Free State Project Forum

Please login or register.

Login with username, password and session length
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Down

Author Topic: Independent vote: NH & ID & others.  (Read 13618 times)

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #15 on: February 12, 2003, 02:10:33 am »

It's possible to play infinite games with statistics and numbers to try to make your preferred state look good...

There's something that you should understand here:

Wyoming has risen to the current position of prominence it holds in these discussions, not through some cloak-and-dagger statistical charade, but as a result of the careful examination of various criteria over time.  When I first signed on to this forum back in September, Wyoming was hardly a blip on the radar screen as far as state discussion was concerned.  Most discussion centered around Alaska, Montana, New Hampshire, Idaho, and Delaware.  Wyoming had no die-hard supporters that I remember, and few supporters at all for that matter.  Personally, I supported Alaska and Montana at that time and rejected Wyoming entirely because it was land-locked.

After awhile though, it became steadily apparent that Wyoming possessed most if not all of the attributes that we were looking for in the best state for our efforts.  It has consistently risen to the top of our criteria listings, and had done so even before it developed a following.  Still, it took some time before the state developed any kind of significant support, and the support it currently enjoys is somewhat begrudging because it's not the sort of state that naturally gets anyone excited.

So, no, no one here has tried to invent some clever case for Wyoming.  The case has created itself, and this seems consistent with what we would expect from the ideal free state candidate.

Quote
...but this sort of thing is almost contortionist in its use of speculation and assumptions. The further the WY supporters stretch to make their case, the more clearly it seems that the case can't be that strong (else why would such stretching be necessary?)

Could we trouble you to enumerate some of these "contortionist" speculations and assumptions that have been made?  I haven't seen anyone "stretching" the case for Wyoming.  Some degree of speculation is necessary in this sort of endeavor, as there is not really any sort of precedent to refer to for more concrete information, but most of the wilder, baseless speculation has been exposed as such.

Quote
If you want to try to 'take over', creating an isolated enclave in which you can try to accomplish all of the most radical goals within a short period of time, then on paper WY appears to be the best candidate almost exclusively because of the population issue.

Again we see this isolationist rhetoric being repeated in regard to Wyoming, which, as it happens, is closer to major population centers than any of the other western candidate states (Denver and Salt Lake MSA's).  But isolationism has nothing to do with the matter at all.  When was the last time that someone advocating Wyoming here expressed a desire to go bunker up?

And upon what basis do you justify the assumption that Wyoming's small population is ripe for some sort of "take over" by a radical agenda? Particularly in a short amount of time?  After all, westerners are not particularly known for letting people run roughshod over them.

Quote
However, if you want to SUCCESSFULLY recruit 20,000+ people within a REASONABLE amount of time, the economic, geographic and quality-of-life (as defined by the non-'glass eaters' who will inevitably have to make up the majority of the FSP) issues outweigh the simple numbers game.

I have no problem with quality of life issues being factored in, but they cannot dominate the more objective criteria that indicate whether or not a state is viable for our purposes.  And sheer numbers of persons are not what we're looking for; we're looking for a certain kind of person.  I'd rather have a few of the right kind of person than many of the wrong kind, and the rapid growth taking place in New Hampshire and Idaho is bringing in all kinds.  We need a more static environment to work with; an environment where more of the "right kind" make up as high a percentage of the voting-age population as possible so long as other factors do not interfere with viability.

Quote
Given that and the multiple evidences (without relying on contorting statistical manipulations and the occasional obscure factoid interpreted to the contrary) as listed in different places on these fora (including evidences of underlying culture such as current regulatory envoronments), the most reasonable and realistic states for long-term success of the FSP remain NH and ID.

This comment does a major injustice to the efforts and motivations of those who have worked to compile valuable information that you either glibly dismiss as "obscure factoids" or patently condemn as "contorted statistical manipulations."  I'm sorry to say it, but this is nothing but condescension masquerading as sophistication.

Idaho and New Hampshire have some great qualities, and as Exitus says, if we were an army of 1000 Walter Williams's, we might have a real chance there.  But the fact of the matter is that we are a movment comprised of eager but inexperienced activists who can ill afford trying to cut their teeth in polarized or entrenched political environments where the voting-age populations alone number nearly a million persons and are rapidly growing.  It's just asking too much of an infant movement in an environment with too many variables.

DadELK68

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 233
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #16 on: February 12, 2003, 11:41:31 am »

So, again we have to agree to disagree. The logical fallacy in the title is that it implies that you've found the final (i.e., 'bottomline') variable which knocks out the two states which seem to be most strongly vying with WY for support. I do hope that people will not be overly swayed by 'headlines', but that's what it is. As for ignoring other variables, Zxcv also noted the speculative and incomplete nature of the data. That, combined with the strongly prejudicial 'headline', are what give the appearance of loss of objectivity.

I understand that WY has risen because there is such a strong case for it, and I have nothing against WY. I think the FSP would do well by selecting WY; my dad's family is from the Teton Valley, and I'm pretty familiar with parts of the state. I just happen to disagree with your conclusions based on the relative importance of other variables and what you define as success, and think that NH and ID are better choices in the long run. From the discussion it appears that these three states seem to have the lead in support, so if you create an analysis which you claim sends these two states 'to the bottom' in favor of WY (when they clearly are not at the bottom in so many other variables, or they wouldn't enjoy so much support), it appears manipulative and perhaps disingenuous.

