Libertarians seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives. This most desirable method of organizing society is the natural order that arises when the unalienable rights of individuals to life, liberty and property ownership are respected and protected.
People have the right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and pursue happiness in whatever manner they choose so long as they do not forcibly or fraudulently interfere with the equal rights of others. Libertarians welcome the peace, prosperity, and diversity that freedom brings.
STATEMENT OF PRINCIPLES
We, the members of the Libertarian Party, challenge the cult of the omnipotent state and defend the rights of the individual.
We hold that all individuals have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, and have the right to live in whatever manner they choose, so long as they do not forcibly interfere with the equal right of others to live in whatever manner they choose.
Governments throughout history have regularly operated on the opposite principle, that the State has the right to dispose of the lives of individuals and the fruits of their labor. Even within the United States, all political parties other than our own grant to government the right to regulate the lives of individuals and seize the fruits of their labor without their consent.
We, on the contrary, deny the right of any government to do these things, and hold that where governments exist, they must not violate the rights of any individual: namely, (1) the right to life—accordingly we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others; (2) the right to liberty of speech and action—accordingly we oppose all attempts by government to abridge the freedom of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and (3) the right to property—accordingly we oppose all government interference with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass, fraud, and misrepresentation.
Since governments, when instituted, must not violate individual rights, we oppose all interference by government in the areas of voluntary and contractual relations among individuals. People should not be forced to sacrifice their lives and property for the benefit of others. They should be left free by government to deal with one another as free traders; and the resultant economic system, the only one compatible with the protection of individual rights, is the free market.
I. STATE GOVERNMENT
- In the absence of a declaration of war by the United States Congress, for any purpose other than natural disaster relief, we oppose any use of Florida troops by the federal government without the approval of both the Florida Legislature and Governor.
- Individuals have the right to defend themselves and others. We oppose any law that dilutes the right of any citizen to own a firearm or other means of self defense. We support any laws that further the rights of both concealed weapon permit holders and all Citizens of Florida to openly carry arms.
- We endorse the Tenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, which reserves to our state and its people all powers not expressly delegated to the federal government by the U.S. Constitution, or prohibited from the states or the people by the U.S. Constitution.
- We support Equality under the Law, and condemn any law that either rewards or punishes any individual based on race, ethnicity, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation1, or any other group identification. Each person has the same inalienable rights. It is the States duty to protect those rights for each individual equally.
- State government should be removed entirely from the licensing process, including occupational licensing. It has produced no better results than private licensing and amounts to another tax. For example, marriage licenses are contracts between individuals and should be left to the individuals, their attorneys and religious officials, without the need to pay the state for a stamp of approval.
- We advocate a sunset law requiring an automatic end to most government offices, agencies, departments, laws, regulations, taxes, and expenditures within ten years if not reauthorized.
- We oppose immunities for any public officials or employees for illegal acts or omissions. Like any citizen, they should be subject to criminal prosecution and held liable for any injuries caused by their actions.
- Sunshine laws should apply to all public employees working in any public place. With modern technology virtually every person has the ability to record and report on the actions of our public officials and workers. There should be no laws prohibiting or limiting the electronic recording and reporting using any means of any public official, including law enforcement officers, while performing their duties.
- The Libertarian Party of Orange County opposes the participation by the state of Florida in the Real ID Act or similar federal identification database mandates.
- Privacy – Just as it is true that the only economic situation consistent with individual rights is the free market, so is it also true that life, liberty and happiness cannot prosper under continuous state surveillance. The LPF opposes the use by the state of people or technology to monitor, account for, and keep Floridians under surveillance, especially where there is no evidence of criminal behavior, and thereby restrict the normal interaction of peoples. The LPF opposes passive, yet compulsory, surveillance legislation, such as laws that require individuals and businesses to report legal activities without evidence of criminal acts. The first, second, fourth, fifth and fourteenth amendments to the Constitution are all threatened by unfettered state surveillance. The LPF supports an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to protect the right of privacy of all citizens, a right that is implied throughout that document, so as to2 defend individuals from state intrusion, to limit state intervention in private lives, and allow the free exercise of liberty away from the overbearing power of government.
- The only electoral duty of the State government should be providing for fair and efficient conduct of elections. Political parties, like any private voluntary group, should be free from government control and allowed to establish their own rules for nomination procedures and conventions. All taxpayer-funded subsidies to candidates for public office and political parties, including primaries and conventions, should be eliminated.
- We support the addition of the alternative “None of the above is acceptable” to all ballots. We further propose that in the event that “None of the above is acceptable” receives a plurality of votes in any election, a new election shall be held for which none of the losing candidates shall be eligible. Other forms of voting should also be considered, such as instant runoff voting or proportional representation.
- Campaign finance laws are unwarranted restrictions of free speech or association and should be repealed. Keeping in accordance with the tradition of all government being run in the Sunshine, we support making all political contributions public records.
- The common law authority of a trial by jury preceded our constitution and is the foundation of our legal system. If a jury of peers deems a law unjust, oppressive or inappropriately applied, it has the right and duty to acquit the defendant. We support the right of defendants to a fully informed jury, which would require judges to instruct jurors of their authority to judge not only the facts, but also the justice of the law according to their own good consciences.
