David Colborne on Libertarians: Death by Parliamentary Red Tape?

David Colborne in IPR comments:

Regarding parliamentary rules, I find it absolutely amazing how, at every Libertarian event (and this is a personal observation, not an official one), the probability that an LP meeting will devolve into rules lawyering approaches 1 given enough time. I don’t know if it’s a personality situation or a design flaw in Robert’s Rules themselves but it’s absolutely maddening. It makes sense in Congress – real money, real issues, and, sometimes, real lives are at stake. None of this is true in any Libertarian Party meeting. Don’t like who was elected or what bylaws provision was approved in the last meeting? Get over it, spend the next year or two building up support to do something about it, then try again then. Trust me, it doesn’t matter how good or bad your officers are and it doesn’t matter how good or bad your bylaws are – either your party has good people in it that will keep things going because of/despite those issues or it doesn’t. There isn’t an Executive Committee officer alive or a bylaw amendment in existence that will change that. Besides, there isn’t a single local, state, or national bylaw on the books that’s binding to any member’s life more than, oh, 1% of their day anyway. Use the other 99% to do something productive and keep that 1% in perspective.


David Colborne is the Chair of the Nevada Capital Libertarian Party (http://www.nvclp.org) and the Northern Regional Representative for the Libertarian Party of Nevada (http://nv.lp.org). He can be reached at chair@nvclp.org.

10 thoughts on “David Colborne on Libertarians: Death by Parliamentary Red Tape?

  1. Matt Cholko

    It is that way in lots of organizations, not just the LP, and not just political parties.

    Fortunately, my local LP doesn’t really use RRs at all. However, we do often make a stink about things that we shouldn’t, and that is usually out of fear of the law.

    For example, we do not file with the FEC, so we won’t let candidates for federal office post events to our meetup group. There are lots of other things like this that are stupid, but we do them out of fear of reprisal.

  2. Kevin Knedler

    We don’t use RR in OHIO state Executive Committee meetings very much. It is a business meeting, with a set agenda and reports from the Division Directors. Open discussion and then we vote on items. Just need some good (and fair) leadership and the rest takes care of itself.
    State convention is another matter, but we have rules and advance deadlines for changes to the bylaws or constitution. Also need multiple sponsors of bylaw or constitution changes. It works fine and the knuckleheads are running the asylum any longer.

  3. Kevin Knedler

    Last sentence. are “NOT” running the asylum . It’s late and I need to go back to watching the basketball game.

  4. David Colborne

    @LG: We have the Jims for that. Between the two of them, they know RR ice cold. Or, at least, I think they do… I mean, they’re certainly confident about them, and it all sounds good…

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