I’m not a very litigious person, but I think it’s important to stand up for your rights sometimes. It was my understanding, when I joined the Libertarian Party, that this was a group that had bylaws it was obligated to follow. There’s not really a reasonable interpretation of the bylaws that would say it’s okay to kick someone out without giving them an opportunity to be heard.
I don’t even really feel like appearing before them and giving my side of the case, and more than they probably feel like listening to my side, but I guess it’s kind of obligatory to not just let your rights be taken away, or else you won’t have them.
If they had just done it the right way from the beginning, we could have avoided getting to this point. Anyway, I suppose I should first threaten to sue them.
Another possibility is that they could just return my $1,000 to me. It’s true that I’ve received a decade’s worth of LP News and Virginia Liberty issues and other benefits from the time I was in the Party, but on the other hand, given the time value of money and inflation, $1,000 today is not worth as much as $1,000 back when I sent in my check, so I think it evens out.
Yeah, if they want to refund my $1,000, I guess I’ll take it, and not sue them. I’ll go buy some weed or something. Not sure if that’s the best way to be good stewards of their donors’ money, though. Maybe it would be better if they would either vote at convention for some kind of bylaws amendment that allows them to expel me without a hearing, or if they would just give me the hearing.
In fact, I wouldn’t mind just submitting my defense in writing, but I suppose I have to actually appear in person to present it so they’re required to actually devote time to it. If they want to ignore it, they have to actually close their ears to it at that point.
One of the reasons for giving people a hearing is that, as a deliberative body, the party is at least supposed to take into account the views of the minority, especially when they’re doing something that prejudices the minority’s rights.
Why not just start a new party?
The ballot access laws discourage the splintering of parties into a bunch of smaller parties. It’s only possible for a small number of parties to meet the criterion of being “an organization of citizens of the Commonwealth which, at either of the two preceding statewide general elections, received at least 10 percent of the total vote cast for any statewide office filled in that election.”
And it costs a lot of money to gather signatures to get on the ballot, so this tends to encourage or even necessitate that people with divergent views stick with whatever existing party is closest to their views rather than creating a new party that is 100% in conformity with their values, beliefs, opinions, etc.
If people get kicked out of parties, they are at risk of becoming politically homeless. Someone who is not a member of the Libertarian Party has no way to vote on candidate nominations, which puts them at a disadvantage when it comes to trying to exercise their political rights.
The standard Libertarian way of dealing with people whose opinions differ from the party line is to outvote them; to decline to make them representatives of the party, by voting for either another nominee or for none of the above, if there is not another suitable candidate. The Party creates a platform in accordance with the views of the majority of voting members (or 7/8ths of the members, in the case of the Statement of Principles), and then people choose a party based on such factors as which party has the platform that is closest to their views.