Kent County Libertarian Party of Delaware

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    A Vision for the Kent County Libertarian Party

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    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    A Vision for the Kent County Libertarian Party

    Post by Will McVay on Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:00 pm

    What Just Happened?
    What Now?
    So...What Can I Do?
    Learning Lessons


    Last edited by Will McVay on Sat Jan 15, 2011 6:36 pm; edited 6 times in total


    _________________
    Will McVay
    Kent County Chair,
    Libertarian Party of Delaware.
    avatar
    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    Re: A Vision for the Kent County Libertarian Party

    Post by Will McVay on Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:00 pm

    What Just Happened?

    We lost. That's OK. We're the Libertarian Party. We're used to it. We can be proud that we garnered sufficient votes in two elections that, should our vote totals have been added to the Republican totals, the GOP would have won those elections. Apparently, we "spoiled" the election for them. That's cute but it isn't true. We should gladly take credit for it, but it's still not true.

    The premise of this statement is that votes for Libertarian and Independent Party candidates "belong" to the Republican Party. For the sake of clarity, let's look at the vote counts for the two races we can numerically take credit for "spoiling":

    Recorder of Deeds

    Jesse McVay (I/L):2404 Votes5%
    Michael Lindquist (R):21807 Votes45.8%
    Betty Lou McKenna (D):23414 Votes49.2%

    By simple addition, yes, if the 5% of the votes that went to Jesse McVay had gone to Michael Lindquist, the election would have gone to Mr. Lindquist. On the other hand, if even 0.9% had gone instead to Ms. McKenna, then this entire conversation would be ridiculous.

    There are 103,815 registered voters in Kent County. Any of them could have showed up to vote. 47,625 actually did. That's about 45.9%, below the statewide average for any race of 49%. That's a lot of people staying out of it. As more numbers become available, I'll be able to tell you how many people came out to vote, but didn't feel the need to participate in the "Recorder of Deeds" election...

    Also of the 103,815 registered voters, 71,353 (68.7%) of them are not members of the Republican Party. Assuming everyone who bothered to declare a preference on the Recorder of Deeds would have done so anyway, it would have taken less than 17% of the total alternative party votes, only 399 out of 2,404, to secure the election for Ms. McKenna with over 50% of the total votes cast. Ms. McKenna is an incumbent with an excellent track record in office. Is it REALLY someone's contention that she couldn't possibly have gotten 399 of the alternative party's votes?

    That's assuming the 2,404 voters wouldn't have just skipped the "Recorder of Deeds" if they didn't have the opportunity to vote for an alternative party candidate. Ms. McKenna had more votes.

    2nd District, Kent County Levy Court

    Timothy Webb (L):141 Votes1.8%
    Stephen R. Speed (R):3755 Votes48.8%
    Bradley S. Eaby (D):3800 Votes49.4%

    Here the difference is even closer. With 16,469 registered voters in the district, 7,696 (46.7%) voted in this election. Tim did not get votes from voters mistaking "Independent Party of Delaware" for "Unaffiliated". Tim did not have his own campaign signs. Tim did not benefit from the "Vote McVay" signs posted around the 32nd Representative District.

    He still got 141 votes. If 49 (34.8%) of them had gone to incumbent Brad Eaby, with a good record, this argument would make no sense. The 2nd Levy Court District is 70.3% NOT-Republican. Is this really so hard to believe?

    The Lesson

    That these elections were so close does not mean the Libertarian Candidate "spoiled" them for the Republican. It means the Republicans would not have had to try very hard at all to win them if they could find some way to appeal to independents who are fed up with the rancor and nastiness that comes from both sides. If they had tried to reach outside their parties. If they communicated with just a few more of their own members. There are a million ways to get 46 more votes in a 16,649 member district. Same to get 1,407 more votes when you have 103,815 to choose from in the entire county.

    MOST OF WHOM DIDN'T CARE ENOUGH TO VOTE!


    _________________
    Will McVay
    Kent County Chair,
    Libertarian Party of Delaware.
    avatar
    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    Re: A Vision for the Kent County Libertarian Party

    Post by Will McVay on Fri Nov 05, 2010 12:37 pm

    What Now?

