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Parties Have Their Place

But Maybe Not in Belmar

nj libertarian

I attended the New Jersey Libertarian Party state convention yesterday.

While I really enjoy the time I spend discussing the benefits of liberty, and the morality of liberty, with readers of the blog and members of the public, it’s always great fun to be in a room full of people who already get it.  These folks know that being free is a great way to live.  They understand that when we stop using force against each other that we have a lot less to argue about.

You see, to we Libertarians the true measure of a society is the degree to which force is absent as a factor in human relationships.  If you love people you don’t use force against them.

Anyway, they asked me to be county rep. to the party’s state board and I agreed to do it.  So I get to go to a few more meetings this year.  I don’t mind too much because the board meetings are usually at a restaurant so at least I have an excuse to have lunch out.  Plus, I like being with these people.

Of course the main business at the convention is the recruitment of candidates.  I am sorely tempted to volunteer again because it is great fun.  Of the three elections I’ve been in, the one for Assembly, when I ran as a Libertarian, was the most gratifying.  I was even semi-endorsed by the Asbury Park Press.  I think I will someday do it again, maybe for Congress next time.

I did briefly entertain the idea of running for mayor or council as a Libertarian but I am starting to become convinced that political parties, even the one I agree with on so much, aren’t really appropriate for a municipal government.  The issues and philosophies that the parties promote just don’t translate into local issues.  If anything, the parties just muddy the waters.

For example, how many times have we seen legitimate criticisms of this administration simply dismissed as partisanship?  It’s very easy to do that if it’s coming from someone in the other party.  Conversely,  people are loath to criticize anyone from their own party.  This is not the way to get to the truth.  I think partisan government also gets in the way of the voters learning about their candidates as individual people and not just brands like Ford or Chevy.  It creates artificial divisions between people that have nothing to do with running the town.

It also allows for outsiders to meddle in and influence our local politics.  That’s something we can all agree that we don’t need.

I see Highlands voted last November, by a 58% to 42% margin, to change to a non-partisan system.  They join Allenhurst, Asbury Park , Avon-by-the-Sea, Bradley Beach, Deal, Keansburg, Lock Arbour, Long Branch, Monmouth Beach, Ocean Township and  Tinton Falls as towns in Monmouth County with non-partisan governments.

It’s pretty easy to make the change, actually.  Collect a couple of hundred petition signatures and it’s put to the voters.  

Something to think about.


  1. Tom Burke wrote:

    I support your idea for making our Borough a non partisan form of government. I made similar observation in my faceboook post on March 14th of this year.
    I do doubt that this is something that can be that easily accomplished, but agree that getting the ball rolling via the petition route would be a good start. Perhaps within a year or so there would be enough momentum. For this year however, I think we are to continue with our 2 party system or 3 parties should you re-consider your Libertarian run. Who knows maybe we will even have an Independent give it a go.

    Sunday, March 30, 2014 at 2:12 pm | Permalink
  2. Trinn wrote:

    I like this idea

    Tuesday, April 1, 2014 at 10:05 pm | Permalink

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