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Libertarian Presidential Candidate Michael Badnarik Answers

CmdrTaco posted more than 10 years ago | from the stuff-to-read dept.

Politics 1325

Last monday, you were given the chance to Ask Questions of the Libertarian Party's US Presidential nominee, Michael Badnarik. Today we present to you 15 of the most highly rated comments, and the answers from the man himself. Thanks to Mr. Badnarik for taking the time to talk to us. His answers are yours with just a click of the mouse below...

Re:Question (Score:5, Interesting) by celeritas_2 (750289) (#10237051)

How can we change the system so people have the choice between multiple candidates and not just two?

It's a long, hard, uphill battle. A lot of Americans don't know that until the 1890s, the government didn't print ballots at all. Voters wrote their own, or used pre-printed ballots provided by the party of their choice. The adoption of the "Australian ballot" gave the politicians control of what choices were put in front of voters.

Today, the Libertarian Party -- and other third parties, of course -- have to fight to get on the ballot. In some states, we have to gather enormous numbers of signatures. In others, we have to drag the state to court. We've been very active on this front. In 1980, 1992, 1996 and 2000, the Libertarian Party's candidates appeared on the ballot in all 50 states and the District of Columbia. This year, it's 48 states and DC -- we missed the signature requirement in New Hampshire and are in court in Oklahoma.

A better question, of course, is how do we offer the American people REAL choices -- choices they can vote for without fearing that their vote will be "wasted" on a candidate who "can't win?"

There are various alternative voting systems that address this problem.

Instant Runoff Voting allows the voter to assign a rank to each candidate; if no candidate gets a majority of "first place" votes, then "second place" votes are counted, and so on, until someone gets a majority. This allows people to choose a "third party" candidate as their first preference, but still get a vote between frontrunners if their candidate loses.

Personally, I prefer Approval Voting. In this method, each voter can select as many candidates as he likes -- he can vote for all the candidates whom he can live with. All of the votes are counted, and the candidate with the most votes wins. The result is that the winner is not necessarily "the most popular," but "the one that the most voters are okay with."

Of course, the "major" parties don't approve of anything that might threaten to break their shared monopoly on power. That's why they've instituted the Australian ballot and draconian ballot access laws. But we'll keep fighting them until we win.

timing (Score:5, Interesting) by j1mmy (43634)

I fully support the Libertarian platform and ideals and I have every intention of voting for you in November. My only beef with the libertarian approach is timing. You've stated that in your first couple months of holding office you'll eliminate the federal reserve, kick the U.N. out of the country, and bring as many of our troops home as possible, among other radical (but good) changes. My question is this: how do you plan to handle the societal impact of these changes? Eliminating the federal reserve is not something I'd expect to go over lightly in the financial markets, for example. Much of the Libertarian platform is a severe departure from the current state of the nation -- I feel that society would need time to adapt to these changes.

I guess my first response to that has to be that for a Libertarian to be elected to the White House right now would indicate massive social upheaval already. Yes, my ideas are radical -- but my election would prove that America is ready for radical solutions.

You're right, though. It isn't as simple as that. Stating my goals and what I'd attempt to do is not the same as stating what would happen. The presidency is an office of limited power, and I'd actually spend a good deal of time struggling with Congress and the courts to get my solutions implemented, giving Americans time to prepare for the changes.

Of course, with some of the changes I'm proposing, I've set a longer timeline on anyway. With American troops in more than 135 countries around the globe, I don't plan to just buy them all airline tickets and tell them to catch the next plane home. My plan for Iraq is a 90-day phased withdrawal concentrating on the physical security of the troops. For drawing down the US military presence in Germany, Korea, Japan and elsewhere, I've proposed a two-year timeline, with the first actual troop pullouts beginning at the end of the first year. That's quicker than George W. Bush's 10-year timeline, but it isn't unduly hasty.

My expectation is that if we eliminate the Fed's monopoly on currency provision, the Fed will continue exist -- it will just have to compete with other currency options on a truly level playing field without the government demanding that its currency be accepted instead of others. People can decide whether they want to hold their wealth in green pieces of paper backed only by seven trillion dollars in debt, or in currency coined of, or backed by, some scarce commodity. I'm not planning to haul Alan Greenspan and the Board of Governors off to Indiana for death by lethal injection or anything like that.

My job as a candidate is to articulate a vision of the changes I propose and to argue forcefully for their implementation. The checks and balances which our nation's founders wrote into the Constitution provide a framework in which those changes can be implemented with the minimum possible chaos.

How to reform Electoral College? (Score:5, Interesting) by code_rage (130128)

There have been proposals to eliminate the electoral college. Notably, Slate has run a series of pieces calling it "America's worst college." Slate's coverage has examined some of the political difficulties in trying to change the system and has proposed some possible solutions.

It's clear from the results of 1992 that the electoral college, as currently implemented at the national and state level, tends to turn small spreads into large ones, and eliminates 3rd parties altogether. As a 3rd party candidate, this must be an important issue to you (after ballot access, perhaps the most important one).

How do you propose to address this? Would you support an amendment to the US Constitution to abolish the Electors in favor of direct popular vote? Or, would it make more sense to address it state by state, using legislation to split the electors proportionately within each state (as Maine and Nebraska do)?

I have to tell you that I'm skeptical of electoral college reform at the federal level. Yes, the system has flaws, but I haven't seen any alternative proposals that don't have serious flaws themselves.

On the state level, I do advocate choosing electors by congressional district as Maine and Nebraska do, with the two non-district electors going to the overall winner of the popular vote. That would be more reflective of overall American voter sentiment.

Going to a straight popular vote would, perversely, represent the end of American democracy. Candidates would be inclined to cater to a few urban areas where they can buy the most votes for their buck (or their promise), effectively disenfranchising rural voters. To the extent that the presidency is a representative office, it should represent Peoria and Birmingham as much as it represents New York and Los Angeles.

"Should have gone to..." (Score:4, Interesting) DrEldarion (114072) (#)

When somebody you strongly dislike is running, it's very tempting to vote for the person who is more likely to win against them rather than the person whose views you agree with more.

What is your response to the people who say that a vote given to a third-party candidate is wasted and should have gone to one of the main two parties, if only to make sure that the "bad candidate" doesn't win?

If the "wasted vote" argument ever held any water, it doesn't any more. The two major parties have moved toward a weird, non-existent "center" for the last 50 years, to the point where it's difficult to tell them apart.

We could argue all day about whether Bush or Kerry is the "lesser evil." The fact is that they both support the war in Iraq. They both oppose gun rights. They both supported the PATRIOT Act. They both support the war on drugs. They both support confiscatory taxation. They both support ruinously high levels of spending, huge deficits and increasing debt.

It's hard to tell them apart on the real issues. They spend their time scrapping over "swing votes" in the gray area of the "center" -- which means, in practice, "how do I not make too many people too angry to vote for me?" That's no way to do politics. Politics, in my view, should be as unimportant as possible -- but where it's important, it has to value freedom, remain rooted in principle and be forward-looking.

All I can tell the "lesser of two evils" folks is that if they keep voting for evil, they'll keep getting evil. If you don't like the way things are, how do you change it by voting for more of the same?

Ideology vs pragmatism (Score:4, Interesting) by Charles Dodgeson (248492)

Libertarianism certainly is an appealing ideology, but are you concerned that ideological based politics (whether yours or others) often precludes the adoption of pragmatic solutions to real problems?

I guess that depends on the ideology ;-)

Seriously, all politics is ideology-based. Unthinking majoritarianism, Machiavellian strategizing and centrist compromise are ideologies too. If they weren't ideologies 100 years ago, they are now, because they are the lodestones which guide our politicians' every action. And you see where that's gotten us.

