|LIBERTARIAN PARTY OF California|
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Formatted with line numbers for Convention and Committee use
Platform of the Libertarian Party of California
As amended in Convention, February 2003
TABLE OF CONTENTS
2. FREEDOM OF EXPRESSION
3. PROTECTION OF PRIVACY
6. OFFICIAL LANGUAGE
9. SOVEREIGN IMMUNITY
10. HEALTH AND MEDICINE
11. REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS
14. FAMILY LIFE
15. THE RIGHT TO KEEP AND BEAR ARMS
16. FREEDOM OF RELIGION
17. INVOLUNTARY COMMITMENT
18. ALCOHOL AND TOBACCO
19. ELECTION REFORM
2. LAND USE AND PUBLIC PROPERTY
4. ARTS AND SOCIETY
6. DISASTER RELIEF
7. MONEY AND BANKING
8. TORT LAW REFORM
10. TRANSPORTATION AND MASS TRANSIT
12. LICENSING LAWS
13. CONSUMER PROTECTION
14. LABOR RELATIONS
20. GOVERNMENT MONOPOLIES
Platform of the Libertarian Party of California
As amended in Convention, February 2003
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 rights 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 the 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 life¾ accordingly, we support the prohibition of the initiation of physical force against others;
(2) the right to liberty of speech and action¾ accordingly, we oppose all attempts by governments to abridge the freedoms of speech and press, as well as government censorship in any form; and
(3) the right to property¾ accordingly, we oppose all government interferences with private property, such as confiscation, nationalization, and eminent domain, and support the prohibition of robbery, trespass and fraud.
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.
Rights define the boundaries of legitimate human conduct. Such boundaries are necessary to clearly distinguish actions which may properly be opposed by force from actions which may properly be defended by force. Only to the extent that such boundaries are recognized and respected can conflict between people be avoided and a just civilization achieved.
Only individuals have rights. There are no group rights, community rights, or rights accruing to any government body. Individuals, whether acting alone or as part of a group or government, must not interfere with the exercise of rights by others. Currently some people define "rights" as a requirement that they receive whatever they desire, no matter at whose expense. We hold that no one has an inherent right to anything which requires access to the life, property or labor of another person. Thus, there can be no right to health care, jobs, housing or other benefits. The recognition, respect, and protection by law of individual rights is necessary for the existence of a free society. We recognize the following rights:
¨ RIGHT TO LIFE: People have the right to be free from those who would physically injure or kill them. No one has the right to take the life of an innocent person. The right to life does not preclude the right to self-defense or the defense of another under imminent attack.
¨ RIGHT TO LIBERTY: People have the right to exercise sole dominion over their own lives, to pursue any lifestyle or course of action they wish, while taking responsibility for their actions and not violating the rights of others in the process.
¨ RIGHT TO PROPERTY: "Property rights" are inseparable from "human rights." To lose property is to lose that portion of life expended for that property. Property is an extension of self-ownership and is comprised of those goods, services, materials, products of labor, and real property which are acquired without the use of coercion, trespass or fraud. One has the right to use, maintain, improve, control, protect, consume, destroy, or dispose of one's own property as one sees fit, recognizing that one may not violate the rights of others. The defense of property is a form of self-defense.
Members of the Libertarian Party do not necessarily advocate or condone any of the practices which our policies would make legal. Our exclusion of moral approval or disapproval is deliberate: people's rights must be recognized; the wisdom of any course of peaceful action is a matter for the acting individual(s) to decide. Personal responsibility is discouraged by society's routinely denying people the opportunity to exercise it. Libertarian policies will create a society where people are free to make and learn from their own decisions.
While recognizing that our society, shaped by government interventions, is complex and resistant to change, unless otherwise stated, the actions called for in the planks that follow are to be taken as quickly and efficiently as possible without interruption or delay.
No conflict exists between civil order and individual rights. Both concepts are based on the same fundamental principle that no individual, group, or government may initiate force against any other individual, group or government. Governments must be unconditionally limited to prevent the infringement of individual rights.
