Washington Libertarian Review

Political commentary from the State of Washington with a libertarian perspective.

Saturday, November 06, 2004

Phoenix rising

Despite the loss of MP status, talk about 2006 is already occurring.

Probably the most positive result of the 2004 election is that the LP has shown it can "run to the left" as well as to the right. LP Governor candidate Ruth Bennett made issues dearer to liberals the centerpiece of her campaign and she has gained the balance of power in that race.

This should disabuse the media of the myth that the LP takes votes only from the Republican Party. The public may take more time. It also demonstrates, regardless of MP status, the LP is a force that needs to be acknowledged and its interests accounted for.

Talk is now making the rounds that the LP should approach either the Ds or the Rs to discuss ways that LP interests can be accommodated within the context of either the D or R agenda. No, I am not talking about a coalition or joint venture. Rather, I am talking about embracing the so-called "spoiler" role and targeting specific candidates and races, or not, depending on what Ds or the Rs are willing to do to accommodate LP interests.

There is some logic to this strategy. Call it what you will, "spoiling" or "participating," the fact is the most the LP is able to do consistently is sway the majority to candidates of another party. Some argue for this reason that the LP should drop out of the close races. But that negates the LP's very purpose of being, which is to bring about political change.

Time will tell whether the Ds or Rs are interested.

A second idea is also making the rounds, the "campaign in a box." Here the idea is to develop a set of campaign materials (brochures, speech scripts, voter pamphlet statements, etc.) around a specific platform, say, cutting taxes or de-criminalizing drugs. Anyone willing to run on the LP banner as a "paper" candidate will have little to do but distribute the materials already prepared. If even that is too much trouble someone at LP HQ can do it for him/her.

This is also a good idea. However, it will be only as effective as the underlying support system.

Finally, even though I think these are ideas worth a try, I don't think they should be tried at the expense of the more basic activities -- i.e., membership, fundraising, getting out the vote. The question is whether we can assemble the resources to make it all happen.


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