My concern is that now you see WY as the only option, and out of your passion for the movement and your vision of what constitutes success, you may be starting to play with numbers and statistics to support your views. This is fine, you have every right to do so - but if you present it as being objective, the underlying bias has to be pointed out by others, which is what I'm doing.

As for 'taking over' WY - IF the single most important issue is population (or voting population), the reason for that is to maximize the relative political impact of the FSP immigrants, right? Well, the larger the relative political impact, the more aggressively the agenda/platform can be advanced, correct? The reason the agenda/platform is not already in place in any of these states is because the underlying population has not chosen to enact it, even if there may be significant support existing within the underlying culture.

Therefore, the FSP intends to 'take over' (or perhaps the more appropriate term to spin is 'liberate' those already there who have similar ideology) to whatever degree they are able in whichever state is selected, and your contention is that this will happen most effectively (i.e., the agenda will be able to be advanced most quickly) based strictly on the issue of the size of the voting population in WY. This appears to be your position based on your perception of what will constitute success; mine is more incremental.

As for the manipulations and factoids - I've seen valid evidence/argument posted by various people in favor of NH and ID which you proceed to argue against, dismiss, and subsequently seem to ignore in your analyses, and on the other side I've seen you focus on individual issues which you present as damaging to the case for NH and ID while dismissing or ignoring those which seem to be damaging to the case for WY. I don't have time to sort through various threads to reference this, and can only assume that this is due to your passionate belief in your vision of what constitutes success and opinion that only WY can work; however, it is hardly objective.

That's not 'condescension masquerading as sophistication', it's trying to make sure that readers recognize your underlying bias, even if you refuse to acknowledge it. I'm not even arguing that your bias is a bad thing, as long as you do openly admit to it - it seems clear now that your bias isn't to WY, it's to your vision of what constitutes success. If the majority of FSP-ers agree with your vision, then perhaps WY will win. But let's be clear that WY is not the only viable option, because yours is not the only viable vision or definition of success.

I admire the amzing amount of data you guys find and post - as I keep repeating, I'm amazed that some of you have so much time to find, process and post that sort of thing. I can't accept a challenge to do some obscure research which others haven't been able to do, because I'm at the point that just participating in these fora almost seem like a luxury in which I'm indulging more than I should. I do enjoy a lively debate, though!

Eric

Logged

vermass

  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 285
  • FSP Member Desert Storm veteran
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #17 on: February 12, 2003, 12:21:10 pm »

  NH=jobs, no sales tax, no income tax, lax anti-second amendment laws and Live free or die! How much pursuading is it going to take to "Liberate" these people. As someone else said MA liberals don't run to NH (they run to Boston). They vacation and spend their money in NH! I've often thought of leaving MA for NH or VT because I'm sick of the MA liberals. I can't be the only one who feels like this (I'm not). So one must assume that other MA liberty-minded people would "flee" to NH?
Logged
"Give me liberty or give me death!"

Solitar

  • Guest
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #18 on: February 12, 2003, 01:12:52 pm »

Eric and other newcomers to these forums,

Go read the Political Strategy Section.
Go read the Which State Section.
Ignore the religion and philosophy sections until you do the above.
Go read where
Go look at the discussion thread about New England and Native where I was backing Vermont and New England in general.
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=550

Please go read the other threads here. Newcomers to these forums usually have very little idea of the enormous amount of debate and argument and struggle and fact-finding that has gone on here. They look at a few recent threads and posts and jump to the conclusion that what they read now is what has been the feeling on these forums forever.  That's what the activists will be facing on the streets in talking to voters -- what those voters see now in regulations, laws, policies, etc. are what those voters assume has been forever and thus why change, why not have building or P&Z codes and laws against owning or carrying guns. They don't have any concept of what it was like only a couple decades ago when there were not such laws or codes. Furthermore, the cities where they came from have such laws and codes, so why not have them where they move to too? THAT is what we are fighting my city council.

When FSP activists and readers of these forums do not have the gumption to read the wealth of information available here AND,  jump to conclusions instead of keeping their opinions restrained until they know more, then I have little hope for those activists doing differently in a hoped-for Free State and even less hope for them changing that same behaviour of the voters they are supposed to be actively trying to win over.

Robert is correct in that Wyoming started nearly from the bottom for a variety of reasons. As we did more research the case for Wyoming got better. For instance, when I tabulated the legislative data for Wyoming and Idaho it was obvious that both states (and SD and DE) had a long history of a large proportion of very entrenched, effectively unopposed state legislators. I'd have dismissed these states as good candidates for Free State success except Of the candidate states, only Maine, Montana, South Dakota and Wyoming have term limits.
The discussion thread (where Delaware and Montana still are posted)
http://forum.freestateproject.org/index.php?board=5;action=display;threadid=1002
The website page where the rest except Alaska (which I'm working on) are posted
http://www.freestateproject.org/statelegs.htm

As to the arguments that we should go with states that have "support" -- they can be wrongheaded at best and dangerous to liberty at worst. There is a lot of "support" for Delaware and, if New Mexico was still a candidate as it was when I joined these forums in August, there would be a lot of "support" for it instead of cold states. Just because a majority wants something does not make it the best choice. Remember that the 20,000 are a drop in the bucket in states with over a million people.

Also go read the FSP intro pages and other material and you will see that the FSP is hoping for a helluva lot more than a minor incremental change in a state. It's the "FREE STATE" project and not just a "Libertarian Lite" or Republican Liberty Caucus project. Thus gaining classical liberal majorities on city and town councils, county commissions, school boards, AND the state legislature IS definitely the goal of the Free State Project for "Liberty in Our Lifetime" (see the logo at the top of these pages).