I'm not an impractical man. I know that I can't snap my fingers and get the results that I want without consequence. I realize that my ideas will face resistance in implementation. The extent to which I am willing to compromise is that I'm willing to fight for what I can get, and wait for the rest only as long as absolutely necessary. What I'm not willing to do is abandon my goals or trade them away.

My approach is geared to a single criterion -- does this policy or that action serve freedom? I'm willing to be pragmatic in pursuing policies that affirmatively answer that criterion. I'm not willing to compromise that criterion away.

Are some free trade restrictions necessary? (Score:5, Interesting) by toasted_calamari (670180)

Regarding your description of free trade vs. state corporatism at your website, How can we prevent the propagation of Multinational corporations without resorting to government regulation? Is that form of Government regulation a necessary evil, or is there a method for preventing the formation of huge multinationals and monopolies without the government restricting free trade? If so, how would this method be implemented?

"Free trade," like any other term, is often coopted to mean something other than what it should. In the context of modern America and the globalization phenomenon, it is often used to refer to a web of regulations, restrictions, subsidies, government-created monopolies and privileges. That's not free trade.

First, let's look at the nature of corporations. They come into existence with the grant of a government charter. They sell stock under the auspices and pursuant to the rules of the Securities and Exchange Commission. In court, they are treated as "persons" with "rights" -- and for purposes of liability, their stockholders are held harmless beyond the value of their stock itself.

A market in which single proprietorships and partnerships must compete against what are essentially mini-branches of government, with all the attendant privileges and immunities, isn't a free market. It's a rigged game.

I don't oppose growth or success. I support unrestricted trade across international borders, and I support companies developing themselves internationally. But the fact is that corporate growth today isn't natural market growth. It's growth encouraged and enhanced by government-dispensed privilege. It's artificial, and it distorts rather than serves the market.

We need to restore justice to the system. Stockholders are owners, and should be liable for the consequences of that ownership like any other owners. I have no doubt that the market will come up with "portfolio insurance" to protect the stockholders from ruinous claims, but that in itself will provide a market check on unrestrained, unaccountable growth -- companies which act irresponsibly will find that their stockholders can't buy, or have to pay unreasonably high, insurance premiums, and therefore aren't interested in having the stock.

Corporations don't have rights and don't face consequences. People do. Tinkering with that has been disastrous. It's time to get back to full responsibility for individuals instead of government privilege for corporations.

Intellectual Property (Score:5, Interesting) by geoff313 (718010)

As the official Libertarian party candidate for president, where do you stand on the issue of intellectual property? Should it be considered the same as traditional property, or should IP be not subjected to the same protections that physical property is? And do you feel that your personal views on the subject reflect the views of the majority of the party itself, or is this an issue that has the potential to polarize your party much the same way that abortion does for the Democrats and Republicans?

I think the issue is moving too fast for true polarization within the Libertarian Party. Libertarians hold disparate views on intellectual property, but we also realize that it's an issue that will resolve itself as time goes on.

The Constitution empowers Congress to protect intellectual property with copyright and patent laws. Sans a constitutional amendment, they'll continue to grapple with the problems that the new technologies represent. And they'll probably make mistakes, like the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

But, ultimately, the marketplace will decide how intellectual property is handled. The "file-sharing wars" are proving that. How much money have the older firms put into trying to pour new wine -- MP3s, CD burners, peer-to-peer networks -- into the old skins of copyright law? They've done some damage, but they've been completely ineffective in forcing the market into their preconceived notions of how it should operate.

I can't give you a more substantive answer about intellectual property. It's an issue that I've thought about a lot, but the only conclusion I've come to is that freedom will out -- and that we'll know what that freedom looks like when the smoke clears.

Induce our vote (Score:5, Interesting) by tod_miller (792541)

What are you views and hopes for privacy and security for the citizens of the internet age, and how do you proactively aim to safeguard and give back our rights that have been eroded away. (INDUCE act, PATRIOT act, et al)

I'm firmly on record as opposed to the PATRIOT Act and the INDUCE Act. As president, I'd veto those acts or renewals or extensions of them, and I'd direct the Justice Department not to avail themselves of their unconstitutional provisions and to fight them in court where necessary.

In the larger realm of privacy, it's already apparent to me that the good guys are going to triumph. Strong crypto, a robust movement to provide privacy solutions to ordinary people by the Free Software Movement and others, and ongoing resistance to invasions of privacy are winning the battle. It's just hard to see that right now, when there's so much blood on the floor.

As a politician, my job is to sign the surrender papers -- to get government to stop trying to ride roughshod over your rights. You're going to win either way. I'm just the candidate who recognizes that, who thinks it's a good thing, and who's ready to proclaim the ceasefire.

How do you enforce rights in an ownership society? (Score:5, Interesting) by zzyzx (15139)

As we've learned over the past few decades, free speech only applies to public property. Private owners can evict anyone they want for whatever reason. If there is no public property, how are free speech rights protected? Would there be any free speech rights at all in a Libertarian world for people who aren't well off enough to buy property?

You seem to be referring to what we call "real property" -- land. There are all kinds of property. The Internet connection I'm using to post these answers is my property in the sense that I have purchased that part of the bundle of rights attached to it for the purpose of sending my answers over it.

Even in a libertarian society where all property is privately owned, there will be distinct incentives for its owners to allow, even encourage, free speech. It's not a matter of me owning an acre and telling you that you can't talk there.

If I want sell you a piece of pen and paper, will you buy it if I say "you can't write a political tract on it?"

Will you buy your Internet service from me if I prohibit you from pointing your web browser at Slashdot?

And if I do either of those things, do you think it unlikely that you'll be able to find someone else to sell you those things without those restrictions?

In a libertarian society, more people will own more things than ever before. But owning something doesn't reduce it to a static, unchanging quantity. Things are used -- they're traded on the market -- and the desire to profit from doing so is the best guarantor of all that property owners will encourage free speech. It's just good business.

PATRIOT act (Score:5, Interesting) by keiferb (267153)

What's your view on the Patriot act? What, if any, parts do you think need to be changed, and why?

The whole thing needs to be repealed.

The PATRIOT Act removes the "governor" from the engine -- it lifts needed restrictions on the use of government power. It makes law enforcement and the bureaucracy unaccountable for their actions.

In my view, the bounds set by the Constitution are entirely compatible with the powers that law enforcement legitimately needs. Letting government run outside those bounds doesn't enhance our security -- it just compromises our liberty.

Where are we headed? (Score:5, Interesting) by QuantumRiff (120817)

Where do you see America in 5/10/15 years under its current leadership? Where do you see America in the same timeframe with you as the president? What broad steps will you take to get us there?

David Nolan, the founder of the Libertarian Party, is fond of pointing out that history seems to run in cycles of 70 years or so. We rebelled against the British and set up our own nation. 70 years later, we fought the War Between the States. 70 years after that, the Depression and the New Deal. If Nolan is right, and I don't find any fault in his logic, we're about at the end of a natural societal cycle. Barriers are breaking down and new things are coming.

To put it bluntly, I don't think that sticking with "our current leadership" is an option. Look at the questions you're asking me. Do we ditch the electoral college? How do we handle intellectual property? What about globalization? How do we reform our method of choosing those who govern? Those are questions that reflect a society in the throes of change.

As my friend L. Neil Smith puts it, "a great explosion is coming." As a matter of fact, we're right in the middle of it and it's hard to see what shape things are going to take when the smoke clears.

I see the next decade or so as a time of change, whether we like it or not. If Americans try to stick to the old way of doing things, the dislocation will last longer, be more disruptive and possibly tip us over into totalitarianism or some other nightmarish societal paradigm. If they adopt the libertarian way of doing things, it will be shorter, not as disruptive -- and usher in a better era to follow.

The broadest step I've taken is to run for the presidency. With the support of my party, I'm offering Americans a chance to peacefully transition back to policies that served America well for more than a century -- free trade, a non-interventionist foreign policy, minimal government, minimal taxes, maximum freedom -- rationalized into the paradigm of the 21st century.

