Stand up for yourself. What’s stopping you?

© Anonymous9000

The ongoing controversy with LPUK has raised the question of what else we could be doing to move forward towards election victory?

There is always the option to engage with the libertarian wing of the Conservatives or Liberal Democrat parties. The number of keen libertarians I met at the recent Adam Smith Institute drinks hints at a good level of support and companionship being available there. If you can stomach supporting a brand which endorses economic or social authoritarianism in order to advance liberalism on the other axis then this is fine. I am not so tolerant of compromise, and like many I believe a consistently pro-liberty platform is a minimum requirement.

On the other hand Gavin Webb’s excellent third place, while being actively excluded from party membership, has amply demonstrated that you don’t need to engage with a party at all in order to perform well. Gavin achieved his result by treading the pavements to distribute a leaflet to every household in his constituency, and knocking on doors and speaking with hundreds of locals to ask them their opinion and to give them his. He did not have much help (I think Stuart Heal went to assist him) and beat the UKIP party machine into fourth.

There are two obvious issues with Gavin’s story which are familiar from earlier reports from LPUK candidates:

  1. Not everyone has the time to tread pavements for hours – most libertarians are hard working people who, through their working life, know exactly the burden placed on the private sector. We must recognise we all already suffer a huge burden and must help each other to fight effectively for it’s reduction.
  2. Not everyone has the money for campaign literature – Gavin runs his own print company but still asked for £250 of financial support for his campaign. He got £66.96 after Paypal fees. In a national election, there would have been a large deposit to pay on top of this. These sums are obviously large enough to present a barrier to participation, let alone success.

My question to Pavel, which I will repeat, is what other challenges prevent you, dear reader, from standing on your own behalf to fight a campaign? Is it the absence of a positive Party brand? The official paperwork? Publicity? Is it solely a lack of resources such as time and money?

My intention is to provide as much practical assistance as possible. The goal of this website is not to talk about LPUK or libertarian politics, but to actually help create professional libertarian politicians. That means identifying and helping to solve the challenges faced by people on that road. So tell me, what’s stopping you?

Simon Gibbs

Simon is a London based IT contractor and the proprietor of Libertarian Home. Working with logic and cause-and-effect each day he was naturally attracted to nerdy libertarianism and later to the benevolent logic of Objectivism. Find him on Google+ 

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  7 comments for “Stand up for yourself. What’s stopping you?

  1. pavel
    Jul 31, 2011 at 4:06 pm

    Not everyone wants to stand for elections, not everyone wants to be involved in public sector/politics/etc.

    Providing a platform for libertarian candidates here (or on a libertarian party website?) with paypal buttons – may help the candidates. But are there many libertarians who want to stand for elections?
    In my case it is even not that hard to save and donate 20 pounds – drink tap water on a Rose&Crown meetup for example, it’ll be even good for my ego and kidneys 🙂 I don’t think donations is the bottleneck here, but where are all the libertarian writers, MPs and so on in this country, who can participate in TV-debates, stay in contact with newspapers expressing the libertarian point of view about current affairs/etc.?

    Would it be possible for Old Holborn and other libertarian bloggers to promote this website?

  2. John Watson
    Aug 1, 2011 at 1:45 pm

    In small countries such as the “Isle of Man” or small communities then it is possible to win elections as an independent. However when campaigning in a large population centres it is not possible to win elections as independents unless if your well known. If it was possible to win elections with independents then we would not have political parties today, but under the current political system, it requires money, branding and advertising thus a political organisation is required. .

  3. James Rigby
    Aug 25, 2011 at 2:55 pm

    I think the “party” or “grouping” needs to be clear about its ambitions. Barring some seismic set of political events, I do not see this Libertarian “party” forming a government in any of our lifetimes. We can win some council wards, maybe even a European seat under PR, but that’s about it. But this is not be defeatist – this is realism. Our objective need not be power, but to have libertarian principles implemented in law (or lack of law!). Several things can be done to achieve this. Examples include:
    1) Gain influence in another party which will have power (probably Tory, maybe LibDems), and try to push their policies towards a more libertarian agenda.
    2) Support single-issue groups with whom we have common ground, to both influence them and support their lobbying efforts.
    3) Try to create a debate in the media about the “evils of big government” etc.

    None of these things need councillors, MPs, MEPs, MSPs, etc. They need organisation, drive and ambition. And they also need people who are not in it for “power” – because there will be none. Getting society and government moving in a libertarian direction must be the primary aim. For now.

    • Andy
      Oct 18, 2011 at 12:18 am

      Why not tie-up with the legacy liberal party? Even Loosely – i know that they have no central London activity which might mean libertarians can complement?

      • Oct 18, 2011 at 6:33 pm

        They are not very liberal in the classical sense, for one thing they want a ban on tobacco advertising and to re-nationalise the water industry and railways!

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