The accusations of obscure factoids and "using numbers to justify our personal preferances" are again wrong. Short of other reliable information beyond emotional cheerleading, the numbers and stats and tables are the majority of what we have to work with. We have yet to see enough socio-political information from ALL the states to substitute for the stats and tables (which themselves are attempts at deriving socio-political information about the likelihood of Free State success).

Just because the numbers inevitably start showing a particular state or two rising to the top is not reason enough to disregard the numbers. Doing so is like those emotional liberals who ignore budgets, welfare numbers, crime statistics, and other "facts" because their "hearts" tell them to ban guns or hire a dozen more firefighters or give away free health and day care "for the children" or “to save one life”.

It is very likely that cheerleaders for big states see things like 23 LP officeholders and say that is a great thing. It is very likely that these cheerleaders could see several thousand liberty-minded people in their state (or just several dozen in a meeting) and, seeing no further than that, holler that there is "so much support". Folks, when you are outnumbered by a hundred to one AND your troops are inexperience part-timers, you're going to have one helluva fight on your hands. When that roomfull of a few dozen activists goes out to knock on doors and try to convince fifty to two hundred thousand voters in a metro area like Boise or Sioux Falls or Anchorage or Manchester or Wilmington the reality of the huge task will hit home in a very hard disillusioning way. I've faced that here with just the prospect of walking blocks and subdivisions to knock on doors in a county of only seven to eight thousand people. Sure it would be nice to have several activists to help, but the reality of volunteerism is that those volunteers will not show up in adequate numbers at the right time. We've seen already here where members beg out of meetings because of colds or a little bit of snow (little bit compared to northern reality).

Just like our lawyer/statist/authoritarian mayor berates councilmembers and even sometimes some of the public, and just like the FSP opponents will do to the newcomer activists when these political professionals muster their forces against the "libertarians" -- they will say:
"After you've done your homework and know the numbers and laws and our history
THEN come back and we'll seriously discuss what needs to be and what can be done."

And that's if they are being nice about it (and our lawyer mayor is usually being nice because he is also a newcomer who doesn't have a lot of credibilty to stand on (but he is very good at debate & tactics and he is an amateur compared to the multil-term legislators listed on the above legislature analysis pages.

If they are not nice, they'll use your ignorance to cut your legs off and run you out of the chosen state.

Logged

DadELK68

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 233
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #19 on: February 12, 2003, 03:09:46 pm »

Now, who seems condescending? ;)

Eric and other newcomers to these forums...

Please go read the other threads here. Newcomers to these forums usually have very little idea... They look at a few recent threads and posts and jump to the conclusion that what they read now is what has been the feeling on these forums forever...

When FSP activists and readers of these forums do not have the gumption to read the wealth of information available here AND,  jump to conclusions instead of keeping their opinions restrained until they know more...

The reason I objected in the first place is because over the last few weeks, as time has permitted, I have been doing exactly as you suggest, reading up on the history of the process and discussions.  At what point is one entitled to debate and have an opinion - when they come to agree with you?

So are you saying that you want to recruit 20,000 people to look at the opinions and decisions of those who have been around since the beginning, and then find that their going through the process is irrelevant because in the end they are simply supposed to agree with you? Or, do you mean that IF someone does read every word of every essay and every posting, they will undoubtedly agree with you - or else they are simply jumping to conclusions? Yeah, that'll work. I thought you were trying to decrease paternalism, not fall back on it.

As to the arguments that we should go with states that have "support" ... Just because a majority wants something does not make it the best choice.

So, you would prefer to scrap the vote and just have a select committee (including yourself, of course) pick the state? What is the purpose of this entire exercise if an elite few have decided that WY is the only real option, and the rest of us are simply children who should humbly accept?

Also go read the FSP intro pages and other material and you will see that the FSP is hoping for a helluva lot more than a minor incremental change in a state. It's the "FREE STATE" project and not just a "Libertarian Lite" or Republican Liberty Caucus project. Thus gaining classical liberal majorities on city and town councils, county commissions, school boards, AND the state legislature IS definitely the goal of the Free State Project for "Liberty in Our Lifetime" (see the logo at the top of these pages).

So, the previous objection to the term 'taking over' was misdirected, because that is the goal. I don't have a problem with that, let's just be honest - if the majority agree that a quick radical overhaul is the definition of success and WY is the best place, then so be it. If a majority are more inclined to work within the existing framework of a more populous (but strongly positioned, based on the data and spreadsheets) state, then let it be ID or NH.

It seems the debate should be as much about what the realistic objective is, not just which state will be picked.

The accusations of obscure factoids and "using numbers to justify our personal preferances" are again wrong...

When the discussion and acceptance of facts is objective, then it is fully justified and I will accept it. If it's not, then it is biased, and if the author presents it as biased it brings the credibility of the author into question. When an isolated finding which seems to go against one state is accepted and one which casts doubt on a different state is dismissed, then these 'factoids' are being used selectively.

Of course, it's impossible to glean every relevant bit of information and assign it a weight in some spreadsheet or statistical analysis. The data are invaluable in the process, but not necessarily an end to themselves. The process of selecting which bits of data and which variables are most important is too subjective.

Just because the numbers inevitably start showing a particular state or two rising to the top is not reason enough to disregard the numbers. Doing so is like those emotional liberals...