To commit a crime, one must infringe upon the rights of another. Victimless "crime" laws are a legislative attempt to forcibly limit the lifestyle choices of individuals. We therefore support the following:
A. The repeal of all laws restricting the voluntary exchange of goods or services.
B. The repeal of all laws restricting or controlling any form of gambling.
C. The repeal of all laws which control or prohibit any consensual sexual activity, or soliciting such activity, including homosexuality and prostitution, among consenting adults.
D. The repeal of all laws restricting or controlling the production, transportation, sale, possession, or use of any food, food supplement, or drug.
E. The repeal of laws that create so-called crimes of intent, such as standing on a corner, driving by a location more than once, or other activities deemed "suspicious."
F. The end of court injunctions that criminalize otherwise legal acts such as wearing certain colors, carrying pagers, or using cellular phones.
G. The immediate pardon and release, if incarcerated, of all persons convicted of any victimless "crime" not involving a violation of another's rights. The expunging of all arrest and conviction records related to such victimless "crimes," in addition to the nullification of the laws defining such acts as "crimes."
While we do not advocate the desecration of the national or state flag, we oppose any laws prohibiting the desecration of any flag and we oppose any constitutional amendment giving federal, state or local government the power to enact such laws. However, we do support the property rights of flag owners.
The United States Supreme Court has held that each community has the power to censor distribution of materials considered to be obscene according to "community standards." We hold that obscenity is a matter of individual taste and that government should not prohibit something merely because some people are offended by it.
We support the repeal of all laws restricting or controlling the right of adults to make, distribute, possess or view sexually explicit motion pictures, publications and other materials. We also support the repeal of all laws prohibiting the electronic receipt of such materials.
We deplore the practice of government invasion of newsrooms, or the premises of any other non-suspect third parties, such as lawyers, doctors and psychiatrists, in the name of law enforcement.
We condemn court orders prohibiting press and electronic media coverage of criminal proceedings. In addition, the media should not be prohibited from communicating with prisoners, without due process.
We support the complete deregulation of television, radio, cable, the Internet and all other forms of communication.
Since we favor application of the First Amendment to public entities, while upholding the right of private enterprises to make their own rules governing their own property, we oppose the enactment¾ at colleges and universities that are primarily tax-funded¾ of speech codes that ban language that is deemed offensive.
Government proposals to finance and control political campaigns are an encroachment upon freedom of expression. These proposals limit financial support of campaigns for candidates or issues, and thus restrict the individual's ability to disseminate his or her views.
We oppose any government action that permits political activities in violation of private property rights, such as the circulation of petitions in private shopping malls against the wishes of the owners.
We oppose any government restriction, regulation, or censorship of speech, literature, or any other medium of expression. It is especially important in a free society that government be prevented from restricting what may be said about government itself. Specifically, we oppose any use of governmental law enforcement agencies to violate the privacy of, or interfere with, those engaged in peaceful political activities. We oppose government violation of the privacy of client-professional relationships.
The individual's privacy, property, and right to speak or not to speak should not be infringed by the government. No congressional committee, government agency, or grand jury shall have the power to compel any person to appear or testify.
Government-mandated record-keeping by private parties is not only a violation of privacy, but also a form of involuntary servitude, and should be abolished. Correspondence, bank, and other financial transactions and records, doctors' and lawyers' communications, employment and other voluntarily maintained records should not be open to review by government without the consent of all parties involved in these records, except through due process in criminal cases involving violations of the rights of others.
We support policies that will leave the electronic transmission of data and information in the hands of the people. Therefore, we oppose government policies on encryption, such as the Clipper Chip proposal, which would guarantee that the government could conduct surveillance of electronic transmissions by mandating or encouraging government-readable methods of encryption. Such government-imposed standards will foster routine and regular surveillance of private communications by agents of the government.
We favor repeal of the U.S. ban on export of Clipper-free encryption devices produced by American companies. Government-imposed encryption standards together with an export embargo on devices not containing Clipper chips will inhibit commercial development of new privacy-enhancing products.
We also oppose any government policy on digital transmission of telephone messages that requires the installation of surveillance-facilitating software in telephone switching equipment in order to expose personal telephone-calling patterns and credit card purchases to the view of the government. Such information should be private.
