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2013 Bylaws

Libertarian Party Of Michigan Bylaws
(as amended in convention June 15, 2013)

I. NAME
The name of this organization shall be the “Libertarian Party of Michigan,” hereinafter referred to as the “Party” or “LPM”.

II. PURPOSE
The purpose of this organization is to further the principles of individual liberty as expressed in the Statement of Principles of the National Libertarian Party by nominating and working to elect candidates for political office and by entering into political information activities and affiliating with the National Libertarian Party .

III. OFFICERS

  1. The officers of the Party shall be a chair, a vice chair, a secretary, a treasurer, and five at-large directors, hereinafter referred to as the “Executive Committee.” These are the same individuals who shall serve as the directors of the “Libertarian Party of Michigan Executive Committee, Inc.” None of these offices shall be combined. All of these officers shall be elected at a regular convention of the Party by the attending delegates and shall take office immediately upon the close of such convention and shall serve until the final adjournment of the next regular convention.
  2. The chair shall preside at all meetings of the Executive Committee and at all conventions. The chair shall be the chief executive officer of the Party. In the absence of directives from the Executive Committee, the chair shall have the authority to speak for, and to generally manage the affairs of, the Party. For purposes of Party representation at all National Libertarian Party conventions, the chair shall be a Michigan delegate and shall serve as head of the Michigan delegation.
  3. The vice chair shall act as assistant to the chair and shall perform the duties of the chair in his or her absence. The vice chair shall also act as “affiliates director” helping affiliates organize, forming new affiliates, helping student groups organize and forming new student groups. The vice chair shall also be responsible for organizing seminars to make certain that affiliate officers have the information necessary to work effectively with the LPM.
  4. The secretary shall be the recording officer of the Party. Excepting the Party newsletter or press releases, the secretary shall be responsible for all regular communications within the Party and between the Party and outside individuals, groups, and organizations.
  5. The treasurer shall receive, expend, and account for the funds of the Party under the supervision and direction of the Executive Committee.
  6. The members of the Executive Committee shall meet in such times and places as they shall determine and shall govern all the affairs of the Party.
  7. A member of the Executive Committee who misses three consecutive meetings of the Executive Committee or fails to perform his or her fiduciary duties may be removed from the Executive Committee and replaced by a two-thirds vote at a regular meeting of the Executive Committee or a majority vote at convention following a motion for a vote of no confidence. All Executive Committee members must be notified of the intent to removal at least 14 days prior to the meeting. If the chair is so removed, the vice chair shall assume the chair and a new vice chair elected.
  8. All officers of the Party must be current members of the Party. An officer whose membership lapses must renew at the next meeting after written notice or be removed at that meeting.
  9. There shall be a standing legislative committee to monitor, report on, and advocate for legislation on behalf of the Libertarian Party.

IV. LOCAL PARTY ORGANIZATIONS

  1. Party members may form organizations entitled to be known as the “Libertarian Party” of their respective areas.
  2. The Executive Committee shall charter affiliate parties from those organizations requesting such status. A copy of the petitioning organization’s proposed operating rules shall be submitted with the petition. No organization shall be so chartered which does not ratify the Statement of Principles of the Party. The Executive Committee can arbitrate disputes between affiliates.
  3. The autonomy of the affiliate Parties shall not be abridged by the Executive Committee, or any other committee of the Party, except as provided herein.
  4. The Executive Committee shall have the authority to suspend affiliate party status from any organization by a two thirds vote. Such suspension is subject to written appeal within thirty days of notification. Failure to appeal shall be construed as an act of secession by the affiliate party. The Executive Committee shall not suspend any affiliate party within a period of three months prior to a state Party convention.
  5. The appeal of the affiliate party is to be directed to the Judicial Committee of the Party. Written arguments shall be sent to the Judicial Committee by representatives of the Executive Committee urging revocation and by representatives of the affiliate party opposing revocation. The Judicial Committee shall rule to either revoke the charter of the affiliate party or to reinstate the charter within thirty days of receiving the arguments and no later than thirty days prior to a State Party convention. Should the Judicial Committee fail to rule timely, the affiliate party shall be automatically reinstated with all rights and privileges pertaining thereto. The affiliate party may appeal the ruling of the Judiciary Committee to the Judicial Committee of the National Libertarian Party following the above procedure.

