Wednesday, November 09, 2011

Republicans, Defenders of Economic Liberty

The Indianapolis City-County Council saw a change in its makeup last night, as voters elected enough Democrats to give that party a new majority on the Council. Three at-large seats shifted from Republicans to Democrats. There were 4 Libertarian candidates, 3 of which gained a total greater than the margin of victory for the three Democrats over the next three Republicans.

In the wake of this, I was treated to usual blathering about how Libertarians 'steal votes' from Republicans, and - get this - caused Democrats to win control.

First fallacy there is that anyone 'steals votes' from anyone. No party owns the votes. The Voters own the votes, and they decide to whom they shall cast them. So, if today you are one of those folks disappointed at Democrats taking control of the City County Council, go kick the ass of one or three of the Republicans. They failed to adequately compete.

Second fallacy is that the Libertarian voter would cast for Republicans by default, if only the Libertarians were off the ballot. Well, it is argued, Libertarians and Republicans sound alike on economic issues.

Oh, I beg your pardon while I call bullshit! Ok, conceded- the two may sound the same. Rhetoric is meaningless to me. Actions matter. So, less than 24 hours after winning re-election, Republican Mayor Ballard announced his plan for getting the light rail boondoggle going. From the Indy Star:

Only hours after clinching his re-election as Indianapolis mayor, Greg Ballard went to the Statehouse to kick off his next campaign: Landing a mass transit system for central Indiana.

Ballard, a Republican, met at 11:30 a.m. today with Speaker of the House Brian Bosma, R-Indianapolis, and Senate Appropriations Chairman Luke Kenley, R-Noblesville, to discuss his top priority in the legislative session that begins Jan. 4.

"Certainly coming into the session we want to try to figure out a way to enhance mass transit in the city of Indianapolis and the region," Ballard said.

The Republican defender of economic liberty has this as his top legislative priority.

Egad. 'Republican defender of economic liberty'? I just threw up in my mouth a little.

So, I don't really want to hear it about the city, region, state, or country being screwed over by Libertarians, essentially causing Democrats to be elected. I fail to see the difference on anything apart from scale- and that's only occasionally. Ballard has bought in 100%.

During the campaign both Ballard and his Democratic opponent, Melina Kennedy, said they support the concept of transit but insisted they needed more details before championing the Indy Connect proposal by the Central Indiana Task Force for increased IndyGo bus service and rail lines to the suburbs.

The biggest stumbling block: Cost. The task force's proposal was estimated to cost about $2.4 billion, evenly split between local government and federal funds.

So, what's the difference? I don't see any. I see two halves of the same one. So, I have no sympathy whatsoever.

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