- We support restitution for victims of crimes or civil infractions at the expense of the perpetrator. The victim should have the right to pardon the perpetrator, provided the victim is not threatened or coerced.
- Private adjudication of disputes by mutually acceptable judges or mediators should be encouraged.
- No-fault laws should be repealed because they deprive the victim of the right to recover damages from those responsible for causing harm.
- The right of trial by jury should be allowed in all civil or criminal cases where the value exceeds one oz of gold.
- The use of civil asset forfeiture to enforce laws circumvents constitutional protections and should be ended.
- Random police roadblocks and other searches without probable cause bypass constitutional protections and should be prohibited.
- We support equal treatment and oppose sexual discrimination in any judicial proceeding adjudicating a parental right, privilege or obligation concerning his or her child.
IV. PUBLIC SAFETY
- Law enforcement cannot guarantee individual safety. Self protection is a personal responsibility. All individuals have the right to defend themselves and to possess the means to do so, as guaranteed by both the federal and state Constitutions.
- State prison facilities should be used only for the incarceration of individuals who have proven themselves a threat to others.
V. VICE LAWS
- Government should confine itself to protecting individuals from aggression, coercion and deceit. We oppose all laws and regulations that attempt to protect individuals from the consequences of their own behavior. While not necessarily condoning such activities, we advocate the repeal of all laws criminalizing gambling, possession and sale of drugs, and sexual relations between consenting adults. All those presently incarcerated or ever convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes should be pardoned and their records expunged.
- Voluntary communities may enforce rules that prohibit certain activities to which all members subscribe, such as substance-free dorms.
- The legislature should find more voluntary means of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.
- Taxation of privately owned real property should be eliminated. In effect, it makes the state the owner of all lands by forcing individuals to pay rent to the state or forfeit their title.
- The personal property tax on Florida businesses should be repealed.
- Tax favoritism should be illegal. Abatements, subsidies, credits, or other incentives to businesses based on geographical area, job creation, or any other criteria deny equal protection under the law.
- Sales tax on used merchandise that is resold results in double taxation and should be eliminated.
- Adding sales tax to products already subject to specific state taxes, such as gasoline and cigarettes, should be ended. This practice results in double taxation, as consumers are paying a tax on a tax.
- We oppose any sales or use tax on the Internet.
- We believe in the free market, thus the complete separation of the economy and the state.
- No commercial enterprises should be granted legal monopoly status, including the so-called natural monopolies of electricity, natural gas, water supplies, telephones, and cable television. The Florida Public Service Commission should be abolished and all rate regulation in these industries ended. The right to offer such services in the marketplace should not be curtailed.
- State regulation of industries such as insurance and communications, and professions such as medicine and law, should be ended. They should be regulated by trade or consumer groups.
- The condemnation of private property for public use should only be allowed when necessary for the protection of the rights of the citizens.
VIII. WELFARE and CHARITY
Providing for the needy by forcibly taxing others is contrary to the legitimate function of government, which is to protect the rights of everyone. Disbursing charity from a welfare system costs society more than it gains. It is inefficient, open to fraud and abuse, and creates resentment. Traditional, voluntary sources of emergency support from families, churches, and private charities have always been more humane, more effective, and willingly borne by the givers. Therefore, until the income tax is repealed, we advocate dollar-for-dollar tax credits for all charitable contributions to encourage a transition from public welfare to private support.
- Education is a parental responsibility and best handled at the most local level.
- Because parents/guardians are best situated to decide what is in their own children’s best interests, we support all measures that enhance the educational choices available, such as charter schools, vouchers or tax credits for private school tuition, and home schooling. We support individual and community based decision-making where people and entities freely decide what is best for their students or children.
- Compulsory attendance and truancy laws should be repealed. Students cannot be forced to learn, and teachers should not be forced to act as juvenile delinquency officers.
- All individuals, regardless of age, are entitled to the protections of the constitutions of the United States and Florida. Random drug tests, locker searches without probable cause, censorship of student publications, or any similar actions violate those rights.
- Aside from public safety, there is no greater concern for the people of Florida than having a safe, healthy environment. We look forward to the day when all property not required for police and court functions are returned to private ownership and control.
- We call for the restoration of every individual’s ancient, common law standing to sue for trespass any individual, business, government or other group that pollutes his or her property.
- We oppose creation of new government parks or wilderness and recreation areas. Such parks and areas that already exist should be transferred to non-government ownership. Pending such transfer, their operating costs should be borne by their users rather than by taxpayers.
- We support efforts to hold all individuals, businesses and governments accountable for the pollution they cause.
XI. HEALTH CARE
- The most fundamental property right is an individual’s right to own and control his or her own body. All individuals have the right to determine their own health care needs and treatment. Government has no constitutional authority to interfere with the practitioner/patient relationship.
- The right of people to extend or end their lives with dignity should not be infringed. We support the freedom to use living wills and durable medical powers of attorney.
We recognize the right to political secession. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all other rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others.
The Libertarian Party of Orange County ratifies and hereby includes in this document the platform of the national Libertarian Party.
Our silence about any other particular government law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, restriction, regulatory agency, activity, or objections should not be construed to imply approval.