V. JUDICIAL COMMITTEE

  1. The judicial power of the Party shall be vested in a Judicial Committee composed of three Party members. No member of the Executive Committee may be a member of the Judicial Committee.
  2. The Judicial Committee shall decide cases involving alleged violations of these bylaws or resolutions.

VI. CONVENTIONS

  1. The Party shall hold an annual convention each odd-numbered year between April 1 and July 31, performing such business as required herein. During even-numbered years, the Party shall hold an annual convention after the filing deadline for candidates to appear on Michigan’s primary ballot.
  2. The Party shall hold a convention within 45 days upon the call of the Executive Committee or when petitions are submitted by 10% of the current membership.
  3. All members of the Party who attend and register at a convention shall be delegates, unless the Party shall receive major party status. In the latter event, new bylaws shall be enacted by a special convention to convene within 90 days of such time as an LPM statewide candidate receives sufficient votes to gain major party status.
  4. A majority shall rule at the convention except for the platform and resolutions of the Party which shall require a two thirds vote of those present, or as otherwise required by these bylaws.
  5. The Executive Committee shall have supervision and management of all conventions.
  6. The officers of each convention shall be the officers of the Party.
  7. A person who has never been a member of the Libertarian Party of Michigan must become a member at least 30 days prior to a State convention before being allowed to vote at that convention.

VII. NOMINATION OF CANDIDATES

  1. Nomination of candidates for public office shall be made only at a convention during the election year. No candidate may be nominated for an office for which he/she is legally ineligible to serve.
  2. Delegates to the National Convention shall be elected at the State Convention by nominations from the floor if the state convention is held prior to the national convention. If held later, election of delegates may be by affiliate caucus. In either case, delegates may be appointed by the Executive Committee if the allotted quota is not met. Rules governing delegate procedures shall be determined by action of the Convention or, in the absence of directives from the Convention, by the Executive Committee.
  3. The Party’s nominee for each office shall be chosen by a majority vote of the delegates in attendance at the time of voting. If no candidate has a majority, the candidate with the least number of votes shall be struck from the next vote until one candidate receives a majority.
  4. All votes for candidates for public or Party office shall always include “None of the Above.”
  5. Votes cast for “None of the Above” in voting on the Party’s nominees for public office or the Party officers shall be considered valid. Should a majority of the votes be cast for “None of the Above” in voting for a public office, no candidate shall be nominated for that office. Should “None of the Above” be selected for any Party office, that position shall be declared vacant and none of the losing candidates for that position may be selected to fill the vacancy for the term of office.

VIII. MEMBERSHIP
Membership shall be granted to any person who affirms the Statement of Principles and whose dues are current.

IX. FISCAL YEAR

The fiscal year of the Party shall end December 31.

X. PARLIAMENTARY AUTHORITY

Robert’s Rules of Order Newly Revised shall be the parliamentary authority for all matters of procedure not specifically covered by the bylaws or convention rules of the Party.

XI. AMENDMENTS

These bylaws may be amended by a two thirds vote of the delegates present at a convention occurring in an odd-numbered year only.

XII. USE OF PARTY RESOURCES

The Party does not support, condone, or give candidates of other political parties access to mailing lists, contact information, or administrative access to online social media accounts of the Libertarian Party of Michigan for use with their campaign.

XIII. EFFECT

These bylaws shall take effect immediately upon adoption.

2011 Bylaws
2007 Bylaws

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2014 Platform

(As revised in convention, June 15, 2013. Sustained in convention, May 17, 2014)

STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLE:

The Libertarian Party does not believe in or advocate the initiation of force to achieve social or political goals.

PREAMBLE:

Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the inalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.

People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.

The essential precondition for a free society is that people follow their own dreams in their own ways without government interference. This precondition allows that the only legitimate function of government is the protection of the inalienable rights of its citizens. To that end, government at all levels should be strictly limited to the essential services necessary to uphold individual rights, maintain public order, and adjudicate disputes. Government at the state and federal level should be involved only in issues not best handled by local or regional government.

I. STATE GOVERNMENT

1. Federalism. To restore a necessary check on federal power, we advocate the repeal of the 17th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

2. Federalism. We endorse the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves to our state and its people all powers not expressly delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, or prohibited from the states or the people by the U.S. Constitution.

