Libertarian Party

Libertarian-Green Debate

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This coming Tuesday, the Libertarian and Green parties' presidential candidates will debate. From the press release I just received:

Arrangements have just been finalized between Libertarian Party candidate Michael Badnarik and Green Party candidate David Cobb to participate in this debate in Manhattan, while the Republican National Convention is convened.

Invitations to participate in this debate have been extended to Republican incumbent George Bush, Democratic candidate John Kerry, Independent/Reform candidate Ralph Nader and Constitution Party candidate Michael Peroutka.

The debate is scheduled to begin at 7:00 P.M., and will be held at Sts. Cyril and Methodius Church (formerly known as St Raphael's Church) at 502 West 41st Street in Manhattan.

There will be a joint press conference immediately preceding the debate at 6:00 P.M.

Open public seating is available at this event—with no loyalty oaths or other stringent preconditions required for entry to the debate.

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  1. Karl Rove shrugged. 🙂

  2. I wonder what they mean by a “joint” press conference…

    Sorry, I couldn’t resist. That was the only joke I could think of that wouldn’t make some LP partisan around here blow a gasket.

  3. How dare you make fun of us! My gasket is officially blown!

  4. Will this be an anti-establishment lovefest, or a statist versus individualist slugfest?

    No slug jokes, please…

  5. Will this be an anti-establishment lovefest, or a statist versus individualist slugfest?

    I have no idea. I suspect that the answer will be — in the words of Abraham Simpson — “a little from column ‘a,’ a little from column ‘b.'”

  6. I hope that this will inspire you guys to organize something similiar. It’s not that hard and we expect a lot of people.

  7. Maybe I’m totally wrong about this, but…

    Wouldn’t it be a big winner for one of the major party candidates to show up for this? Take the highest of high roads the entire time, go deep into the policy weeds just to show he can (without worrying about boring potential voters or missing the opportunity to do the stuff he has to do in the bipartisan debates), compliment his opponents on the sincerity of their beliefs but respectfully disagree, and join in on the bashing of the other major party candidate while doing so more respectfully, and demonstrating that his bashing is more responsible than theirs.

    Of course, only one of the major party candidates would be capable of pulling this off.

  8. Nice try joe, but the official line from both Republicans and Democrats is “Third parties? What third parties?” Remember: protecting the two-party system is more important than winning.

  9. I recall that in 2000, the CA GOP nominated Tom Campbell, a very libertarian Congressman, for US Senate against Barbara Boxer. (Yes, I know, somebody here can undoubtedly find reasons why libertarians shouldn’t like Campbell, but the fact remained that he was a lot better than most in the GOP.) Boxer refused to debate him for a while, so he wound up debating the Green Party candidate. Eventually he did debate Boxer. If I recall correctly, it was at 11am on a weekday on a Santa Monica public-access station or something like that. She didn’t want a widely seen debate where he could make her look bad, but she didn’t want to let him play the “what is she afraid of?” card.

    Needless to say, Campbell lost anyway. Still, I liked the guy. I printed fliers with my own money and went door-to-door in my neighborhood campaigning for him.

  10. The reason major party candidates won’t play is that they have no upside. Lose, and the media (and the opponent) gloat for weeks; win, and they’re just beating up on the little guys. They look like bullies.

    Also remember that a lot of this stage of the game is just not losing ground – big “wins” are hard to come by, hard to defend and not worth it until October.

  11. “Maybe I’m totally wrong about this, but…”

    You are correct, Joe! You are totally wrong.

  12. I hope Badnarik really presses the case for liberty. It’s so strong, the more folks who hear it, the better.

    joe,

    It sounds like a good idea but it would be more likely if either Bush or Kerry actually cared about ideas.

    thoreau,

    Tom Campbell sounds great. Do you know what he’s up to these days?

  13. A Son of Liberty? Boo-ya!

  14. will.it.be.televised?

  15. The Revolution will not be televised.

  16. “The reason major party candidates won’t play is that they have no upside. Lose, and the media (and the opponent) gloat for weeks; win, and they’re just beating up on the little guys. They look like bullies.”

    That’s just it – the major party candidate wouldn’t be trying to “win,” in the way you win a major party debate, but to win a respectly, even scholarly, contest of ideas. You are correct, if he just out-politicianed the minor leaguers, he’d look like a bully. But by treating them respectfully and keeping it on the level of ideas, all he’d have to do is hold his own, and he’d win.

  17. They should have this in the phone booth outside, for all the people who will be attending.

    (do we still have phone booths? as if that will matter)

    BTW: everyone has a color but us. Greens, Red and Blue states, well I guess the commies are red too. The anarchists get black I suppose, but they’re not a political party.

    What would be a good Libertarian color?

    Gold? (that’s the object of our fixation)

    Gray? (that describes the interest the LP generates)

  18. You kids are just so darned cute….

  19. The LP needs to lose the Pledge. Our founding fathers wouldn’t have signed it, and neither will I.

  20. I’ve yet to even see Badnarik speak – televised or otherwise. I’m still voting for the guy though.

  21. The timing on this seems a little counter-productive.

    Scheduling the debate during the RNC makes it a lot less likely that Bush would be able to attend, even if he wanted to be there, his calendar is already full that week.

    Plus, with all the coverage the RNC is going to get, along with the excessive “protest” coverage, there aren’t enough news hours in the day for the debate to get much attention.

    I think it would have been better to run the debate the week after the convention, when a complicit media would already be looking for something else to report about, especially if they think it will dampen Bush’s post-convention bounce.

  22. And the advertisments for the new Washington State primary include three parties – Democrats, Republics, and Libertarians.

    All ads I’ve seen show an elephant, a donkey, and the Statue of Liberty lined up at a voting both.

  23. That is really good. Very nice use of symbolism, and evidently, it’s not just the LP that’s using it.

    Very cool “branding,” with the Statue of Liberty and all.

    btw, has anyone noticed that if you try to acronymize “Statue of Liberty” you get SoL? Bummer.

  24. I suspect that the answer will be …”a little from column ‘a,’ a little from column ‘b.'”

    So, the debate’s going to be held in a Chinese restaurant?

  25. Apparently Campbell is the dean of the business school at Berkeley right now. He’d been a law professor previously, and he has a Ph.D in economics in addition to a law degree.

  26. In that case the LP’s color should be copper oxide and our secret password could be “I’m SOL.”

  27. So, the debate’s going to be held in a Chinese restaurant?

    Mmmmmmmmmmm.. Moo shu pork…. drool…

    Kevin

  28. The LP needs to lose the Pledge. Our founding fathers wouldn’t have signed it, and neither will I.

    But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same object, evinces a design to reduce them under absolute despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such government, and to provide new guards for their future security. Such has been the patient sufferance of these colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former systems of government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute tyranny over these states. To prove this, let facts be submitted to a candid world….

    …And for the support of this declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

    Nah, those Founders wouldn’t go signing any pledge.

    As for symbolism, I always thought ballots had a star for the D’s, an eagle for the R’s, and Liberty for us. The mascots are donkey, elephant and the much less famous porcupine. New York’s Conservative party uses a torch, and the now defunct Liberals always used a Liberty bell. These graphic devices were quite popular in days gone by in the U.S., and in countries with minimal literacy, symbols and color codes are even more stongly attached to parties. Where I vote now, the ballots have no graphic devices, just text legends next to the candidates’ names. Perhaps we’ve lost something by ditching those cues to the electorate. If in Florida, in 2000, the Reform Party candidates had an icon – a tightly wrapped bundle of sticks, perhaps – next to their names, perhaps much trouble would have been averted. 🙂

    Kevin

  29. Props, kevin, especially on the fache.

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