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Tag Archives: election
Posted: September 20, 2016 at 7:18 pm
The following is a script from The Libertarian Ticket which aired on Sept. 18, 2016. Steve Kroft is the correspondent. L. Franklin Devine and Maria Gavrilovic, producers.
When you look at your presidential ballot in November, somewhere below the Democratic and Republican lines you will find the Libertarian Party and the Green Party, but for many voters this year they might as well read none of the above.
In a race that features the most unpopular Democratic and Republican party choices in memory, they are the two alternatives to Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump and for the first time in 16 years third parties could well determine the outcome of the election. Right now, of the two alternatives, the Libertarian Party has the most support and is the only one on the ballot in all 50 states. The ticket of Gary Johnson and Bill Weld is currently favored by about eight or nine percent of the electorate even though 70 percent of the voters dont know who Johnson and Weld are. We thought it was time to give you a primer.
Libertarian presidential candidateGary Johnson and his running mate, Bill Weld
If you dont recognize them, the tall guy on the left is vice presidential candidate Bill Weld. The shorter one is former New Mexico governor and presidential nominee Gary Johnson. Right now they can stroll through a park unmolested by the press and the public. Their rallies usually attract only a few hundred people but they can still make some noise and are not without enthusiastic support.
[Rally: Gary Gary Gary. Bill Weld: The next president of the United States, Gary Johnson. Gary Johnson: You rock. You rock.]
Steve Kroft: Why are you doing this?
Gary Johnson: I think that we would do a really good job.
Mitt Romney wished for it, so Steve Kroft asked-why isn’t Bill Weld at the top of the Libertarian ticket?
Bill Weld: I feel its something of a patriotic duty given how the election season is unfolding. We feel a responsibility to offer the country sort of a sober, sensible alternative.
[Gary Johnson: Has life in this country ever been better?]
They are no political neophytes. Each one won two terms as Republican governors in heavily Democratic states.
On 60 Minutes in 2000, Gary Johnson explained his unconventional thoughts on drug policy –and why he thought using marijuana was “cool”
Steve Kroft: Do you really think you have a chance to win?
Gary Johnson: Neither of us would be doing this if we didnt think that that was a possibility.
Steve Kroft: Let me be a little skeptical here. I mean, right now the people–
Bill Weld: We expected no less.
Steve Kroft: Right. Right. Yeah. The people that do this for a living, to try and do polling, and public opinion surveys and make odds– some of the most prominent experts put your chances at about less than one percent, less than one percent.
The Libertarian candidates have a plan that embraces immigration-so what do they think of Donald Trump’s plan?
Gary Johnson: I think that Donald Trump started out that way. And I wouldve given him that– I wouldve given him that percentage at the very start. But as crazy as this election season is, I think it could be the ultimate crazy and that is is that the two of us actually do get elected.
Steve Kroft: Right. And how does that happen?
Gary Johnson: Well presidential debates– a third alternative, 70 percent of America doesnt even know who we are. And yet we exist. I think theres a lot of opportunity here. And theres still a lot of time left.
[Bill Weld: –we are in a way breaking a glass ceiling–]
Theyre hoping to get a place in at least one of the presidential debates but right now they dont meet the threshold of 15 percent in the national polls.
Steve Kroft: Are you running against a two-party system?
Gary Johnson: Absolutely.
Bill Weld: Absolutely.
Gary Johnson: And Iand I do believe this is going to be the demise of the Republican Party.
Steve Kroft: So you see yourself as a protest vote?
Gary Johnson: No way. I think, a conciliatory vote. Look this is how we wanna come together.
Bill Weld: It happens, Steve, if people do think for themselves and focus on the choices available because the polling shows that nationally people do tend to agree with our approach. As Gary sometimes says, youre a libertarian. You just dont know it yet.
[Libertarian Party Convention: Lets bring back liberty.]
Gary Johnson tells Steve Kroft why he believes marijuana use shouldn’t be a crime-and why changing policy is a matter of when, not if
The Libertarians were founded 45 years ago as an off-shoot of the Republicans. They tend to be fiscally conservative and social liberals who want the federal government out of their pockets, out of their schools, out of their computers, and out of their bedrooms.
[Supporter: So the hats are 25.]
They support the right to bear arms, even assault weapons. But they also believe women have the right to an abortion, gays have the right to marry, and adults the right to smoke pot.
[Supporter: Anybody looking for a bumper sticker?]
They oppose almost every federal program not mentioned specifically in the Constitution, including Social Security and Medicare and the regulatory agencies.
The Libertarian candidate tells Steve Kroft how he plans to combat the terrorist organization, though he thinks there’s a bigger threat
Steve Kroft: Youre making yourself seem like mainstream candidates. But in fact, you know, your positions and the positions of the party arent mainstream, you know. Phasing out Medicare, youre for doing away with private health insurance– as a way to bring down medical costs. Youre talking about abolishing the IRS and imposing a 29 percent or 28 percent sales tax, essentially a sales tax. You call it a consumption tax. Talk about eliminating the Department of Homeland Security. I mean, these arent exactly mainstream opinion.
Gary Johnson: Well what you can count on the two of us to provide is consistency. Were going to always be consistent in looking for lower taxes. And much of what you cite is the Libertarian platform which, you know, we are the Libertarian nominees for president and vice president. But were not looking to eliminate Medicare. We do believe in a safety net. But there has to be reforms for Medicaid and Medicare and Social Security. And if were going to put our heads in the sand, if we say were going to do nothing in any of these areas, its a fiscal cliff.
Bill Weld: And nobody can tell me that no changes are necessary in Washington. Those bozos think that unless the appropriation of every single account goes up five percent, they call that a cut. Well, thats not how we approached our state budgets. And thats not what we would do in Washington either.
Steve Kroft: Do you think most people want to do away with the Department of Homeland Security?
Gary Johnson: Yeah, I do. I do. I think theres a real skepticism. I mean, really, we have the FBI. Wha– why another agency? I mean– and all these Homeland Security cars driving around these days, what are they doing?
Bill Weld: There are functions that youd have to retain and make sure they were attended to. But therere some who remind me of the, you know, muddled bureaucracy in Washington that nobody can quite tell you why theyre essential. And thats where I would go hunting.
They also want to abolish the Departments of Education, Commerce and Housing and Urban Development. They want to cut the Defense Budget by around 20 percent and get American troops out of Korea.
As theyve said, they dont agree with their party on everything — sometimes they dont even agree with each other.
Gary Johnson earned a fortune in construction before making his political name as the first governor ever to advocate the legalization of marijuana, and until earlier this year was CEO of a marijuana branding company.
Steve Kroft: Until recently, you were a consumer
Gary Johnson: Thats correct
Steve Kroft: –of marijuana.
Gary Johnson: One of 100 million Americans who have consumed marijuana. I am guilty. The unforgivable in life, hypocrisy, saying one thing and doing anothertelling the truth– I hope more than anything, Im credited here with telling the truth.
Steve Kroft: But youre not using marijuana now?
Gary Johnson: Im not.
[Bill Weld: running on the Libertarian ticket. Live free or die, baby, you know what they say.]
Former Massachusetts Governor Bill Weld is a card-carrying member of the Eastern Establishment, whose libertarian bonafides are still questioned by the true believers. Until his nomination in May he was a member of the nearly-extinct political species known as moderate Republicans.
Steve Kroft: You werent a Libertarian until a couple of months ago.
Bill Weld: Well, I considered myself a small L Libertarian since the 1970s. And people called me the Libertarian Republican.
They run a frugal low-key campaign in jeans and sneakers and keep a very loose schedule that can change by the hourly. When we were with them, their version of a presidential limousine was a rented red Toyota.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a motorcade?
Bill Weld: No. We dont have a motorcade.
Steve Kroft: You stop for red lights?
Gary Johnson: We do stop for red lights.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign plane?
Bill Weld: We dont have a campaign plane.
Gary Johnson: No. No. We dont.
Bill Weld: We do fly commercial.
Steve Kroft: Do you have a campaign headquarters?
Bill Weld: Yes.
Gary Johnson: Yes. We do. But its– but if you went to the campaign headquarters, you wouldnt find anybody there because this is– you know, this is social media.
[Gary Johnson: Come on, get selfie, get selfie ready!]
They have a big presence on the Internet and claim to have 50 million followers — most of them young people. Johnson and Weld are good friends and say they plan to run a co-presidency sharing the same staff. On the campaign they often stay at each others homes.
Theyve tried everything to get more attention in hopes their campaign would go viral. And 10 days ago it did.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Willie Geist: Governor good to have you with us.
But it was the wrong kind when Johnson was unable to identify Aleppo as the center of the humanitarian crisis in Syria.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Aleppo.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: And what is Aleppo?
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip /Mike Barnicle: Youre kidding.
MSNBC/MORNING JOE clip/Governor Gary Johnson: No.
Steve Kroft: Youve been on the front page a lot this month. You made a big splash. And it was a belly flop. Were talking about Aleppo here. Tell me about Aleppo. I mean, how did that happen?
