Dear fellow Libertarians,
Members of the Libertarian National Committee have been debating whether or not to list presidential candidates at our web site, and if we do, whether to qualify those who are posted.
There are good arguments for all sides.
Examples of reasons for listing Libertarian presidential candidates:
- To inform members and, in particular, delegates who must choose our nominee.
- To inform the media and the general voting public, some of whom will vote in primaries.
- To offset the lack of institutional and media support for Libertarian Party candidates.
Examples of reasons not to list presidential candidates:
- To screen out candidates who are not dedicated to advancing our libertarian agenda, or who actually oppose it.
- To exclude individuals who appear to be disingenuously using the LP.
- To disqualify candidates who are running for the nomination of more than one party.
- To avoid publicizing candidates whose presentation is viewed by most Libertarians as embarrassing or inappropriate for a presidential candidate and who could reflect badly on the party.
Many Libertarian National Committee members have struggled with the right approach to balancing these issues. Despite several attempts to come up with objective criteria, no ideal approach has yet been found. Some argue that the disclaimer now posted at LP.org is sufficient to demonstrate that listed candidates do not necessarily meet with the approval of the party and its members. (Note that candidates can still run for the Presidential nomination whether or not they are listed.)
An LNC motion to decide whether to entirely remove the list of candidates is currently pending.
P.S. If you have not already done so, please join the Libertarian Party. We are the only political party with a mission to give voters a choice for much less Big Government, much lower taxes, and much lower government spending. You can also renew your membership. Or, you can make a contribution separate from membership.