So long as the national census and all federal, state, and other government agency compilations of data on an individual continue to exist, they should be compiled only with the consent of the persons from whom the data are sought.
We call for the repeal of the law requiring the Department of Motor Vehicles to collect an individual's social security number or thumb print for the purposes of obtaining a driver license or register a vehicle or vessel.
We oppose laws requiring parents to register the births of their children.
No level of government should deny or abridge the rights of any individual on account of sex, race, color, creed, age, national origin, economic status, marital status, sexual preference, physical ability, mental ability, or place of employment. We affirm that government should not use quota systems based on any of the above criteria.
We oppose all governmental attempts to regulate private choice in association, including discrimination in employment, housing, and the use of privately-owned "public" accommodations. The right to trade includes the right not to trade¾ for any reason whatsoever. We also call for the repeal of the so-called Civil Rights Act of 1991 whose self-contradictory provisions force employers to use hiring quotas on the basis of race and sex in order to avoid "disparate impact" lawsuits, but whose provisions make it illegal to use such hiring quotas.
We call for the repeal of the American With Disabilities Act (ADA), since it imposes mandates on employers to hire individuals they may not wish to hire, such as alcohol or drug abusers and people with personality disorders. Additionally, businesses are told what type of facilities to provide, which violates private property rights, and also discourages employers from hiring low skilled or disabled people.
We hold that all human beings have rights, not merely the citizens of a particular country. Although private owners have the right to restrict others from trespassing on their property, government restrictions on the liberty of travel, residence, and employment, such as immigration and emigration laws, mandatory identification papers, and work permits, are violations of human rights, and we call for their abolition.
A. oppose mandatory reporting by employers of their employees' nationalities.
B. oppose fining employers who hire so-called illegal aliens.
C. oppose wholesale dragnets that round up immigrants and other people from their homes or workplaces.
D. oppose any requirement that a first-time applicant for a driver license must show proof of legal residency.
E. oppose any requirement that employers who hire so-called illegal aliens forfeit their assets to the government.
F. oppose any requirement that all employees in California must carry an identification card.
G. oppose the use of the California National Guard or the U.S. military to control California's border with Mexico.
We defend the rights of noncitizens of the U. S. to seek work, trade, and live within this country, just as we defend current citizens when they wish to exercise these same rights. We oppose attempts to violate the rights of so-called illegal aliens because they receive the benefit of certain government programs. In any conflict between rights and programs, we support abolition of the government program and affirmation of individual rights. Most people come to this country to work, not to collect welfare; nevertheless, we oppose welfare payments to them just as we oppose welfare payments to all other persons.
We uphold the right of private property owners to provide sanctuary to persons who face arrest and deportation as aliens, and we applaud those who offer such sanctuary.
We oppose the forced imposition or designation by any level of government of any particular language or languages as the official language of the society.
Where governments exist, we expect them to make use of the lingua (any of various languages used as common or commercial tongues among people of diverse speech) in a pluralistic society. When persons wish translations of government documents, they should pay the full cost.
The only crimes are crimes of violence or threat of violence, property loss, and fraud.
We believe that the so-called legislative police power, which was incorporated into the American justice system upon its formation, should be completely eliminated from American jurisprudence. The state should not have the power to define public necessity, public policy, the public interest or to make legislation related thereto.
The judicial process should be an earnest attempt¾ by due process of law¾ to extract reasonable restitution from a person convicted of a crime and to convey that restitution to the victim, to imprison or exclude criminals from society when necessary, to hold persons liable for damage they do, and to fairly settle contract disputes.
The failure of the government judicial system to apply these principles has led to the inability of its courts to administer justice and to the near collapse of public confidence in the American judicial system.
We support the concept that law should impose penalties proportional to the gravity of the violation of others' rights, and prison sentences should be served in their entirety, unless the victim pardons the perpetrator. Unfortunately, the existing Three-Strikes-and-You're-Out law fails to focus on the truly violent career criminals who are the greatest threat to their victims. Enhanced prison sentences and life imprisonment for multiple criminal acts should be reserved for perpetrators of violent crimes. Prison space for these enhanced sentences should be made by pardoning those prisoners who were incarcerated for victimless "crimes".