Gary Johnson: Well, the– I– I blame no one but myself. I understand the underlying policy.
Steve Kroft: People have said,This guysnot qualified to be president. I mean, did– how do react to that?
Gary Johnson: Well– that– that I am human. I have a filter. And it starts with honesty. It starts with the truth. It starts with transparency– and would serve as president– in that capacity. When I was asked the question, the first thing that came into my mind was this is an acronym– ALEPPO– American– l–
Steve Kroft: Did it sound familiar to you?
Gary Johnson: Well, it didnt or I think I..but, but look I do not, in any way, want to make an excuse for myself. You know, so many people have said, Look, 90 percent of America doesnt know ALEPPO. Well, 90 percent of America is not running for president of the United States, no excuse. No excuse.
Bill Weld: But at the– at the end of the day, this is just my view, is Aleppo is a very important place name. But its a place name. Does that mean theyre disqualified from running for president? I mean, youd have very few people at the debates if that sort of thing was a disqualify– disqualification to run.
Gary Johnson: Thanks, Bill. But nonetheless, look, we are running for president and vice president.
Steve Kroft: Youre acknowledging that your candidacy has some flaws.
Gary Johnson: As do all candidacies. But I think–
Steve Kroft: But nobody– I– I– Im trying to remember a presidential candidate admitting that.
Gary Johnson: Well, that is the difference here. Thats what youre going to buy into is is that it will be transparent. And theres no quicker way to fix mistakes than actually acknowledging them in the first place.
Steve Kroft: Do you have foreign policy advisers?
Gary Johnson: Well, certainly.
Steve Kroft: Do you have military strategists?
See the rest here:
Posted: at 7:18 pm
FijiTonga relations are foreign relations between Fiji and Tonga. These neighbouring countries in the South Pacific have a history of bilateral relations going back several centuries.
Though relations between the two countries had been good since they both became independent in the 1970s, they deteriorated considerably in early 2011.
By the early 13th century, Eastern Fiji(Lau group) was a province of the Tongan empire. The Empire subsequently declined, but Tonga remained an influential neighbour in Fiji affairs. In 1848, Tongan Prince Maafu settled in Lakeba, establishing a new foothold in Eastern Fiji. He was accompanied by Tongan Wesleyan missionaries, who consolidated the earlier introduction of Methodism to Fiji by English Wesleyan missionaries. Today, Methodism is the primary religion of indigenous Fijians.
Maafu’s influence in Fiji expanded during the 1850s, threatening Seru Epenisa Cakobau’s attempts to establish himself as king of all Fiji. Ultimately, Maafu and Tonga’s support at the 1855 Battle of Kaba was instrumental in enabling Cakobau to cement his leadership over Fiji, temporarily consolidating the Tongan Prince’s status and role in the country. Tonga’s direct influence faded, however, after Cakobau ceded Fiji to British sovereignty in 1874.
Fiji’s Prime Minister Voreqe Bainimarama received “cheers and thunderous applause” from the Tongan public when he attended a Pacific Islands Forum meeting in Tonga in October 2007; the crowd’s “enthusiastic reception” of Fiji’s leader was likened to “that accorded to a rock star”Radio Australia noted that he had been “the star of this year’s meeting, for the people of Tonga”, while TVNZ reported that he had been “given a hero’s welcome”.
In terms of inter-governmental relations, Tonga has generally avoided pressuring Fiji’s “interim government” into holding democratic elections. However, Tongan Prime Minister Dr.Feleti Sevele has urged Bainimarama “to produce a credible roadmap to the election according to the Constitution and law of Fiji”.
Tonga’s “soft” approach to Fiji’s unelected government during the regional meeting in October 2007 was in line with the approach chosen by other Pacific Island nations, but contrasted with the much harder stance adopted by Australia and New Zealand. The Tongan government rejected “several […] attempts by New Zealand Prime Minister Helen Clark to lobby for Commodore Bainimarama’s exclusion from the meeting”.
In August 2008, Prime Minister of Tonga, Dr Sevele said at a Pacific Islands Forum meeting 
Unfortunately, the Forums relationship with the interim government of Fiji has now deteriorated from the apparent, promising situation at the Forum last year in Tonga, to one of disappointment and of an uncertain future. As Forum Leaders, we are all extremely disappointed at the interim Prime Ministers decision not to attend this Forum meeting. As Chair of last years Forum Meeting in Tonga and Chair of the last 12 months, let me place on record the fact that the commitments that Commodore Bainimarama made at the Leaders Retreat were not forced on him, as has been claimed. He agreed with and accepted the 7-point communiqu on Fiji, and so told all the Leaders present at the Retreat. Sir Michael Somare and I certainly did not pressure him into making those commitments. We, and all the Leaders, were, and are, keen on helping Fiji move forward, but Fiji has to play its due part. The interim Prime Minister has an obligation to explain in person to the Forum Leaders as to why he could not fulfill those commitments, and we were all looking forward to his doing this at this Forum in Niue. That he chose not to do this is most unfortunate and most disappointing.
In May 2009, however, Sevele questioned the purpose of Fiji’s suspension from the Forum (which had taken place on May 2), and suggested it was “pointless” to “ostracise” Fiji. TVNZ described Tonga’s position as “a crack […] in the hard line being taken against Fiji” by the Forum.
In February 2011, Sevele’s successor, Lord Tuivakan, stated that Australia and New Zealand’s pressure on Fiji was counter-productive, and that the more they “bother[ed]” Bainimarama, the more likely he might be to do the opposite of what they sought. He added: “Maybe just go easy and they will come around. What you need to remember is that it is an opportunity for other countries, maybe China will step in. […] There’s a lot of other countries looking in and Fiji’s said ‘We don’t want Australia, we don’t want New Zealand, these are the people that’s going to help us.'”
In December 2005, Fiji welcomed Tonga’s accession to the World Trade Organisation.
In 2001, the Fijian Government banned the import of mutton flaps from Tonga. The Tongan Ministry of Labour said in response on this issue that “Tongas experience with Fiji is an example of the difficulties encountered by small developing nations in protecting their interests”. The Tongan Ministry said this “illustrates the difficulty and huge onus that the multilateral trading system places on small and vulnerable developing countries, which lack the necessary resources, capital and institutional means to fully implement the WTO agreements.” 
In August 2007, the Fijian Government called for a review of the Fiji/Tonga Air Services Agreement to allow for increased capacity on the route from 350 to 1000 passengers in each direction. By March 2008, a new aviation agreement had been reached. The Fijian Government said 
This has been factored into the agreement reached by the two states in March 2008 to increase the seat capacity from 350 to 1000 per week with no restrictions to aircraft types or frequencies and both countries had agreed to this. This new provision will certainly assist or facilitate the movement of tourist between Tonga and Fiji.
Beginning in late 2010, and escalating in early 2011, diplomatic tensions opposed Fiji and Tonga over two partially simultaneous issues. Though they are presented separately here for clarity, they were being referred to simultaneously by May 2011.
Both Fiji and Tonga lay claim to the Minerva Reefs, which lie between the two countries. Historically, the reefs are said to have lain in the fishing grounds of the people of Ono-i-Lau, in Fiji. In 1972, Tonga annexed the reefs, which had not formally been claimed by any State, but Fiji has not recognised the annexation, and has stated it considers the reefs to lie within its territory. In late 2010, Fiji responded to news that Tonga had begun construction of a lighthouse on one reef, by saying Fiji reserved the right to take any means necessary to preserve its territorial integrity.
In February 2011 the Fiji government said there was “no official dispute” between the two countries on the issue, but that officials from the two sides were discussing the matter of the reefs’ ownership and usage. A Fiji government official added: “The government of Fiji reiterates its position, that as far as its concerned Minerva Reef is a reef. And as such it lies within the economic, exclusive economic zone of Fiji. And the government of Fiji reserves its right within its directory.” Fiji Foreign Affairs Permanent Secretary Solo Mara clarified that there was no “conflict”, but merely “overlapping claims” on the countries’ maritime boundary, in the context of “claims for an extended continental shelf beyond the 200 mile Exclusive Economy Zone – as provided for under the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea”. Officials from the two countries would hold discussions to determine their maritime boundary.
In late May 2011, during the tension over the Tevita Mara affair (see below), “Fiji navy vessels visited Minerva and ordered New Zealand bound yachts out of the lagoon. They then destroyed navigation beacons” which had been set up by Tonga. The Tongan government issued a statement in protest. Fijis Deputy Permanent Secretary of Foreign Affairs Sila Balawa subsequently told the Fiji Broadcasting Corporation that Tonga remained “one of Fijis closest friends”, and that, although Fiji clearly owned the reef as it was located within the countrys exclusive economic zone, Fiji hoped the disagreement would be resolved through “peaceful dialogue”.
