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Libertarian Party: Platform Committee Agenda- UPDATED WITH MINUTES

This IPR editor has obtained a couple of the Agenda for this weekend’s meeting of the Libertarian Party Platform Committee.

Libertarian Party Platform Committee
March 26-27th, 2016
Embassy Suites St Louis Airport, Bridgeton, MO
Saturday, March 26 – 9:00 am
Call to Order 9:00 am
Credentials check 5 minutes
Paperwork check 5 minutes
Review motions already adopted by email ballots 5 minutes
Adopt agenda 10 minutes
DRAFT AGENDA: (10 minutes per proposal)
1.0 Personal Liberty (Mattson) – clarify accepting consequences is an
1.0 Personal Liberty (Minet) – address adult/children distinctions
1.4 Abortion (Starr) – offer failed EB08 but with “across” instead of
1.4 Abortion (Minet) – alternative new language
New 1.6 Parental Rights plank (Starr) – move language from plank 3.5
Amend new 1.6 Parental Rights (Starr) – amend language moved from 3.5
1.6 Crime and Justice (Mattson) – general editorial cleanup
2.2 Environment (Minet) – delete 3rd sentence
2.2 Environment (Minet) – move second-to-last sentence
2.2 Environment (Minet) – delete final sentence
2.2 Environment (Minet) – add sentence regarding damages proven in court
2.2 Environment (Mattson) – new first sentence drafted by Shipley
2.2 Environment (Carling) – rewrite
2.3 Energy and Resources (Mattson) – delete
2.4 Government Finance & Spending (Starr) – split into multiple planks
2.4 Government Finance & Spending (Minet) – split into two separate
2.5 Money & Financial Markets (Minet) – amend final sentence, return to
sound money
2.5 Money & Financial Markets (Minet/Carling) – rephrase “neither
profits nor losses are socialized”
New 2.7 Intellectual Monopoly and File Sharing (Fulner) – new plank
New 2.8 Public Employees (Starr) – new plank
2.10 Retirement & Income Security (Minet) – insert “even”
3.0 Securing Liberty (Fulner) – rewrite
3.4 Free Trade and Migration (Cholko) – remove first sentence & change
3.4 Free Trade and Migration (Cholko) – remove “unreasonably” from
second sentence
3.4 Free Trade and Migration (Cholko) – remove final sentence
3.6 Representative Government (overnight homework) – alternative for
first sentence
3.6 Representative Government (Starr) – add form of government language
4.0 Omissions – (multiple) – options for new plank: add “or even the
existence of government itself”,
Minet/Fockler alternative language
New 1.7 Death Penalty (Ahmad) – new plank
Statement of Principles (Minet)
Sunday, March 27
Call to Order 9:00 am
(Continuation of remaining agenda from Saturday)

3/29/16- The Minutes have been published. A copy can be read here:

About Post Author

Caryn Ann Harlos

Caryn Ann Harlos is a paralegal residing in Castle Rock, Colorado and presently serving as the Region 1 Representative on the Libertarian National Committee and is a candidate for LNC Secretary at the 2018 Libertarian Party Convention. Articles posted should NOT be considered the opinions of the LNC nor always those of Caryn Ann Harlos personally. Caryn Ann's goal is to provide information on items of interest and (sometimes) controversy about the Libertarian Party and minor parties in general not to necessarily endorse the contents.


  1. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | March 23, 2016

    Idle hands make for devil’s work.

  2. Thomas Knapp Thomas Knapp March 23, 2016

    Looks interesting. I wonder what the death penalty proposal will look like. Since capital punishment is by definition unlimited government/cult of the omnipotent state stuff, it’s about time the LP formally called for its abolition. Actually, we should have done so earlier — it’s better to have been right earlier than to wait until something’s about to happen anyway.

    Thanks for bringing some immigration proposals, Matt!

  3. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | March 23, 2016

    Nothing good can come out of it (there are some really solid members, but they are outvoted).

    The death penalty plank is the one thing I am hopeful on. CO has one (and I think we were the first, but I could be wrong – we are still in the small minority that does)

  4. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | March 23, 2016

    And FWIW, I have never hated the current platform. It actually is pretty solid and remarkable and I came to the LP solely due to the SoP and the current Platform. Read it once, jaw dropped open, switched voter registration on the spot.

    If the death penalty plank is good, I will give my all in supporting it.

    Screwing around with the abortion language is a mistake. I will likely not support. I support deletion.

  5. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | March 23, 2016

    Highly suspicious and overtly hostile to any attempt to make us the conservatarian party.

  6. Edwin Pole II Edwin Pole II March 23, 2016

    Punishment should never be the goal for a libertarian system of justice. The first goal should be compensation of the victim of the tort. Secondarily, the safety of the society (if I may use that term) can be considered. The conditions of the compensation extracted from the perpetrator of the tort should be commensurate with the tort.

  7. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko March 23, 2016

    If I had to bet, I’d bet against an anti-death penalty plank making it out of committee. But, its not out of the question. There are a couple of similar, but not identical proposals making the rounds. There seem to be a fair number of committee members opposed to the death penalty (though not nearly as many as I expected), but there is not yet agreement around language.

    As for immigration….you’re welcome, Tom! I got a lot of resistance during our email discussions around my proposed changes to that plank. I think there is a small chance of very modest improvement making out of committee. Again, I wouldn’t be on it.