If I'm elected, I'll do my utmost to implement those policies.

If the current leadership continues in power, they'll continue their efforts to snuff out what remains of American freedom in the name of national security, health security, job security, social security. They're offering you the security state. I'm offering you freedom.

War on Iraq and other dictatorships (Score:5, Interesting) by philipdl71 (160261)

Do you believe that the U.S. Government has the right to invade countries run by dictators like Saddam Hussein and liberate the people by establishing a free society even if those countries do not threaten the United States?

In a nutshell, how does the libertarian principle of non-initiation of force apply to foreign dictators? Who or what has the right to unseat these dictators?

If Iraq had posed a clear and present danger to the United States, and if Congress had declared war and thus empowered the president to act in the nation's defense, that would be one thing, although some of the corollaries to that action might still be problematic.

But Iraq didn't pose a clear and present danger to the United States. It didn't pose a danger to the United States at all. And the US has not, in fact, "liberated" the people of Iraq. They still have a dictator. For awhile, his name was Bremer. Now it's Allawi. And the US has the innocent blood of thousands of Iraqis and more than 1,000 of its own young men and women on its hands.

If you or I want to unseat or kill a thug like Saddam Hussein, we're morally free to do so. He's a tyrant and a murderer. We'd only be acting on behalf of his victims.

Once we bring other people unwillingly into the equation, it gets more complex. We don't have a right to kill the innocent. We don't have a right to pick our neighbors' pockets to finance the project. We don't have a right to conscript their children into our army, as some in Congress are now advocating.

As an aspiring president, my interests have to be the interests of the United States. As a Libertarian, my priority has to be pursuing those interests in a manner consistent with freedom and without initiating force -- against anyone.

One of the questions above mentions pragmatism, and this is an issue where it comes into play. From both a pragmatic and principled perspective, the best foreign policy is one of non-intervention: Refusing to interfere in the internal affairs of, or intervene in the disputes of, other nations. From a pragmatic perspective, it's the best approach for the security of the United States. From a principled perspective, it avoids violating the rights of others.

That doesn't mean that I have to like Saddam Hussein. It just means that the legitimate interests of the United states are not served, nor are the legitimate rights of Americans and Iraqis respected, by invading and occupying Iraq.

Nuclear proliferation (Score:5, Interesting) by SiliconEntity (448450)

What would you do about the spread of nuclear weapons and other WMDs? Iran is now working on the bomb while Europe wrings its hands. North Korea has the bomb. What is the Libertarian position? Would you ever support attacking Iran to prevent them from going nuclear?

I think the nuclear issue is somewhat overblown -- no pun intended.

The nuclear cat is out of the bag. That's the way it is. The world is therefore a more dangerous place, but let's not lose our heads.

If you look at history, only one country has ever used atomic or nuclear weapons in war. That country is the United States.

The Soviet Union had nuclear weapons and considered itself the arch-enemy of the US. Yet they never unleashed nuclear weapons on us. Ditto for China.

Pakistan and India have a history of 50 years of conflict. They're both nuclear powers. Yet they haven't used those arms. Israel has nuclear weapons, is surrounded by enemies and has had to fight for its very survival, yet has not used them.

The fact is that becoming a nuclear power entails a certain "growing up" on the part of nations. They suddenly realize that the stakes aren't a transient gain or a temporary loss, but the destruction of their entire nation. And so they keep those weapons as a deterrent and those weapons are never actually used.

I don't see any reason to believe that North Korea or Iran will be exceptions. They'll rattle their nuclear sabres to enhance their influence in their respective regions. They'll hold them up as a deterrent to attack by their enemies. But they won't just start popping nukes because they have them.

The real proliferation problem is the possibility that terrorists will acquire nuclear weapons. And the best solution, although not a perfect one, to that is to not give marginal nuclear powers reason to fear us and to want to support those terrorists.

The Environment (Score:5, Interesting) by Sotogonesu (705553)

Mr. Badnarik, I see that the Environment didn't make your web site's issues list. If elected, what would you do to help preserve the planet?

Actually, there's a section on my web site which specifically addresses environmental concerns:

http://www.badnarik.org/Why/Environmentalists.php

I also have a new position paper on these issues. It just hadn't made it up on the campaign site yet when you asked the question. Here's a URL for it at the League of Women Voters' site:

http://www.congress.org/congressorg/e4/dnets/?sid=103952&id=119699

The short answer to your question is that I'd work to get the government out of the business of polluting, selling "rights" to pollute and protecting polluters from suits for damage. I'd also work to get wilderness lands into the hands of private groups who want to preserve them.

Privatizing Education (Score:5, Interesting) by EvilJello203 (749510)

The Libertarian Party platform advocates separation of education and state. How would you go about reforming the nation's educational system without a massive disruption to a student's schoolwork?

I don't think that a transition from government schooling to market schooling would be particularly disruptive in that respect. "Public" education has been such an unmitigated disaster that most children would almost immediately be well ahead of where they had been when the transition took place.

Ever since the inception of government schooling in the 19th century under Horace Mann, the US has been on a downward trend in literacy, numeracy and science learning. Sometimes that trend is briefly halted, but it always continues. To the extent that there might be some mild upheaval, it seems to me that the more quickly we exit the downward spiral, the shorter the climb back up will be.

What's your position on outsourcing/immigration? (Score:5, Interesting)
by Whatsmynickname (557867)

What's your position on illegal immigration and/or outsourcing? I would think a libertarian would say "keep the gov't out of it". However, at some point, doesn't having too much of either outsourcing or illegal immigration ultimately impact our national socio-economic stability?

We have two -- actually three -- separate issues here. I'll handle outsourcing first.

Capital migrates to where it is most profitably invested. That's just a fact of the market. If I can get a 10% return in Country A and a 25% return in Country B, you know where I'll be investing.

We can deal with that reality, or we can fight it. If we fight it, we'll lose. The future is not in trying to restrict trade or outlaw outsourcing -- it's in allowing innovation and competition, and in removing government impediments, like high taxes and expensive regulation, to keeping jobs here.

When a particular job or skill _does_ move offshore, all other things being equal, it merely frees Americans -- the most productive workers in the world -- to develop the NEXT job or skill or to come up with a more efficient, profitable way of providing the old one. And those innovations are make us the wealthiest country in the world. Instead of wondering where our jobs sewing soles on shoes went, we should be looking to what we can do that the sewing machine operator in Korea CAN'T do yet.

People also migrate to where they can make the most for their labor. Once again, that's just a fact of the market. One can hardly expect a Mexican agricultural laborer to work for $2.00 a day in Guadalajara when he can make $8.00 an hour in the San Joaquin Valley.

And, once again, we can deal with that reality or we can fight it -- and if we fight it, we'll lose.

Legal immigration is a net economic benefit to our country. The fact that workers come here to pick our crops, work in our poultry plants, -- even take coding jobs at computer firms -- lowers the cost of the goods and services we buy, and frees us up to pursue ever more profitable opportunities. That may be cold comfort to a particular worker who's just been sent home while an Indian on an H-2 visa sits down at his old workstation, but it's a fact. If that worker hadn't come to the job, the job would have gone to him via outsourcing -- or it would have gone undone because the profit margin was unattractive by comparison to other investments in labor.

I advocate lifting all restrictions on peaceful immigration. Immigration is not something we can stop. We might as well get the benefit of it instead of tying ourselves into knots fighting it.

This brings up the third issue: Borders. Some people believe that lifting immigration restrictions implies "open borders." That's like saying that an invitation to my house means it's okay for you to crawl through my bedroom window at four in the morning.

Immigrants should be welcome to come here -- as long as they're willing to come in through the front door. They should enter the US through a Customs and Immigration checkpoint, identify themselves, and let us verify that they aren't terrorists or criminals.