In early June, two Tongan Navy ships were sent to the Reef to replace navigational beacons destroyed by the Fijians, and to reassert Tonga’s claim to the territory. A Fijian Navy ship in the vicinity reportedly withdrew as the Tongans approached, leading New Zealand’s One News to comment that a military conflict between the two countries had narrowly been averted. A press release from the Tongan government described Fiji’s destruction of Tongan navigational beacons as “an act of vandalism” posing “real danger to international shipping”, adding that Tonga and “the Fijian military junta” could and should resolve their territorial dispute “under International law for the settlement of disputes between civilized societies”. Simultaneously The People’s Daily, citing “Fiji intelligence sources”, reported on June 13 that “three Fijian naval ships” were “on their way to Minerva Reef” to confront the two Tongan navy ships there.
In May 2011, Lieutenant-Colonel Tevita Mara, a former Fiji army officer, who had just been charged with plotting an attempt to overthrow Bainimarama, fled Fiji by boat, and was picked up by a Tongan patrol boat and taken to Tonga. The Tongan authorities issued a statement saying they had picked him up after responding to a distress signal, and that in Nuku’alofa “arrangements have been made for his accommodation by the royal household office in deference to his rank”. Bainimarama issued a statement saying the Royal Tongan Navy ship had entered Fijian territorial waters without authorisation to carry out an “illegal extraction” of the wanted man; he added that his government took “strong exception to such breaches of Fiji’s sovereignty”. He announced he would issue a formal protest to Tongan Prime Minister Lord Tu’ivakano, and would seek Mara’s extradition back to Fiji to face charges. Tui’vakano replied that Tonga’s independent judiciary would hear Fiji’s case for extradition, without interference from the Tongan government, and added that Tonga had no wish to interfere in Fiji’s domestic affairs.
Akilisi Pohiva, leader of the Tongan opposition, described the entry of a Tongan Navy vessel into Fiji waters to pick up a fugitive as a clear breach of relations between the two countries, but added that it was justifiable on humanitarian grounds.
On May 21, four days after the first reports on the incident, the Tongan government issued a statement saying it had received no request for Mara’s extradition, only a note from the Fijian authorities containing what it called “unsubstantiated assertions” and “a personal statement by the Prime Minister of the Republic of Fiji, Commodore Josaia Voreqe Bainimarama”. Subsequently, having acknowledged receipt of an extradition request, the Tongan government indicated “it will have to go through the proper channels for legal advice before we can proceed any further”; the authorities would not interfere with the judicial process. In early June, however, the authorities granted Mara Tongan citizenship, along with a passport.
Radio Australia reported that relations between the two countries has “soured dramatically” as a result of the incident.
On June 10 as Tongan Navy vessels moved to occupy the Minerva Reef, an unsigned press statement on the website of the Fiji government denounced “the presence of the Tongan Navy boats within Fijis EEZ at Minerva Reef”, the “issue of Tongan passport” to Mara and “the Tongan Governments inaction on extradition papers”, describing them as “a web of deceit, collusion and a complete lack of disregard [sic] of legal extradition processes”. Blaming Australia and New Zealand, the statement said “the Tongans as seen with their presence at the Minerva Reef will be manipulated through offerings of gifts and aid to try and turn up the ante”, adding: “As far as Fiji is concerned there is no Mara or Tonga/Fiji situation. It is a Rudd and McCully spreading their wings to save face situation”, in reference to Australian and New Zealand Foreign Affairs Ministers Kevin Rudd and Murray McCully.Stuff.co.nz described the statement as an “unprecedented attack” on New Zealand, Tonga and Australia, remarking: “The statement on the website is so completely out of kilter with previous Fiji Government statements that it raises questions over who now is in control in Suva.”
In late June, the Tongan government formally informed the Fiji government that Tongan law made it impossible to extradite Mara.
Continue reading here:
Posted: September 8, 2016 at 6:47 am
The contemporary Liberal Party generally advocates economic liberalism (see New Right). Historically, the party has supported a higher degree of economic protectionism and interventionism than it has in recent decades. However, from its foundation the party has identified itself as anti-socialist. Strong opposition to socialism and communism in Australia and abroad was one of its founding principles. The party’s founder and longest-serving leader Robert Menzies envisaged that Australia’s middle class would form its main constituency.
Towards the end of his term as Prime Minister of Australia, in a final address to the Liberal Party Federal Council in 1964, Menzies spoke of the “Liberal Creed” as follows:
As the etymology of our name ‘Liberal’ indicates, we have stood for freedom. We have realised that men and women are not just ciphers in a calculation, but are individual human beings whose individual welfare and development must be the main concern of government … We have learned that the right answer is to set the individual free, to aim at equality of opportunity, to protect the individual against oppression, to create a society in which rights and duties are recognised and made effective.
Soon after the election of the Howard Government the new Prime Minister John Howard, who was to become the second-longest serving Liberal Prime Minister, spoke of his interpretation of the “Liberal Tradition” in a Robert Menzies Lecture in 1996:
Menzies knew the importance for Australian Liberalism to draw upon both the classical liberal as well as the conservative political traditions. … He believed in a liberal political tradition that encompassed both Edmund Burke and John Stuart Mill a tradition which I have described in contemporary terms as the broad church of Australian Liberalism.
Throughout their history, the Liberals have been in electoral terms largely the party of the middle class (whom Menzies, in the era of the party’s formation called “The forgotten people”), though such class-based voting patterns are no longer as clear as they once were. In the 1970s a left-wing middle class emerged that no longer voted Liberal. One effect of this was the success of a breakaway party, the Australian Democrats, founded in 1977 by former Liberal minister Don Chipp and members of minor liberal parties; other members of the left-leaning section of the middle-class became Labor supporters. On the other hand, the Liberals have done increasingly well in recent years among socially conservative working-class voters.However the Liberal Party’s key support base remains the upper-middle classes; 16 of the 20 richest federal electorates are held by the Liberals, most of which are safe seats. In country areas they either compete with or have a truce with the Nationals, depending on various factors.
Menzies was an ardent constitutional monarchist, who supported the Monarchy in Australia and links to the Commonwealth of Nations. Today the party is divided on the question of republicanism, with some (such as incumbent leader Malcolm Turnbull) being republicans, while others (such as his predecessor Tony Abbott) are monarchists. The Menzies Government formalised Australia’s alliance with America in 1951, and the party has remained a strong supporter of the mutual defence treaty.
Domestically, Menzies presided over a fairly regulated economy in which utilities were publicly owned, and commercial activity was highly regulated through centralised wage-fixing and high tariff protection. Liberal leaders from Menzies to Malcolm Fraser generally maintained Australia’s high tariff levels. At that time the Liberals’ coalition partner, the Country Party, the older of the two in the coalition (now known as the “National Party”), had considerable influence over the government’s economic policies. It was not until the late 1970s and through their period out of power federally in the 1980s that the party came to be influenced by what was known as the “New Right” a conservative liberal group who advocated market deregulation, privatisation of public utilities, reductions in the size of government programs and tax cuts.
Socially, while liberty and freedom of enterprise form the basis of its beliefs, elements of the party have wavered between what is termed “small-l liberalism” and social conservatism. Historically, Liberal Governments have been responsible for the carriage of a number of notable “socially liberal” reforms, including the opening of Australia to multiethnic immigration under Menzies and Harold Holt; Holt’s 1967 Referendum on Aboriginal Rights;Sir John Gorton’s support for cinema and the arts; selection of the first Aboriginal Senator, Neville Bonner, in 1971; and Malcolm Fraser’s Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976. A West Australian Liberal, Ken Wyatt, became the first Indigenous Australian elected to the House of Representatives in 2010.
The party has mainly two unorganised factions, the conservative right and the moderate left. Historically, moderates have at times formed their own parties, most notably the Australian Democrats who gave voice to what is termed small-l liberalism in Australia.
The Liberal Party is a member of the International Democrat Union, the only party with the name Liberal to hold membership.
The Liberal Party’s organisation is dominated by the six state divisions, reflecting the party’s original commitment to a federalised system of government (a commitment which was strongly maintained by all Liberal governments until 1983, but was to a large extent abandoned by the Howard Government, which showed strong centralising tendencies). Menzies deliberately created a weak national party machine and strong state divisions. Party policy is made almost entirely by the parliamentary parties, not by the party’s rank-and-file members, although Liberal party members do have a degree of influence over party policy.
The Liberal Party’s basic organisational unit is the branch, which consists of party members in a particular locality. For each electorate there is a conferencenotionally above the brancheswhich coordinates campaigning in the electorate and regularly communicates with the member (or candidate) for the electorate. As there are three levels of government in Australia, each branch elects delegates to a local, state, and federal conference.
All the branches in an Australian state are grouped into a Division. The ruling body for the Division is a State Council. There is also one Federal Council which represents the entire organisational Liberal Party in Australia. Branch executives are delegates to the Councils ex-officio and additional delegates are elected by branches, depending on their size.
Preselection of electoral candidates is performed by a special electoral college convened for the purpose. Membership of the electoral college consists of head office delegates, branch officers, and elected delegates from branches.