I have never disregarded the numbers, and will never do so - Joe, as you probably know that's what's known as a 'straw-man' argument, sort of like those same liberals you mention crying 'racism' when someone says they are against affirmative action. As someone who has done a fair amount of work with statistics and data manipulation, I recognize the limitations and dangers of living or dying by numbers, as well as doing the opposite - as you wrongly suggest I'm doing.

Eric
Logged

thewaka

  • FSP Member
  • FSP Participant
  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 263
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #20 on: February 12, 2003, 05:14:11 pm »


At what point is one entitled to debate and have an opinion - when they come to agree with you?
I would say when you are willing to back up what you say with references. You keep saying there are all these places where positive information is given about NH and ID, yet you are unwilling to do the search necessary to be certain we see exactly what this great stuff is. If you don't have the time to do it, why do you think we should do it for you?

Personally, I prefer ID over WY. And I would love NH. It is so well located to support several of my hobbies. The only thing WY has is lots of land inexpensively. But since it is not suitable *as-is* for the gardening I want to do, it also comes with a great deal of work. I only see one potential negative to WY (which is *often* pointed out yet the objection has been answered several times)--job outlook.

Quote
So, the previous objection to the term 'taking over' was misdirected, because that is the goal. I don't have a problem with that, let's just be honest - if the majority agree that a quick radical overhaul is the definition of success and WY is the best place, then so be it. If a majority are more inclined to work within the existing framework of a more populous (but strongly positioned, based on the data and spreadsheets) state, then let it be ID or NH.

It seems the debate should be as much about what the realistic objective is, not just which state will be picked.
I thought Jason had already defined the goals. We want a Free State, one based on libertarian ideas. We want to do it by working within the system. 20,000 won't be enough in *any* state to "take over." We need to figure out (each for ourselves) which state is the most conducive to libertarian ideas, which will be easiest to work within, which has the least amount of work to do once we get there. I believe the hard facts support WY. NH, despite how much I like it based on personal preference alone, is around 5th on my list. ID is around 8th. The states keep sliding around a bit, jockeying for position, except WY.

Convince me that NH or ID has a better political environment, less work to do, because the much larger # of voters who *could* be used against us won't be. That they are already on our side. Of course, if they were already on our side, wouldn't those states be havens for libertarians now? Instead of just a bit freer than some other states? Would we really need a spreadsheet and hundreds of posts debating these things? There are no libertarian havens. Despite some advantages NH has over WY (two I can think of immediately are the activity level of the NH LP and that the NH legislature is paid *considerably* less than the WY), I don't believe it is the best choice for our goal. I am looking realistically at these states. Or hope that I am. What I want I see as more likely in WY, certainly a whole lot faster, than in NH. I want liberty in my lifetime. I am only 33, plenty of lifetime left. But I also want time to enjoy it. See my grandchildren *born* into it. That means I would much prefer a 20 year timeframe, not 40.

What do you really think the goals should be? How soon? I don't expect to get everything I want in 20 years. But I think once we get settled and a part of our communities, things can move pretty quickly. I don't want to wait. Do you?

Diana
Logged

Solitar

  • Guest
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #21 on: February 12, 2003, 05:22:28 pm »

Eric, and I address this to many others here as well,

Quote
At what point is one entitled to debate and have an opinion - when they come to agree with you?
When they've become familiar with the major threads and the information therein (see "Robert's State Question at a Glance" thread which has links to those major threads)
When, after they make a statement that was discussed before, they are pointed to those discussions and they come back with a better understanding rather than ignoring the prior arguments and continuing on with statements that are misleading, misconceptions or false.

I too have made unsubstantiated statements. But I've learned on city council to think twice and thrice and to generally  keep my mouth shut if I don't have the numbers or history to back up my statements. Oh, I do slip once in a while and I get hammered by my opponents when I do it. That is why folks here who intend to be activists should get in the habit of doing research and listening and reading. We won't get it all right, we won't even get three quarters of it right. But we can cut down on the number of times we open ourselves up to having our credibility shot to heck because of an off-the-cuff remark such as we've collected in both of the "Misconceptions" threads (one for east, one for west), or an accusation that a particular state is being touted as the best without any substance to back it up -- when there is substance to back it up.

Debaters here have been hard on each other and on the discussion threads and arguments. There have been, at various times, threads that have promoted nearly each of the states as "the best".  For a while it was New Hampshire, then Montana, then Delaware, then Idaho, then Alaska, then Wyoming. Meanwhile the Dakota's, Vermont and Maine have had the least of such cheerleading.  I wish some group would take on one of those and promote the heck out of it. Only if we have each state, in turn, promoted by the best numbers, anecdotes, cheerleaders, and passionate arguments will we have some assurance that we have not missed something -- either good or bad -- about a state.

For instance, South Dakota has a lot of good things going for it (large metro area, mid-country position, better climate, Black Hills,  legal gambling, etc.) but nobody has really pushed it hard.  Please, somebody find numbers, statistics, anecodotes, historical bases and present political reasons for why South Dakota should bump Wyoming down a few notches.

Vermont needs a strong case built for it. Go dig the legislature info out and persuade us that it is the best. There must be some reason why all these special interest groups have had success pulling it one way and then another. It may be far easier than any of us give it credit for.

Maine has a credible independence movement probably second to none, but people dismiss it because they don't know much about it. Maybe its remoteness in the way up northeast is an asset. Surely there are more great assets beside what I've tried to bring people's attention to.

Wyoming may sink back into being as nearly ignored as Alaska has. Maybe New Hampshire will again rise to the forefront of debate.