People who come across our borders at remote locations under cover of darkness, when they were free to enter through the front door, aren't immigrants. They're invaders. Illegal immigration creates an industry of "coyotes" to guide people across, and it provides cover for the non-peaceful -- terrorists and criminals -- to enter the country.

The border is a national security feature. I propose to treat it as such. In tandem with lifting immigration restrictions, I'd free our military to defend the border against invaders. And those invaders would no longer have a place to hide among real immigrants, or an underlying infrastructure of support for getting them across, because the peaceful immigrants would be entering legitimately.

Thanks for the chance to respond to Slashdot's members. It's been a pleasure!

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Yeah. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299545)

Vote Libertarian in 2008. Get Bush out now, but vote Libertarian in 2008.

Pffft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299593)

Badnarik has no argument why we should vote for him in 2008 except "I'm not Hillary Clinton". Is this any way to run a presidential campaign?

The Moe Syzlak Connection (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299546)

I'm Moe Moe Moe! Why don't ya like me, nobody likes me!

Grr... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299548)


I disabled the "Politics" section in my user preferences (not American) but it still shows up on the main page. Why?

Nobody likes you (0, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299645)

Sorry.

Related maybe interesting link (5, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299556)

Re:Related maybe interesting link (5, Interesting)

hackstraw (262471) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299763)

I would love to see a debate between Bush, Kerry, and Badnarik.

It would be interesting to hear Bush and Kerry make real answers to real issues instead of fingerpoint and talk about "terrorism" all the time.

Bush and Kerry (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299807)

Were actually invited to the Cobb-Badnarik debate linked in the grandparent post, but for some reason declined to come.

Whether or not... (5, Insightful)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299592)

I support all his views (I don't) or would vote for him (still thinking about where my vote is best placed), there is definitely some well thought out answers to these questions. Is it just me or does he sound better than either Bush or Kerry? Though I suppose he has to, being the underdog means being the one that needs the louder voice to be heard...

Of course (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299637)

Unlike Kerry, and even unlike Bush-- Bush at least had a couple of years in a weak governorship-- Badnarik has no political experience whastoever, only two failed attempts at running for the Texas State House of Representatives.

This is the general problem with third party candidates. They tend to offer amenable political views, but no solid evidence of leadership, capability to serve in a political office, or past track record we can use to judge how they actually act when in political power.

But then again seeing as Badnarik won't concievably be winning this election, I guess how he'd actually do in office shouldn't factor into your decision whether or not to vote for him... right?

Re:Of course (0)

tekiegreg (674773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299732)

But then again seeing as Badnarik won't concievably be winning this election

True, compared to Bush or Kerry his chances are fairly slim. However they are better than some people (in theory my Dad could win as a write-in candidate as he meets the basic requirements, though I'm too young). However Dad's chances of winning are slimmer still than Badnarik. It's all about probability to some extent.

I guess how he'd actually do in office shouldn't factor into your decision whether or not to vote for him... right?

Well if you're not voting for a candidate on his merits and how he gels with your issues, than what is the point? I think I'll just bring a random number generator in the voting booth with me and based on the value, give someone a pre-determined vote then (for example if 1-10 random number generator picks 1 or 2, vote Bush, 3 or 4 vote Kerry, 5 or 6 write in my dad, 7 or 8 write in Cowboyneal, 9 or 10 Badnarik) ...

Re:Of course (3, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299785)

Well if you're not voting for a candidate on his merits and how he gels with your issues, than what is the point?

The point should be that you should vote for a political. candidate based on a combination of views you agree with and fitness for office. Just one of these two is not enough by itself. And prior governmental experience of some sort is a vital component of fitness for office.

Third party candidates have a tendency to make their argument solely based on rightness of views, with zero justification of fitness for office. Those voting for major-party candidates often do not totally agree with the rightness of the views of those they vote for, but they at least the major party candidates have a campaign with both a views aspect and a fitness aspect in which both aspects are justified to their voters to some degree..

experience is contrary to the process and freedom (5, Insightful)

l4m3z0r (799504) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299909)

Badnarik has no political experience whastoever, only two failed attempts at running for the Texas State House of Representatives. This is the general problem with third party candidates.

I think this is the general problem with politics today. We seem to think its the norm to have a career politician. I think the founding fathers would have intended a baker, a butcher, a sailor, and a bank owner to all be equally feasible politicians. These individuals don't like something so they say their ideas and if people like what they say the office selects the person. The way we have it now, the politician(which is a valid "career") looks around for offices that he/she is likely to win and they go for it.

Example: In the old days Americans,"founding fathers" decided that George Washington would be a good president. Washinton wasn't really interested in the position but support for him to become president was just so overwhelming that he was forced to take office. This is how we find a good president someone who gets the position not because they dog it relentlessly in order to gain power and influence but a person who solemnly accepts it because Americans demand that this person have the job.

This notion that experience matters is utter crap what we are doing is just facilitating the current power structure and making it harder and harder to affect meaningful change. If you want someone to continue giving us the status quo with no innovation and no passion for the position continue to select someone with "experience" I however will not.

Re:Of course (5, Interesting)

Daniel Dvorkin (106857) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299911)

Kind of a Catch-22, isn't it? You can't get elected without experience, and you can't get experience without getting elected ...

I've thought for a long time that third parties that want to have a chance in hell of ever getting anywhere in national politics need to start by, for now, pouring their resources into small local elections in which a) there's a lot less money involved, and b) there are a lot fewer voters, so changing just a few people's minds has a reasonable chance of getting your guy elected. If there are a bunch of Libertarian | Green | Reform | Socialist | whatever city councilmen and county commissioners and school board members and ... okay, it's not the same thing as having one in the White House, but it's a place to start. This election, start at that level; in a couple more election cycles, maybe pick up a state legislator or two; etc.

And it does matter. Here in Colorado, we have a Libertarian sheriff, in one of the sparsely populated but very large mountain counties, who has made a real difference by pulling his people out of the War On (Some) Drugs. This isn't the same as, say, bringing the troops home from Iraq -- but it's a real action, which has had a real effect on the lives of real people.

Re:Whether or not... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299777)

So, are you one of 'em crazy... swing voters?

Re:Whether or not... (1)

cymen (8178) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299778)

I guess my first response to that has to be that for a Libertarian to be elected to the White House right now would indicate massive social upheaval already. Yes, my ideas are radical -- but my election would prove that America is ready for radical solutions.

He sounds like he knows he doesn't have a chance in hell.

Re:Whether or not... (1)

iamlucky13 (795185) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299798)

Is it just me or does he sound better than either Bush or Kerry?

I think for the most part he sounds less concerned about being definitive. He's not saying "My administration will reduce global tensions," but rather, "They don't want us there, we didn't authorize our involvement there through the proper internal channels, this is my solution."

I don't fully support him either, but I am definitely going to give him some serious consideration as an alternative to Bush and Kerry. The question I will be pondering is will his non-traditional ideas screw up the world more than the apparently corrupt, political and sometimes stupid plans of the other candidates?

Yay! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299597)

We slashdotted a real person!

Definition of each Political Party (5, Funny)

sailboatfool (178278) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299604)

Definition of a Democrat

Walking along a beach he sees a man drowning 20 yards off shore. A democrat will throw a 20 yard line to the man and walk away to do another good deed.

Definition of a Republican

Walking along the same shore, throws the man a 10 yard rope and holds the end. Expects the man to after all save himself!

Definition of a Libiterian

Same shore. No rope. Dives in to help.
drowns both of them.

You missed one (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299665)

Definition of a Green Party member

Walking along a beach he sees a man drowning 20 yards off shore, so he immediately drops whatever he was doing to protest the ocean

Correction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299746)

so he immediately drops whatever he was doing to protest the ocean

I think you meant "...to protest against littering the ocean."