The Liberals’ immediate predecessor was the United Australia Party (UAP). More broadly, the Liberal Party’s ideological ancestry stretched back to the anti-Labor groupings in the first Commonwealth parliaments. The Commonwealth Liberal Party was a fusion of the Free Trade Party and the Protectionist Party in 1909 by the second prime minister, Alfred Deakin, in response to Labor’s growing electoral prominence. The Commonwealth Liberal Party merged with several Labor dissidents (including Billy Hughes) to form the Nationalist Party of Australia in 1917. That party, in turn, merged with Labor dissidents to form the UAP in 1931.
The UAP had been formed as a new conservative alliance in 1931, with Labor defector Joseph Lyons as its leader. The stance of Lyons and other Labor rebels against the more radical proposals of the Labor movement to deal the Great Depression had attracted the support of prominent Australian conservatives. With Australia still suffering the effects of the Great Depression, the newly formed party won a landslide victory at the 1931 Election, and the Lyons Government went on to win three consecutive elections. It largely avoided Keynesian pump-priming and pursued a more conservative fiscal policy of debt reduction and balanced budgets as a means of stewarding Australia out of the Depression. Lyons’ death in 1939 saw Robert Menzies assume the Prime Ministership on the eve of war. Menzies served as Prime Minister from 1939 to 1941 but resigned as leader of the minority World War II government amidst an unworkable parliamentary majority. The UAP, led by Billy Hughes, disintegrated after suffering a heavy defeat in the 1943 election.
Menzies called a conference of conservative parties and other groups opposed to the ruling Australian Labor Party, which met in Canberra on 13 October 1944 and again in Albury, New South Wales in December 1944. From 1942 onward Menzies had maintained his public profile with his series of “The Forgotten People” radio talkssimilar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “fireside chats” of the 1930sin which he spoke of the middle class as the “backbone of Australia” but as nevertheless having been “taken for granted” by political parties.
Outlining his vision for a new political movement in 1944, Menzies said:
…[W]hat we must look for, and it is a matter of desperate importance to our society, is a true revival of liberal thought which will work for social justice and security, for national power and national progress, and for the full development of the individual citizen, though not through the dull and deadening process of socialism.
The formation of the party was formally announced at Sydney Town Hall on 31 August 1945. It took the name “Liberal” in honour of the old Commonwealth Liberal Party. The new party was dominated by the remains of the old UAP; with few exceptions, the UAP party room became the Liberal party room. The Australian Women’s National League, a powerful conservative women’s organisation, also merged with the new party. A conservative youth group Menzies had set up, the Young Nationalists, was also merged into the new party. It became the nucleus of the Liberal Party’s youth division, the Young Liberals. By September 1945 there were more than 90,000 members, many of whom had not previously been members of any political party.
After an initial loss to Labor at the 1946 election, Menzies led the Liberals to victory at the 1949 election, and the party stayed in office for a record 23 yearsstill the longest unbroken run in government at the federal level. Australia experienced prolonged economic growth during the post-war boom period of the Menzies Government (19491966) and Menzies fulfilled his promises at the 1949 election to end rationing of butter, tea and petrol and provided a five-shilling endowment for first-born children, as well as for others. While himself an unashamed anglophile, Menzies’ government concluded a number of major defence and trade treaties that set Australia on its post-war trajectory out of Britain’s orbit; opened Australia to multi-ethnic immigration; and instigated important legal reforms regarding Aboriginal Australians.
Menzies ran strongly against Labor’s plans to nationalise the Australian banking system and, following victory in the 1949 election, secured a double dissolution election for April 1951, after the Labor-controlled Senate refused to pass his banking legislation. The Liberal-Country Coalition was returned with control of the Senate. The Government was returned again in the 1954 election; the formation of the anti-Communist Democratic Labor Party (DLP) and the consequent split in the Australian Labor Party early in 1955 helped the Liberals to another victory in December 1955. John McEwen replaced Arthur Fadden as leader of the Country Party in March 1958 and the Menzies-McEwen Coalition was returned again at elections in November 1958 their third victory against Labor’s H. V. Evatt. The Coalition was narrowly returned against Labor’s Arthur Calwell in the December 1961 election, in the midst of a credit squeeze. Menzies stood for office for the last time in the November 1963 election, again defeating Calwell, with the Coalition winning back its losses in the House of Representatives. Menzies went on to resign from parliament on 26 January 1966.
Menzies came to power the year the Communist Party of Australia had led a coal strike to improve pit miners’ working conditions. That same year Joseph Stalin’s Soviet Union exploded its first atomic bomb, and Mao Zedong led the Communist Party of China to power in China; a year later came the invasion of South Korea by Communist North Korea. Anti-communism was a key political issue of the 1950s and 1960s. Menzies was firmly anti-Communist; he committed troops to the Korean War and attempted to ban the Communist Party of Australia in an unsuccessful referendum during the course of that war. The Labor Party split over concerns about the influence of the Communist Party over the Trade Union movement, leading to the foundation of the breakaway Democratic Labor Party whose preferences supported the Liberal and Country parties.
In 1951, during the early stages of the Cold War, Menzies spoke of the possibility of a looming third world war. The Menzies Government entered Australia’s first formal military alliance outside of the British Commonwealth with the signing of the ANZUS Treaty between Australia, New Zealand and the United States in San Francisco in 1951. External Affairs Minister Percy Spender had put forward the proposal to work along similar lines to the NATO Alliance. The Treaty declared that any attack on one of the three parties in the Pacific area would be viewed as a threat to each, and that the common danger would be met in accordance with each nation’s constitutional processes. In 1954 the Menzies Government signed the South East Asia Collective Defence Treaty (SEATO) as a South East Asian counterpart to NATO. That same year, Soviet diplomat Vladimir Petrov and his wife defected from the Soviet embassy in Canberra, revealing evidence of Russian spying activities; Menzies called a Royal Commission to investigate.
In 1956 a committee headed by Sir Keith Murray was established to inquire into the financial plight of Australia’s universities, and Menzies pumped funds into the sector under conditions which preserved the autonomy of universities.
Menzies continued the expanded immigration program established under Chifley, and took important steps towards dismantling the White Australia Policy. In the early 1950s, external affairs minister Percy Spender helped to establish the Colombo Plan for providing economic aid to underdeveloped nations in Australia’s region. Under that scheme many future Asian leaders studied in Australia. In 1958 the government replaced the Immigration Act’s arbitrarily applied European language dictation test with an entry permit system, that reflected economic and skills criteria. In 1962, Menzies’ Commonwealth Electoral Act provided that all Indigenous Australians should have the right to enrol and vote at federal elections (prior to this, indigenous people in Queensland, Western Australia and some in the Northern Territory had been excluded from voting unless they were ex-servicemen). In 1949 the Liberals appointed Dame Enid Lyons as the first woman to serve in an Australian Cabinet. Menzies remained a staunch supporter of links to the monarchy and British Commonwealth but formalised an alliance with the United States and concluded the Agreement on Commerce between Australia and Japan which was signed in July 1957 and launched post-war trade with Japan, beginning a growth of Australian exports of coal, iron ore and mineral resources that would steadily climb until Japan became Australia’s largest trading partner.
Menzies retired in 1966 as Australia’s longest-serving Prime Minister.
Harold Holt replaced the retiring Robert Menzies in 1966 and the Holt Government went on to win 82 seats to Labor’s 41 in the 1966 election. Holt remained Prime Minister until 19 December 1967, when he was declared presumed dead two days after disappearing in rough surf in which he had gone for a swim.
Holt increased Australian commitment to the growing War in Vietnam, which met with some public opposition. His government oversaw conversion to decimal currency. Holt faced Britain’s withdrawal from Asia by visiting and hosting many Asian leaders and by expanding ties to the United States, hosting the first visit to Australia by an American president, his friend Lyndon B. Johnson. Holt’s government introduced the Migration Act 1966, which effectively dismantled the White Australia Policy and increased access to non-European migrants, including refugees fleeing the Vietnam War. Holt also called the 1967 Referendum which removed the discriminatory clause in the Australian Constitution which excluded Aboriginal Australians from being counted in the census the referendum was one of the few to be overwhelmingly endorsed by the Australian electorate (over 90% voted ‘yes’). By the end of 1967, the Liberals’ initially popular support for the war in Vietnam was causing increasing public protest.
The Liberals chose John Gorton to replace Holt. Gorton, a former World War II Royal Australian Air Force pilot, with a battle scarred face, said he was “Australian to the bootheels” and had a personal style which often affronted some conservatives.
The Gorton Government increased funding for the arts, setting up the Australian Council for the Arts, the Australian Film Development Corporation and the National Film and Television Training School. The Gorton Government passed legislation establishing equal pay for men and women and increased pensions, allowances and education scholarships, as well as providing free health care to 250,000 of the nation’s poor (but not universal health care). Gorton’s government kept Australia in the Vietnam War but stopped replacing troops at the end of 1970.
Gorton maintained good relations with the United States and Britain, but pursued closer ties with Asia. The Gorton government experienced a decline in voter support at the 1969 election. State Liberal leaders saw his policies as too Centralist, while other Liberals didn’t like his personal behaviour. In 1971, Defence Minister Malcolm Fraser, resigned and said Gorton was “not fit to hold the great office of Prime Minister”. In a vote on the leadership the Liberal Party split 50/50, and although this was insufficient to remove him as the leader, Gorton decided this was also insufficient support for him, and he resigned.