All persons should be equal before the law and entitled to due process of law. Due process should determine innocence or guilt in a manner designed to protect the individual rights of all persons concerned, both the accused and the accuser. We hold that individuals may settle their differences outside the court, if both so agree.
Until such time as persons are proven guilty of crimes, their individual rights shall be accorded full respect. We therefore advocate the following judicial reforms:
A. The repeal of all civil asset forfeiture laws.
B. Full protection of the rights of the accused, including complete access to all available records, information, or evidence (held by the courts or voluntarily submitted) to be used in the prosecution of the case.
C. Full restitution of loss incurred by persons arrested, indicted, tried, imprisoned, or otherwise injured in the course of criminal proceedings against them which do not result in their conviction by the accuser, be it a law enforcement agency or private individual.
D. The termination of all "preventive detention" procedures. No individual shall be detained or otherwise denied freedom of movement without formal charges being filed immediately following arrest.
E. Where governments exist, the right to trial by jury regardless of the classification of the judicial procedure, including a finding of contempt of court, shall not be abridged.
F. All jury trial findings shall be by unanimous decision, except that the parties to an action or proceeding may consent to a verdict by a majority of the panel.
G. The abolition of the current practice of forced jury duty; we favor all-volunteer juries. In addition, we advocate that all juries in actions to which the government is a party shall be instructed that they have the right to judge not only the facts of the case, but also the justice of the law. Juries may hold all laws invalid that are, according to their conscience, unjust, and find no violation of such laws. Jurors, rather than the judge, should set the sentence for a guilty offender up to the maximum allowed by law.
H. That no persons, other than government employees whose actions as an agent of the government have a direct bearing on the case at hand, be compelled to appear or testify before a grand jury, nor be denied independent legal counsel within the chambers of a grand jury proceeding. The issuance of "immunity from prosecution" by the court must not be used as an excuse to deny a person his or her constitutional rights.
I. Recognition of the right of private parties to conduct, at their own expense, prosecutions against those they allege have victimized them. Public prosecutors should not have the authority to grant immunity from private prosecution to alleged perpetrators; thus we advocate an end to the practice of plea-bargaining without the consent of the victim.
J. The repeal of all laws extending criminal or civil liability to producers or vendors whose products may be used by others in the commission of a crime or tort.
K. The repeal of all laws establishing any category of crime applicable to a particular age group, including laws setting drinking ages and curfews, and an end to the practice of incarcerating children accused of no crime.
L. The abolition of special penalties imposed for crimes committed against police officers or government employees.
M. The repeal of all "hate crime" laws. It is not the proper function of government to punish criminals for their personal views and thoughts. We further oppose the introduction into courts of a person's personal views as evidence.
N. The trying of juveniles under the same procedures as adults. However, those convicted of violent crimes should be held by the California Youth Authority until age 18, then transferred to state prison for the remainder of their sentences.
O. Child abuse cases should be considered criminal cases rather than administrative proceedings. Hence, in such cases, the accused is entitled to the presumption of innocence and protection against arbitrary governmental searches and seizures.
P. That the serious crime of forcible rape should not be confused with cases of psychological pressure or persuasion if there was no threat of violence or other violation of rights. Nor should it be confused with cases in which an alleged victim was voluntarily under the influence of alcohol or other drugs, but was not incapacitated. "Psychological pressure or persuasion" shall not include threats of violence.
Q. Recognition of the right of any person convicted of a crime to seek restitution, in a separate legal action, for any violation of his or her rights.
R. An end to the defenses of insanity or diminished capacity, and to the practice of pre-trial insanity hearings to determine capacity to stand trial.
S. Recognition of the right of defendants and their counsel to inform jurors of the jury's power to nullify any law, and of the possible sentences for each offense charged.
T. In private lawsuits, the loser should pay the costs and litigation expenses of the prevailing party, at the discretion of the judge.
