LP: Voting to Win

The Colorado Freedom Report:  A libertarian journal of politics and culture.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com

LP: Voting to Win

LIBERTARIAN PARTY of Colorado
"Limited Government - Individual Liberty - Personal Responsibility"
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: October 24, 2002
CONTACT: Mike Seebeck, Public Information Director
PHONE: (719) 382-9529
EMAIL:colorado@libertarianparty.us
WEB: http://www.lpcolorado.org/

Voting to Win

DENVER – Most Democrats support civil rights, yet most Democrat politicians support anti-drug policies that deny or abuse civil rights, especially to minorities, who are much more likely to be arrested and prosecuted for drug crimes. Most Republicans want smaller government and lower taxes, yet most Republican politicians support the current level of government largesse, rarely even eliminating programs that they campaign against when they achieve power.

Politicians win, but the voters lose. How can the voters win?

"The major parties know that their base supporters will never vote for that other major party, so the parties feel safe in ignoring their own supporters and instead spend their time and effort catering to the desires of swing voters," said John K. Berntson, Chairman of the Libertarian Party of Colorado. "The only way members of the major parties will ever get back control is to stop supporting them. They must vote Libertarian."

In election after election, about forty percent of voters always vote Democrat and about forty percent always vote Republican. Elections are decided by the twenty percent in the middle—the moderates, the swing voters. This causes politicians to pursue the interests of the moderates, often at the expense of their own base.

Party loyalists tend to support their parties, despite the actions of their own politicians, because they have been made to fear that other party and, in so doing, lose their only bargaining chip.

"If you believe in civil rights, if you believe in truly small government, then you should be voting Libertarian, until such time as your party does what you want it to," said Berntson. "If that causes your party to lose elections, then they will be that much more likely to try and get your vote back in the next election. Isn't that what you want?"

But if a party does change its actions in order to get its base supporters back, won't they then lose the swing voters and, therefore, the election?

"Politicians traditionally try to attract swing voters with new and bigger government programs. For instance, Mr. Bush and Mr. Gore were fighting over prescription drug funding," said Berntson. "Wouldn't it be better if politicians championed the causes of their base, trying to persuade swing voters over to their side? Wouldn't it be better if elections became battles over issues, rather than bidding wars with public money?"

"So long as each party's base continues their support, despite their party's actions, they will never get what they want. So long as they let fear dictate their actions, they can never win. So long as they blindly support their party, they will never control their party. There is another way."

Libertarians have a maxim: "If you don't vote for what you want, you will never get it." They also remind people that, as Mark Twain so eloquently put it, should they vote for the lesser of two evils, they will still get evil. The Libertarian Party asks people to vote for what they want, so that representative democracy can work the way it was intended.

Voting for what you want is the only way to win. Anything else is the true wasted vote.

The Colorado Freedom Report--www.FreeColorado.com