Former treasurer, William McMahon, replaced Gorton as Prime Minister. Gorton remained a front bencher but relations with Fraser remained strained. The McMahon Government ended when Gough Whitlam led the Australian Labor Party out of its 23-year period in Opposition at the 1972 election.
The economy was weakening. McMahon maintained Australia’s diminishing commitment to Vietnam and criticised Opposition leader, Gough Whitlam, for visiting Communist China in 1972only to have the US President Richard Nixon announce a planned visit soon after.
During McMahon’s period in office, Neville Bonner joined the Senate and became the first Indigenous Australian in the Australian Parliament. Bonner was chosen by the Liberal Party to fill a Senate vacancy in 1971 and celebrated his maiden parliamentary speech with a boomerang throwing display on the lawns of Parliament. Bonner went on to win election at the 1972 election and served as a Liberal Senator for 12 years. He worked on Indigenous and social welfare issues and proved an independent minded Senator, often crossing the floor on Parliamentary votes.
Following Whitlam’s victory, John Gorton played a further role in reform by introducing a Parliamentary motion from Opposition supporting the legalisation of same-gender sexual relations. Billy Snedden led the party against Whitlam in the 1974 federal election, which saw a return of the Labor government. When Malcolm Fraser won the Liberal Party leadership from Snedden in 1975, Gorton walked out of the Party Room.
Following the 197475 Loans Affair, the Malcolm Fraser led Liberal-Country Party Coalition argued that the Whitlam Government was incompetent and delayed passage of the Government’s money bills in the Senate, until the government would promise a new election. Whitlam refused, Fraser insisted leading to the divisive 1975 Australian constitutional crisis. The deadlock came to an end when the Whitlam government was dismissed by the Governor-General, Sir John Kerr on 11 November 1975 and Fraser was installed as caretaker Prime Minister, pending an election. Fraser won in a landslide at the resulting 1975 election.
Fraser maintained some of the social reforms of the Whitlam era, while seeking increased fiscal restraint. His government included the first Aboriginal federal parliamentarian, Neville Bonner, and in 1976, Parliament passed the Aboriginal Land Rights Act 1976, which, while limited to the Northern Territory, affirmed “inalienable” freehold title to some traditional lands. Fraser established the multicultural broadcaster SBS, accepted Vietnamese refugees, opposed minority white rule in Apartheid South Africa and Rhodesia and opposed Soviet expansionism. A significant program of economic reform however was not pursued. By 1983, the Australian economy was suffering with the early 1980s recession and amidst the effects of a severe drought. Fraser had promoted “states’ rights” and his government refused to use Commonwealth powers to stop the construction of the Franklin Dam in Tasmania in 1982. Liberal minister, Don Chipp split off from the party to form a new social liberal party, the Australian Democrats in 1977. Fraser won further substantial majorities at the 1977 and 1980 elections, before losing to the Bob Hawke led Australian Labor Party in the 1983 election.
A period of division for the Liberals followed, with former Treasurer John Howard competing with former Foreign Minister Andrew Peacock for supremacy. The Australian economy was facing the early 1990s recession. Unemployment reached 11.4% in 1992. Under Dr John Hewson, in November 1991, the opposition launched the 650-page Fightback! policy document a radical collection of “dry”, economic liberal measures including the introduction of a Goods and Services Tax (GST), various changes to Medicare including the abolition of bulk billing for non-concession holders, the introduction of a nine-month limit on unemployment benefits, various changes to industrial relations including the abolition of awards, a $13 billion personal income tax cut directed at middle and upper income earners, $10 billion in government spending cuts, the abolition of state payroll taxes and the privatisation of a large number of government owned enterprises representing the start of a very different future direction to the keynesian economic conservatism practiced by previous Liberal/National Coalition governments. The 15 percent GST was the centerpiece of the policy document. Through 1992, Labor Prime Minister Paul Keating mounted a campaign against the Fightback package, and particularly against the GST, which he described as an attack on the working class in that it shifted the tax burden from direct taxation of the wealthy to indirect taxation as a broad-based consumption tax. Pressure group activity and public opinion was relentless, which led Hewson to exempt food from the proposed GST leading to questions surrounding the complexity of what food was and wasn’t to be exempt from the GST. Hewson’s difficulty in explaining this to the electorate was exemplified in the infamous birthday cake interview, considered by some as a turning point in the election campaign. Keating won a record fifth consecutive Labor term at the 1993 election. A number of the proposals were later adopted in to law in some form, to a small extent during the Keating Labor government, and to a larger extent during the Howard Liberal government (most famously the GST), while unemployment benefits and bulk billing were re-targeted for a time by the Abbott Liberal government.
At the state level, the Liberals have been dominant for long periods in all states except Queensland, where they have always held fewer seats than the National Party (not to be confused with the old Nationalist Party). The Liberals were in power in Victoria from 1955 to 1982. Jeff Kennett led the party back to office in that state in 1992, and remained Premier until 1999.
In South Australia, initially a Liberal and Country Party affiliated party, the Liberal and Country League (LCL), mostly led by Premier of South Australia Tom Playford, was in power from the 1933 election to the 1965 election, though with assistance from an electoral malapportionment, or gerrymander, known as the Playmander. The LCL’s Steele Hall governed for one term from the 1968 election to the 1970 election and during this time began the process of dismantling the Playmander. David Tonkin, as leader of the South Australian Division of the Liberal Party of Australia, became Premier at the 1979 election for one term, losing office at the 1982 election. The Liberals returned to power at the 1993 election, led by Premiers Dean Brown, John Olsen and Rob Kerin through two terms, until their defeat at the 2002 election. They have since remained in opposition under a record five Opposition Leaders.
The dual aligned Country Liberal Party ruled the Northern Territory from 1978 to 2001.
The party has held office in Western Australia intermittently since 1947. Liberal Richard Court was Premier of the state for most of the 1990s.
In New South Wales, the Liberal Party has not been in office as much as its Labor rival, and just three leaders have led the party from opposition to government in that state: Sir Robert Askin, who was premier from 1965 to 1975, Nick Greiner, who came to office in 1988 and resigned in 1992, and Barry O’Farrell who would lead the party out of 16 years in opposition in 2011.
The Liberal Party does not officially contest most local government elections, although many members do run for office in local government as independents. An exception is the Brisbane City Council, where both Sallyanne Atkinson and Campbell Newman have been elected Lord Mayor of Brisbane.
Labor’s Paul Keating lost the 1996 Election to the Liberals’ John Howard. The Liberals had been in Opposition for 13 years. With John Howard as Prime Minister, Peter Costello as Treasurer and Alexander Downer as Foreign Minister, the Howard Government remained in power until their electoral defeat to Kevin Rudd in 2007.
Howard generally framed the Liberals as being conservative on social policy, debt reduction and matters like maintaining Commonwealth links and the American Alliance but his premiership saw booming trade with Asia and expanding multiethnic immigration. His government concluded the Australia-United States Free Trade Agreement with the Bush Administration in 2004.
Howard differed from his Labor predecessor Paul Keating in that he supported traditional Australian institutions like the Monarchy in Australia, the commemoration of ANZAC Day and the design of the Australian flag, but like Keating he pursued privatisation of public utilities and the introduction of a broad based consumption tax (although Keating had dropped support for a GST by the time of his 1993 election victory). Howard’s premiership coincided with Al Qaeda’s 11 September attacks on the United States. The Howard Government invoked the ANZUS treaty in response to the attacks and supported America’s campaigns in Afghanistan and Iraq.
In the 2004 Federal elections the party strengthened its majority in the Lower House and, with its coalition partners, became the first federal government in twenty years to gain an absolute majority in the Senate. This control of both houses permitted their passing of legislation without the need to negotiate with independents or minor parties, exemplified by industrial relations legislation known as WorkChoices, a wide ranging effort to increase deregulation of industrial laws in Australia.
In 2005, Howard reflected on his government’s cultural and foreign policy outlook in oft repeated terms:
When I became Prime Minister nine years ago, I believed that this nation was defining its place in the world too narrowly. My Government has rebalanced Australia’s foreign policy to better reflect the unique intersection of history, geography, culture and economic opportunity that our country represents. Time has only strengthened my conviction that we do not face a choice between our history and our geography.
The 2007 federal election saw the defeat of the Howard federal government, and the Liberal Party was in opposition throughout Australia at the state and federal level; the highest Liberal office-holder at the time was Brisbane Lord Mayor Campbell Newman. This ended after the Western Australian state election, 2008, when Colin Barnett became Premier of that state.
Following the 2007 federal election, Dr Brendan Nelson was elected leader by the Parliamentary Liberal Party. On 16 September 2008, in a second contest following a spill motion, Nelson lost the leadership to Malcolm Turnbull. On 1 December 2009, a subsequent leadership election saw Turnbull lose the leadership to Tony Abbott by 42 votes to 41 on the second ballot. Abbott led the party to the 2010 federal election, which saw an increase in the Liberal Party vote and resulted in the first hung parliament since the 1940 election.
