Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Looking at the Rules Affecting Political Parties

I received an interesting suggestion from Ed Gluck of Terre Haute for a policy position to take with my campaign.

He has suggested that the Libertarian Party of Indiana push for conventions for all three parties. This is to save the state money and should lessen the influence of big monied special interests.

I see where it would have the effect of saving the taxpayers some money directly, as the taxpayers pay for the primary elections, and the parties pay for their own conventions.

I disagree, however, that it would take the money interests out of it. After all, if the public isn't paying for primaries via tax dollars, then somebody is paying for the conventions- and with the major parties, that means corporations and special interests.

I am very interested in gaining major party status for the Libertarian Party with my ballot results. If I get 10%, it happens, and we will be part of the primary process too. While that will include us in the cost to the taxpayer, it would give us a powerful tool that the major parties have kept from us all this time. As Indiana is not a registration state, the way the political parties can find out who their supporters are is by checking out who takes a dedicated party primary ballot. Right now, Libertarians cannot take a dedicated party ballot, so Libertarian voters can either not participate in the primaries (which stinks if there are issues on the primary ballot), or they can take an independent ballot and vote only on the issues.

When the Libertarian Party does its homework and looks at who takes the independent ballots, we are getting access to some Libertarians, but also to Greens, Socialists, and non-partisans. It's very efficient for the Democrats and Republicans, and wholly inefficient for us. This is by their design.

I would like to put the Libertarian Party on even footing with the D's & R's in as many ways as possible. Having the vanity license plate money taken away from the D's & R's was an outstanding thing that brought those parties down to our level of having to be self-sufficient, as we have been all along. It has been amusing to watch the Democrats struggle at the state level. They just aren't used to self-sufficiency.

Ed raised an interesting question. I am interested in getting it all wherever I can, so I am open to suggestion. Should Libertarians lobby to make Indiana a registration state, while lobbying for the elimination of the primaries? It would serve to reduce the cost to the taxpayer while eliminating the unfair advantage the D's & R's have over us and any other 3rd party that might come along.

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