Monday, May 26, 2008

My take on the Libertarian party convention

Let me start off by saying that I did not go to the Libertarian convention only watched what was available on C-SPAN and read many blogs and news stories.

It took six rounds of voting before the delegates finally settled on former Republican Senator Bob Barr. Bob Barr won the final round with only 54 percent of the vote as compared to Mary Ruwart's 46 percent. Of the 11 candidates running for Libertarian candidacy only Bob Barr had organized opposition.

Some in the Libertarian party felt like Bob Barr is not a principled Libertarian. He's been in the party for just over 2 years. He has worked hard for the causes of civil liberties and freedoms, and has changed his opinion on several of his former Republican, non-Libertarian stances on issues like the War on Drugs, the DOMA (Defense of Marriage Act), and most importantly, the War in Iraq and America's interventionist foreign policy.

Wayne Allen Root was picked as his VP running mate. Root did a great job in the debate on Saturday and is youthful, high energy, with a strong business background. He too is a former disenfranchised Republican. His strong business background may prove useful if the economy continues to be a big issue.

The Barr/Root ticket may disappoint some left leaning Libertarians, but if Barr/Root can regain their support they do have a good chance of making this a great year for the Libertarian party.

I was somewhat surprised that the convention settled on a Barr/Root ticket because many conservative leaning Libertarians participated in the Republican primary so they could support Ron Paul. I expected this to tip the balance of power the other direction. It was mentioned that the convention this year was not as heavily attended as in the past which is atypical of an election year party convention.

Next weekend we have another exciting convention taking place. The Washington State Republican Convention in Spokane, WA. I'll be watching that convention very closely to see if the Republican party is as welcoming to liberty minded Republicans as the Libertarian party has shown to be.

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