The LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF PENNSYLVANIA newsletter is back for April!
An Alternative to Term Limits: Bringing Down the Party System
Editorial by Sean Brown
Term limits is a hotly discussed topic these days in American political discourse. And I get why it’s so highly fought over. While it would guarantee all the baddies in Congress would get kicked out eventually, it also guarantees the good guys, like Rand Paul, Thomas Massie, and Justin Amash, would also get kicked out.
Most often proposed is a blanket twelve-year limit on all offices. Since US representatives serve two years, state representatives and senators generally serve four years, and US senators serve six years, twelve is the least common multiple, and so the simple rule of twelve is a good one-size-fits-all solution. It’s neither too short nor too long, allowing our leaders to actually achieve something while preventing them from becoming too dangerous in office.
But we come back to the problem of the good guys leaving. The bad far outnumber the good in government; when one of our freedom fighters is term-limited out of office, there’s no guarantee that their replacement will be anywhere near as good.
I propose something very slightly different from the original idea of term limits. It’s subtle, but it would have a profoundly different effect.
I propose having a nomination limit, under which no political party could nominate the same candidate for the same office more than two times in a row, regardless of whether or not the seat was won.
If a candidate ran under a political party, they would be able to serve, at most, two terms in office -- assuming they actually won the seat the first time they were nominated. They would not necessarily be prevented from serving more time; but they’d have to serve under a different party, or even just as an independent. Repeatedly changing parties looks bad; for most of our current leaders, the nomination limit would be a de-facto term limit, since they know they would never be elected as an independent. It’s only fair that we apply the rule equally to everyone; all sitting members would still be able to be nominated two more times by the same party, regardless of how long they’ve been there already.
But in the future, the rule would disincentivize candidates running under political parties, and encourage them to instead run as independents. If you want more than two terms, that’s how you have to do it.
Before long, the political party system as we know it would be dead and buried.
We wouldn’t be outright banning the existence of political parties -- rather, this rule would effectively phase them out gradually. With this nomination limit, we would gradually restore our political process to what the Founding Fathers originally wanted -- a zero-party system. As Thomas Jefferson wryly declared, “If I could not go to heaven but with a party, I would not go there at all.”
Sean Brown is the editor of the LPPA monthly newsletter. He resides in Lancaster County.
DALE KERNS (L) will run against incumbent Bob Casey (D) (and a yet-to-be-nominated Republican candidate) in the 2018 PA Senate elections. The (hopefully) future Senator Kerns has a campaign website: http://www.dalekerns.com.
Mr. Kerns' county party, the Delaware County Libertarian Party, now has a website: http://www.delco4liberty.com/. They have approved a county slate and are seeking volunteers to obtain signatures for principled Libertarian candidates to get on the ballot. Also sought are candidates for other local offices -- contact the county party's officers with interest.
The Delaware County LP also has a new location for monthly meetings. On the third Wednesday of every month at 7:00pm, meetings will be held at DiFabio's, at 1243 N Providence Rd, Media PA 19063.
As is always the case with third party candidates, donations are always needed. Donate at https://www.dalekerns.com/donations.
Also sought are volunteers and county leadership to work on the campaign. Contact the Kerns campaign to volunteer at http://www.dalekerns.com/volunteer.
Delaware County Slate:
Delaware County Sheriff
|Mathew Wallace (Drexel Hill)|
|Delaware County Council||
Thomas Carey (Havertown)
Register of Wills
|Stacey Wallace (Drexel Hill)|
|Joseph Olive (Upper Chichester)|
AN ARTICLE by the Philadelphia Business Journal on Mr. Kerns' entry to the Senate race. Mr. Kerns is the first Libertarian candidate to file with the Federal Elections Commission (FEC) in at least seven years. As such, he is percieved as a serious candidate.
The Pennsylvania Leaders Forum, presented by PA4Liberty (http://pa4liberty.com/) was hosted at the Appalachian Brewing Company in Harrisburg on April 1, 2017.
A number of Libertarian speakers addressed the thirty-some attendees, including Arvin Vohra, two-time Senate candidate in Maryland and Libertarian Party Vice-Chair; Dale Kerns, 2018 Senate candidate for Pennsylvania; Ken Krawchuk, 2018 gubernatorial candidate for Pennsylvania; Larry Sharpe, 2016 vice-presidential candidate and potential 2018 gubernatorial candidate for New York; Glenn Cripe, founder of the global nonprofit Language of Liberty, which seeks to introduce students worldwide to classical liberal ideas; and a host of other local candidates and speakers.
The event was a short-notice replacement for the originally-slated Mid-Atlantic Liberty Festival, which was to be a national-scale event at the Hilton Hotel in Harrisburg. Violent threats against the hotel from the left-wing terrorist group Antifa (a popular shorthand for the original Germanic name, Antifaschistische Aktion), ultimately forced the cancellation of the festival, to the chagrin of the organizers. The threats centered around the Festival's decision to invite 2016 Florida Libertarian primary candidate Augustus Invictus to participate in a debate on immigration policy against 2016 vice-presidential candidate Will Coley. Neither Invictus nor Coley appeared at the Leaders Forum.
Nicholas Veser of Liberty Link Media Group professionally filmed the event, and conducted interviews afterward. He also appeared at the state party convention the following day, and gathered over fifteen hours of footage between both events. Once compiled, it will be used to professionalize the party's brand.
Elected at the Libertarian Party of Pennsylvania Convention 2017, April 2, 2017
Hilton Hotel, Harrisburg PA
CHAIR: Drew Bingaman (incumbent: Shawn Patrick House)
WESTERN VICE-CHAIR: Jessica Santiago (incumbent: Bill Sloane)
CENTRAL VICE-CHAIR: Bill Sloane (no incumbent; position established)
EASTERN VICE-CHAIR: Chris Bastione (incumbent: Daniel Richardson)
TREASURER: Joseph P. Soloski (incumbent: Richard Schwarz)
SECRETARY: Steven Brenize (incumbent: Karla Felty)