The Libertarian Reform Caucus is a coalition of freedom lovers
who want to have an effective libertarian party, one which is designed
to win elections now in order to turn the tide from ever increasing
statism to more liberty. The current Libertarian Party does not meet this standard.
It's platform is far too radical to allow significant electoral victory in the
U.S.; there are organizational matters that need to be fixed; and strategy
needs to be improved.
It's Home Stretch Time!
We have two and a half months to LP Convention 2006! It's make or break time!
Here are some things we need to do real soon!
Achieve a consensus. It's time to get voting!
Run more web ads and build up our membership numbers. The bigger we are, the more
convention delegates will listen to us.
and bylaws committees.
Many decisions will be made before
Plan our convention strategy. Members can discuss here.
What Else is New
(5/14) Part IV of "Political Totemism
and the Dangers of Metaphors"
by bestselling science fiction author
is now up. Read it!
This one is extremely important! It's long, but worth it. You might want to
Printer Friendly link at the bottom of the page and then print this
(4/30) For Members Only: there is now a discussion area
for Caucus strategy. Comments
there are visible only to logged in members.
(4/28) I also put the "Plank by Plank" list in a scrolled box to make it easier to
find where you are at. A bit ugly, but handy. If ye want to go back to the old
system, let me know.
(4/28) I added a "Bylaws" area to the top menu. I also rearranged the top
menu so that more urgent subjects are closer to the left. (Party strategy
can wait until after the convention. Platform and bylaws are more time
(4/23) We have a new look. What do you think? (4/27) And now I have finally replaced
those old prev/next buttons I borrowed from quiz2d.com. (By the way,
Xara rocks! Much better than
Illustrator and a lot cheaper as well.)
(3/20) We can now accept donations online! Our online form is located
here. We are using PayPal. You can either
use your own PayPal account or simply use a credit card to donate and help
us buy advertising.
(3/5) Have made significant ergonomic improvements. Log in and check out the
new links in the upper left corner. more...
(2/19) Just created a new new trifold brochure for promoting
the Caucus at LP state conventions and the like.
More people are linking to our site and search hits are bringing people in.
Your webmaster is getting published in several places promoting the Caucus,
including LP News, The Free Liberal, and the Free Market News
Members are invited to submit essays on such subjects as how we should change the
platform in general, better ways to organize the party, better strategies to get
libertarians elected, and how the Caucus can bring these things about. Below is
a list of the most recently posted essays.
2006-05-17 The Other Foe of Free Enterprise by David Brin.
Part IV of Political Totemism and the Danger of Metaphors. Socialism is not the only enemy of individualism, freedom and open-market enterprise. There are older, more dangerous foes that are all-too-often ignored by libertarians. History shows that freedom-lovers need to watch all parts of the horizon, not only the one small zone we were taught to worry about. In doing so, we will also gain credibility that can translate into political success.
2006-05-09 Proposed 2006 Manifesto of the Libertarian Reform Caucus by Kristan Overstreet.
This is a proposal for the message we, as a group, will send to the Libertarian Party and all its supporters. The time has come to make our proposals concrete, declare what we want changed this year, and call on other libertarians, small-l and big-L, for their support.
2006-05-04 Are LP Candidates Serious About Politics? by Lois Kaneshiki.
The following essay was written by Lois Kaneshiki when she was Chair of the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania and At-Large member of the Libertarian National Committee. She had seriously ran in 1999 for county commissioner in Pennsylvania. It is re-posted here with permission. This essay questions whether LP candidates are serious about winning offices and the politics required to make change. It also asks whether the LP ia “political party” or just a philosophy club or think tank.
2006-04-25 It Takes Two to Compromise by Kristan Overstreet.
Many people within the Libertarian Party claim that reformers and purists within the Party can work together towards electoral success. Unfortunately the purists and anarchists have no intention of working with us. Indeed, now that they know we reformers exist, they seek to drive us out of the Libertarian Party—by any means necessary.
2006-04-20 The Late Great Libertarian Bait and Switch by Carl Milsted.
There are two definitions of the word "libertarian" out there. They are not consistent. One gets used to recruit and pump up our numbers. The other gets used internally. This constitutes a bait and switch.
Members are also invited to submit proposed changes in the Libertarian Party platform.