Through 2010, the party improved its vote in the Tasmanian and South Australian state elections and achieved state government in Victoria. In March 2011, the New South Wales Liberal-National Coalition led by Barry O’Farrell won government with the largest election victory in post-war Australian history at the State Election. In Queensland, the Liberal and National parties merged in 2008 to form the new Liberal National Party of Queensland (registered as the Queensland Division of the Liberal Party of Australia). In March 2012, the new party achieved Government in an historic landslide, led by former Brisbane Lord Mayor, Campbell Newman.
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Posted: August 10, 2016 at 9:22 pm
The Libertarian Party ticket, facing what polls show are two of the most unpopular presidential candidates in modern American history, is seeing a bump in support as the general election race moves into full swing and a surge in interest that could carry nominee Gary Johnson onto the prized debate stage this fall.
Despite Donald Trump and Hillary Clintons popularity issues and trust gap with voters, few expect the Libertarian ticket to pose a Ross Perot-style threat this year.
But the party is far more than a political curiosity in 2016. Rumors are swirling in the wake of the major-party conventions that high-profile Republicans are now considering backing the ticket; a recent video from Johnson and running mate William Weld generated considerable buzz; and the polls show Johnson getting close to 15 percent the threshold he needs to reach to land him on the debate stage with Trump and Clinton this fall.
The RealClearPolitics average has Johnson at 8.4 percent in a four-way race with Trump, Clinton and Green Party candidate Jill Stein, up from 4.5 percent in June. The latest Fox News poll released Wednesday, after the conventions, put Johnson at 12 percent.
An NBC poll taken toward the end of the Democratic convention put Johnson at 9 percent, roughly where he was in prior polling.
Party officials said the unpopularity of the Republican and Democratic candidates gives the party an unprecedented opportunity.
It goes from week to week and day to day watching for what new thing [Clinton and Trump are] going to do to become more unpopular with the American people, and frighten people, Nicholas Sarwark, chairman of the Libertarian National Committee, told FoxNews.com. Those candidates are the gift that keeps on giving. Were running as the qualified adult in the room.
Sarwark pointed to Johnsons record as a two-term New Mexico governor, re-elected as a Republican in a Democratic state, in touting his credentials and appeal.
Unclear is whether the support in the polls will translate into support at the ballot box. In 2012, Johnson won just 0.99 percent of all votes cast — making him the most successful White House candidate in Libertarian history, but not making much of a dent in the race as a whole.
But this year, there are plenty of signs more voters are seeking an alternative candidate. At the Democratic convention last week, many Bernie Sanders supporters were getting on board with the Green Partys Stein. But so far, Johnson is polling the best among third-party candidates.
He and his running mate, former Massachusetts Gov. Weld, generated some buzz before the conventions with a slick video ad listing their accomplishments.
Weve been there … And done that! the candidates say.
Johnson said in an interview Monday with the Los Angeles Times that he believes in addition to appealing to disenfranchised Republicans on issues like free trade, low taxes and smaller government, the Libertarian stance on social issues and foreign policy could bring Sanders voters on board.
Sarwark said the party is banking that while Trump and Clinton are about as well-known as they are going to be, Johnson still can introduce himself to voters not familiar with his story especially if he is able to get on the debate stage.
This is far from a foregone conclusion.
So far, while Johnsons support is higher than in past years, an 8.4 percent average is still a distance from the 15 percent hed need to make the debates.
And he would need to get there by Aug. 15 to qualify, hitting 15 percent in not just one poll but an average of five recent polls chosen by the Commission on Presidential Debates.
Politically, where we stand, is we have to get into those presidential debates to really stand a chance, Weld told The Wall Street Journal last week. If we catch a break or two, we may get there.
Even then, the record for third-party or independent candidates is not strong.
In recent political history, the one who came closest to the presidency was businessman Perot in 1992 who was an independent, not technically a third-party candidate. At one point, Perot was leading in some polls against then-President George H. W. Bush and Democratic challenger Bill Clinton. However, after dropping out of the race before re-entering, he lost support. He eventually garnered 19 percent of the vote, with some Republicans arguing he split the GOP vote and handed the election to Clinton.
Republicans, meanwhile, were arguably given a boost by Green Party candidate Ralph Nader in 2000, when Nader picked up 2.7 percent of the vote against Democrat Al Gore and Republican George W. Bush.
Johnsons potential impact is hard to gauge. The latest Fox News poll found Johnson siphoning support about equally from the Democratic and GOP candidates.
But he could get a boost in the coming weeks as some Republicans reportedly consider backing him.
Most notably, 2012 Republican nominee Mitt Romney and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush reportedly are mulling endorsements for Johnson. Marvin Bush, youngest brother of Jeb and George W., also endorsed Johnson last week.
From what Ive heard from the Bush and Romney camps, theyre still considering it, Sarwark claimed.
Asked if the party is looking just to make a strong showing, or go all the way, Sarward was bullish: Theres a path to the presidency. The ground is there.
Adam Shaw is a Politics Reporter and occasional Opinion writer for FoxNews.com. He can be reached here or on Twitter: @AdamShawNY.
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Posted: July 18, 2016 at 3:39 pm
COLUMBUSThe Libertarian Party of Ohios newly elected central committee elected new officers and a new state executive committee at its biennial reorganizational meeting on April 23.
Bob Frey was elected as chair of the state central committee, the partys governing body that chooses an executive committee to run the partys day-to-day operations. Bob Bridges was elected to begin a full term as executive committee chair, after having served for several months in that position as a replacement for a previous chair who resigned.
“I am excited to be elected Chair of the Central Committee, said Frey. We have a strong group of volunteers, who are dedicated no matter the obstacles the state puts in our way. I look forward to helping be a part of this team, who WILL get the presidential nominee on the ballot, and continue to fight for freedom and liberty.”
This terms central committee elections were conducted at special election meetings of LPO members in participating congressional districts, rather than by Libertarian voters in Ohios primary election, because the Libertarian Party is currently prohibited from participating in Ohio elections by Senate Bill 193, which was signed by failed presidential candidate Gov. John Kasich in 2013 after being passed with only Republican votes in the Ohio House and Senate.
Other newly elected central committee members are Vice Chair Don Kissick, Secretary David Macko, and Treasurer Ann Leech.
The executive committee includes Vice Chair Scott Pettigrew, Secretary Bob Coogan, Treasurer Linda Comstock, and members at large Christopher Gill, Ann Leech, and Harold Thomas. According to LPO bylaws, executive committee members at large must also be members of the central committee.
After the meeting, Bridges made the following appointments and re-appointments to his management team:
Tricia SpranklePolitical Director
Gregory PizarroFinance Director
Joe BowersoxDeputy Political Director
Kevin KnedlerDeputy Secretary
Aaron Keith HarrisParty Spokesman, K-12 Liaison
LPO Central Committee (two seats available for each US Congressionial district)
District 1 – Seat A Bob Frey
District 1 – Seat B Scott Pettigrew
District 2 – Seat A Rick Kanis
District 2 – Seat B Ann Leech
District 3 – Seat A Harold Thomas
District 3 – Seat B Bob Bridges
District 4 – Seat A
District 4 – Seat B
District 5 – Seat A Don Kissick
District 5 – Seat B Sarah Kissick
District 6 – Seat A Lowell Lufkin
District 6 – Seat B Aarica Burwell
District 7 – Seat A
District 7 – Seat B
District 8 – Seat A Bob Coogan
District 8 – Seat B
District 9 – Seat A
District 9 – Seat B
District 10 – Seat A Aaron Harris
District 10 – Seat B Dan Zink
District 11 – Seat A
District 11 – Seat B
District 12 – Seat A Linda Comstock
District 12 – Seat B Kevin Knedler
District 13 – Seat A
District 13 – Seat B
District 14 – Seat A Justin Gleason
District 14 – Seat B David Macko
District 15 – Seat A Christopher Gill
District 15 – Seat B Franklin DeMint
District 16 – Seat A
District 16 – Seat B
For more information:
Aaron Keith Harris
LPO Party Spokesman
Follow this link for more information about the 2016 Independent Presidential Ticket
Recognizing that the time before the upcoming November General Election is becoming short, the Libertarian Party of Ohio is charting a new direction in the fight to give real choice to Ohio voters. With the deadline for the November election now being just four months away, the LPO will focus on gaining ballot access for the Libertarian Partys presidential ticket without a party label.
Since the passage of SB193, the infamous John Kasich Reelection Protection Act, and the success of efforts by Republican Party operatives to remove Libertarian Gubernatorial candidate Charlie Earl from the 2014 ballot, the LPOs focus has been two-pronged: pursuing various court remedies and beginning a long and expensive petitioning effort to restore the party as a whole to ballot access. That petitioning effort requires approximately 35,000 valid signatures, with SB193 also requiring certain geographic distribution requirements. In contrast, placing the national ticket on the ballot without party label requires only 5000 valid signatures.
