**NOTE** This thread will up updated throughout the day…
[9:30 am] We started off with a minor credentials fight, for delegates that were added to the roll near the deadline. One delegate gave a rant about “rumors that some campaigns are stacking the delegation with paid delegates” (by the way, there were about a dozen late additions… out of 552 credentialed delegates). The Bylaws required a whopping 7/8’ths majority to allow seating of these delegates, yet even that threshold was easily met.
[9:45 am] The radicals are still seething over the Statement of Principles debate yesterday (I think the reformers were being too aggressive in bringing that up yesterday… the tone shifted against them a bit from that point on). They threw a couple of motions out there to have the parliamentarian leave the convention… but after blowing off a little steam there, we moved on to Platform business.
[10:00 am] And HERE WE GO! David Nolan starts out a motion to have a 30 minute debate of the majority report and “Restore04” report on an en banc basis, and have a straight-up majority vote on “deciding which overall direction we want to take”. Looks like Nolan had a majority, but came up well short on the 2/3’rds needed to suspend the rules.
[10:15 am] Someone made a motion to change the rules for the rest of the Convention, requiring a minimum of 40 delegates (rather than 20) to force a hand-count of votes. Motion gets two-thirds and passes. I get a sense that the radicals will find traction on some individual plank votes, but the reformers are 2-for-2 so far on killing off delay tactics.
[10:30 am] We’re debating Proposal 1 (“Omissions”), which basically says that our silence on any particular law or government policy does not imply approval of it. Passes easily with pretty much no disagreement from anyone… the crowd erupts in laughter when the Committee Chair asks if we think they’ll all go this easily.
[10:35 pm] Proposal 3 (i.e. campaign finance and ballot access). We’re not tackling proposals in the order in which they’re listed in the binder. The committee says this is because they want to hit the ones that had the highest level of survey support first, so that we can handle as many planks as possible before time runs out. There are objections from the minority side that some of the planks more likely to go their way are listed earlier in the binder, and the majority doesn’t want to give them early wins and set the tone.
The majority and minority heads take turns reading their respective versions of this plank. I don’t know that there’s a ton of substantive difference, the main difference is that the minority version is the size of a small novel. Speaking of incoherent and wasting time… the minority-backers spend half the allotted debate time arguing about the fact that we’re not considering yet OTHER proposals too.
The majority version wins.
[11:00 am] Proposal 4 (“Rights and Discrimination”). The majority version is three sentences long, and deals with… rights and discrimination. The minority version scrolls over multiple pages on the monitors… and goes into OSHA, the NLRB, and contract law. Somebody makes a motion to ignore the minority report altogether on this plank, because it’s not germane to the subject matter of the topic. That passes.
There have been about a dozen frivolous “point of information”‘s in a row, to try and slow things down. We finally get to the ultimate vote, and the proposal passes.
[11:20 am] Proposal 6 (“International Affairs”). The majority version is a few sentences long… and basically calls for non-interventionism, while morally condemning terrorism. The minority version is ENORMOUS, and spends a ton of time on immigration. There’s another motion for declaring the minority report non-germane to the issue (because we already have a separate Immigration plank that was retained yesterday). Passes easily.
[11:30 am] Here it comes… the reformers are emboldened and going for the big win. Motion made to adopt the majority report in full… then entertain motions to drop individual planks and/or replace them with minority versions. This would essentially turn the majority report into the new Platform of the Libertarian Party, and make it the starting point for all further debate.
Reformers just fought off some procedural attacks easily, and are getting hyper-aggressive now. Motion made to divide the previous motion up and vote on each element separately. This means that the majority report could become the new Platform WITHOUT then considering deletions or minority planks. That attempt fails.
That move might have turned off some people like the Statement of Principles thing did yesterday. The original motion fails… we move back to regular plank-by-plank debate (after burning up a ton of time).
[12:00 pm] Proposal 7 (“National Security”). Even I’m voting with the radicals on this one… the text as written is way too broad (e.g. the military couldn’t classify information about troop movements on a battlefield, etc). The plank FAILS.
A few peers weren’t happy with my vote, and I’m starting to see why now. The “no” vote opens the door to a million wacky amendments (somebody’s moving to abolish the CIA right now). This goes on to eat up all the remaining time in this session, and nothing passes at all.
[MORNING RECAP] Majority report wins on proposals 1, 3, 4, and 6. Minority (or at least anti-majority) crowd blocks proposal 7. Most procedural spats have gone the reformers’ way, although the radicals find support to knock them back when they overextend. DEADLINE FOR PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES TO TURN IN THEIR TOKENS IS IN 30 MINUTES. See you after lunch.
[3:40 pm] I’m back from lunch, and kinda distracted with other stuff, but there’s not much to report on anyway… the majority report recommendations are now flying through with only token opposition. The proposal numbers that have been made part of the platform are #’s 11 (health care), 12 (labor), 13 (financial markets), 16 (govt. finance and spending), 17 (energy), 18 (environment), and 20 (economic liberty).
[3:50 pm] Proposal 21 (“Self Defense”). The committee asks for consents to fix an extra comma that was a typo… the radicals raise an objection over the COMMA (just to grind down the clock), and we waste time debating that. It ultimately passes.
[4:00 pm] Proposal 22 (“Crime and Justice”). Another objection over another COMMA. This is absolutely ridiculous, and now the tone is shifting against the radicals… just as it earlier shifted against the reformers for pushing their losing point too far. This passes with less than a dozen people opposed.
[4:01 pm] Proposal 24 (“Personal Relationships”). This plank calls for gay marriage, but the radicals argue that we should vote it down… so that we can add further amendments about child custody. For the record, the Barr supporters just voted for an LP Platform plank calling for gay marriage… and we lost. I’ll be back later, we’ll be arguing about every amendment under the sun for the next half-hour…
It ultimately passed, with a minor amendment to reference child custody as well. Again, the “far-right neocon Christian theocracy” Barr crowd backed the plank… backing gay marriage and adoption in our Platform.
[5:10 pm] The abortion plank chews up over an HOUR of time… believe me when I say that I’m doing you a favor by not blogging it all. Ultimately we adopt a modified Platform plank that basically makes the LP neutral on the pro-life / pro-choice debate, with the exception that government should stay out of it.
[5:15 pm] The clock is running out. A motion passes to DELETE ALL PLANKS FROM THE PLATFORM NOT YET DEALT WITH, and add replacement planks as time permits. Effectively, all remnants of the old platform are now gone.
[5:45 pm] We’ve added a few more planks (gay rights, corporate liability). Surprisingly, all the factions are working together pretty well to hammer out amendments and fashion compromise language. There are still a handful of folks who vote against everything, but there’s much less rancor on the floor at this point than there was this morning.
[5:50 pm] Drug War language doesn’t gel together… immigration passes. The very last plank is a general “Self Determination” statement fashioned from Declaration of Independent text. If this passes, we actually managed to complete the full Platform agenda (there’s less than 5 minutes to go before the clock runs out).
[5:59 pm] It passes… we actually have a (more or less) full platform! Presidential debates start in an hour… this thread is a wrap.