Re:You missed one (0, Offtopic)

haxor.dk (463614) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299886)

I think thats the first funny AC I've ever seen. ;)

Re:Definition of each Political Party (1)

Rude Turnip (49495) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299896)

I could have sworn your punchline was going to be something like "the market taking care of it," but I guess I was wrong :)

Another Badnarik interview (4, Informative)

gordgekko (574109) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299607)

At the risk of Slashdotting my own web site and appearing like a traffic whore, my magazine is running an interview with Michael Badnarik this week as well. You can find it here [enterstageright.com] .

Interesting chap, I'll give him that.

Hahaha haha aaa haha *snort* (4, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299610)

I'd also work to get wilderness lands into the hands of private groups who want to preserve them.

Because those groups would pay so much more than those would would drill for oil, or dump garbage, or build massive hotels, etc.

Thanks for the laugh!

Re:Hahaha haha aaa haha *snort* (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299738)

I think he is saying that the private groups would have first buying rights to the lands in question.

Once it is your land you can enter it in to a trust that will never expire. It is possible to incorporate as a non-profit group and not sell out if you really care about the land.

Re:Hahaha haha aaa haha *snort* (5, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299824)

Like the Nature Conservancy [nature.org] ?

Get a grip. Yes, some would be auctioned off for their natural resources. How is this different from today? Montana has been the bitch of the mining industry since day 1, and now we're talking about drilling in ANWR. Oh, how the gov't protected us there!

-Charles

Re:Hahaha haha aaa haha *snort* (5, Informative)

Snocone (158524) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299867)

Errrrm, sorry to disturb your prejudicies with reality, but yes, they do, actually.

Compare and contrast the results of the completely private, voluntary, and market-based wetlands preservation effort of Ducks Unlimited, which buy up wetlands so that ducks have comfy places to hang out and get shot at, with all the public, involuntary, rule-based efforts of the feddle gummint to preserve those same wetlands.

Now, how is it that what you think is a "laugh" is a precise and exact description of reality in this instance, and in every other instance of market-based preservation in actual reality, as well?

Support (5, Interesting)

alatesystems (51331) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299615)

I fully support Badnarik, and I even placed a banner(even though I hate flash) on my site supporting him. The best thing we can do is promote something other than the 2 party system and Mr. Badnarik is what America needs.

He wants to government out of our lives as much as possible and that is what we need. Our nation was started with a system of checks and balances, and the last 2 administrations(2 different parties) have stripped away many of the liberties we used to enjoy under the ruse of "protecting intellectual property"(dmca) and "terrorism"(patriot et al).

Please vote for him. We need the percentages to go up to convince people to vote outside of the 2 party system. He may not win this time but if he gets more and more and more, it may become a 3 party system.

Don't look at it as throwing away your vote, but rather as placing your vote with the person that you agree with. It's not a horse race; you don't have to bet on the winner, but rather choose who you would like to see in office the most and let the counts fall where they may.

</rant>

Chris

I respectfully disagree. (1)

pb (1020) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299772)

It is a horse race, and I'm not going to throw away my vote by blinding myself to the realities of the situation. I along with Badnarik would also support approval voting, and giving third parties more of a voice, but it isn't going to happen before November 2nd.

Re:Support (2, Insightful)

envelope (317893) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299904)

I've voted Libertarian in the last 2 presidential elections. I don't worry that the Libertarian candidate isn't going to win - I want my vote to be counted for him. I want people to know that at least some voters are hoping for a real change.

When everything in society is privately owned (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299621)

I'll own everything, and use my absolute power to install a sane political system with public property. Bo-yeah!

Fascinating... (0, Redundant)

Vicsun (812730) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299624)

Too bad he has no, and never will have any, real power

A libertarian over 18 is a social misfit (-1, Flamebait)

Serveert (102805) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299626)

Grow up.

Private industry can't do everything. Privatise the FDA and companies will rely on people dieing from lethal drugs and the class action lawsuits in order to get themselves together. When economic downtimes occur they will cut their testing costs and more will die until lawsuits keep them in line again.

Sure, FDA is a bureacracy blah blah blah. But we shouldn't rely on companies who care only about the bottom line to ensure public health.

The government isn't perfect but the libertarian view of the world is naive.

Re:A libertarian over 18 is a social misfit (0, Flamebait)

Serveert (102805) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299679)

Please, mark this as flamebait, libertarians can't handle reality. Thanks.

Re:A libertarian over 18 is a social misfit (3, Interesting)

Tibor the Hun (143056) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299762)

I don't know much about Libertarians, but what exactly do they suggest we do after we pull our troops back home out of half-ass-baked countries?

Build really tall walls along the borders?

Re:A libertarian over 18 is a social misfit (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299803)

They're pretty much all over the board when it comes to issues like that.

Re:A libertarian over 18 is a social misfit (5, Insightful)

Arker (91948) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299902)

Privatise the FDA and companies will rely on people dieing from lethal drugs and the class action lawsuits in order to get themselves together.

Who's being naïve here? Do you really think those companies are more afraid of the FDA than they are of ruinous lawsuits? The FDA is a captive agency, it shields them from liability and leaves them far less afraid to screw up and kill people. On top of that, take away the ridiculous immunities vested in corporations qua corporations, as Badnarik discusses above, and you're talking about a situation where the consequences would be far more deterrence than anything the FDA could ever provide.

From The Onion Archives (1, Interesting)

tiltowait (306189) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299632)

I was reading yesterday, from before the 2000 election:

"My vote for Nader will send the people of this country a strong message: George Bush is a bad president."

How true that came to be (along with "Our Long Era of Peace and Prosperity is Finally Over").

Sigh....

Missed NH (1)

DaveInAustin (549058) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299635)

Wow, that's a small state, but one that's the most libertarian (at least by reputation). Too bad. At least they are on in Texas (I signed the petition). - Hook 'em

What about Diebold voting machine scandal? (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299641)

It seems Slashdotter forget about the scandal that screwed up 2000 presidental elections. Looks like Slashdot editors were bought/enslaved by Diebold. :(

Republicans who smoke pot. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299642)

Libertarians are just Republicans that like hookers and do drugs. Judging by his philosophies, I'd say this guys has been doing a lot of drugs.

Give me something tangible, not bullshit. (2, Insightful)

garcia (6573) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299650)

From this [badnarik.org] position paper on Industrial Hemp:

while the government contends that hemp can be useful as camouflage for marijuana growth, even laymen can easily distinguish between the two.

Are you going to provide the funds for the manpower required to manually search help fields? You can't exactly fly airplanes/helicopters over the area and expect to make easy identification without some on the ground work.

Raw hempseed oil can be used, without any modification, to power diesel engines.

Yeah, I have heard it can. It supposedly is a lot more efficient than canola/vegetable oil. First big problem I see is that not many respectable news outlets are promoting this fuel alternative. Google returns a page of hits that includes many sites showing off hemp leaves as their backgrounds.

As your President, I would open the way for free-market exploration and exploitation of industrial hemp. I'd veto legislation funding enforcement of laws against it, and I'd lobby Congress to repeal those laws.

We live in a time that supports conservative views and this would certainly not go over well. You won't get into the White House with this on your ticket and you certainly wouldn't win anything if you ever got there. As someone mentioned on a different thread: put a frog in boiling water and they will jump right out but put that same frog in cold water and slowly raise the temperature...

Honestly, if you want some advice... Tell me what you are going to fix and exactly how you are going to fix it. Do not gloss over important issues with a simple "I am going to do X for the American public!" It doesn't hold water anymore. We have heard enough bullshit fluff from the main parties. You aren't going to walk into the White House and successfully veto anti-Hemp legislation. Tell me how you are going to get Congress and the rest of the public to support your ideas.

Give me something to believe in other than the typical 10 word canned lines. You would get my vote if your plans were thorough and possible.