While the partys national ticket will not be chosen until the Libertarian National Convention over Memorial Day weekend in Orlando, Florida, petitioning is beginning now with placeholder candidates. John Fockler, whose term as Chair of the LPOs Central Committee ended recently, explained, We couldnt wait until the ticket is chosen. Ohio law allows us to begin petitioning with a temporary ticket now, and substitute the names of the actual ticket afterwards. The placeholder candidates are Earl, for President, and Kentucky LP activist Ken Moellman as Vice-President. Having Charlies name on the ticket as our temporary candidate is a big help, Fockler said. Charlie is extremely well-known in pro-liberty circles throughout the state and gives this effort extra credibility with people outside the Libertarian Party.
This does not represent a surrender in the efforts to achieve full ballot access for the Libertarian Party of Ohio, said Bob Bridges, recently reelected as Chair of the LPOs Executive Committee. We are as determined as ever that the voters of Ohio will again have the full range of choices they deserve, and not be limited to only those that the two big government parties think they should have.
Tuesday, February 16, 2016
Dear fellow Libertarians,
As the presidential election season has begun to heat up, we have seen a greatly increased amount of traffic on LPO.org and on social media. Many new people are telling us they’re fed up with Republicans and Democrats and they’re asking how to become new members of the Libertarian Party of Ohio.
Here are my answers to the three most commonly asked questions:
1) Who is the 2016 Libertarian presidential candidate?
The Libertarian Party will nominate its candidates for president and vice president at our 2016 Libertarian Party National Presidential Nominating Conventionin Orlando over Memorial Day weekend.
Along with our 2012 nominee, Gov. Gary Johnson, and Ohios own LPO Central Committee Vice Chair Marc Allan Feldman, there are several other candidates. Visit this link for a current list of those who have announced their candidacy.
LPO Communications Director Aaron Keith Harris interviews Tom Zawistowski of the Portage County Tea Party.
Topics include the corruption of the Kasich administration, the 2016 Republican presidential candidates, and possible alliances among the Tea Party, constitutional conservatives, and Libertarians.
Read more here:
Posted: June 21, 2016 at 11:18 pm
The 2016 Libertarian National Convention is gearing up and online registration is now closed. Don’t be discouraged! You can still register at the door (as long as room remains available). To help expedite the process to do so, please click on the thumbnail to be directed to a printable registration form. Please print and complete the form and turn into the registration desk when you arrive to help us expedite the registration process for you. Thank you for attending, participating in and being a part of #LegalizeFreedom, we most sincerely welcome you here.
The Libertarian National Committee (LNC) and the LP headquarters staff invite you to join us for the 2016 Libertarian Party National Presidential Nominating Convention, to help us #LegalizeFreedom.
The Libertarian Party National Convention will be held from Friday, May 27, through Monday, May 30, 2016 (Memorial Day), with special committee meetings, candidate and activist training seminars, and a Welcome Reception on Thursday, May 26. Visit our Schedule page for more information.
The convention will be held at the Rosen Centre Hotel & Resort in Orlando, Florida. See our Location page for special LP rates on hotel rooms, or visit our LP Suite Packages page.
This biennial convention offersseminars, forums, debates, discussion groups, and Exhibits.The Party’s delegateswill elect its nominees for U.S. President and Vice President, consider proposed amendments to the Party’s Platformand Bylaws, and elect our national leadership for the next term.
All LP members in good standing are encouraged to attend and help shape the future of the LP and the liberty movement. Contact your state party to learn how to be appointed as an official voting delegate from your state.
Family, friends, and observers who aren’t ticketed convention attendees are most welcome to watch the non-ticketed events in the main hall, including the election of the Presidential and Vice Presidentialcandidates, take in the exhibits, and enjoy family-friendly attractions, shopping and recreationalopportunities.
Posted: at 6:46 am
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Zip codes: 67901.
Liberal city income, earnings, and wages data
Estimated median house or condo value in 2013: $89,800 (it was $65,400 in 2000)
Median gross rent in 2013: $651.
Liberal, KS residents, houses, and apartments details
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Ancestries: German (11.5%), Irish (4.2%), English (3.9%), United States (3.2%), French (1.8%), Scotch-Irish (1.0%).
Current Local Time: CST time zone
Elevation: 2836 feet
Land area: 11.1 square miles.
Population density: 1,900 people per square mile (low).
5,514 residents are foreign born (25.6% Latin America).
According to our research of Kansas and other state lists there were 42 registered sex offenders living in Liberal, Kansas as of June 21, 2016. The ratio of number of residents in Liberal to the number of sex offenders is 502 to 1.
Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with mortgages in 2013: $1,495 (1.5%) Median real estate property taxes paid for housing units with no mortgage in 2013: $809 (1.4%)
Nearest city with pop. 50,000+: Amarillo, TX (137.5 miles , pop. 173,627).
Nearest city with pop. 200,000+: Wichita, KS (202.4 miles , pop. 344,284).
Nearest city with pop. 1,000,000+: Dallas, TX (375.8 miles , pop. 1,188,580).
Nearest cities: Tyrone, OK (3.1 miles ), Turpin, OK (3.5 miles ), Kismet, KS (4.1 miles ), Hooker, OK (4.5 miles ), Forgan, OK (4.8 miles ), Plains, KS (4.9 miles ), Moscow, KS (5.0 miles ), Hugoton, KS (5.0 miles ).
Number of permits per 10,000 residents
Latitude: 37.04 N, Longitude: 100.93 W
Daytime population change due to commuting: +843 (+4.1%) Workers who live and work in this city: 7,957 (82.2%)
Area code: 620
(click on a table row to update graph)
Crime rate in Liberal detailed stats: murders, rapes, robberies, assaults, burglaries, thefts, arson Full-time law enforcement employees in 2014, including police officers: 50 (36 officers).
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Liberal, Kansas accommodation, waste management, arts – Economy and Business Data
Work and jobs in Liberal: detailed stats about occupations, industries, unemployment, workers, commute
Based on data reported by over 4,000 weather stations
Liberal-area historical tornado activity is slightly below Kansas state average. It is 39% greater than the overall U.S. average.
On 5/5/1993, a category F4 (max. wind speeds 207-260 mph) tornado 19.6 miles away from the Liberal city center caused between $500,000 and $5,000,000 in damages.
On 6/6/1951, a category F3 (max. wind speeds 158-206 mph) tornado 0.9 miles away from the city center injured 3 people and caused between $5000 and $50,000 in damages.
On 2/15/1974 at 13:33:49, a magnitude 4.6 (4.5 MB, 4.6 LG, Class: Light, Intensity: IV – V) earthquake occurred 39.8 miles away from the city center On 8/10/2005 at 22:08:22, a magnitude 5.0 (5.0 MB, 4.7 MS, 5.0 MW, Depth: 3.1 mi, Class: Moderate, Intensity: VI – VII) earthquake occurred 212.3 miles away from Liberal center On 6/16/1978 at 11:46:54, a magnitude 5.3 (4.4 MB, 4.6 UK, 5.3 ML) earthquake occurred 277.7 miles away from the city center On 1/3/2007 at 14:34:38, a magnitude 4.6 (4.6 MB, 4.4 MW, 4.4 LG, Depth: 3.1 mi) earthquake occurred 219.0 miles away from the city center On 9/15/1995 at 00:31:33, a magnitude 4.1 (3.8 LG, 4.1 LG, Depth: 3.1 mi) earthquake occurred 124.3 miles away from Liberal center On 9/5/2001 at 10:52:07, a magnitude 4.5 (4.5 LG, Depth: 3.1 mi) earthquake occurred 203.7 miles away from the city center Magnitude types: regional Lg-wave magnitude (LG), body-wave magnitude (MB), local magnitude (ML), surface-wave magnitude (MS), moment magnitude (MW)
Causes of natural disasters: Floods: 4, Storms: 4, Tornadoes: 3, Winter Storms: 2, Hurricane: 1 (Note: Some incidents may be assigned to more than one category).
Birthplace of: Jerame Tuman – 2005 NFL player (Pittsburgh Steelers, born: Mar 24, 1976), Melvin Sanders – Basketball player, Antonio Hanson – College basketball player (Tulsa Golden Hurricane), Martin Lewis (basketball) – Basketball player, Wayne Angell – Economist.
