A C-Span View of the 2008 Libertarian Convention
The following is a summary of the Libertarian Convention coverage by Vermont Libertarian, Steven Howard…
My family and I spent the Memorial Day Weekend watching C-Span?s coverage of the Libertarian Convention, live from Denver, Co. This marathon viewing experience created quite an impression on my family and I would like to share some of my thoughts.
Let me first say that the convention was televised warts and all. The good, bad, beautiful, and ugly were there for all to see. It sometimes came off clunky and poorly choreographed and at other times it was emotional and exciting. Overall, it was exactly what a convention should be. After years of watching the boring, over planned, and completely scripted comic operas that are the Democratic and Republican Conventions, it was a heart-warming and encouraging sign that there still are meaningful political conventions populated by truly committed individuals working toward a common goal. And that goal was liberty.
Speaking of the people attending the convention, it was nice and a little inspiring to see people who were not from cookie-cutter Hollywood Casting. Speakers and delegates alike were average people who came from a variety of backgrounds, and experiences. Some were excellent public speakers. Others? not so much. Many came in suits and ties while others appeared in outlandish costumes which speak of their personal beliefs. But all were equally committed to the work at hand and understood the importance of their participation.
As for the candidates, I was amazed by the choices available. On Saturday night, I saw the Presidential debate in which seven candidates were given an opportunity to discuss the issues of the day. They were intelligent and respectful. They demonstrated their knowledge of the issues and their visions of the future. Each had their own strengths and weakness. They each brought something to the table besides the ?me-too?-ism common among Democratic and Republican Candidates. It was an even-handed debate in which all were given their say. To compare this debate to the Major Media?s debate formats is no comparison.
The really exciting time came during the nominee selection process. Unlike the Democrats and the Republican, no one knew who was going to win until the final ballot. For those who don?t know, Libertarians vote for their candidate at the convention in a series of run-offs. Coming into the convention, there are no pledged delegates. A convention delegate can vote for whomever they want. On the first ballot all candidates are on the ballot. Once the votes are tallied, the candidates with less than 5% of the vote total and/or the lowest vote total is eliminated and a new vote is take. With each round, the lowest vote getter in the field is eliminated until only one is standing. That candidate is then the nominee.
This year, it took six ballots before the Convention chose the nominee. Watching the delegates work the floor and campaign for the candidate was exhilarating. This first-person, face to face politicking is a hallmark of Vermont?s Town meetings but is rarely seen outside of New England. And yet, here it was on national television for all to see. Ultimately, the winner was Bob Barr, a former congressman from Georgia.
Mr. Barr, along with Wayne Allyn Root of Nevada, will be carrying the Libertarian Torch into this years national election. To learn more about Bob Barr and his run for the White House, check out his website at www.bobbarr2008.com.
In summary, this Memorial Day weekend saw cook outs, parades, and memorial services. But in Denver, a group of dedicated patriots honored those who gave their all for our country, by using the liberties they defended to provide for a better future for this nation. And my family and I were honored to be allowed to see them at work.
Steven J. Howard,
Mount Holly, VT