The principles that rule this blog

Principles that will govern my thoughts as I express them here (from my opening statement):

  • Freedom of the individual should be as total as possible, limited only by the fact that nobody should be free to cause physical injury to another, or to deprive another person of his freedoms.
  • Government is necessary primarily to provide those services that private enterprise won't, or won't at a price that people can afford.
  • No person has a right to have his own beliefs on religious, moral, political, or other controversial issues imposed on others who do not share those beliefs.

I believe that Abraham Lincoln expressed it very well:

“The legitimate object of government is to do for a community of people whatever they need to have done, but cannot do, at all, or cannot
so well do, for themselves — in their separate, individual capacities.”

Comments will be invited, and I will attempt to reply to any comments that are offered in a serious and non-abusive manner. However, I will not tolerate abusive or profane language (my reasoning is that this is my blog, and so I can control it; I wouldn't interfere with your using such language on your own!)

If anyone finds an opinion that I express to be contrary to my principles, they are welcome to point this out. I hope that I can make a rational case for my comments. Because, in fact, one label I'll happily accept is rationalist.

Monday, August 30, 2010

The Modern Whig Party - revisited

Already in June, the Modern Whig Party, which I discovered a few weeks ago, had merged with a smaller but similar group called the American Centrist Party. The party has grown some more this week, as another group, which had called itself simply the Center Party, has decided to merge with the MWP. Although the CP is relatively small, they bring the MWP something it needs, a candidate who has qualified for the ballot in November. For Jeff Vanke, the founder of the CP, is a declared candidate for the Congress in Virginia's 6th District. And one who is actually polling bigger numbers than minor-party or independent candidates usually do. This, of course, is good news for the MWP.

Virginia is, in some ways, a good state to have an incubator for a new party. The ballots do not show party affiliation, so a minor party candidate and a Democrat or Republican are on relatively equal terms. (I'm very familiar with this because, in 1968, I was in graduate school in Virginia and working on behalf of a Republican candidate for Congress, trying hard to make it clear that he was the Republican candidate!) Virginia also does not have party registration. A voter sympathetic to a minor party does not have to deregister from a major party he might have belonged to, as would be the case in New York or Maryland, the two states I've had as voting residences in my life. People can just vote in any primary they choose to. (It's not something I like, because it would enable, say, Democrats to cross over into a Republican primary to vote for the most unpopular candidate, to help assure a Democratic victory! But if I lived in Virginia I could become active in the MWP and continue voting in Republican primaries, as I cannot do in Maryland.) The one thing about the Virginia system that might hurt a new party is that even if they do succeed in electing a candidate of theirs, it doesn't help any other candidate.

The only thing that would bother me, if I lived in the Virginia 6th, is what Jeff Vanke would do (if he were elected) when it came to the vote on the Speakership between Pelosi and Boehner. As a "centrist," this question is worth answering. But otherwise, in an election the Democrats are not contesting, it might be a good thing to elect the Whig. At least one would not have the problem that usually occurs with voting for 3rd party candidates -- that it helps elect the major party candidate you least desire. Good luck, Mr. Vanke.

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