Political contributions by individuals in Liberal, KS
Click to draw/clear city borders
Notable locations in Liberal: Liberal Country Club (A), Liberal Wastewater Treatment Plant (B), Liberal Water Plant (C), Seward County Fairgrounds (D), Fairgrounds Speedway (E), Union Pacific Railroad Yard (F), Lowry Industrial Park (G), Sage Industrial Park (H), Village Plaza (I), Mid America Industrial Park (J), Willow Tree Golf Course (K), Liberal Municipal Court (L), KZQD – FM (Liberal) (M), Seward County Sheriff’s Department (N), Liberal Police Department (O), Seward County Courthouse (P), Seward County Fire Department (Q), Liberal Fire Department Station 3 (R), Liberal Fire Department Station 1 (S), Seward County Sheriff’s Department Jail (T). Display/hide their locations on the map
Shopping Centers: Southgate Mall (1), Western Shopping Center (2), Southgate Shopping Center (3), South Ideal Shopping Center (4), Randall Park Mall (5). Display/hide their locations on the map
Churches in Liberal include: Central Christian Church (A), Deliverance Power House Church of God in Christ (B), Iglesia de Cristo Maranatha Elim (C), Latter House Church (D), Risen Glory Church (E), Templo Puerta del Cielo Asambleas de Dios (F), Faith Tabernacle Church (G), Grant Street Church of Christ (H), Church For All Nations – Liberal (I). Display/hide their locations on the map
Cemetery: Liberal Cemetery (1). Display/hide its location on the map
Parks in Liberal include: Redskin Field (1), Bellaire Park (2), Mahuron Park (3), Country Club Acres Park (4), Tower Park (5), Southlawn Park (6), Cooper Park (7), Blue Bonnet Park (8), Harrison Circle Park (9). Display/hide their locations on the map
Tourist attractions: Baker Arts Center (Museums; 624 North Pershing Avenue), Coronado Museum-Dorothy’S House (567 East Cedar Street), Mid-America Air Museum (Cultural Attractions- Events- & Facilities; 2000 West Second Street), Chamber of Commerce (4 Rock Island Road), Tourist Information Center (220 East Pancake Boulevard), Liberal City – Convention & Tourism Information Center- Visitors Information Ce (Tours & Charters; 1 Yellow Brick Road).
Hotels: Kansan Motel (310 East Pancake Boulevard), Super 8 Liberal KS (747 East Pancake Boulevard), Best Western La Fonda Motel (229 West Pancake Boulevard), Motel 9 (230 West Pancake Boulevard), Tumbleweed Motel (488 East Pancake Boulevard), Liberal Inn Restaurant (603 East Pancake Boulevard), SLEEP INN (405 E Pancake Blvd), Branding Iron Club (603 East Pancake Boulevard), Holiday Inn Express Hotel & Suites (1550 North Lincoln Avenue).
Court: Seward County – District Court Clerk (415 North Washington Avenue).
Detailed information about poverty and poor residents in Liberal, KS
Educational Attainment (%) in 2013
School Enrollment by Level of School (%) in 2013
Presidential Elections Results
1996 Presidential Elections Results
2000 Presidential Elections Results
2004 Presidential Elections Results
2008 Presidential Elections Results
2012 Presidential Elections Results
Graphs represent county-level data. Detailed 2008 Election Results
7.93% of this county’s 2011 resident taxpayers lived in other counties in 2010 ($28,619 average adjusted gross income)
8.28% of this county’s 2010 resident taxpayers moved to other counties in 2011 ($34,275 average adjusted gross income)
Fatal accident count (per 100,000 population)
Most commonly used house heating fuel:
Top Patent Applicants
Total of 4 patent applications in 2008-2016.
Posted: June 16, 2016 at 5:56 pm
by Sunny Hundal
Whether Britain acts against ISIL in Syria isnt about provoking them or if they pose a threat, but whether our actions will be effective and justified. Whatever we decide, we will get attacked by ISIS; its their aim and in their interests. The bigger question is whether we should join our international allies against a terror group that has already declared war on us.
If we have to engage with ISIS sooner or later, then we have to evaluate whether this is the right time and we have the right plan. I said earlier that Cameron hadnt properly made the case, and want to continue evaluating that.
The people who made up their mind ages ago whether for or against are the ones I tend to ignore. Its clear they arent interested in the details and are driven more by ideological than operational reasons.
Yesterday, Cameron set out his case for air-strikes against ISIL (over 36 pages) and then Jeremy Corbyn responded with seven questions. Some of those questions are quite important and I find it odd that some in the shadow cabinet have already made up their mind without see Camerons response.
When Islamic State came to notoriety last year, many commentators including myself made assumptions about its plans.
I wrote for Al-Jazeera that it poses a far greater threat to Muslims than it does to the west and this has remained true. I also said its impact on community relations in Europe and the US could be devastating an obvious prediction that is also turning out to be true, sadly.
But I said something else which now doesnt apply: Its leaders believe fighting apostates is more important than fighting non-Muslims for now. They want to unite the Middle East under their banner before truly turning their sights on the US and Europe. I wasnt alone in this assumption: Obama and his team have not engaged ISIS more forcefully also because of the belief that ISIS did not pose an immediate threat to US interests (see this and this).
But following the attack in Paris its clear that despite Islamic States initial focus on local sectarian wars, its priorities have now changed. The execution of journalist James Foley and aid worker Alan Henning showed it that it gained a lot (attention, supporters and perhaps donations) for going after western targets.
This goes to the heart of why Ive been arguing with Al-Jazeeras Mehdi Hasan over this issue. Mehdi wrote that Russian bombs provoked the ISIS attack, and so do western bombs. The implication is that if we stop bombing ISIS, maybe theyll stop retaliating. Thats two separate arguments there, one about provocation and other about our response.
Keep this in mind: I agree with Mehdi on foreign policy issues far more than I disagree with him. This isnt a debate about whether western foreign policy is counter-productive or not (it can be, frequently). I should also add that I dont think he is excusing or justifying ISIS, as some claim.
My problem is that just as the Right try and divert debate about ISIS to immigration and refugees, many on the Left try and divert it to foreign policy. I think Mehdi et al only see world events through the lens of western foreign policy. All this obscures more important issues that we need to debate about tackling ISIS. (I spend 90% of my time criticising the right for their diversion, so Im allowed to criticise fellow lefties too). And it assumes the world revolves around what we think / do.
As is common these days, I get abused on Twitter by some lefties outraged that Ive not fallen in line with popular opinion on the left.
In my latest column for LabourList I show why the assumption that Jeremy Corbyn will appeal to non-voters or UKIPers with his clear principles or economic populism seem wildly optimistic. Britons who dont vote or opt for UKIP are largely culturally conservative Britons who prefer the Daily Mail and Express over the Mirror, and value policies that the left would not want to sign up to (patriotism, low immigration, cutting welfare). Their biggest gripes are about immigration and welfare benefits, and in favour of reducing them not increasing them.
When you know Corbyn is a bit radical, why the shock when someone points out he may only appeal to other radicals?
Anyway, my point is this: yes, Ive changed my opinions views the election.
I havent changed what I believe in. I still believe in economic and social equality, I believe in an economy that doesnt unfairly reward the already rich and privileged, I believe in the free provision of education and other public goods like health. I believe the railways should be nationalised and that large parts of the banking sector have become a parasite on our economy. I still believe that climate change, sustainability, clean energy and ending waste are among the biggest challenges of our time.
But the British left is broken.
A few weeks before the General Election in May, I found that the National Council of Hindu Temples a registered charity posted a message calling on British Hindus to vote Conservative. It was clearly in violation of the Charity Commission rules, which state that charities cannot be politically aligned, and I complained. The 
The revolution doesnt start a thousand miles away, it starts with you.
It could be a statement put out by ISIS, the group that has encouraged its sympathisers all over the world to take action in defense of the Caliphate. But actually thats the strapline on the front page of National Action, a neo-Nazi group in the UK that is committed to fighting to recapture our country in an increasingly hostile and foreign environment.
Yesterday, Zack Davies was sentenced for the attempted murder of Dr Sarandar Bhambra, a man who was assaulted because he looked Asian according to Davies. His family said after the sentencing:
We are in no doubt, given the racial and political motivations, that this should have been rightly defined as an act of terrorism. By his own admission, the defendant Zack Davies had extreme neo-Nazi views and is a member of a white supremacist organisation.
So why werent the actions of Zack Davies seen as an act of terrorism, when a similar attack by a Muslim man would have been?
Seamus Milne says:
Opposition to all this [austerity] has barely begun. But theres no democratic reason for people to accept it. The Tories were elected by fewer than 37% of voters. Only 24% of those eligible backed the Conservatives and thats not counting the unregistered.
I know some people will not want to hear this but this is a ridiculous argument.
This came to my inbox last night, and I think the findings are worth sharing in full. Important to note, this was commissioned by a centre-right group, not a leftwing group.
Survation, on behalf of Bright Blue the independent think tank & pressure group for liberal conservatism, conducted an in-depth study of ethnic minority voters attitudes to immigration to inform their new report: A balanced centre-right agenda on immigration: Understanding how ethnic minorities think about immigration.
The report has six main findings:
This week I was kindly invited by the Cambridge Universities Labour Club for a talk on where Labour goes from here.
A lot of people made mistakes in predicting outcomes in the 2015 General Election, mostly because the polling was so out of sync with the eventual result. I made predictions based on polling too, and it was embarrassing enough when they turned out to be very wrong.
But I made other assumptions in the last election cycle and its only right to own up to them. Partly, I feel its important for my readers, but partly I think its worth articulating them so I can learn from my mistakes.
Despite losing his seat in Westminster, Jim Murphy is trying to hang on as leader of Scottish Labour. I find this astonishing. Late last year, when he became leader, he said they could hang on to most seats in Scotland. He said he was astonished at how easy its been to outwit the SNP. Yup, 
Read more here: