The Star carried a second letter responding to the Tully column, defending the Libertarian Party as worthy of inclusion, and as a party contributing value to the process. David Falls of Indy writes:
Tully acknowledges, "In many debates, the Libertarian candidates actually provide the straightest answers." If The Star and other news media were to include such comments, along with those of Republican and Democratic candidates, citizens would have more varied perspectives to consider.
Even if third-party candidates are never elected, their straight answers during the campaign can help create the context in which those who are elected function.
Similarly, if The Star were to make citizens aware of good proposals offered by third-party candidates, citizens could work to realize them, regardless of whether their proponents receive the most votes on Election Day.
This is one of the things I pointed out to Tully, but wasn't printed: Much of the third-party agenda of the early 20th century Socialists and Progressives became law. Think only of labor relations to see how they got their agenda across while rarely being elected. Minimum wage laws, the 40-hour work week, and child labor laws are just a few of the ideas those parties of yore put forth.
Similarly, while Libertarians run to win, there are secondary objectives that can be achieved, win or lose. You may recall the effect Kenn Gividen had on the gubernatorial debates of 2004, as Mitch Daniels repeatedly complimented Kenn on good ideas. In particular Kenn touted a plan to eliminate property taxes. In 2006, the legislature began considering ways to reduce and even eliminate property taxes. They haven't gotten the job done yet, but the item is on the table, and it wouldn't have been if not for the inclusion of Kenn Gividen and the Libertarian Party. Kenn is now running for State Senate.
This is one of the things I intend to do this year- put issues on the table for co-opting by the other parties. When I start polling in the 10s and 20s, my opponents are going to take note, and they are going to steal my issues in an attempt to hammer my numbers down. That's a victory. They begin carrying my agenda.
This is why Libertarians are pushing a 1% across-the-board budget cut. Republicans haven't been rushing in to cut spending, even though everyone knows it needs to be done. When they see this resonating with the voters, someone will take it from us. Great! Then we start pushing for a 2% budget cut, and a reduction in the state income tax to 2%.
As you can see, there is great value in having the Libertarian Party on the ballot. Keep the positive letters coming!