Then, the entire caucus gets to debate and vote on these changes. We use approval voting
in order to maximize consensus and avoid parliamentary wrangling. Here are the most recent
2006-05-17 Taxation Proposal 7.
This is an LP tax platform plank that links taxes and services, eliminates (earned) income and property taxes, while maintaining other traditional sources of taxation. Modified from Thomas Knapp's proposal.
2006-05-04 The Membership Pledge Proposal 15.
An LP Pledge based on the Declaration of Independence. Sometimes we don't improve much on the original, other than by updating the language.
2006-05-04 Colonialism Proposal 1.
Adds Puerto Rico to the list of colonies mentioned and points out the
responsibility of such terretories to govern themselves.
2006-05-04 Individual Sovereignty Proposal 1.
Narrowing the purpose—There's plenty of language in the platform about individual rights. "Sovereign immunity" should be addressed in a very focused and legalistic manner, rather than (as in the existing plank) being overloaded with an excess of ideological verbiage.
2006-05-02 The Statement of Principles Proposal 7.
while i think i like Proposal 4 best of all so far, but i wanted to offer a more incremental proposal that might have a better chance of passing on the floor at Portland. i borrowed this idea from the LPNC, which only modifies the first sentence.
2006-05-02 Government Secrecy Proposal 1.
Government is the servant of the individuals who comprise this country. Classification is a privilege granted government solely for the purpose of protecting information which disclosure of would threaten the security of the country itself.
2006-04-25 Taxation Proposal 6.
An LP tax platform plank should be simple (lower taxes), targeted (toward linking taxes and services) and open-ended (no need to argue over ultimately keeping a few taxes or eliminating them all).
Restoring liberty in the near future is feasible. Given the constraints of the
U.S. political system, the logical course of action follows:
The Democratic and Republican parties are loath to nominate libertarians.
The cause of liberty requires a libertarian party to get libertarians on the ballot.
The United States elects its legislators using district-based elections.
Corollary 2: Winning office requires actually winning elections. Garnering
5-10% of the vote at-large wins nothing.
Fringe politics does not work in the United States. A political party must
appeal to a plurality of voters (effectively, at least 40%) in some districts
in order to win elections. Since districts vary, such a party could get away with
appealing to less nationwide, but it must at least appeal to 20-30%.
In other words, for the Libertarian Party to be effective, it must appeal
to the top 20-30% of freedom-lovers. Appealing to the tiny minority of
freedom-lovers who want no government at all, or something very close to that,
is a recipe for failure.
The platform and message of the Libertarian Party is extreme, sacrificing
practicality and political appeal in favor of philosophical consistency with
a single axiom. As such, the party currently appeals only to a tiny fraction
of the voting public.
The Libertarian Reform Caucus is working to reform the Libertarian Party,
to turn it into an effective tool for increasing liberty.
As a first step, we are working on an improved Libertarian platform, one
that LP candidates can proudly quote and still win elections. To broaden the
Statement of Purpose
We, the members of the Libertarian Reform Caucus believe that America needs a real libertarian party, a party that promotes liberty while being conscious of political reality, a party designed to win elections and begin
rolling back excess government now. In particular, the party needs:
A platform that proposes a realistic vision for the next few years, as
opposed to an idealistic vision of a libertarian future. The public expects a
party platform to show what a party's candidates intend to do during the
next term of office. If the party wants a long term vision statement, it
should be in a separate document labeled as such.
A platform that unites libertarians rather than dividing them. Where
libertarians disagree, the platform should be silent. The party should be a
tool for all libertarians.
A platform based on the realization that there are
other important values in
addition to the non-initiation of force. Freedom is extremely valuable, but
it is not the only value.
Who We Are
Anyone who agrees with the above Statement of Purpose is invited to
Libertarian Party members who have grown tired of losing.
Former Libertarian Party members who got tired and left -- but are
considering returning if conditions improve.
Small-l libertarians who are considering joining the party
if the party shows
real interest in winning.
Small-l libertarians who are considering joining the party if the
party backs off from some unacceptable positions.
Moderate libertarians who want to shrink government.
Radical libertarians who realize that to shrink government a lot, we must
first shrink it a little.
Anarcho-capitalists who realize that to eliminate government, we must first