The major parties, in the interest of less competition, require New Hampshire Libertarians to obtain at least 4% of the vote in any election to retain access to the ballot. That means being able to register and run as a Libertarian on the printed ballot. In the 2018 election they came up short.
The 2018 election is over and Jilletta Jarvis, the Libertarian candidate for Governor of New Hampshire has failed to reach the 4% required for the Libertarian Party of NH to retain ballot access, which it achieved in 2016 for the first time in two decades. I want it to be clear, I really like Jilletta and she was a much better candidate than the 2016 offering from the LP, Max Abramson. Jilletta ran a good campaign and was much more active than Abramson, but didn’t even come close to Abramson’s 4%. She got 1.46%.
Ian goes into all the thinking about why 1.46% and that’s worth your time, but the real question is can or should Libertarians integrate into the two major parties and take them over.
I can answer that for you. Yes, they should.
For years, libertarians in New Hampshire have been debating whether or not working within the Republican and Democrat parties is the best strategy. The LPNH folks typically say they’d be stronger if the libertarians who’d joined the major two parties would have joined the LPNH. However the libertarians joining the Rs and Ds are getting elected and have been for many years now. How many of them are watering down their views or hiding them from the big party members, I don’t know. The point is they are winning and many of them have been re-elected multiple times, like the A+ rated liberty “legislator of the year” Mike Sylvia of Belknap county, or Mark Warden, also an A+ rated liberty “legislator of the year”, as awarded by the New Hampshire Liberty Alliance.
I’ve been suggesting it for years, on both sides.
The Democrats are badly in need of more fiscal and liberty-minded influence and while we’re on the subject so are the Republicans.
And while I’ve got more than my share of differences with the average LP candidate on social issues (and I’m not keen about anarchy as a viable form of anything but a path to mob rule and tyranny “because people”) we agree on plenty. More than plenty. And I’ve never been shy about that. So much so that I’ve been lumped in with Free Staters from time to time even though my appearance in New Hampshire pre-dates the genesis of the movement.
More than a few actual Free Staters might be offended and good for them. But to the point, it is much easier to take over an existing institution from the inside than to build one from scratch. The radical left took over a Democrat party that used to look a lot more like the Establishment Republican party of today.
In days past we’ve seen agenda’s and priorities shift between these two parties so there is no reason to believe it won’t or can’t happen again. But if you want that shift to reflect your values you have to a) be a registered member of that party and b) find a role in the decision-making process be it elected office, delegate, whatever.
Change is inevitable. Whether you are a part of that or not is up to you.
It won’t happen right away. It may take years. But it doesn’t happen at all if you don’t get started.
So, get to it.