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Author Topic: A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy  (Read 31717 times)

TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #45 on: January 16, 2003, 12:10:18 pm »


The question is whether the FSP will allow the dual state choice on the ballot.  If there is to be such a choice, I would say go ahead and make it WY/DE, as that combination seems to garner the most favor.  Something that is more questionable, although worth some thought, is whether including WY/DE on the ballot should eliminate WY and DE as separate candidate states.  I say this because the two states are such polar opposites that choosing either by itself stands a greater chance of alienating members from the other persuasion, and would also effectively narrow our audience for future recruitment.  Offering both appeals to the broadest spectrum and allows voters to opt for one without danger of the other.

Also, another reason for a WY/DE combo is that if DE does prove as hopeless as some people say, then we can give up on it and  move to WY.  (Hopefully, by then WY will have more jobs.)  Likewise, if people in WY can't get jobs, they can move to DE.

Concerning the question of having WY and DE as separate candidate states, I think our voting method would take care of that.

Quote
This may be especially important with regard to those not privy to these debates, as long as the strategy is explained in the pre-voting hand-outs.  I have a feeling that justifying a split along these lines would make sense to a good many people who might otherwise be hung up or prejudiced about individual states.  They'd know that there was a combination that they could vote for that would get them closer to what they wanted while allowing others to do the same.

I would suggest emailing all FSP members, and maybe even sending them a postcard in the mail (If there isn't much money for that I can help.) saying that the FSP is seriously considering a two state option, and here are the reasons why.
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #46 on: January 16, 2003, 12:24:32 pm »

As a hybrid rural Westerner and rural Easterner, consideration of southern Delaware or Sussex county is worth keeping on the table IF the urban FSP contingent can succeed in New Castle county.
If the FSP goes with Delaware the proponents thereof must deliver to this forum some specific and detailed strategies and tactics to enable Delaware to regain the Freedom they had when Delaware was the "First State". Please see my suggestions along that line in the Delaware Report thread
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=338


OK, I'll do a detailed plan of how we can win in DE, using what I have learned from my experience and what I learned at LI, and I'll post the results on that thread.  If anyone else wants to join me, please email me directly, using the email address in my profile.  No point in us duplicating our efforts.

This will take some time, especially since I plan on contacting various candidates and  freedom groups in DE to see what kind of issues they are facing.

I also need to get a current district map of the state, it wasn't ready yet the last time I checked.  (How the ??? did they do elections last year if they had no idea where the districts were???)

To make matters worse, my DirectTV DSL service is about to go out completely any minute now (literally!), and I have no idea how long it will take to get service with my new provider.  (They said "three to five days", and apparrently they are not going to do anything until my current provider goes smash.)

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JasonPSorens

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« Last Edit: January 16, 2003, 01:25:32 pm by JasonPSorens »
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JasonPSorens

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #48 on: January 16, 2003, 01:31:14 pm »

Quick breakdown of DE political geography:

Sussex County (rural): mostly Democrat in Senate, dominated by Republicans in House

Kent County (Dover): mostly Republican in Senate, dominated by Republicans in House

New Castle County (Wilmington): mostly Democrat in Senate, mostly Republican in House

"Dominated" means that all but one of the seats are held by the given party.  The situation in Delaware is therefore an odd one: Republicans control the House, Dems the Senate - but we already knew that.  What's even more odd is that there doesn't seem to be a sharp ideological difference among the counties.  Kent County, with the capital of Dover, seems the most conservative, judging from its strongly Republican orientation.  I suspect the real issue is that the parties in DE are not sharply ideological: Republicans probably tend to be liberal, and Dems probably tend to be conservative, esp. in Sussex County.  But that is just a hunch, not backed up by any evidence.
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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #49 on: January 16, 2003, 01:52:43 pm »

"Dominated" means that all but one of the seats are held by the given party.  The situation in Delaware is therefore an odd one: Republicans control the House, Dems the Senate - but we already knew that.  What's even more odd is that there doesn't seem to be a sharp ideological difference among the counties.  Kent County, with the capital of Dover, seems the most conservative, judging from its strongly Republican orientation.  I suspect the real issue is that the parties in DE are not sharply ideological: Republicans probably tend to be liberal, and Dems probably tend to be conservative, esp. in Sussex County.  But that is just a hunch, not backed up by any evidence.

