LP Conventions: Nominate in 2007, Hype in 2008

Liberty for Sale gets an email from David Macko which has a rather notable strategy shortcoming of the Libertarian Party’s presidential nomination process:

The Libertarian Party should not have a National Convention in 2008! Now that I have your attention, let me assure everybody who is reading this message that I am not a neocon saboteur hellbent on destroying the Libertarian Party. I recommend that we hold our National Convention to nominate a presidential candidate for 2008 in 2007.

This was our practice from 1976 until 1996. The arguments for the change seemed plausible at the time, including more publicity in an election year. Since then it has been proven conclusively that the establishment media is our enemy and will not give us fair coverage.

I agree the LP should start early and nominate the presidential candidates earlier than four or so months before the election — and a year earlier is perfectly acceptable given the marketing hurdle the candidate faces. However, that doesn’t mean throw out the 2008 convention. In fact, I think the LP could strategically use it to hype the candidate, similar to how the DNC and GOP — having decisively chosen their candidate in the primaries — use their conventions as a way to get lots of media coverage.

Update: This LP bylaw would have to be changed at the 2006 convention in order to allow nomination in 2007. Get the wheels turning now if you want to see this happen:


1. Nominations of candidates for President and Vice-President of the United States may be made only at the Regular Convention immediately preceding a Presidential election.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. It’s a great observation – frankly one I wish I had made. :D

    I think a pre-convention nomination process through primarys across the country would be a giant leap forward for the LP. I’m not even sure those primarys need be government approved in states where the LP is not an offical party – but I dont know what would be required. I bet Bill Redpath does know.

    Seriously, this thought should be tossed around at the highest levels. Imagine our candidates going into Iowa and New Hampshire for Libertarian caucuses at the same time the 2 majors are. Politically, I just cant compare nomination at convention and I always have to wonder if libertarians at large in the wild so to speak would make the same choice at those that do go to LP conventions.

    I think you would see a different kind of LP candidate emerge from a primary/caucus system.

  2. Actually, I’d prefer to nominate in 2007 and use the 2008 convention for as a major fundraiser for the Presidential/VP candidate. And for media coverage, of course.

  3. That is what I intended to say. Decide our candidate in 2007 and then in 2008 create a big celebration without the free speech zones.

    It would be cool to go to all the events (we could start in Iowa and travel to the major states) the democrats and republicans do and talk to their supporters and try to get them to support us.