8.30.2006

Libertarians & Greens, Together in Perfect Harmony?

Babblemur asks on his blog:

The real question is: where is the Wisconsin Libertarians, and should the Wisconsin Green Party and Wisconsin Libertarians consider joining ranks?
A quick look at the platforms shows that to remain as 'ideologically pure' as both groups claim/hope to be, it would be impossible (I am using the Libertarian Party Platform as a beginning point, as it is shorter).

Term Limits:

Libertarians: We advocate limits on the time any elected official may serve in office.

Greens: We do not support term limits since they restrict the rights of people to choose their representatives.

Guns:

Libertarians: We believe the right to keep and bear arms should not be infringed. We therefore oppose all laws which tax or otherwise restrict the ownership, open or concealed carry, manufacture, transfer, or sale of firearms or ammunition. We further oppose all laws requiring registration of firearms.

Greens: Not in platform, but I doubt it would be in line with the Libertarians

Unions:

Libertarians: We believe that state mandates, such as the Binding Arbitration Law, are unreasonable burdens on those who must comply with and pay for them.

Greens: The Wisconsin Greens support the right of people to form unions, bargain collectively, and strike if necessary.

Education:

Libertarians: Since private education is today outperforming public education at half the cost, we call for the phase out of all state and federal involvement in education. We therefore endorse "School Choice".

Greens: School "choice" programs should be limited to public schools. Funding competing schools in the same area may not be cost-effective, and funding private or religious schools with public tax dollars is unacceptable.

Transportation:

Libertarians: We support the maximum possible privatization of all publicly owned transportation systems and therefore oppose the creation of any new publicly funded or managed transportation systems.

Greens: Cost benefit analyses must account for the full social and environmental costs of all transportation alternatives and should encourage compact urban and suburban land use patterns to facilitate public transportation.

Healthcare:

Libertarians: For these reasons, we advocate the free enterprise system as the only system capable of making quality, affordable, individualized medical care available to all.

Greens: A universal, single-payer system for funding health care will be the most effective and will eliminate the "middleman" of the insurance company, which takes a large slice of the health care dollar. The system should be funded through state and federal taxes.

Looks to me like these guys shouldn't be talking to each other at all.

2 comments:

babblemur said...

Jef,

Great post! You are absolutely correct - there are many fundamental issues that Libertarians and Greens differ on.

Just to clarify some on the "Gun" issue - I don't know the history of its omission in the platform, but from my personal inquiries it appears kind of complicated.

For the Greens it is an Urban-Rural issue. Urban area Greens tend to favor gun control as a 'non-violence' issue. Rural area Greens tend to oppose gun control as hunting for food in many respects is about as 'organic' and 'locally based food production' as you can get.

I am guessing that the Wisconsin Green Party failed to come to 'consensus' on gun control.

Jill Bussiere said...

Hi Jef,
That was an interesting post. You are right, that Greens and Libertarians have many basic differences. No, we should not merge together because of that. However, we do have a need to talk together. In order to have an effective democracy, we must all talk together, and find common ground upon which we can move forward together. We have done that, we Greens and Libertarians. There is much that we differ upon, but there are also quite a few things that we have discovered that we agree upon. And isn't democracy like that? You work together with folks on what you can, and respect each other on what you can't agree upon? I always envision it sort of like a dance - we and the Libertarians will dance a few dances together, but there are many that we won't dance together on - and that is ok. Our relationship with the Libertarians has given me great hope for how government can be - full of respect, while holding vastly different philosophies and policies. I have found it encouraging and informative to try to learn more about Libertarian policies these past years during our working relationship with them. When in office, I plan to forge the same sort of relationships with Republicans and Democrats.
As to guns and the Green Party....the Wisconsin Green Party has roots in native american traditions and culture - with that comes a deep respect for hunting and fishing and the right to bear arms. We draw the line at conceal carry and automatic weapons - feeling that those rights to bear arms cross over to infringe upon others' rights.
Jill Bussiere, Wisconsin Green Party candidate for State Senate, District 1