I would guess that the Dems in New Castle County (Wilmington) are liberal and not conservative, at all.  There are a couple of posible reasons for this.  Wilmington is very liberal and it is the center of New Castle's power and population.  New Castle is a largely urban county.  Urban counties tend (by a large margin) to be liberal.  Also, Dems are liberal in the vast majority of the country.  Since New Castle county has much, much more power than the rest of DE combined and it is Dem. and highly liberal based off its laws the entire state leans liberal as a whole.  Of course, the state laws also indicate this.  At the very least the state is not libertarian.  For example, look at the tax structure.  A libertarian state would have no state income tax.  On the other hand, DE has no state sales tax which is a liberal idea.
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Kelton

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #50 on: January 16, 2003, 02:34:34 pm »

<<slightly off-topic >>

 In the course of very liberal use of my time towards the end of freely and liberally acquiring knowledge about Delaware, I learned a thing or two about factors that influence those who are called liberals but are certainly not liberal with freedom.
 One big issue in Delaware is race relations.  The city of Wilmington was once the site of very severe destruction in the course of race riots.  Even today, the race- agitators frequently complain about how much more racism exists in Wilmington than other eastern cities.  Delaware also has a large concentration of both rich and upper- income wage earners, in fact, one prominent statistic pointed to it being the richest state, per capita in the entire nation.  The wealth polarization is probably one contention for the race baiters.  But far from being a bad sign, it also points to the fact that there are a large number of highly successful people in Delaware.  There are a large concentration of chemists, industrial scientists and researchers, business people and other people who make their living with their minds in Delaware.  In the early eighties, under gov. Pete duPont, Delaware broke all records as having the most number of people leave welfare rolls ever.  He didn't get ousted- out for having done so either!   I think that one reason that Democrats have so much power in Delaware is because of the Democrat party's nationwide success in painting Republicans as racists, which is a particular sore spot in Delaware.  
« Last Edit: January 17, 2003, 03:21:00 pm by exitus »
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Zxcv

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #51 on: January 16, 2003, 07:01:36 pm »

Quote
...in fact Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thinks that DE is the best state for the FSP.  We might start with expanding that.

Ted, I am interested to hear where you got this information.

Quote
The question is whether the FSP will allow the dual state choice on the ballot.  If there is to be such a choice, I would say go ahead and make it WY/DE, as that combination seems to garner the most favor.  Something that is more questionable, although worth some thought, is whether including WY/DE on the ballot should eliminate WY and DE as separate candidate states.  I say this because the two states are such polar opposites that choosing either by itself stands a greater chance of alienating members from the other persuasion, and would also effectively narrow our audience for future recruitment.  Offering both appeals to the broadest spectrum and allows voters to opt for one without danger of the other.

Not quite sure what you are saying here, Robert, but I think it is clear WY and DE each must remain on the ballot as individual states, no matter they seem polarizing. As far as I'm concerned, it's far from clear that WY/DE or WY/VT is superior to WY all by itself, despite the lower overall FSP draw WY-alone would cause. It may not matter that the draw for WY-alone is lower, as long as it is "high enough", which it probably would be, and "higher than WY would get in a combo", which is almost certainly the case.

BTW, while we would lose some FSPers for WY by going to a combo setup, the ones we'd lose would probably be the most threatening ones to the Wyoming residents (since they would be easterners). Thus they might be less effective there than average, and their loss might not be such a bad thing. Again all that matters is that we still have "enough" to do what we want to do there.

Does anyone have any ideas on estimating how many we would lose, and how many would remain, for Wyoming? Could we poll the current population some way? I don't know how to avoid that naughty strategic voting for this poll, though...

The other thing that makes no sense is this discussion about limiting the combo to WY/DE. It's clear if we are going to allow combos at all, we need to put WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT on the ballot. Just because the few of us here might think the WY/DE combo is the obvious one, does not mean the "silent majority" of the FSP would think that. You have to present your case to them, not make their choice for them. The criterion should be, which combo is most doable, not which has most disparate states, or which has a warmer state. I'm far from convinced DE is more doable than VT.

