The Libertarian Party has made great strides both nationally and locally since 1971. This is unquestionable. All of the efforts of those that have come before me, have my deepest respect and appreciation. There is nothing that could be proposed to happen today had it not been for the past Herculean efforts of every hard working libertarian member, past and present. However, there must come a time for a change of direction and I propose that that time has come.
Libertarian Party activists have traditionally focused on fighting local, State and National laws that restrict your freedom. This has been the primary focus. A lot of time and energy of the party and its members have been put into demonstrating, petitioning, and speaking against the tidal waves of unfairness found everywhere out there. Despite the best courageous efforts of everyone, libertarians can not come close to stemming the relentless tide of statism. Their efforts can be likened to a mosquito trying to drop an elephant in full charge. This leaves many libertarians frustrated and angry.
The energy absorbed in waging battle against the omnipotent government at all levels, is too high of a price to pay for a "political party". A "political party" is the sum total of the membership and their efforts in getting candidates elected. The efforts of a "political party" must be for the party's purposes only in order for it to properly function and grow as a "political party".
I suggest to everyone that you now consider what it will take to grow up to be a BIG "political party". First, ask yourself, are we or are we not a political party? If so, are we legitimately competing with the two major parties? What do the two major political parties do? How do the two major political parties do it? Is the LP doing what is necessary to grow up to be a big political party? I submit that the answer to all of these questions is presently "No".
While we call ourselves the Libertarian "Party", too many libertarians act like members of a dinner club or like old style "hippie" demonstrators. As a whole, not many libertarian party members act like they belong to a political party. Since many have never belonged to a major political party, this is not surprising. However, a successful political party uses different tools and weapons to engage in all out political warfare. Libertarians do not have to re-invent the wheel to become a major political party either because we have two successful major political parties from which to pattern ourselves. Before you get all huffy, let me explain.
The Republicans and Democrats market themselves all the time. Their local meetings can be found in every county in the nation. They are always recruiting membership. More importantly, they are constantly recruiting candidates for all offices and looking ahead to the next election. This is a daily obsession with them.
Each of the two major parties have an array of supporting organizations and political action committees to add to their efforts. Neither the Republicans and the Democrats spend any significant time on demonstrating, petitioning or speaking about issues (unless to further market themselves toward winning the next election). They have one function--to get ready to win elections. Every day of every year is spent getting ready to win the next election!
The Republicans and Democrats are obsessed with getting ready for the next election. Imagine every day (yes, I mean every day) looking for candidates, raising money, and recruiting new members. This is what the Libertarian Party must do to compete, to ultimately win elections and to grow into a big political party.
Earlier I made a point of saying that a "political party" should not let its energy be absorbed by demonstrations and the frustrations that follow. Yet, you will probably want to point out that individual Republicans and Democrats also engage in demonstrations, petitioning and speaking on issues. I submit that individual Libertarians can do the same. The point I want to make is that none of the organized local, State, or National Libertarian Parties should be used for this, participate in this or spend any time encouraging this. The Party's job is to build an organization to win the next election.
Thus, the change in direction I propose is that the primary focus of the Libertarian Party organization everywhere be to shift the focus of the membership to do the same things that the two major parties do--constant recruitment of members, constant marketing, contant recruitment of candidates, constant fundraising and always, always, getting ready for the next election. We can grow up to be a big party. The time is upon us. Let's change our direction and compete to win!
As of August 3, we have 15,106 signatures checked and logged in at headquarters. Sunday, August 5 marked the halfway point of our petition drive. We should have at least 25,000 signatures by now. The good news is that our members carried over 1,000 signatures into HQ on Sunday when they arrived for the LEC meeting. They will be included in the tables in next week’s e-newsletter.
We have contracted for 11,000 signatures from paid petitioners to make up the shortfall we experienced in Phase I of the petition drive.
At the beginning of the petition drive we divided the number of signatures needed for success by the number LPM members. We then multiplied the quotient (27) by the number of members in each affiliate. The following is the resulting signature goal for each affiliate and how each is doing as of August 3:
Signatures % Of Affiliate Collected Goal Goal --------- ---------- ---- ---- Allegan County 43 560 7.7% Berrien County 107 560 19.1% Branch-Hillsdale Counties 48 351 13.7% Clare-Gladwin Counties 132 320 56.4% Ionia 23 240 9.6% Kalamazoo County 41 1013 4.0% Lapeer-Genesse Counties 23 1413 1.6% Livingston 80 1732 4.6% Macomb County 1111 5784 19.2% Mid-Michigan 429 2852 15.0% Midwest Michigan 79 560 14.1% Oakland County 2470 10688 23.1% Ottawa County 56 800 7.0% South Central Michigan 43 1652 2.6% Shiawassee County 1357 293 463.1% Saint Clair County 11 693 1.6% Traverse Bay 7 773 0.9% Tri-Cities 369 1173 31.5% Upper Peninsula 39 1119 3.5% Van Buren County 135 426 31.7% Washtenaw County 3825 2799 136.7% Wayne County 781 8422 9.3% West Michigan 80 2799 2.9%
It should be noted that the above totals do not reflect monetary contributions from members of each affiliate, although these will ultimately be counted toward their signature totals ($1 = 1 sig). Remember: if you don't have the time or inclination to collect signatures, you may always make a contribution instead, and we will contract for your “fair share” from paid professionals. Every dollar you donate to the BARC effort counts as one signature toward both your individual and affiliate goals. Send checks to: LPM-BARC, 619 East Nine Mile Road, Hazel Park, MI 48030.
Special thanks to our top ten petitioners. They are:
LEONARD C SCHWARTZ 751 AL TITRAN 703 BENJAMIN F STEELE III 569 JERRY E BLOOM 447 VIOLET STEELE 356 RICHARD JOZWIAK 240 TRAFTON JEAN 230 JAMES L. HUDLER 213 LLOYD SHERMAN 208 CONSTANCE J CATALFIO 203
Thank you to everyone else who has put forth the effort to
collect signatures. Whether or not we remain a political
party will be determined by your efforts.
BARC Announcements ------------------
The Phase II checkpoint is August 18. Please send in every signature you have collected by that date. That is the only way we can determine how many signatures we have and how many more we need. But don’t stop petitioning! Just send in what you have up to that point so that we can measure our progress.
Remember, you don't have to wait until then. It helps us if you submit your petitions sheets as soon as they are filled. We can't check and log them, nor give you credit for the signatures you have collected until we have them in the HQ. If you don't trust the U.S. 1st Class mail (a prudent concern), mail them certified to my address: Nancy O'Brien, 17015 Cicotte, Allen Park, MI 48101. To mail a stack of 300 or so petitions by certified mail will cost approximately $7.00. I will sign for them and let you know they have arrived safely.
Volunteers Needed: We will need help with petition checking and logging on Sunday, August 19 at 1:00 at HQ. Please come in and give us a hand.
|To unsubscribe, send email to firstname.lastname@example.org|
Return to News Archive