News and Commentary from the liberterrain…
“Straight-ticket or straight-party voting allows voters to make one pull, punch, or mark in order to vote for all candidates of a single political party.” – Green Institute.
The Libertarian Party of Texas opposes straight-party voting. As they stated on their website:
“On Jan 13, House Member Dan Branch (District 108, Dallas) introduced HB 638. The Bill, to eliminate straight party voting effective September 1, 2011, deserves the support of all Libertarians.”
In his video presentation of the party’s 2011 Legislative Agenda Dallas Libertarian activist John Jay Myers identified elimination of straight-party voting as one of its primary goals.
But all Myers says on the topic is this:
“Straight-party voting discourages voters from becoming informed and allows incumbent politicians to get away with empty messages.”
The party’s position was reinforced in the Dallas/Ft. Worth area when Amie Parsons, the LP’s North Texas Director, issued an Action Alert earlier this month.
But that Alert said only, “straight-party voting skews results” and is “bad for democracy.”
So what’s behind the LP position? There doesn’t seem to be any fundamental libertarian principle involved here.
After all, no one is forced to vote, and more to the point, no one is being coerced, intimidated, or fraudulently induced to cast a straight-party vote. It’s an option.
Don’t libertarians like people to have options?
But Parson’s Action Alert did link to a Dallas Morning News editorial that favors banning the practice. And here we finally get a possible answer:
“As the most recent elections show, so-called straight-ticket voting has been transformed from a convenient voter luxury to a tool that helps Democrats and Republicans win elections and build their party bases.”
But maybe a Green Institute article identified the bottom-line issue:
“Unfortunately, the result of straight-ticket voting is an unfair advantage for major political parties. For those states that have it, third-party candidates must work to overcome difficult ballot access laws to gain straight-party status.”
But the Texas LP has straight-party status. It means that staunch Libertarians and anyone won over to libertarian principles can pull the straight-ticket handle.
And since straight-party voting is an option, other voters can still pick and chose Libertarian candidates whenever they wish.
Apparently, then, the Texas LP thinks it will gain more votes than it will lose by abandoning straight-party voting.
So where are the arguments supporting that strategy?
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