Marc Montoni: So You Want to Be a National Convention Delegate!

g10807-0-6This site was originally published on the Free Virginia blog and the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus website.

Tips for Potential National Convention Delegates / 2016

By Marc Montoni, LP Radical Caucus

1. BE A MEMBER OF YOUR STATE **AND** NATIONAL LP.

Really, in most states, being a supporting member of your state and national Libertarian Party costs $50 or less for both.

I am in favor of all delegates being allowed to do their jobs without being required to pay a floor fee; however, I am also in favor of requiring **every** delegate to be a dues-paid member of **both** the national and state parties (at least — in many areas they could also be supporting a local committee as well).

You can help us eliminate the Deformer’s “freeloader” argument by making sure you have made at least the basic dues donation for both your national and state membership.

2. REGISTER.

http://www.lp.org/convention

You are not required to purchase a package to attend only the Business Session.

BAD IDEA: Forget to register.

3. MAKE SURE YOU’RE CREDENTIALED.

Your state LP sends its delegate list to the Credentials Committee, and it is the members of the CC who decide who is qualified to take part on the convention floor.

DO NOT fail to verify that the Credentials Committee has credentialed you, especially if you’re planning to attend only the Business Session.

BAD IDEA: To forget your colleagues are human. Trust, but verify.

4. RESERVE YOUR HOTEL ROOM!

http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/location

The convention website says the LP convention rate is sold out. However, there are people looking for roommates, and there are alternative hotels nearby.

If you seek roommates, begin seeking them now. The below page was established for the ’14 cnvention but people are still using it for this one:

https://www.facebook.com/groups/LNC2014Roomshare/

or perhaps: http://www.easynest.com/

BAD IDEA: Waiting until the last minute to make your travel plans.

5. CARPOOLING.

The above Facebook group has rideshares offered & needed also.

BAD IDEA: Failing to figure out how you’re getting there.

6. FIND OUT HOW TO BECOME A DELEGATE FROM YOUR STATE.

Find out what the procedure will to seek a delegation seat with your state LP.

If you don’t win a delegate seat this year, then start working on the next cycle. Have some accomplishment behind you. Don’t wait to organize a booth, do a fundraising round for the Party, recruit candidates and members, or organize your home precinct. DO IT NOW. Next week is too late; next month is too late. Do nothing and show up at your state convention and those who have done their homework will be first in line for those precious delegate seats — ahead of YOU. Get away from the computer, get off the couch, and engage in a real political act.

BAD IDEA: Ignoring your state party’s convention call.

7. SHOW UP AT YOUR STATE CONVENTION, AND SEEK ELECTION TO A DELEGATE SEAT.

SHOW UP at your state LP convention, with your LP activity resume in hand, and do what you need to do to be among those considered for a delegate seat. This is a fairly complete schedule:

https://independentpoliticalreport.com/…/libertarian-st…/

http://www.lp.org/blogs/staff/2014-state-conventions

BAD IDEA: Failing to show up.

8. STUDY NATIONAL’S RULES AND PROCEDURES.

Do a thorough read of the Delegation Chair’s Manual.

https://d3n8a8pro7vhmx.cloudfront.net/…/2016_Delegation_Cha…

Study up on the Convention Committee structure:

http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees

Here are the Delegate Allocations by state:

https://independentpoliticalreport.com/…/libertarian-pa…/

BAD IDEA: Remaining unfamiliar with or clueless about convention procedures.

9. GET FAMILIAR WITH THE LP NATIONAL PLATFORM.

Read through the current LP Platform, such as it is:

http://www.lp.org/platform

It’s a lot shorter that it used to be, and it says a lot less. Not a bad idea to pick a couple of previous platforms so you understand what used to be in it:

http://www.lpedia.org/Platform

BAD IDEA: Not being fairly familiar with what the Party actually says.

Take anything said about the LP platform and how it “compares” with the platforms of other parties with a grain of salt. Review the opposition’s platform(s)for yourself:

https://www.google.com/search…

BAD IDEA: Remaining ignorant of what our competition has in their platforms.

BAD IDEA: Allowing the individuals on the Platform Committee — some of whom want us to say nothing about anything — to make up your mind for you.

10. KNOW YOUR PLATFORM COMMITTEE.

a) Check out who is on the Platform Committee:

http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees

b) Review what the majority on the Platform Committee has planned for the Platform; and keep in mind that a majority of the Platform Committee wants the LP platform to say very little:

http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/2016_platform_committe…

c) This committee had a meeting in March:

https://independentpoliticalreport.com/…/libertarian-pa…/

Minutes from that March meeting:

d) https://independentpoliticalreport.com/…/2016-Platform-C…

11. LP BYLAWS.

Familiarize yourself with the current LP Bylaws:

http://www.lp.org/bylaws

BAD IDEA: Remaining unfamiliar with the current LP Bylaws.

