2003, 12:23:51 am
Quote
Voting "the party line" is way too collectivist and statist for me.  I'll always vote for "the best one".  Meaning, the candidate that I feel will do the best job doing the kinds of things I want done.

The Libertarian party is the only one with candidates who will do what they say and will do the best job.  The others will lie to you, steal from you, and then insult your intelligence.  All other parties result in larger, more expensive, more intrusive, government that attacks more and more of our civil rights and violates more of the Constitution.

I will never vote for a non-Libertarian whether or not they are a member of the Free State Project.

The LP is not "God's Party," it is just another party.  It might be the best party in the country but it is often taken over by loonies.


FSP members could be nominated as the Republican, Democrat, and LP candiates.  That way, we are sure to win.  It makes more sense to cover all of your bases.  This will be much easiler to do in a small population state like WY than in a high population state like ME.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: Robert H. on May 10, 2003, 01:56:09 am
I will never vote for a non-Libertarian whether or not they are a member of the Free State Project.

FreedomRoad makes a good point about this, Radar.  Personally, I believe that many more voters would be open to libertarian ideas, as well as the LP, if it were not for the reputation that libertarians have gained due to some loonies who sought refuge under the libertarian label (and various single issue fixations on the part of some LP'ers as well).

If we are successful in the chosen state, then libertarianism and the LP will be better understood and more widely accepted in time.  In the beginning though, we're going to have deal with voters who would not think to vote for libertarian candidates for any wide variety of reasons.  The process of educating the public on the true nature of libertarianism, although it is certainly possible, is going to take a considerable amount of time, and if we limit ourselves to LP activism only, we will lose ground to statist forces operating within the two major parties.

I'd rather see us spread out through a state's political infrastructure (where feasible, of course) and making headway on all available fronts, as opposed to isolating our activities to one minor party and struggling to be understood and accepted while our opposition governs.
Title: Re:Backlash from the two parties
Post by: kekaha on May 11, 2003, 10:18:00 am
I am not sure that we should not have many FSPers running in all the parties. Register as Dems and Repbs and Libs and whatever and let everyone know that you are a registered FSPer. Infiltration might be a good way to get in. I am just thinking here. Just a thought. Of course me registering as a D or R would make my skin crawl.