And then there is North Dakota which nobody has seriously promoted. Yet its economy is such that it is begging for businesses and educated people to come. They could welcome the FSP with a red carpet. Have we looked into that state adequately? Know we have not. We need more info on ALL the states.

Sure, some of the criteria may be biased to show a favorite state in better light. The big city folks certainly have done that for Delaware and New Hampshire. The rural folks have done that for Wyoming and Montana. The warm climate folks have done that for Idaho and Delaware. The coastal folks have done that for Alaska and New Hampshire (but they ignored Maine). So find us the info in stark facts or testimony that your favorite state is the best.

Often I've told people that, as a city councilmember, I'll listen to any argument people want to bring up IF they give me reasoned, substantiated, credible arguments that cause me to look at stuff in a different way and thus change my mind. Emotional arguments don't cut it with me, yet I know those kinds of arguments are nearly the only thing that carries weight with other people. Nevertheless,  I have changed my mind and my vote after people have done a good enough job bringing previously unknown or understated arguments to my attention.

So, as in competition in a free market,
instead of griping about all the one-sided and biased print that the other side is getting, give us some similar information and print for each of the other states that have not gotten as much coverage as they should have.
Logged

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #22 on: February 13, 2003, 03:26:20 am »

So, again we have to agree to disagree. The logical fallacy in the title is that it implies that you've found the final (i.e., 'bottomline') variable which knocks out the two states which seem to be most strongly vying with WY for support.

That's a contention that is consistent with the logic of the thread itself though, so it's not a fallacy; it's a summary of the argument being presented in the thread.

Quote
I do hope that people will not be overly swayed by 'headlines', but that's what it is. As for ignoring other variables, Zxcv also noted the speculative and incomplete nature of the data. That, combined with the strongly prejudicial 'headline', are what give the appearance of loss of objectivity.

I agree that it's not an objective-sounding headline, but I think it's logically consistent with what's being argued in the thread itself.

Quote
I just happen to disagree with your conclusions based on the relative importance of other variables and what you define as success, and think that NH and ID are better choices in the long run. From the discussion it appears that these three states seem to have the lead in support, so if you create an analysis which you claim sends these two states 'to the bottom' in favor of WY (when they clearly are not at the bottom in so many other variables, or they wouldn't enjoy so much support), it appears manipulative and perhaps disingenuous.

Actually, Joe weighed all of the candidate states when he created this thread, not just those three top contenders, and then proceeded to make an argument that voting shortfalls were of some importance in our potential for success in those states.  So, I don't believe that he was being disingenuous by doing this.  In fact, when you look at how he said he would vote (on the "How would you vote if we voted today" thread), you'll see that he listed Vermont before Wyoming.

He also made this notation with regard to shortfall numbers in New Hampshire and Idaho:

Quote
Maybe it is best to rather not be cutting the cause of liberty that close.
That is why the above figures put Idaho and New Hampshire at the bottom.
But if the proponents of those states can show where an extra hundred thousand liberty votes will come from in order to make up for the inherent advantage of less populous states, then there may be no shortfalls.

All Joe did here was to express his opinion that the shortfalls in these states were not manageable, but he also left it open for proponents of those states to show otherwise.  Wyoming did not rise to the top as a result of any type of manipulation, only as a result of its natural advantage with regard to population.

Quote
My concern is that now you see WY as the only option, and out of your passion for the movement and your vision of what constitutes success, you may be starting to play with numbers and statistics to support your views. This is fine, you have every right to do so - but if you present it as being objective, the underlying bias has to be pointed out by others, which is what I'm doing.

I don't see Wyoming as the only option; I see it as the best option, and I've enumerated my reasons for that on many occasions.  If you feel that I'm manipulating the data to that end, I'd appreciate it if you would show me where that has taken place because I don't believe that I've done this.  There is no underlying bias in my support for Wyoming; I simply believe that the criteria we have, the goals we desire, and the various factors we have to deal with all point toward it being the most favorable option.

I have no ties to Wyoming and no personal reason to favor it above FSP considerations.

Quote
As for 'taking over' WY - IF the single most important issue is population (or voting population), the reason for that is to maximize the relative political impact of the FSP immigrants, right?

Population is probably the major criteria here given the fact that Jason's initial research into the idea of an FSP was based on the number of activists it took to initiate political change in Quebec.  That's where the whole concept of 20,000 activists originally came from.  The following is a quote from Jason's article on "What Can 20,000 Liberty Activists Accomplish?"

Quote
At the time, the PQ had a paid membership of roughly 100,000, while the population of Quebec at that time was 6.2 million. In other words, having a paid member for every 62 citizens of the province gave the PQ a parliamentary majority. Applying the same ratio to the FSP's membership goal, we get 1.2 million population for a state in which 20,000 party members could win majorities at the state level. The following states have less than 1.2 million population: Wyoming, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, South Dakota, Delaware, Montana, Rhode Island (Hawaii, Idaho, New Hampshire, and Maine are close).

And if you're trying to influence and reform government in a given region, it only makes sense that your chances for doing so improve given the number of those who support you as opposed to the total population of that area.  That's the logic of the FSP's plan.  Population was the first criteria by which candidate states were selected - states under 1.5 million.

That said, those that qualify based on their populations are not necessarily equally workable.  Those states that are further beneath that cut-off level are logically better candidates (as long as there are not significant intervening factors) due to the fact that they allow for progressively higher saturation levels of activists with regard to the general and voting populations of a state.  