  8. Thomas L. Knapp Thomas L. Knapp March 24, 2016

    Thanks for the work you’re doing, Matt.

    This is a case where I’m confused. The obvious goal of the SMC cabal is to damage the LP. MOST people who hate the LP think that the more radically libertarian it gets, the less effective it is. So I’d expect an SMC-dominated platform committee to recommend an extremely libertarian platform. Maybe they’re smarter than I give them credit for and understand that it’s GOP-lite cargo cultism that most damages the LP.

  9. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos March 25, 2016

    Alicia Mattson’s argument against a death penalty plank. I respect Alicia greatly and admire her wit— truly. But this is so full of logical holes that I want to be executed just to get the badness of it out of my head.

    I do though however give Alicia MAJOR props for standing by the idea of “no force or fraud” being relevant since some people seem to have a problem with such simply Libertarian basics. Two thumbs-up and a porcupine to Alicia.

    I will be voting against this proposal.

    Our platform planks take our principles and apply them to various subjects that we feel are currently relevant – free markets for health care, no victimless crimes because no force or fraud was involved, etc.

    I am not aware that avoidance of irreversible accidents has ever been one of our core principles. I don’t see that these conclusions are drawn from libertarian principles.

    I’ve not yet heard any of the proponents of this motion address the question Mr. Starr has twice asked.

    People with guns and cars sometimes cause irreversible accidents, but we think the pros of driving and self-defense outweigh the cons of the accidental deaths. Penicillin has saved the lives of many, but the link below says that 400 Americans die from penicillin allergies each year…versus the 155 death-sentence exonerations since 1973. Those allergic reactions are accidental and irreversible, so should government-agent doctors be forbidden from administering penicillin to prison inmates who are sick?…/penicillin…/deaths.htm

    With just a few words changed, what would be the logical difference if we proposed the following new plank:

    Death is irreversible and no recompense can be made for an accidental death. From 2005-2010, almost 3,800 people in the U.S. died from unintentional shootings. Given the fallibility of any human, actions that cannot be reversed or compensated for should not be taken. Even if guns saved the lives of many acting in self-defense, gun ownership cannot exist without risking the execution of innocents. Since it is impossible to trust any person with this kind of power we oppose gun ownership.

    I’m not familiar with this organization or the credibility of their data, but the statistics in the second sentence came from here:

    Alicia, really? You are sharp as a tack. This is not an argument worthy of you. I really wish you were local so we could sit down and talk sometime. I enjoyed your company at LPEX.

  10. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko March 26, 2016

    So, none of my proposals on the immigration plank made it through committee. One very minor change made it through. It is probably a slight Improvement. That is to change the word credible to demonstrable in the last sentence.

  11. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko March 26, 2016

    Overall, I’d say that not a whole lot of substance made it through committee today. Some of the substantial items were kicked to tomorrow, and people are working on language for them this evening. So, it’s possible that some substantial changes will come through tomorrow’s session. I expect that we will take up another proposed change to the immigration plank, that has the potential to make some improvement

  12. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos March 26, 2016

    Thank you Matt for the update.

    What items are people working on?

    I am not sure that demonstrable is better than credible… seems like a lateral change. Though perhaps it does kick up the burden of proof.

  13. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos March 26, 2016

    More to the point, I think I would support that change.

  14. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko March 26, 2016

    People are working on language for abortion, environment, and immigration. I’very been working on smoking cigars, drinking, and watching basketball.

  15. Matt Cholko Matt Cholko March 27, 2016

    So, an anti-death penalty plank made it through committee, as did a very, very soft copyright law reform plank. Overall, I’d say the outcome of the meeting was a bit more positive that I expected, from my radical viewpoint.

    I will post the minutes as soon as they are available. The committee voted unanimously to make them public.

  16. langa langa March 27, 2016

    Good news, on both counts. I’ll be interested to see the exact wording of those planks.

  17. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | March 29, 2016

    Minutes uploaded and added to article. The proposed change to the Preamble is the ugliest thing I have read in a long time. The current one is a stroke of genus and inspiring. This one makes me want to lose my lunch.

  18. Caryn Ann Harlos Caryn Ann Harlos Post author | March 29, 2016

  19. Shawn Levasseur Shawn Levasseur March 29, 2016

    I wouldn’t go quite that far in critiquing the preamble change. But the change makes the preamble feel more like an advertising slogan. I’d rather not have the D’s and R’s referenced by name in the preamble, the opening statement of the platform should be about US, not our opponents. At this point, I’d vote against it.

  20. langa langa March 30, 2016

    I totally agree with Caryn about the proposal to change the Preamble. What an abomination! This is supposed to be a platform, and we get something that sounds like it came from a bumper sticker!

    A few other thoughts:

    1. “Individual rights are pointless without a clean, healthy environment capable of sustaining human life.” What’s really pointless is the inclusion of this sentence, which, depending on how you interpret it, is either hyperbolic or tautological.

    2. I’m not at all crazy about the wording of the death penalty plank, but it’s better than nothing, I guess.

    3. The IP plank, on the other hand, is bad enough that we would be better off (much better off) without it. I thought it was supposed to be an anti-IP plank. This actually reads like a ringing endorsement of IP.

  21. Matthew Cholko Matthew Cholko March 30, 2016

    I largely agree with Langa. However, in the case of the IP plank, the people that seemed to care much about that subject, including one that introduced a general elimination of IP plank the day before, indicated that they thought it was an improvement. So, I voted in favor.

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