Wednesday, March 29, 2006

New Poll

It has been a long-running debate within the Libertarian Party, whether candidates or even county or state affiliates should engage much in discussing Federal issues. Some say 'yes', it helps the voter get a fuller picture of what our candidates are about. Others say 'no', little point in discussing issues outside of the scope of the offices being sought by a candidate. I think the Libertarians most against our candidates limiting the scope of their talking points are those who have pet issues they want enunciated, whether by the candidate who can affect the issue if elect, or by the candidate for dog catcher. I don't find it terribly practical, and a little arrogant.

But that's just me. The new poll is here for your use, at the right. The poll is not limited to Libertarians or to Hoosiers, so have at it. You earn my esteemed respect if you are a party line voter and have the integrity to say so in the poll.


J.Q.F.R. said...

I think it makes some sense to get a feel for what kind of politics a candidate for dog catcher espouses (if that was an elected office, personally I'd have used the office of "county surveyor" as the inane example).

The electorate has the right to know if a candidate generally supports the legalization of all drugs (as Libertarians do) or that they support a womans right to reproductive choice (as Libertarians do) or even that they are in favor of same-sex civil unions (as Libertarians are)

If people are sheepish enough to vote a straight party line they don't care about that as much. Todays savy voter will look at issues and any possible differences between candidates of the same party.

Mike Kole said...

This response is very much why I posit the question. Look well on it, fellow Libertarians.

JQFR has listed three of the least important issues to my campaign for Secretary of State, and to me personally, but yet stick out in the public's mind when they think of us. It is clear from his response, and history, that JQFR considers these Libertarian positions liabilities, so he makes the point of listing them. As it happens, the Libertarian Party is nearly split 50-50 on abortion. But what bearing does it have either way on my position on fair elections? Zip. And yet it matters to so many.

It does also bring to mind the fact that Libertarians are not afraid to take hard positions, while Republicans and Democrats hide from hard positions that may be unpopular. Every candidate instruction manual or consultant will advise the candidate not to take hard positions unless they are clear winners. Thus, the Republicans and Democrats have learned not to take hard positions on anything, as candidates or as parties, unless they poll as winning issues.

Look at the forced annexation issue, where the Hamilton County GOP, whose officials are clearly in favor of forced annexation by action, refuse to state it publicy on their websites, to the press, or in any other forum, saying only, "we'll look at the facts and decide later". It has the effect of minimizing damage to them, but also is not forthcoming, which breeds distrust... which I guess is better than outright rejection.

Today's savvy voter is the exception rather than the rule. Straight-ticket voting is higher today than ever.

Rick Ehlin said...

My "2 cents" on this topic is if the office that the candidate is seeking has no "power" over a topic then what does it matter what they think. Example...a county surveyor has no influence over abortion, drug laws or why would the canadates views on those topics matter?

OLD YELLER said...

A little office holder most likely will support higher party office holders right up the chain so I ask about issues before voting.

Rick Ehlin said...

If you know the "party" views on federal issues and assume the local canadate supports these issues...why ask? I personally don't need to know a town council canadate's stance on abortion as they have no influence on that issue. Even if that canadate went against "party" views I'd be ok...because they'd have no influence.

J.Q.F.R. said...

Hoosiers I think more than others will give a candidate's character more weight, regardless of the office. Also something to consider is the use of "little" offices as stepping stones to higher ones. A council member becomes mayor becomes governor becomes senator becomes president. Secretary of state get the idea.

Michael said...

Of course candidates should talk about certain Federal issues. Federal issues are are like a familiar substance that rolls downhill and has an effect on almost everything. Any number of Federal regulations are addressed by the Secretary of State. REAL ID, victim disarmament, eminent domain, immigration...all of these "Federal" issues have an impact on the local level and will at some point have an impact and require addressing by a local officer. What is the cost going to be from the Secretary of State's perspective for REAL ID compliance at polling places? Will voters without REAL ID compliant ID be allowed to vote? Eventually almost any Federal issue lands on us at the local level. I don't think it hurts for a candidate to discuss "Federal" the end ALL politics are local.