Ah, an easy one (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299727)

Are you going to provide the funds for the manpower required to manually search hemp fields? You can't exactly fly airplanes/helicopters over the area and expect to make easy identification without some on the ground work.

Don't they have to do this already with, say, wheat, or corn?

Industrial Hemp and marijuana are different plants. You tell whether industrial hemp growers are growing marijuana in the same way you tell whether any other piece of farmland in the U.S. is growing marijuana.

Re:Ah, an easy one (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299780)

Don't they have to do this already with, say, wheat, or corn?

I was under the correct assumption that they fly planes and helicopters over the area and spot areas that are growing marijuana and then send in extra people to check those sections thoroughly.

Now, in this case, we fly the planes/helicopters over hemp fields and we cannot easily distinguish between the two from the air. So all hemp fields would have to be closely examined.

Re:Ah, an easy one (1)

Mr Guy (547690) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299808)

I pulled up a couple pictures of hemp and marijuana on google just now, and while I'm not an expert, I'm going to say I can easily tell the difference between corn and hemp from the air. I'm not so sure I could tell the difference between marijuana and hemp.

Re:Give me something tangible, not bullshit. (5, Insightful)

DaveInAustin (549058) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299745)

Are you going to provide the funds for the manpower required to manually search help fields? You cant exactly fly airplanes/helicopters over the area and expect to make easy identification without some on the ground work. Dude, he wouldn't even try to search hemp fields. He would stop wasting our money on fighting a war against one of the US' largest cash crops. That's not because he wants everybody to smoke pot, it's because he doesn't want to waste money and distort the economy by fighting the "war on drugs".

Newspapers don't support hemp? (4, Interesting)

87C751 (205250) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299817)

First big problem I see is that not many respectable news outlets are promoting this fuel alternative.
I wonder why that might be [parascope.com] .

strawman (1)

slashpot (11017) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299830)

... so you don't like the guy because his party would eventually legalize it and all your kids would grow up to get strung out on the heathen-devil-marijuana-weed ...

Hemp Silliness (1)

waldoj (8229) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299842)

Are you going to provide the funds for the manpower required to manually search help fields? You can't exactly fly airplanes/helicopters over the area and expect to make easy identification without some on the ground work.

Shall we ban bleached flour, because it resembles cocaine? Aspirin because it resembles Xanax?

C'mon, Bill -- you know this is a logical dead-end.

-Waldo Jaquith

Re:Give me something tangible, not bullshit. (4, Informative)

EllisDees (268037) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299882)

What makes you think he would want to do any searching of hemp fields? After all, libertarians are against the war on drugs. [badnarik.org]

Public education in other countries (1, Insightful)

mind21_98 (18647) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299656)

Considering that the public education system in other Western countries is much better than the United States', I have to wonder if removing it entirely is the right approach. Making it non-compulsatory would remove the people who don't want to be there, yes. It'd also make it easier to permanantly kick people out who are disruptive. Yet it won't necessarily do much to change the fact that we've already gone through at least several generations of public education, with most of our current teachers having been in it themselves. We wouldn't really see much of an improvement for at least a generation or two, if that, IMHO.

Lol (1)

BoomerSooner (308737) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299664)

He says people are ready for radical change. If that is the fact why doesn't his party get > 1% in the general election? They need to skip the national elections and work from local elections up. A top down approach doesn't work (a la trickle down). They need some more state representatives, govenorships and congresscritters first. President is a stretch.

Re:Lol (4, Insightful)

wishus (174405) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299872)

They need to skip the national elections and work from local elections up. A top down approach doesn't work (a la trickle down). They need some more state representatives, govenorships and congresscritters first. President is a stretch.

Running a presidential candidate gives visibility to the party, helping all those local and state candidates win their races. More libertarians hold public office than all other 3rd parties combined. No one honestly expects Badnarik to win the presidential election, but the fact that the LP is running candidates on all levels helps the lower levels succeed.

Re:Lol (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299874)

That's what the Free State Project [freestateproject.org] is about. Moving 20,000 libertarian-minded activists to New Hampshire, who pledge to work within the system to roll back government at the local and state level. But if some people are inclined to work towards a solution for big government at the federal level, why not let them? It does no harm, and if those people wouldn't be working towards liberty at the local and state level, it takes no resources away from where the real gains will be made.

Kind of embarassing for Libertarians... (3, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299667)

that they're not on the ballot in NH. Wasn't that their proposed "free-state" that they were to (or are?) colinize?

Re:Kind of embarassing for Libertarians... (2, Informative)

chill (34294) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299915)

The Free State Project (http://http://freestateproject.org/) is not officially associated with the Libertarian Party.

won't work (1)

scaaven (783465) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299669)

this party will never come to power because of our current voting system. the libertarianism ideas are so far from Democrats and Republicans, that the necessary changes to the voting system that would allow them to be contenders will never see the light of day. He nails it right on the head when he says they don't want to give up their shared monopoly. I disagree with his "wasted vote" comments. Any libertarian vote right now IS a wasted vote, there's no question. >2 party voting must start with a reform of the voting system. then you should consider other parties. But for now, get rid of the puppet and puppeteer in office because it's despicable what they've done.

My my! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299671)

Ever since the inception of government schooling in the 19th century under Horace Mann, the US has been on a downward trend in literacy, numeracy and science learning.

Anyone have a reference for this?

Re:My my! (1)

Edward Faulkner (664260) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299925)

Yes, read the work of John Taylor Gatto [johntaylorgatto.com] . His Underground history of Education documents the people and organizations that shaped our present failure of a system.

Well (1)

Erwos (553607) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299673)

I don't agree with him on all the issues, but he's damned sure a better advocate for the Libertarian party than the average /.'er.

You've given me some things to seriously think about, Mr. Badnarik. Thanks!

-Erwos

Republicans for Badnarik (5, Insightful)

ortcutt (711694) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299675)

I'm sure a lot of Republicans have more in common with Badnarik's "The market can and will solve all problems" approach than the the Bush administration's combination of big-spending on unnecessary conflicts, corporate welfare for drug companies, and violation of our individual liberties. I would encourage those of you who are Republicans to take a good look at Badnarik.

What about... (1)

TheJavaGuy (725547) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299676)

If the Libertarian Party's main platform is real freedom, then does that mean that spamming would be legal?

Arrow's Impossibility Theorem (5, Interesting)

pexatus (216363) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299695)

Arrow's Impossibility Theorem [wikipedia.org] , says that runoff voting will necessarily be unfair in one of 5 different ways. However, just about any runoff voting scheme would be more fair than the Australian ballot, which by design keeps anyone from voting for a third party.

Emoticon (5, Funny)

CGP314 (672613) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299701)

I guess that depends on the ideology ;-)

You have to like a Presidential candidate who uses a winkey smiley.


-Colin [colingregorypalmer.net]

Multi party government... (3, Insightful)

here4fun (813136) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299705)

Today, the Libertarian Party -- and other third parties, of course -- have to fight to get on the ballot. In some states, we have to gather enormous numbers of signatures. In others, we have to drag the state to court.

It has been this way forever. We have two parties, and they don't want any competition. My feeling is anyone who can get X signatures on a petition should be put on a ballot. In some ways, getting on a ballot should be just as important a right as the right to vote, otherwise we are like China when they have free elections, but only one candidate.

Having said that, I would never vote for a libertarian. They fail to see one aspect of humanity. Power corrupts. There is greed. If left unchecked, the powerful will enslave the rest of us. It is human nature. For example, around the time of the revolution 1% of the USA population owned 10% of all wealth, today that 1% owns over 40% of all wealth. There is something wrong when wealth can be concentrated into so few people, that the rest of the USA is left with less. Someone mentioned earlier that the previous generation could survive with one income. Today many families need two incomes to make ends meet.