    Take what we can get. Some of the candidates who came to speak with our group won. Norman Wood won the election for Kent County Sheriff, and Jack Peterman won the 33rd Representative District election. After finally meeting my Democratic opponent in the 32nd Representative District, Brad Bennett, I've already decided I get along with him much better than I had with Ms. Miller, my Republican opponent. Rep. Bennett was re-elected with 50.2% of the vote (didn't get to take credit for spoiling that one...would've taken 16 more votes...more discussion of this election to come on my personal website). I look forward to a productive relationship with all of these elected officials. Even if we later run candidates against them, in a 3-way race the official that can close more daylight with the Libertarian Party will have less to fear from the "spoiler" effect.

    The "Spoiler" Effect

    The most common accusation leveled at Libertarian Candidates is that we're "spoilers" for one party or another. Usually we are assumed to spoil Republicans. That needn't be the case. Sure, we're fiscally conservative and big fans of the Constitution. We also believe in social tolerance, non-interventionism, and civil liberties. We can strategically target the candidate that does not align with our ideals and assist the candidate that does by emphasizing different aspects of our message.

    With a traditional Republican candidate, emphasizing the aspects of our platform which conflict with theirs, to include a role for government in every aspect of our personal lives, we can dampen Republican enthusiasm by forcing them to defend these positions. With a traditional Democratic candidate, emphasizing our small government and low tax message will split the Democratic base and force them to defend those positions.

    There are libertarian strains in both parties, and the majorities in both want an honest, open, and free government that is efficient and effective. By educating ourselves about the issues, accomplishments, and shortcomings of the local, state, and federal governments, we can expose corruption and fight against the worst excesses of both parties.

    We don't even need to win anything.

    Service

    Our ability to spoil elections is an important one. More important is our willingness not to and our ability to organize people who can support the cause of freedom.

    Delaware is a small state. A lot of people know each other here and have a history. This is why a lot of politicians get re-elected, and a lot of things tend to "stay in the family". If we make it our goal, we can develop relationships and use them to help the people of Delaware in practical ways and educate them about Libertarian philosophy in the process. We may not win elections, but we do participate in the process. We meet other candidates, who often are or become elected officials.

    We must be prepared to take advantage of these relationships, as well as others, to serve the community in a manner consistent with our principles. It doesn't take an electoral win to make a difference, move our state forward, and develop a reputation for honesty and the protection of liberty.

    Activism

    We are still a young organization. We don't know everybody. We need to grow and develop our reputation. We need to get out there and meet more of our elected officials. This will require people to do things and go places. We will also need to raise money to expand our activities and support causes we believe in. This will take activism. It will take education. It will take money.

    We must grow in both numbers and influence and we must be willing to make a commitment to do it. If our goal extends beyond winning an election to serving our communities and developing liberty, our future will brighten and the goals of our movement will be advanced.


    Last edited by Will McVay on Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:42 pm; edited 2 times in total


    _________________
    Will McVay
    Kent County Chair,
    Libertarian Party of Delaware.
    avatar
    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    Re: A Vision for the Kent County Libertarian Party

    Post by Will McVay on Fri Nov 05, 2010 1:05 pm

    So...What Can I Do?

    I hate to sound unoriginal, but come to the meeting. Uno in Dover, every 3rd Tuesday, 7pm. Or just come during the day and make sure to give your waiter one of our fundraising coupons. If you come to the meeting though, we'll be strategizing future activism, discussing issues, and generally running the Kent County Party.

    Also, follow the events posted to the Facebook page. RSVP to them so others know you'll be there. Talk about libertarian principles, invite people to our meetings, develop relationships with officials in government and in other parties. Share your experiences. It will be a slow process, but there will be a huge benefit to the party and the community to pursue it.

    Or you can communicate with me directly and ask what you can do.

    You can also send money.

    We like money.

    No funds are disbursed without the approval of the Executive Committee or the membership of the Kent County Libertarian Party.

    Bylaws
    Executive Committee

    Kent County Libertarian Party
    7 McBry Ct.
    Dover, DE 19901


    _________________
    Will McVay
    Kent County Chair,
    Libertarian Party of Delaware.
    avatar
    Will McVay

    Posts : 186
    Join date : 2010-05-19
    Age : 33
    Location : Dover, DE

    Re: A Vision for the Kent County Libertarian Party

    Post by Will McVay on Mon Nov 22, 2010 4:55 am

    http://www.willmcvay.com/2010/11/learning-lessons.html


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    Will McVay
    Kent County Chair,
    Libertarian Party of Delaware.

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