Tuesday, April 05, 2011

Libertarian Party of California's Convention Problems

I have written before about the Libertarian Party of California's declining attendance at state conventions -- and that it appears intentional.

The LPC seems to want to
discourage attendance by longtime activists (often povertarians) as a way to rig the outcomes (e.g., its notorious 2006 cruise convention (opposed by the Orange County LP), and its current 2011 convention located in Nevada).

This, on top of other convention dirty tricks.

Now longtime LPC officer and activist, Gail Lightfoot, writes this open letter stating her own complaints about the LPC's crappy convention setups.

Gail writes

This is an open letter to the LPC XC [Executive Committee] listing my reasons for not attending a convention since the LPC went to Sea.

1. Changing and inconsistent dates prevent advance planning.

2. Locations are often out of the way for air, train and bus.

3. Locations isolated so you must stay at the hotel with no option for less expensive lodging.

4. Having to pay an increasingly hefty fee to vote as a Delegate!

5. Allowing and encouraging even the newest members to be Delegates over the time honored (by all political parties) of having Delegates represent a county (or region) so they have been "vetted" as being familiar with LPC history, Bylaws and Platform prior to serving as a Delegate.

We don't live in a Democracy so why are we being more democratic? How can we educate the voting public about the advantages of a Republic over a Democracy and end the insanity if we fail to set an example of how it works.

The LP and the LPC have failed their members and voters repeatedly over time. Here in California, the number of voters registered LP grows, not by our efforts, but by the effect of the few libertarian thinkers and media types who bring them to us. We consistently fail to reach out to them in meaningful ways.

We cannot blame the lack of numbers and funds when the truth is any one who is active locally is ignored by the party leaders, given no accolades or even respectful treatment or invited to share their experiences with others. These local activists are the ones who should represent our voters at conventions, not just anyone who can pay the fee. They should be the speakers at workshops designed to teach activism to new members.

Unless and until the LPC recognizes where its real strength lies, it will continue to flounder. With Prop 14 our members have no justification for spending time and energy being a candidate. Our free publicity as candidates is now lost and I don't see the LPC fighting back, hard and heavy!

How can we consider acquiescing to Prop 14 instead of working night and day to overturn it? Newcomers will not know the dangers inherent in such acquiesce just as they did not see the danger in making changes to the party than dilutes its purpose -- providing candidates for the politically homeless freedom lover.

Without radicals, we have no base for Liberty in America. May as well join the parties in power.

All of these insult long time party members, activists and candidates such that they see no need to waste time watching the LPC dissolve into nothingness.

If we do not provide a political home for the radicals for Liberty, we have no reason to exist.

If we do not reward the hard work of our activists and candidates, they will soon give up the battle for more productive means of getting out from under too much "other gov't".


Gail K. Lightfoot

LPC Chair 1995-96, 1990
LPC So. Vice Chair 1993-94
Convention Cmt., Bookkeeper 2002
Convention Organizer 2003
Convention Oversight Cmt Chair 1992-1995
LPC Sec, 1989
LPC News Editor, 1990, California Liberty, 1994-95
LP Candidate for U.S. Senate 2010, 2000
LP Candidate for Sec of State, 2006, 2002, 1998
LP Candidate for Congress, 23 rd CD 1992, 33rd CD 1990, 1986, 1984
Regional Chair East San Gabriel Valley, L.A. 1980 to 1988
Charter Member of the LP, 1972

PS: No, I won't organize a convention to prove it can be done. Been there, done that, offer advice, no one listens. Like all old Libertarian activists, I have become a curmudgeon as I grow older and wiser. GKL

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