Well, I know who I'm not voting for (0)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299716)

The fact is that they both support the war in Iraq. They both oppose gun rights. They both supported the PATRIOT Act.

So the guy doesn't think we should continue the war against terrorism, he's not for any gun restriction, and he thinks we can just ignore that, yes, terrorist cells are/were operating in this country.

Third parties aren't marginalized because of some collusion by the major parties. They're marginalized because they're radicals out of touch with the American will. (Well, that and the major parties to a great job of co-opting any legitimate issue the smaller party might have, which is really how democracy works.)

Re:Well, I know who I'm not voting for (5, Insightful)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299852)

For your restatements of Badnarik's positions to make sense, it would have to be true that:
1. The war in Iraq is a war against terrorism.
2. Gun rights equal no gun restrictions.
3. The PATRIOT Act is actually needed to fight terrorists.

None of those three points are straight true/false. Each one is open to argument.

Only about 50% of all americans vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299884)

in presidential elections, and turnout in local or congressional-only elections is even less.

I am not sure that you can meaningfully say what the "American Will" is just based on who's been voted into office.

Re:Only about 50% of all americans vote (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299929)

The 'Will' of people who don't vote is irrelevant.

Re:Well, I know who I'm not voting for (1)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299890)

Wait a minute.

There is no evidence that Iraq supported the 9/11 terrorist acts in a material way. In the past, there were domestic atrocities, but the world ignored them, much like it ignored Rwanda and other atrocities. And this doesn't cover Halliburton, Abu Gharab and other major mistakes. And there aren't any WMDs that the occupying armies have found, and WMDs are the very reason GWB said we were invading. The very pretense of invasion was a lie.

The PATRIOT act violates our civil rights for the sake of protecting us. It also hides trials from public view and criticism.

on the environment (5, Insightful)

i_should_be_working (720372) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299720)

I'd also work to get wilderness lands into the hands of private groups who want to preserve them.

That sounds like government intervention. Who decides which private group really wants to preserve a wilderness? What if they are just lying about wanting to preserve it? What if the private group that does not want to preserve it offers the most money for it?

Looks like really preseving a wilderness area would require government intervention and regulation. Which goes against this party's policies.

Re:on the environment (3, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299899)

It's a cop-out. When he says "work" he really just means "will suggest to private parties". Is he going to sell government land at a lower price to conservation groups than he would to private investors? Of course not, the free market is the bestest thing in the world according to these guys.

I quit reading after... (0)

dave-tx (684169) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299731)

If the "wasted vote" argument ever held any water, it doesn't any more. The two major parties have moved toward a weird, non-existent "center" for the last 50 years, to the point where it's difficult to tell them apart.

This is where he completely lost me. Despite the flawed list of "similarities" that he presents, it's more than obvious to anyone who even casually follows current events that the two major parties have quite different views as to the direction this country should be headed in.

Badnarik loses all credibility with me when he throws this tired line out there, which is clearly just a lame attempt to defeat the "wasted vote" scenario.

Re:I quit reading after... (1)

Quinn (4474) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299846)

For issues which matter to me (eg. civil liberties), the two major candidates are practically identical.

PoliticalCompass.org (5, Interesting)

BReflection (736785) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299749)

See the Political Compass [f2s.com] for a visual representation of where Michael Badnarik actually stands. Their quiz [f2s.com] will also place you visually, and from reading their FAQ [f2s.com] it really sounds like they have an appreciation for statistics, be that what it may.

Also found in the FAQ is an interesting tidbit about Americans and our seemingly skewed idea of just what a libertarian is (they are Brits):

You can't be libertarian and left wing

This is almost exclusively an American response, overlooking the undoubtedly libertarian tradition of European anarcho-syndicalism. It was, after all, the important French anarchist thinker Proudhon who declared that property is theft.

On the other side of the Atlantic, the likes of Emma Goldman were identified as libertarians long before the term was adopted by some economic rightwingers. And what about the libertarian collectives of the mid-late 1800s and 1960s?

Americans like Noam Chomsky can claim the label 'libertarian socialist' with the same validity that Milton Friedman can be considered a 'libertarian capitalist'.

The assumption that Social Darwinism delivers more social freedom is questionable. The welfare states of, for example, Sweden and The Netherlands, abolished capital punishment decades ago and are at the forefront of progressive legislation for women, gays and ethnic minorities - not to mention anti-censorship. Such established social democracies consistently score highest in the widely respected Freedom House annual survey on civil liberties. Their detailed checklist can be viewed at http://www.worldaudit.org/civillibs.htm . Similar social developments would presumably be envied by genuine libertarians in socially conservative countries - even if their taxes are lower.

Interestingly, many economic libertarians express to us their support for or indifference towards capital punishment; yet the execution of certain citizens is a far stronger assertion of state power than taxation.

N.B. The death penalty is practised in all seriously authoritarian states. In Eastern Europe it was abolished with the fall of communism and adoption of democracy. The United States is the only western democracy where capital punishment is still practised.

End of limited liability? (2, Interesting)

rumblin'rabbit (711865) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299753)

Badnorak, in his response to free trade, proposed that shareholders be responsible for the company's liabilities beyond their investment in the company. I take this to mean an end to limited liability.

What a horrendous idea. It's not enough that a shareholder lose their investment. They have to lose their house as well.

Although this might improve accountability, this would drive the small investor right out of the stock market.

Adding to the problem is the arbitrariness of law suit damages that are now being awarded. They often have no relation to the actual damage done. There is no way an investor can accurately assess the risk.

One thing that constrains law suits is that you can't get a billion dollars out of a million dollar company. Removing limited liability, so that the lawyers can sue the shareholders, would make the Oklahoma land rush look like a trickle.

Just to clarify... (5, Funny)

Rorschach1 (174480) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299756)

Since your name is Badnarik, I'm assuming you're not George W. Bush. Is that correct?

Yes? Ok. You've got my vote.

You changed my vote. (3, Insightful)

Facekhan (445017) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299769)

I was planning to vote for Kerry or Alfred E Neuman (whats the difference?). I want Kerry to win over Bush but being in MD, its pretty likely that Kerry will murder him here so I may as well vote my conscience.

I was not too sure about you since I had not seen any Ads and have not been very active in watching the LP as opposed to last election when I voted for Spear Lancaster for governor.

Your views on the unnecesary protection afforded to corporations is a 100% match for my view on the matter. In fact your words were almost precisley the same that I wrote in an essay recently arguing that corporations are by nature unnaccountable sociopaths.

I will be voting Badnarik for President.

It's all about balance. (3, Interesting)

aaronhurd (630047) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299781)

I think that Mr. Badnarik's agenda is not correct for this (or any) country.

Certainly there needs to be some sort of structure implemented by the people to govern themselves. While I do believe that both the Democrats and Republicans are (for the most part) greedy, corrupt and power-hungry, I don't think that a radical Libertarian agenda is correct. What we need is enlightened leadership, which acts in the interest of the people.

Let's face it; our society has many, many problems, not only with education, but with outsourcing, distribution of wealth, government invasions of privacy . . . anyone could go on for hours. The simple fact is that this country needs leadership which is interested in working hard to solve those problems.

The Democrats won't do it, neither will the Republicans, but I'd rather see a slightly stronger government that imposes some regulation and control over corporations, rather than a government that is so powerless that it cannot act in the public interest (which is what I believe would be the case under a Libertarian leadership.)

In the end, it's all about balance.

a popular vote means "end of American demcracy"?! (0)

Cryofan (194126) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299791)

Badnarik wrote:

I have to tell you that I'm skeptical of electoral college reform at the federal level. Yes, the system has flaws, but I haven't seen any alternative proposals that don't have serious flaws themselves.


How about one person, one vote? Too democratic for you?

Also, he wrote:
Going to a straight popular vote would, perversely, represent the end of American democracy.