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #23 on: February 13, 2003, 03:33:40 am »

Quote
Well, the larger the relative political impact, the more aggressively the agenda/platform can be advanced, correct?

Potentially.  It would all depend on how aggressively we chose to advance it in addition to how receptive the state's resident population is to a given agenda.  After all, even with 20,000 activists, we're not going to "take over" any of these states.  All of them have voting populations significantly higher than our 20,000.

Quote
The reason the agenda/platform is not already in place in any of these states is because the underlying population has not chosen to enact it, even if there may be significant support existing within the underlying culture.

Therefore, the FSP intends to 'take over' (or perhaps the more appropriate term to spin is 'liberate' those already there who have similar ideology) to whatever degree they are able in whichever state is selected, and your contention is that this will happen most effectively (i.e., the agenda will be able to be advanced most quickly) based strictly on the issue of the size of the voting population in WY. This appears to be your position based on your perception of what will constitute success; mine is more incremental.

LOL.  I'm not laughing at you here, by the way; I'm laughing at the way these debates sometimes come full circle or warp back on us.  I've always advocated incrementalism; incremental migration, incremental agenda for reform, etc.  In fact, I've been criticized for being too incrementally minded.

My contention is that fewer people (or voters) in general means fewer people to convince and fewer people to combat and thus more bang for the activist "buck," if you will.  It means a higher saturation of like-minded people working together in the pursuit of various goals with respect to the general population right from the start.  It does NOT necessarily mean license to advance some radical agenda.  For example, I've seen some anarchistic agendas being advocated here, and I certainly don't support their implementation, quickly or otherwise.

No matter where we go, our agenda will have to be incrementally advanced.  The less radical it is, the easier it will be to advance, and the fewer we have to convince or contend against, the easier it will be to advance.  The FSP's ultimate goal is to achieve as high a degree of freedom as is practically possible, and I would rather go about that task by starting off on the best possible footing.

As for speed, there's something to be said for that.  For although I advocate an incremental approach to reforms, I do not believe that the current progression of national and global affairs is going to leave us a tremendous amount of time in which to get started.  Hence, once again, I support removing as many obstacles as possible on this road we propose to travel.

Quote
As for the manipulations and factoids - I've seen valid evidence/argument posted by various people in favor of NH and ID which you proceed to argue against, dismiss, and subsequently seem to ignore in your analyses, and on the other side I've seen you focus on individual issues which you present as damaging to the case for NH and ID while dismissing or ignoring those which seem to be damaging to the case for WY.

My question to you here is: "Such as?"  Give me examples.  It's difficult to respond to general statements like this except with general denials or general admissions, neither of which I am inclined to make.

I'm an open-minded person and I'm willing to be convinced, but I do believe that there are certain base level criteria that we must emphasize in order to be successful.  If we differ on those base level criteria, then we're likely to differ on everything else from that point forward.

To my knowledge, I've not ignored or dismissed any valid arguments against Wyoming unless disagreeing with you constitutes ignoring or dismissing valid arguments by default - in which case we might as well stop here.  I've readily admitted that there are valid arguments for Idaho and New Hampshire, but I've also stated reasons why I do not believe that they make overriding cases for those states in light of other factors.

Quote
I don't have time to sort through various threads to reference this, and can only assume that this is due to your passionate belief in your vision of what constitutes success and opinion that only WY can work; however, it is hardly objective.

Again, I don't necessarily believe that ONLY Wyoming can work, nor do I believe that I allow my passion to override my reason.  In regard to objectivity concerning the state choice, unless you provide me with examples of such, this is an entirely reversible contention.  And while I have not ever stated that ONLY Wyoming can work, you have stated several times that you believe that ONLY Idaho or New Hampshire can work.

Quote
That's not 'condescension masquerading as sophistication', it's trying to make sure that readers recognize your underlying bias, even if you refuse to acknowledge it.

Physician, heal thyself.  I appreciate the sense of duty you seem to have in exposing bias among others, and I'm certain that the unwary amongst us also appreciate your efforts on their behalf, but you might also want to consider whether you have your own underlying bias.  It's not so far-fetched an idea as you might at first believe.

Quote
If the majority of FSP-ers agree with your vision, then perhaps WY will win. But let's be clear that WY is not the only viable option, because yours is not the only viable vision or definition of success.

Fair enough as long as you acknowledge the same.  <sigh>  FSPer's fall into these two camps so consistently that I wish the two-state option were more viable right now.  This group is clearly not of one mind and spirit, and this will eventually hinder us in more areas than just the state choice.

Quote
I admire the amzing amount of data you guys find and post - as I keep repeating, I'm amazed that some of you have so much time to find, process and post that sort of thing. I can't accept a challenge to do some obscure research which others haven't been able to do, because I'm at the point that just participating in these fora almost seem like a luxury in which I'm indulging more than I should. I do enjoy a lively debate, though!

Perfectly understandable.   :)  These threads were long and involved even back when I first signed on last fall.

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #24 on: February 15, 2003, 01:19:59 am »

In his previous post, Joe pointed out an issue with regard to trying to determine how many supporters we might have in these various states.  And it only stands to reason that the larger a state's population is, the greater the need will be for a large pool of potential supporters.

The question then is: How many will we need?

In "Accessing the System," I ran some numbers assuming the FSP to be part of each candidate state's projected population in the year 2015, and asking what it would take for us to win 25% of the vote in a three-way race in each state.  I know that there will not be any general elections in 2015, but due to the way the Census Bureau compiles its projections, I had to work around this.  Go here for the specific numbers and the entire discussion.

I used the same percentages as the 2000 election (given the historic nature of that election), and from that information, I took a look at our current three frontrunner states (ID, NH, and WY) in order to see what we would potentially need in each state.  

They turned out as follows (copied from that thread):

***

Pulling out our current front-runner states from the above:

(In each of these states, the FSP by itself would be...)

Idaho: 1.2% of total pop. 1.7% of voting-age pop. 3.3% of actual voters
New Hampshire:  1.5% of total pop. 2.0% of voting-age pop.  3.2% of actual voters
Wyoming:  3.1% of total pop. 4.2% of voting-age pop. 8.8% of actual voters

Assume for a moment that the FSP can manage an impressive 25% voter coalition.  How would that look in the 2015 scenario (including the FSP in that 25%) considering a three-way race, say, for governor, in a GOP-friendly setting?

Idaho:

25% of 612,452 voters would give us 153,113 votes for our cause, leaving 459,339 remaining votes between the two major parties.

Giving 60% of that vote to the GOP would give them 275,603 votes.
Giving 40% of that vote to the Democrats would give them 183,735 votes.

So even if we manage to swing fully 25% of the vote, we still fall 30,622 votes behind the second place winner, and 122,490 votes behind the first place winner.

New Hampshire:

25% of 629,248 voters would give us 157,312 votes for our cause, leaving 471,936 remaining votes between the two major parties.

Giving 60% of that vote to the GOP would give them 283,161 votes.
Giving 40% of that vote to the Democrats would give them 188,774 votes.

So even if we manage to swing fully 25% of the vote, we still fall 31,462 votes behind the second place winner, and 125,849 votes behind the first place winner.

Wyoming:

25% of 277,057 voters would give us 69,264 votes for our cause, leaving 207,793 remaining votes between the two major parties.

Giving 60% of that vote to the GOP would give them 124,675 votes.
Giving 40% of that vote to the Democrats would give them 83,118 votes.

So even if we manage to swing fully 25% of the vote, we still fall 13,854 votes behind the second place winner, and 55,411 votes behind the first place winner.

From this analysis, we can see that in order to beat the second place winners in Idaho and New Hampshire, we would need to pick up well over twice as many votes as we need to beat either one in Wyoming.

In Idaho, the FSP would be 20,000 of the 153,113 votes, leaving 133,113 votes for us to go get (or a little over 6x our own number).

In New Hampshire, the FSP would be 20,000 of the 157,312 votes, leaving 137,312 votes for us to go get (or a little over 6x our own number).

In Wyoming, the FSP would be 20,000 of the 69,264 votes, leaving 49,264 votes for us to go get (or a little over 2x our own number).

And this is not even to win!  It's just to get 25% of the vote and still lose!

There's precious little difference between New Hampshire and Idaho here in terms of what we would need to win, but they will require nearly 3x as much effort and result as we would need to accomplish the same thing in Wyoming.

The inherent advantages of a smaller population state, especially for a fledgling political movement that will not likely be able to garner 25% of the vote anytime soon are more than obvious here.  Idaho and New Hampshire are wonderful states and apparently quite liberty-friendly places, but Wyoming rivals or exceeds the liberty-friendly qualities in both of these high population states (depending on the measurement of course), and would present so much less of a difficulty for us.

***

The question now is: Do we have the numbers in these larger states, not just to get 25% of the vote and lose, but to win?

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #25 on: February 15, 2003, 03:43:32 am »

Quote
Exitus wrote (and I add underlined emphasis):
Quote
I cannot throw NH and ID out at this point, because they start with such a strong freedom contingent. I do throw out ME and probably MT. It is undeniable, though, that FSP would have a different flavor in NH and ID than in WY. In the latter it would feel more like we had our hand on the tiller; in the former we'd just be augmenting what is already there, and our direct influence would be much smaller. Maybe not so important, because that is where most people are in these states anyway.
Measured how? What percentage? If the FSP'ers bring in 5%, talk another 25% of the voters into voting to repeal oppressive laws, can the Free State activists who are putting their families, jobs, careers, social standing, and political future depend on the "strong freedom contingent" that is "already there" to come through with not only the 25% more needed to win but another 5 to 10% needed to prevent a reversal or accusations of "no clear mandate" and thus a handicap going into the next election year?

Actually, Joe, you are quoting me, not exitus.

What I am getting at here is something I noticed when playing with the big spreadsheet. If you imagine you were just an individual not associated with FSP wanting to move to the most free state in the nation (in our 10 states, anyway), what would you do? You'd zero out all the SIZE and VIABILITY and QUALITY variables. I did this, then more or less arbitrarily gave every CULTURE variable the same weight. What happened? WY was still first, but ID rose to 2nd and NH to 3rd, and the latter two were not so far behind, either (671 vs 644 vs 611).

BTW the whole list is, in order:
WY 671
ID 644
NH 611
SD 601
MT 592
AK 590
ND 560
VT 553 (yup, we'd be digging ourselves out of a hole with VT)
ME 431
DE 427 (actually got a state worse than ME, quite an accomplishment)

From that admittedly crude procedure I deduce that these three states are already freest, and to maintain that they must already have a pretty hefty freedom contingent. Of course I can give you no percentages to back that up, but I conclude ID and NH are not quite as hopeless as you suggest.

My method is not wonderful, but I prefer it to the Reform Party vote which to me is pretty problematical. Or maybe I'm just missing your point.

The main thing about NH and ID is that it would change the character of the project, more or less as Robert pointed out. We'd just be shoring their existing freedom movements up. And I sure as hell don't know what we'd do to slow down statist immigration; what disincentives are there now are evidently not enough.

I don't put ID and NH on the bottom (that's reserved for ME), but why pick a state that is arguably no freer than WY, and with a population of 3 times the size? It makes no sense.

Quote
Of course, it's impossible to glean every relevant bit of information and assign it a weight in some spreadsheet or statistical analysis. The data are invaluable in the process, but not necessarily an end to themselves. The process of selecting which bits of data and which variables are most important is too subjective.

Well, Dad, what's the alternative? If we don't work with the spreadsheet and hard data, we just have generalized claims and opinions. Now that's subjective!

As a prime example, you kept going on about the livability of NH. I pointed out that WY was rated as #2 in livability in the spreadsheet. You claimed (correct me if I'm wrong), and without even bothering to check, that the spreadsheet row for livability was doctored by selecting the appropriate factors to make up an index for which WY scored high (thanks, at least, for the small favor of not suggesting I made the thing up out of whole cloth). I told you where it came from and even acknowledged there are known problems with it, then suggested you take it and improve it for us. Your response? You're too busy. Oh, and that sniping above that it's "too subjective".

I'm sorry, I find this kind of exchange kinda unsatisfying. Until you can find something better than this, to replace what we are doing with the spreadsheet (assisted by off-spreadsheet consideration of unquantifiable factors), I'll stick with what we're doing.

Logged

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #26 on: February 15, 2003, 03:49:54 am »

Alaska may very well have more than enough votes for us to win state-wide offices if the following persons can be courted into the FSP's camp.

Alaskan "Undeclared" registered voters (2000):  165,222
Alaskan "Non-Partisan" registered voters (2000):  75,022
Alaskan Independence registered voters (2000):  19,293

259,537 total third-party or independent registered voters (59.5% of the total registered voting-age population in 2000).

This is a huge base of potential support for a third party or non-partisan league.  It seems to hint at a degree of disatisfaction in Alaskan politics that may be ripe for the picking by a dedicated core of activists.

Note that the Alaskan Independence Party has nearly 20,000 registered voters by itself.  Most of them are currently inactive, and although the AIP is not perfectly aligned with what we would prefer, these people certainly are states rights oriented and anti-big government.  They could be a dormant, indigenous, and powerful FSP all by themelves should the right catalyst come along and activate them.

Zxcv

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1229
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #27 on: February 15, 2003, 04:00:49 am »

Robert, a couple problems with your analysis:

1) A statewide race is not our natural line of attack. We'd want to concentrate in certain districts to pick off various legislative seats.

2) In ID and WY at least, there would not be many 3-way races, because we'd hope to do our work in the Republican primary, and also attempt to have no more than one pro-freedom candidate in any race.

3) You act as if the number of FSP activists would be constant, while it is probable ID and NH could draw more than WY. How many more is a question. (Of course a WY/VT combo would probably draw even more, with a total population still less than ID or NH, but we've eliminated a 2-state FSP. But that elimination is the real reason ID and NH should be dumped...)
Logged

Robert H.

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 1361
  • Jeffersonian
    • Devolution USA
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #28 on: February 15, 2003, 04:37:24 am »

Thanks for your thoughts on this, Zxcv,

1) A statewide race is not our natural line of attack. We'd want to concentrate in certain districts to pick off various legislative seats.

Certainly.  This was more of a big-picture illustration to show what sort of support levels we would need to look at state-wide, an idea of what we're up against overall.  We could break down this sort of analysis to the district level as well.

Quote
2) In ID and WY at least, there would not be many 3-way races, because we'd hope to do our work in the Republican primary, and also attempt to have no more than one pro-freedom candidate in any race.

Very true.  I picked a three-way race for the contrast it would provide.  Taking the activities of a non-partisan league into mind, this might still give us a good idea of what level of support we'd need to work toward in order to demonstrate that there is a sufficient basis for electing the right types of candidates and prodding that type of person to run.

Quote
3) You act as if the number of FSP activists would be constant, while it is probable ID and NH could draw more than WY. How many more is a question. (Of course a WY/VT combo would probably draw even more, with a total population still less than ID or NH, but we've eliminated a 2-state FSP. But that elimination is the real reason ID and NH should be dumped...)

True, and again, this is just inserting the FSP at its target 20,000 members into those scenarios since that's the goal and since we don't know how we'll progress in reaching or exceeding that goal.  We could have more or less in various states depending on a number of factors.  I'm just trying to give an idea of what levels of activism and support we'd need overall.  I suppose that the 25% voter coalition could be indicative of FSP's growth with the 20,000 figure as just the original core.

Hank

  • ****
  • Offline Offline
  • Posts: 334
  • "The Men That Don't Fit In"
Re:Bottomline vote: NH & ID fall to bottom.
« Reply #29 on: August 11, 2003, 10:44:21 am »

All this argument about thread titles, logic, fallacies and such.
It IS obvious.
NH, ID and ME are just
TooMuch Horse!
http://www.cowboymagazine.com/TooMuch.html
« Last Edit: August 11, 2003, 11:42:45 am by Hank »
Logged
There's A race of men that don't fit in,
A race that can't stay still;
So they break the hearts of kith and kin,
And they roam the world at will.
http://www.internal.org/view_poem.phtml?poemID=295
Pages: 1 [2] 3   Go Up