I'm wondering if Jason is still in denial, or if he is going to give us a solid argument why these three combos ought not be put on the ballot.   ;)
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #52 on: January 16, 2003, 09:36:24 pm »

Go to this page to find House districts in Delaware

Go to this page to find Senate districts

That's where I looked before, but at that time (week or two ago, but well after the elections) they were unavailable, but coming soon.

It was bad enough in FL when they waited until something like August to let candidates know where their districts were.  But not making this available until AFTER the election?  That is crazy.

Of course, it could have been down for a page redesign, I don't know.  However, it sounded like they had not been posted at that time.

In the meantime, I am doing extensive calculations on the swing vote in precincts where candidates won by narrow margins.  I'll post the results soon on the Delaware thread.
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #53 on: January 16, 2003, 09:55:35 pm »

Quote
...in fact Marshall Fritz of the Alliance for the Separation of School and State thinks that DE is the best state for the FSP.  We might start with expanding that.

Ted, I am interested to hear where you got this information.


I emailed him, and that's what he said.  He implied that he was a member, but did not say so.
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TedApelt

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #54 on: January 17, 2003, 12:49:11 am »

Ted, did you miss my reference above to the Delaware district maps for 2003?
Each Senate district has its own map, and House districts have two to a few
so these maps do not give an overview, but they are current for the upcoming year.

On the two references that Jason had for maps, I too looked when I did the Delaware legislative tables and again yesterday -- still no go. So I downloaded more of the above district maps.

I never did go to your reference, but I got the maps from Jason's post just fine today.  I don't think I will need any others, maybe precinct maps, but I'm not so sure I really need those.  Knowing what precincts are in each district (DE has a great system for numbering precincts that I wish Broward had.), and how many votes each candidate from each precinct seems to be enough.  I don't think I need to know exactly where in the district each precinct is.

Right now, I am going precinct by precinct in enough districts in the DE House to give a majority, calculating how many votes we could get from each one based on the swing vote.  (This is calculated by subtracting the minimum R vote and the minimum D vote from the total vote.)  This may take a lot of time, but I want everyone to know that I am going to be posting one heck of an anaylsis when I'm done!


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Robert H.

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #55 on: January 17, 2003, 05:54:51 am »

Not quite sure what you are saying here, Robert, but I think it is clear WY and DE each must remain on the ballot as individual states, no matter they seem polarizing. As far as I'm concerned, it's far from clear that WY/DE or WY/VT is superior to WY all by itself, despite the lower overall FSP draw WY-alone would cause. It may not matter that the draw for WY-alone is lower, as long as it is "high enough", which it probably would be, and "higher than WY would get in a combo", which is almost certainly the case.

Well, to clarify, I think that Wyoming is best by itself as well, and superior to any combination of states.  The problem is that I don't know if Wyoming can win on its own due to the large number of members who fear straying very far from eastern population centers (judging from what I've seen here, and used to see in the Yahoo forum, and imagining that this is fairly representative of the FSP's overall makeup).  I thought I saw some reference on the Yahoo group once that slightly more of our members come from the east (NH specifically), but this may have been incorrect or may have changed over time - Jason could advise on that score.

Then again, I come from the east but I favor the west, so there may be more of that persuasion out there; I don't know.  And the "closing arguments" that are made for the various states may have some degree of impact as well; again, I don't know.

There are also the other possible advantages that have been cited here before: likely greater future recruitment, greater likelihood that those who pledge to move will do so, greater likelihood that they'll stay where they move, greater likelihood that our activists will be more successful because they will simply blend into the culture of the respective states better, etc...  I think these arguments are compelling, and if made well, could sway many voters, again, possibly more than Wyoming might get by itself.

Quote
BTW, while we would lose some FSPers for WY by going to a combo setup, the ones we'd lose would probably be the most threatening ones to the Wyoming residents (since they would be easterners). Thus they might be less effective there than average, and their loss might not be such a bad thing. Again all that matters is that we still have "enough" to do what we want to do there.

Exactly...which, I believe, is all we're going to get anyway, and as you say, the loss of others might not be a bad thing because they'd be ill-suited to succeeding in Wyoming anyway.  Some opt-outs might change their minds and give it a try, but you never know.  And would their possible failure be a good thing for the effort in Wyoming?  If Wyoming did win the vote, then disgruntled easterners might just form their own project, so why not facilitate the split and offer one option that will appeal to both sides and keep it all under the FSP at the same time (if we're going to lose such persons in Wyoming anyway)?  In which situation then would Wyoming have the better chance?  Contending against the eastern block, or with it?

Quote
Does anyone have any ideas on estimating how many we would lose, and how many would remain, for Wyoming? Could we poll the current population some way? I don't know how to avoid that naughty strategic voting for this poll, though...

I think Jason once said that we could lose upwards of a thousand or so following the state vote.  Like you, I really wish there was a way that we could get a grip on what the non-forum members of the FSP are thinking.  It might make this discussion moot.

Quote
The other thing that makes no sense is this discussion about limiting the combo to WY/DE. It's clear if we are going to allow combos at all, we need to put WY/VT, WY/DE and ND/VT on the ballot. Just because the few of us here might think the WY/DE combo is the obvious one, does not mean the "silent majority" of the FSP would think that. You have to present your case to them, not make their choice for them. The criterion should be, which combo is most doable, not which has most disparate states, or which has a warmer state. I'm far from convinced DE is more doable than VT.

Well, Ted's working on his report, so we'll see what he comes up with, but I agree with you that VT is more doable than DE.  Part of what would make it doable for the purposes of a dual state option though is whether or not it would draw the necessary votes to keep it from actually defeating our intentions.  For instance, if we scatter the dual state votes over four choices, one of the lesser single state options could win and that way we'd both lose.  We could possibly compensate by tallying votes separately even for the dual state options, say, asking people:  "If you're voting for a dual state option, which do you intend on moving to?"  And then tallying the votes by adding each WY, DE, ND, and VT vote appearing in a combo to those appearing for each state separately.  Then a single state would still likely win over any of the combos, and we've defeated ourselves again.

Basically, it just seems to me that those who have an interest in a dual state option should try and throw their weight behind one option so as not to end up defeating themselves.  A statistical analysis would be invaluable here, but I'm not good at that sort of thing.  Anybody care to give it a shot?

JasonPSorens

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The unworkable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #56 on: January 17, 2003, 10:57:55 am »

Why two-state combinations will not be considered on the ballot:

1. It will require another change of the Participation Guidelines, bringing on a host of ills.  First, it will be the second change in a month, which is very unprofessional, as well as disconcerting for our members.  If the Guidelines can be changed so frequently and unilaterally, what, if anything, about the Project is secure & determinate?  Second, since it deals with state choices, this change is likely to bring all the pro-Virgin Islands loonies out of the woodwork again, and we would have less of an argument to reject their demands.  "Since you're changing the Guidelines every other week, how would it hurt to include territories now?"

2. It's unnecessary.  Sick of all the east-west whining and bickering, I finally got nearly exact figures on optouts.  1151 of our 2448 members opted out of no states.  A further 515 opted out of only 1-2.  That means 68% of the membership opted out of two or fewer states.  This figure is actually low, because in the early days a lot of people listed states that are not on the ballot, and in my survey I did not weed these out.  Probably about 20% of the membership opted out of 5 or more states.  Of these, about half are Western chauvinists and half are Eastern chauvinists.  So we would lose, at most, 10% of our membership after the state vote.  That would be about 500 people.  It's no surprise that apart from a few people on this forum, there is no demand for splitting this project.  (Oh yes, there's Chuck Geshlider, who thinks more competition is always better.  By that logic we should have 50 FSP's.  Oh wait, that's what we have now.)

3. It still looks bad.  It does look bad if the FSP targets two states on opposite ends of the country.  We have to pick one state.  That's the only way our argument, "We picked this state because we like what it stands for and we want to make it more like itself" holds water.  Otherwise, we're just nasty carpetbagging Hillary Clintons trying to get as much federal representation as possibly by grabbing 2 very different states.  Trust me on this; I'm the one who deals with the media in these states.

4. It's unfair and will raise howls of outrage.  Notice that all the people supporting dual-state options are people who support one of those states.  This is transparently a ploy to make it easier for one of the smallest-population states to win, whether by itself or in a combo.  There aren't any supporters of NH, AK, ID, MT, ME, and SD following this thread, but if there were, they would be screaming bloody murder, as well they should.

5. But it's not even a very good ploy.  If your state wins in a combo, it's unlikely that you'd be able to get 20,000 people to move there.  There just aren't 40,000 libertarian activists in the country.  What's more, having the combo available might not just pull votes from, say, NH, but it would almost certainly pull votes from the small states singly.  Thus, you small-state supporters might well be shooting yourselves in the foot by splitting the Project when you could have had the whole thing.

6. As Joe has mentioned, we need 20,000 activists to win at the state level.  10,000 activists will probably be enough to win lots of local governments and make a splash on the state level, but not enough to win a majority at the state level.  To get 20,000 activists in our state, we will probably need on the order of 30,000 commitments.  That would be impossible if there were 2 states competing for commitments.

7. Easterners' moving to Wyoming would be far from a disaster.  The majority of Wyomingites are descendants of Easterners who moved West 100-120 years ago.  I expect that no matter what state we choose, our members will move there without complaining and adapt to the culture.

8. If the Project does split, it can be handled informally.  The "real" Project will press ahead with the chosen state, while the separatists will struggle vainly to get an adequate number of commitments for their state, presumably at the opposite end of the country.  That doesn't mean the split has to be public, acrimonious, and messy.  By anticipating it, we can amicably let the separatists go their way while knowing that they are doomed to failure.  If the prospect of failure discourages a schism, so much the better.

9. We need to pick the best state for liberty.  Why mess around with second or third best?  This is our only chance, let's not screw it up.  We have a nearly ideal voting system now, likely to yield the true favorite of the group.  We have done extensive state research, the results of which are starting to come together.  Libertarianism is such a marginalized ideology on the American scene that we need to concentrate our resources as much as possible and work as hard as possible to translate those resources into victory, if we are to see liberty in our lifetime.  Let's not waste our energy on arcane squabbling or disperse  & dissipate our resources any more than we need to.

Y'all can feel free to discuss this issue further if you want, but the matter is settled.  I've been watching this thread to see if there are any compelling arguments to outweigh the above, and there are not.
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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #57 on: January 17, 2003, 01:25:16 pm »

Because I agree that we're likely to recruit more people with the 2-state strategy (recognizing the East vs West, Urban-Suburban vs Rural divide) and because I think it is important to increase relative clout at the federal level as well, this is a pretty appealing thread.

However - having lived in (and spent lots of time with relatives in) both East and West (WA, ID, UT, CA, CO, NM, AZ - then MA and NH), I'm more in favor of NH in a 2-state strategy than of either DE or VT. DE would literally be an island surrounded by un-free states, and the current voting base in DE seems less conducive to absorbing FSP principles. DE has a significant population consisting of rather isolationist religious minorities (Amish), and while it is within relatively easy driving distance of major cities I don't see any benefit of being closer to Philly or NJ than I am now, living in NH, to Boston and NYC.

VT is more appealing in terms of numbers but not in terms of climate, and is actually more distant from any urban centers - less likely to attract as many people as NH and/or provide an adequately diverse economic base, but also not requiring as many to accomplish a shift. Remember that in VT, registered Republicans and Democrats are equally split - the others are what shift the balance toward socialist candidates and policies, and that's the result of a concerted effort on the part of the socialists to 'take over' the state.

In the West, I look at it in two ways - there are a few states which are arguably closer to 'free state' status based on the inclinations of the current populations, and a WY would be the easiest to shift with fewer numbers. However, ID would be most appealing to larger numbers of people from 'the left coast' and probably best able economically to support such an influx.

If we get NH, over a period of years I'd expect some 'spillover' effect into VT and ME, also states on the list of possibilities, creating a 'free state zone' in Northern New England. If we get DE, what are the chances of any beneficial spillover into neighboring states? Instead, if we pick DE and have any significant number of supporters move from NH, VT and ME, those states will lose significant ground in the movement.

If we get WY, it's surrounded by states already more favorable toward FSP principles, and if anything it might weaken the movement in neighboring states by drawing people disproportionately from them; on the other hand, if we get ID then it strengthens the movement in the entire Intermountain West if there is any 'spillover' effect (less likely to be significant given the vast distances in the West).

In my mind we do need to focus on one - or at most two - states, but with an eye toward the long-range goal of demonstrating the FSP principles in action so that others will move in the same direction. Based on this long-term goal and the likelihood (for economic and other reasons) of some eventual 'spillover' migration into states bordering the free state(s), I would argue in favor of NH and ID as the best candidates for long-term success and spreading of the movement.

If we can't draw enough participants to go for the 2-state approach (which I think will be the likely result to some degree anyway), I would argue the best long-term results are likely to come from picking NH first, with ID as the runner-up.
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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #58 on: January 17, 2003, 02:27:02 pm »

Jason, I'll address your points in order.

1) "It will require another change of the Participation Guidelines..." I agree this is a rather large problem. I don't know if it is a fatal argument, though. If there is any further change whatever in the guidelines, this ought to be considered.

2) "...I finally got nearly exact figures on optouts.  1151 of our 2448 members opted out of no states..." This initial population probably contains the greatest number of "broken glass eaters". It's likely as the population grows, the opt-outs will as well.

3) "...we're just nasty carpetbagging Hillary Clintons trying to get as much federal representation..." Well, most folks here thought the carpetbagging argument went the other way, that shoving easterners into Wyoming who did not really want to be there was the way to look like carpetbaggers. I think you are off base on this one.

4) "...This is transparently a ploy to make it easier for one of the smallest-population states to win..." Well, I thought it was a ploy to increase freedom.  ;)  But what you say may well be true. If I were an Idaho proponent it would not make me happy (actually I like Idaho...). But so what? We have to work with what we have, and it's silly to exclude viable options because some percentage of our members don't like that it makes their favorites less likely.

5) "...If your state wins in a combo, it's unlikely that you'd be able to get 20,000 people to move there..." Yes, that is clearly the most important issue. However, these combos are still better in this respect than ID, ME and NH. Is getting 20,000 in Idaho better than getting even as few as 25,000 split evenly between Wyoming and Vermont? I don't think so. The combos don't look so good compared with small states individually, but they look good against the largest states.

6) Seems to be another way of arguing #5

7) "...I expect that no matter what state we choose, our members will move there without complaining and adapt to the culture..." That would be nice, but having 2 states to choose from would obviously make that task a lot easier.

8. Agree

9) "We need to pick the best state for liberty..." This is begging the question, putting it in one-state terms, ignoring that two states may well be better for liberty.

Jason, you forgot one argument, so I will make it for you. "This is my baby, I am in charge, and you guys are getting off the reservation."

I don't want to sound sarcastic. Actually I personally think this is the most telling argument. I am perfectly willing to defer to you on this, because I think there is value in not having what amounts to a mutiny. They are destructive and get in the way of accomplishing anything. You are our leader, and we should follow you. Libertarians need discipline, and here is one way we can demonstrate it: by putting this 2-state argument to bed.

And by getting back to selecting Wyoming as our state.  ;)
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Elizabeth

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Re:A possibly workable 2-state FSP strategy
« Reply #59 on: January 17, 2003, 03:07:33 pm »

The reality is that while people may feel they could have done the FSP better by making it the Free Moon Project, The Free As Many States As I Want Project, the Free My State Cause I Like It Here Project, etc., the FSP is what it is, and is *clearly* defined in all our materials.

Discussions like this one are moot.  And not just neutral in value, but in fact destructive to the FSP, because they divert energy from the important needs like RECRUITMENT, PUBLICITY, TECHNOLOGY, and RESEARCH.
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