This is why I (a former Libertarian myself) say that the Libertarian Party is just a more extreme version of the GOP.
Also:

Candidates would be inclined to cater to a few urban areas where they can buy the most votes for their buck (or their promise), effectively disenfranchising rural voters. To the extent that the presidency is a representative office, it should represent Peoria and Birmingham as much as it represents New York and Los Angele.


Why not just have the president represent PEOPLE? Too democratic? Oh, the horror....

Re:a popular vote means "end of American demcracy" (1)

(trb001) (224998) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299888)

How, exactly, do you propose the president represent people? By voting on something/anything and letting the popular vote win? Okay, the problem with that system is that people typically vote for what's best FOR THEM. That means that state/federal funds would go to the majority population/areas, and the minorities would get NOTHING. Farm subsidies? Screw that. Minority rights? Screw that too. Unless you're a member of the majority, living where the majority typically lives, you're gonna get fucked.

--trb

Why I am a Libertarian (5, Insightful)

Archangel Michael (180766) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299799)

I have only ONE beef with the libertarian party (not going to mention it here), however, this guy's well thought our responses are a clear indication of WHY he will not be invited to the debates. George Kerry, and John Bush wouldn't have a clue how to respond to thoughtful answers.

Yikes... (2, Insightful)

Tickenest (544722) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299804)

One of the questions above mentions pragmatism, and this is an issue where it comes into play. From both a pragmatic and principled perspective, the best foreign policy is one of non-intervention: Refusing to interfere in the internal affairs of, or intervene in the disputes of, other nations. From a pragmatic perspective, it's the best approach for the security of the United States. From a principled perspective, it avoids violating the rights of others.

There is definitely something to be said for this approach.

Unfortunately, it allows things like the genocide going on in Sudan right this minute to continue.

Re:Yikes... (1)

Zan Lynx (87672) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299910)

The Libertarian ideal would be for you and your friends who care to form a militia group and go over there to stop the genocide yourself.

Why haven't you?

Teach a man to fish (3, Insightful)

stinkyfingers (588428) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299806)

... But first, teach him that to start with a fish smaller than a great white shark.

I could buy into a lot of what the Libertarian Party has to say. I realize that a lot of it only borderline practical for the real world, but I *could* buy into it to see what it's realization would look like.

Unfortunately, the Libertarian Party (and other third parties) consistently go about their goals the wrong way. If America truly is ripe for change, then the Libertarian Party should be working from the ground up. Start with the local/state governments. The worse consequence of Ross Perot and Jesse Ventura's quasi-success is that the Libertarian Party still hasn't figured out that once it controls mayors, county councils, and governors, it'll always be a fringe movement.

I mean, let's say we do end with a Libertarian President in 2004, somehow ... he'll still have to get his proposals through Congress.

Huh? (1)

magefile (776388) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299811)

If self-made ballots were better than the Australian ballot, who gives a crap if the third-pary/Independent candidates are on the ballot or not? What's wrong with write-in?

On "Surrender" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299814)

I'm going to vote for this man. It's very interesting to me that he used the term "surrender" in regard to what he wants the government to do.

"As a politician, my job is to sign the surrender papers -- to get government to stop trying to ride roughshod over your rights. You're going to win either way. I'm just the candidate who recognizes that, who thinks it's a good thing, and who's ready to proclaim the ceasefire."

That is exactly what I want from my government. If my government is not at war with me against my rights, if it's a government of the people (of which I'm one), by the people (of which I'm one), and for the people (of which I'm one), then it ought to surrender to the people.

Here's where it gets interesting. I think the US should adopt a white as its official flag, thus officially signifying this surrender. This is not a sign of weakness. It is the beginning of strength. It shows that we are all connected citizens with nothing in between us except our own behavior towards others.

If that means that it also has to fly a white flag to other nations and surrender to them, then so be it. I want liberty for me, my people, and all the people in the world, and will not sacrifice this because of my fear of the stranger. This whole "nationalistic paradigm" is so intellectually shallow it's a joke, much like "tribalism" and "racism". We should have moved on by now. We should have directed our efforts to more productive and noble aims of the human species and civilization than advancing one particular nation at a time.

May the world surrender, at once to one another.

Lesser of two evils (0, Flamebait)

lilbudda (625254) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299833)

Well, he's better than Nader...

Pure popularist (1, Funny)

shario (109443) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299834)

> withdrawal of troops from Iraq

> we eliminate the Fed's monopoly on currency provision

> repeal PATRIOT act

This guy is a true popularist, he promises people what they want even though there is no chance of realizing the promises. Well, there is also no chance of getting elected, so that's even :)

What about Taxes!?!?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299836)

His most interesting stance is the elimination of the IRS. How could they not have asked the legal issues surrounding the elimination of taxes and why he personally doesn't pay. Ugggh!

Interesting contradiction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#10299850)

Someone who is supposedly about the empowerment of individuals and the removal of archaic government "filters" between people and government goes on record supporting the ELECTORAL COLLEGE?!?

Oh, it'd be the end of American demoracy as we know it, he says. Candidates would spend more effort on New York than on Peoria! "Tyranny of the majority" is a problem in any democracy. The electoral college simply replaces it with "tyrrany of the minority" -- which, in my opinion, is worse.

Yeah, god forbid a large group of people has more influence in a democracy than a small group of people. That would never happen in a democracy!

Other than that, he actually sounds surprisingly good (esp. regarding the Iraq war, etc). Nevertheless, he's just not going to win. I could vote for him to feel good about myself for not voting for either major party pro-war candidate, but I'd achieve the same thing by simply staying home and not voting.

Morally kill bad leaders? (1)

Bombcar (16057) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299857)

If you or I want to unseat or kill a thug like Saddam Hussein, we're morally free to do so. He's a tyrant and a murderer. We'd only be acting on behalf of his victims.

Does this mean that he'd repeal the (not so carefully followed) US policy of not assassinating foreign leaders?

All in all, he sounds pretty intelligent.

Whoah whoah (1)

stratjakt (596332) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299906)

I thought you said he "answered".

"When the smoke clears" "When I'm elected my job will be to fight for change"

blah blah blah

Same shit, brand new bag from the Gap.

Ballots (4, Insightful)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299912)

Of course, the "major" parties don't approve of anything that might threaten to break their shared monopoly on power. That's why they've instituted the Australian ballot and draconian ballot access laws.

Not entirely. The Australian ballot is important in order to have a secret ballot. In the age of party-printed ballots (where you would put the party's ballot into the box), you could be observed putting a ballot that was clearly belonging to one party or another into the box.

If you want a secret ballot, then they can't be distinguishable. This does present a problem of ballot access (since now we have the government printing the ballots, and therefore, determining who will be on it when it comes time to print them), but I think that this can be rectified without compromising secrecy. For example, we could merely have a deadline, which was the last possible date to go to press and print enough ballots, and let anyone on who who was eligible, if they filed prior to the deadline (probably in October). And permit write ins for anyone that missed the deadline.

Iraq (1)

MindStalker (22827) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299916)

One more question, you state that you would remove our tr oops slowlyfrom Iraq. But what if the new elected government asked you to provide troops to help with protection. Would it make sense to offer the troops, maybe request that Iraq attempt to help with some of a cost, on a purly humanitarian side. Afterall we did destroy their country we do have an obligation to help.

Other interviews? (5, Insightful)

thesupermikey (220055) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299921)

Is there any plan in the works for interviews with other 3rd party or major Candidates?

I might vote for him... (1)

greg_barton (5551) | more than 10 years ago | (#10299927)

We could argue all day about whether Bush or Kerry is the "lesser evil." The fact is that they both support the war in Iraq.

I might've voted for him if he didn't lie like that.

Just a cursory look at the two candidate's views on the war show that their support differs quite a bit. Such a smart man as Badnarik, as evidenced by his other answers, should see that. Too bad he chose to lie.
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