3. In the absence of a declaration of war by the United States Congress, we oppose any use of Michigan troops by the federal government for any purpose other than natural disaster relief.

4. Individuals have the right to defend themselves and others. Article I, Section 6 of the Michigan Constitution states: “Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.” We oppose any law that dilutes the right of a law-abiding person to own a firearm or other means of self-defense.

4. We oppose any form discrimination by government based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other group identification. Each person has the same inalienable rights that the State has a duty to protect.

5. State government should be removed entirely from the licensing process, including occupational licensing. It has produced no better results than private licensing and amounts to another tax. For example, marriage licenses are contracts between individuals and should be left to the individuals, their attorneys and religious officials, without the need to pay the state for a stamp of approval.

6. We support returning to a part-time legislature, which is sufficient to carry out the legislative duties as prescribed by our State Constitution.

7. We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.

8. We oppose immunities for any public officials or employees for illegal acts or omissions. Like any citizen, they should be subject to criminal prosecution and held liable for any injuries caused by their actions.

9. There should be maximum separation of legislative, executive and judicial powers.

II. ELECTIONS

1. The only electoral duty of the State government should be providing for fair and efficient conduct of elections. Political parties, like any private voluntary group, should be free from government control and allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures and conventions. All taxpayer-funded subsidies to candidates for public office and political parties, including primaries and conventions, should be eliminated.

2. We support the addition of the alternative “None of the above is acceptable” to all ballots. We further propose that in the event that “None of the above is acceptable” receives a plurality of votes in any election, a new election shall be held for which none of the losing candidates shall be eligible. Other forms of voting should also be considered, such as instant runoff voting or proportional representation.

3. Campaign finance laws are unwarranted restrictions of free speech or association and should be repealed.

4. The time during which voters may circulate any statewide petition should be extended to two years.

5. Voters should have the power of referendum on all existing or new legislation.

III. COURTS

1. The current practice of forced jury duty should be replaced by volunteer juries.

2. The common law authority of a trial by jury preceded our constitution and is the foundation of our legal system. If a jury of peers deems a law unjust, oppressive or inappropriately applied, it has the right and duty to acquit the defendant. We support the right of defendants to a fully informed jury, which would require judges to instruct jurors of their authority to judge not only the facts, but also the justice of the law according to their own good consciences.

3. We support restitution for victims of crimes or civil infractions at the expense of the perpetrator. The victim should have the right to pardon the perpetrator, provided the victim is not threatened or coerced.

4. Private adjudication of disputes by mutually acceptable judges or mediators should be encouraged.

5. No-fault laws should be repealed because they deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible for causing harm.

6. The right of trial by jury should be allowed in all civil or criminal cases.

7. The use of civil asset forfeiture to enforce laws circumvents constitutional protections and should be ended.

8. Random police roadblocks and other searches without probable cause bypass constitutional protections and should be prohibited.

9. We support equal treatment and oppose sexual discrimination in any judicial proceeding adjudicating a parental right, privilege or obligation concerning his or her child.

IV. PUBLIC SAFETY

1. Law enforcement cannot guarantee individual safety. Self protection is a personal responsibility. All individuals have the right to defend themselves and to possess the means to do so, as guaranteed by the State Constitution Article I, Section 6.

2. State prison facilities should be used only for the incarceration of individuals who have proven themselves a threat to others.

3. Curfew laws should be repealed as the behavior of children is the responsibility of the parent, not the state.

4. Laws requiring the use of seat belts and helmets are misguided, paternal, and should be repealed. Individuals must assume responsibility for their own safety.

V. VICE LAWS

1. Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs and alcohol, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.

2. Voluntary communities may enforce rules that prohibit certain activities to which all members subscribe, such as substance-free dorms.

VI. TAXES

1. The legislature should find more voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.

2. The personal income tax should be repealed.

3. Taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title.

4. The personal property tax on Michigan businesses should be repealed.

5. Tax favoritism should be illegal. Abatements, subsidies, credits, or other incentives to businesses based on geographical area, job creation, or any other criteria deny equal protection under the law.

6. Sales tax on used merchandise that is resold results in double taxation and should be eliminated.

7. Adding sales tax to products already subject to specific state taxes, such as gasoline and cigarettes, should be ended. This practice results in double taxation, as consumers are paying a tax on a tax.

