Rob Power: ‘What happens to the Platform Committee’s minority report?’

Posted by Rob Power at LibertyForAll.Net. Link to full piece at the end. Rob Power is the New Path candidate for Secretary of the LNC and serves on the Libertarian Party Platform Committee.

If there’s any committee more politicized than the Texas textbook and curriculum committee, it’s the Libertarian Party’s Platform Committee.

The overwhelming majority of the committee, having been appointed by the dominant coalition of the LNC and their allies in several state parties, have a vision for the Platform that decimates the long-standing “Dallas Accord” between those of us on the “minarchist” or small-government side of the LP and those on the “anarchist” or no-government side. In the past, this difficult coalition has been held together with words in the Platform like “where government exists, it should / should not…” But this year’s Platform Committee Report succeeds in removing the last of such compromise language.

For a while, it looked like we had a small minority on the committee willing to support minority reports that restore such language (the Bylaws require four committee members to sign a minority report for it to be official). But now that one of our four votes has decided not to go to St. Louis, thereby promoting a member of the dominant coalition of the LNC from alternate to full committee member, it’s looking like we won’t even have that.

I’m not an anarchist. I support marriage equality for same-sex couples as an incremental measure short of completely privatizing marriage. I support ending the Federal Department of Education as an incremental measure short of shutting down county public schools. Similarly, I support returning law enforcement from Homeland Security back to local police departments and disaster response from FEMA back to state and local organizations like fire departments.

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22 thoughts on “Rob Power: ‘What happens to the Platform Committee’s minority report?’

  1. Brian Holtz

    Rob is seriously confused. The “where governments exist” and “governments when instituted” language is firmly embedded in the Statement of Principles, and the PlatCom is not proposing to change the SoP. (Doing so is essentially impossible anyway, because it requires a 7/8 vote of all registered delegates, and there are never that many on the floor at one time anyway.)

    Rob is probably talking about the PlatCom recommendation to add to plank 1.0 this language: “Government exists to protect the rights of every individual.” I was the only PlatCom member to join Rob in voting against the 1.0 recommendation, but this sentence was not the reason. What Rob apparently does not know is that this sentence is already in plank 1.5: “Government exists to protect the rights of every individual including life, liberty and property.”

    It’s demonstrably false to claim that the PlatCom report recommends changing what the Platform says about the existence of government. Period.

    Don’t take Rob’s word for it, or mine. Read the PlatCom report at, or see at what the Platform would look like if all the PlatCom recommendations were adopted.

    The reason I oppose the PlatCom change to 1.0 is that it deletes the best sentence in the entire platform, and that was chosen by the Denver delegates to be the first sentence of our first plank: “Individuals should be free to make choices for themselves and to accept responsibility for the consequences of the choices they make.” That says all you really need to know about libertarianism.

  2. Thomas L. Knapp

    “It’s demonstrably false to claim that the PlatCom report recommends changing what the Platform says about the existence of government. Period.”

    Since what the Platform says about government is demonstrably false, then the real question is why the Platcom report DOESN’T recommend changing it.

  3. Brian Holtz

    Even anarchist Chair candidate Ernest Hancock says the only proper role of government is to protect individual rights. Even the radical 2004 platform said “Government must be returned to its proper role as protector of rights”. I read the current language as saying nothing more than is said by these paragons of radical libertarian virtue.

    However, if Rob Power and Tom Knapp want to tell me that the Denver delegates voted decisively to repudiate anarchism, I’m not going to argue with them. And I predict the St. Louis delegates won’t be changing what the Denver delegates voted to say about the existence and purpose of government.

  4. Michael H. Wilson

    The report reads “We favor restoring and reviving a free market health care system”.

    The U.S. has probably never had a free market in health care. Can anyone on the committee point to a period in time when such a situation existed? If you are going to write it then you need to prove it.

  5. LP watcher

    LP spends more time worrying about Robert’s Rules of order at their conventions then they do about actually electing people. How about a course correction in priorities?

  6. Nicholas Sarwark

    The U.S. has probably never had a free market in health care. Can anyone on the committee point to a period in time when such a situation existed? If you are going to write it then you need to prove it.

    Prior to the Flexner Report (ca. 1910), there was a relatively free market in medical education and greater supply of doctors. Flexner’s findings improved medical education, but through setting higher standards, which constricted the supply of doctors.

    It was also common during that pre-1910 period for fraternal organizations to support members’ health care costs.

  7. Nicholas Sarwark

    any chance we’ll ever get rid of ‘cult of omnipotent government’ ( said in darth vader voice)— I really , really hate it!

    The LP challenge to “the cult of the omnipotent state” is in the statement of principles, so would take 7/8 of delegates in convention to modify. Chances of that happening are slim to none, and slim just left.

  8. Michael H. Wilson

    Re # 10 Nicholas about 1872 the state of Ohio, I believe, passed what was the first modern licensing law with a number of other states soon following, such that by 1900 licensing was fairly common nation wide for doctors. I can drag the books down and look but not right now.

    See Paul Starr’s “The Social Transformation of American Medicine” and Stanley Gross’ “Of Foxes and Hen Houses”.

    Problem is the way the piece is worded it puts candidates and others in the possible position of defending something they may have no knowledge about.

  9. Brian Holtz

    Michael, the committee is not proposing to make any change to the language you quote, which has been in the platform since 1994. Not a single complaint about it was among the 1,406 comments the PlatCom received from the 2008 membership survey about the Platform. Among the 3869 responses we got to the 2010 survey, 86% approved of the healthcare plank’s language. Of the 746 comments on the healthcare plank, only four mentioned the “restoring and reviving” language. Three of those supported it, and only one objected to it.

    Since you were signatory #25 on the Restore04 petition to restore the 2004 platform that included that language, I’ll defer to you to defend it. 🙂 Me, I’ve got higher-priority platform bugs to work on.

  10. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian you’ll make an excellent leader. Iceberg straight ahead!

  11. Brian Holtz

    Michael, we can be a team. I’ll watch out for icebergs and glaciers, and you keep telling us when we’re headed for an ice cube.

    In all my research on decades of media coverage of the LP platform, I’ve never once heard of any negative fallout from the “restoring and reviving” language.

  12. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian if you want incomplete and/or incorrect information in the platform then go for it.

  13. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian you seem to be spending a lot of time on here bull shitting. What’s more important the work on the platform or BS?

    I spent a good part of today working on a petition and am just getting around to answering email. And if you’ll remember I brought that problem to your attention some months ago.

    How long does it take to fix that small bit? Six Months?

  14. Michael H. Wilson

    Brian so far you been fairly slow at getting the work done from what I see.

  15. patriotic dream

    markham Robinson AIP for governor 2010 vote june 8th pirmary thank you

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