philip berg

libertarian for congress

home | news | bio | district | issues | contact

Tiptoe through the Tulips

End the War in Iraq

Sadly, both the Democrat and Republican parties have supported the disastrous war in Iraq and Nancy Pelosi, 8th District incumbent candidate, has stood "shoulder to shoulder" with them. She:

When Tim Russert asked her "Do you think that the situation with Iraq is a distraction from the war on terrorism?", her reply was "I don't think it's a disaster--I mean, any decision--I don't question a decision of the president of the United States on his timing or on the priority he gives a threat."

Her web site contains no position statements and she has refused to respond to Project Vote Smart's position survey or attend debates with the other candidates.

Can Nancy Pelosi be trusted to lead the nation out of Iraq?

The Libertarian Pledge

The following pledge is required for membership in the Libertarian Party of America:

"I hereby certify that I do not believe in or advocate the initiation of force as a means of achieving political or social goals"

The Libertarian Party

What it is. What it Stands For.

History

The Libertarian Party is a United States political party created in 1971. It is one of the largest consistent third parties in the United States, with over 200,000 registered voters and over 600 people in office, including mayors, county executives, county council members, and school board members.

The Party was founded on December 11, 1971, principally by David Nolan, John Hospers, Edward Crane, Manual Klausner, Murray Rothbard, R.A. Childs, Theodora Nathan, and Jim Dean. The group felt that the dominant Republican and Democratic parties had diverged from the principles of the American founding fathers, and the American people would benefit from a alternative party that more closely abided by those principles.

By the 1972 presidential election, the party had grown to 80 members and had attained ballot access in two states. The first Libertarian presidential ticket of John Hospers and Theodora Nathan earned fewer than 3,000 votes. Eight years later, in the 1980 presidential race, the Libertarian Party had gained ballot access in every state, the first time a third party accomplished this since the Socialist Party in 1916. The 1980 presidential ticket of Ed Clark and David H. Koch earned 921,299 popular votes. The Party has been represented in the presidential race consistently since then, with ballot access in most states, receiving from 0.21% to 0.50% of the popular votes (excepting the 1980 ticket, when it received 1.1%).

Today, the Party has a national presence in the National Libertarian Party, and strong grass roots movements in State Affiliates and County Affiliates. It is the third largest political party in the United States; although this claim is often disputed by the Greens, since there is no single objective agreed-upon standard with which to compare the size of third parties.

The libertarian party platform

The tenets of the Libertarian Party platform include the following:

● Minimal government at all levels, limited to protection of citizens' life, liberty, and property.

● A self-regulated free market economy. Elimination of taxation. Privately provided services and infrastructures chosen and paid for by local citizens. Environmental protection through individual responsibility, community groups, and civil liability for pollution. Elimination of corporate welfare. Maximum opportunity for individuals to achieve their potential through their own efforts.

● Strong civil liberties. Personal freedoms. Elimination of government prohibitions on voluntary non-aggressive behavior. The right to keep and bear arms.

● A foreign policy of non-interventionism. Opposition to the initiation of force. Opposition to military draft. Free trade.

The U.S. Two Party System

The Democratic and Republican Parties typically capture more than 95% of the vote in partisan elections. All third parties consistently share the remaining 5%. Is this situation the result of most of the voting public agreeing with the tenets of only these two major parties? Not entirely, given the following barriers to third party success:

Ballot Access: The two major parties have been influential in instituting nearly impossible hurdles that third parties must vault in order that their candidates even appear on the ballot in partisan races.

Winner Take All: Unlike European and other countries, the U.S. does not have proportional representation. The party that wins an election, even if it wins by 1% of the votes, gets into power; and the runners up, including third parties, have no representation or influence in the subsequent administration.

Campaign Financing: The costs of running political campaigns are astronomical. The entrenched major parties have built a substantial infrastructure of financial support, with which third parties cannot compete.

The "Wasted Vote": The voting public often votes for the lesser of two evils in an effort to prevent the greater evil from winning a race. A vote for a candidate they truly agree with is often perceived as a "wasted vote."

However, in spite of these challenges, the Libertarian Party is still very much in the running, thanks to hard work in building coalitions with local groups of like mind, ballot initiatives, and a fierce constant legal fight for ballot access.

edit this page