12. BYLAWS COMMITTEE.

a) Check out who is on the Bylaws Committee:

http://www.lp.org/bylaws-mandated-committees

b) Study the Bylaws Proposals from the Bylaws Committee, and be sure to review any comments on each proposal:

http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/2016_bylaws_and_rules_…

BAD IDEA: Taking every idea in the Bylaws Committee Report at face value. Some items will have a hidden agenda.

13. Get yourself a copy of Robert’s Rules:

http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp…
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/booksearch/isbnInquiry.asp…

Watch “Parliamentary procedure made simple: how to conduct a meeting”. Available at most large-ish public libraries. Example:

http://catalog.henrico.lib.va.us/…/EVmqReg…/Z-HQ/213070085/9

If you can’t find it at your local library, don’t forget your municipality’s law library, as well as school and college libraries. I saw a few university copies available on this search:

http://www.google.com/search…
BAD IDEA: Complaining when parliamentary tricks are used to silence and bypass you, and you don’t know how to counter them.

BAD IDEA: Relying on the advice of “Registered Parliamentarians”, who can’t seem to understand the part of their training that dictates they must recuse themselves from offering opinions if they have a stake in what they are interpreting.

BAD IDEA: Relying on the advice of witch-doctor shamans who want you to believe they have special insight *you* could not possibly have.

14. HAVE A GREAT TIME!

I don’t go because I think all of my ideas, candidates for LNC positions, or whatever will all win. I go because I want to see that crazy remnant I enjoy spending time with so much. Go for the drinking games, the parties and the socializing, and have a good time.

See you there!

Originally written January 2008, by Marc Montoni , for the Libertarian Party Radical Caucus. This version released 2016. License to use hereby granted under Creative Commons Attribution 3.0 Unported. See http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/3.0/ . All use of this or derivative works must include an unedited copy of this attribution statement as well as an unedited copy of the above original article (if used in a derivative work).

For more information about the Radical Caucus, see www.LPRadicalCaucus.org or see the Facebook group https://www.facebook.com/groups/2497146127/

This entry was posted in Libertarian Party on by .

About 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.

12 thoughts on “Marc Montoni: So You Want to Be a National Convention Delegate!

  1. jstryder

    It’s become unclear whether or not credentialed delegates will need to buy at least an “attendee” ticket and whether or not delegates (whether purchasing an “attendee” ticket or not) will have ticketed admission to the Presidential debate.

    It would be absurd for delegates to be not admitted to watch the debate, but the current registration page implies that purchase of a $20 debate ticket (and maybe an attendee ticket) is required.

    Can somebody with actual knowledge clear these ambiguities up?

  2. Joe Wendt

    I tried registering on the website, but there were no free registration option on the site.

  3. Jeremy Siple

    I purchased an attendee ticket because I thought it was necessary. Do I now have to buy a debate ticket as well?

  4. Jonathan Jaech

    Nick would you please answer the question: What ticket or tickets, if any, must an otherwise delegate-eligible person purchase to be admitted as a delegate to the business sessions and to the live audience for the Presidential debate?

  5. Marc Montoni

    You don’t need to “register” to attend the Business Session — just make sure your state has sent in its complete list of elected state party delegates — and then SHOW UP to your state delegation and pick up your credentials when you arrive.

    There is a cohort of technocrats within the LP who believe you should have to pay a floor fee to attend the Party’s business. However, they are not in control this year and frankly I hope they never will be again.

  6. Marc Montoni

    Keep in my comment ONLY refers to the Business Session itself.

    The other events — speakers, classes, breakfasts, etc — none of those are PART OF the actual convention (the actual convention IS the Business Session).

    Those other activities are ancillary events that are offered to increase the level of interest; and *those* you do have to pay to attend.

  7. Nicholas Sarwark

    Nick would you please answer the question: What ticket or tickets, if any, must an otherwise delegate-eligible person purchase to be admitted as a delegate to the business sessions and to the live audience for the Presidential debate?

    A person who is a credentialed delegate from a state affiliate does not need to pay a fee or purchase anything to attend and vote during the business sessions in the main hall.

    If a person has not purchased a ticket that grants admission to the Presidential Debate, they would need to purchase a debate ticket, which is available a la carte.

    More details here: http://libertarian.nationbuilder.com/register

  8. Shawn Levasseur

    Excellent!

    Everyone should save and/or bookmark this for future conventions.

    I will only suggest one alteration to this list

    Change, “13. Get yourself a copy of Robert’s Rules:” to “13: Get yourself a copy of Roberts Rules In Brief; optionally the full text of Roberts Rules.”

    It’s a far better primer into parliamentary procedure that’s accessible and practical for people to get their heads around, especially in a short time-frame. It’s written by the same people as Robert’s Rules itself, and is quite good. It’ll give you what you need to know, for the most part, as a delegate.

  9. Jonathan Jaech

    Thanks for the responses! Great article too, the links are very helpful.
    I’ll pledge to donate more at convention than the cost of the floor fee I would otherwise have been required to pay. Hope others who can will do the same.

  10. Marc Montoni

    Jonathan, the easiest way to help on a budget is to sign up for a monthly pledge. Even $5 would help and over the years it’s not painful at all and really adds up for the LP.

    See you at the convention.

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