8. We oppose any sales or use tax on the Internet.

VII. ECONOMY

1. We believe in the free market, thus the complete separation of the economy and the state.

2. No commercial enterprises should be granted legal monopoly status, including the so-called natural monopolies of electricity, natural gas, water supplies, telephones, and cable television. The Michigan Public Service Commission should be abolished and all rate regulation in these industries ended. The right to offer such services in the marketplace should not be curtailed. We also call on the legislature to end the state monopoly on lotteries.

3. State regulation of industries such as insurance and communications, and professions such as medicine and law, should be ended. They should be regulated by trade or consumer groups.

4. The condemnation of private property for public use should only be allowed when necessary for the protection of the rights of the citizens.

VIII. WELFARE and CHARITY

Providing for the needy by forcibly taxing others is contrary to the legitimate function of government, which is to protect the rights of everyone. Disbursing charity from a welfare system costs society more than it gains. It is inefficient, open to fraud and abuse, and creates resentment. Traditional, voluntary sources of emergency support from families, churches, and private charities have always been more humane, more effective, and willingly borne by the givers. Therefore, until the income tax is repealed, we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions to encourage a transition from public welfare to private support.

IX. EDUCATION

1. Education is a parental responsibility and best handled at the most local level. While we advocate the separation of school and state, regional cooperation in funding and administration should be encouraged for economies of scale.

2. Because parents are best situated to decide what is in their own children’s best interests, we support all measures that enhance the educational choices available, such as charter schools, tax credits for private school tuition, and home schooling.

3. Compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be repealed. Students cannot be forced to learn, and teachers should not be forced to act as juvenile delinquency officers.

4. All individuals, regardless of age, are entitled to the protections of the constitutions of the United States and Michigan. Random drug tests, locker searches without probable cause, censorship of student publications, corporal punishment, or any similar actions violate those rights.

5. All votes relevant to school operations, including millage proposals, bond issues and school board elections, should be placed only on the regular, biannual ballot.

X. ENVIROMENT

1. Aside from public safety, there is no greater concern for the people of Michigan than having a safe, healthy environment. We look forward to the day when all property not required for police and court functions is returned to private ownership and control.

2. We call for the restoration of every individual’s ancient, common law standing to sue for trespass any individual, business, government or other group that pollutes his or her property.

3. We oppose creation of new government parks or wilderness and recreation areas. Such parks and areas that already exist should be transferred to non-government ownership. Pending such transfer, their operating costs should be borne by their users rather than by taxpayers.

4. We support efforts to hold all individuals, businesses and governments accountable for the pollution they cause. With respect to so-called orphan sites, where those responsible for contamination of ground or water either cannot be found or cannot be made accountable for the damage they caused, we support the use of the Natural Resources Trust Fund currently earmarked for expansion of State parks to be redirected to clean up.

XI. HEALTH CARE

1. The most fundamental property right is an individual’s right to own and control his or her own body. All individuals have the right to determine their own health care needs and treatment. Exercise of this right does not remove the moral obligations not to violate the rights of others. We recognize the state, when it exists, has a duty to protect the rights of others, particularly those in society who are the most vulnerable, including: the very old, the very young, and the mentally handicapped. The state, where it exists, does have a duty to protect the life of all individuals, and should prosecute those who utilize force or fraud to end life.”

2. The right of people to extend or end their lives with dignity should not be infringed. We support the freedom to use living wills and durable medical powers of attorney.

XII. SECESSION

We recognize the right to political secession. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.

XIII. INCLUSION

The Libertarian Party of Michigan ratifies and hereby includes in this document the platform of the national Libertarian Party.

XIV. OMISSIONS

Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, restriction, regulatory agency, or activity should not be construed to imply approval.


RESOLUTIONS

[Resolutions are statements of opinion on timely issues, and are adopted as described in our bylaws. They are not permanent planks of the LPM platform.]

2014 Resolution Approved

Resolution: Grand Juries

One resolution, proposed by Brian Wright passes without noted opposition:

The LPM supports the reinvigoration and reassertion of the people’s ultimate authority—at local, state, and federal levels—to investigate and bring indictments of government corruption and crimes through statutory empanelment of grand juries.


Prior LPM Platforms

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