U. The abolition of the current practice of courts receiving a percentage of fines imposed.
No person has any special right to make arrest greater than that of any other person. The government monopoly on police protection puts the power of violence in the hands of society's dominant groups, a practice which inevitably harms minority groups. We note with alarm the increasing numbers of individuals shot by police, as well as growing police harassment and brutality. We therefore call for decentralization of police protection to the neighborhood level whenever full privatization is not possible. We oppose the expansion of federal police forces anywhere, and particularly into California.
We oppose police officers using unnecessary force on the disorderly or the criminally accused or handing out what they may consider to be instant punishments on the streets. We further deny that police have such inherent authority. Instant-punishment policies deprive the accused of important checks on government power, juries and the judicial process.
We favor an end to the doctrine of "sovereign immunity," which implies that the State, and its agents, can do no wrong, and holds that the State, contrary to the tradition of redress of grievances, may not be sued without its permission nor be held accountable for its actions under civil law.
In judicial proceedings, all government agents must accept liability, both civil and criminal, for their actions, negating the cloak of "official duty" as an excuse. Neither government agencies nor their representatives shall be exempted from laws, statutes and regulations applicable to the citizenry.
We oppose payment of government (tax) dollars to satisfy judgments against agents of the State.
The health and physical well-being of individuals are not proper concerns of government. These should be matters of personal choice and responsibility. The State should not be involved in the regulation of the profession of medicine or in the delivery of health care. Therefore, we advocate the following reforms:
A. The repeal of those laws and regulations which restrict and inhibit the practice of lay midwifery and planned out-of-hospital births and which permit harassment of lay midwives and home birth practitioners.
B. The repeal of laws and regulations which discourage the development of privately funded medical facilities such as women's health clinics and free-standing birth centers.
C. The repeal of laws and regulations which prohibit and otherwise curtail the selection and practice of unorthodox medical procedures.
D. An end to all mandatory licensing and certification requirements for the practice of medicine.
E. In order to revive price competition and consumer cost-consciousness in the medical industry, we would provide tax breaks not only for employer-provided health plans (whose value is not currently taxed as income), but also individual tax credits so that families and individuals can choose their own health plans.
F. An end to government subsidies to, and regulation of, all schools of medicine, nursing, and the allied health care professions. An individual should have the right to choose among available health practices. Similarly, he or she has the right to refuse or reject treatment or other care. Therefore, we oppose any form of forced or mandated medication such as fluoridation of water, compulsory vaccination, and involuntary sterilization. We further oppose any attempts to impose compulsory hospitalization. We support the right of an individual to determine his or her own medical treatment whenever he or she wishes. In particular, we call for the immediate end of all restrictions by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration as well as state and local agencies. As financing of medical and health care is the responsibility of the individual, tax monies should not be used to fund it. We therefore oppose:
1. tax supported medical care, abortion services, and research facilities;
2. grants and subsidies to members of the medical profession; and
3. all government-funded medical programs such as Medi-Cal and neo-natal care for infants.
We oppose measures that would extend health insurance to uninsured persons through taxpayers' funds, by requiring businesses to provide insurance, or by requiring insurance companies to insure persons or illnesses they choose not to insure.
G. Inasmuch as medical evidence has not established that AIDS is casually transmitted, we oppose all attempts to abridge the individual rights of persons with AIDS.
H. Since laws making sterile needles unavailable have contributed to the spread of AIDS and other diseases, we call for the repeal of those laws.
I. The repeal of all laws mandating any non-consensual relationship between a health care provider and patient.
The State of California should not regulate, prohibit, subsidize or encourage any reproductive choice. We defend the right of all persons to privacy in and control over every aspect of their biological nature, such as contraception, termination of pregnancy, surrogate motherhood, artificial insemination, cloning and free choice in all consensual sexual relations.
We oppose the draft, registration for the draft, and any form of compulsory service as slavery, the most fundamental violation of individual rights and also unnecessary for the maintenance of a strong national defense.
We support the rights of individuals to form private relationships as they see fit, either by contract or by mutual agreement. We regard marriage as one such private relationship. The State of California should not dictate, prohibit, control, or encourage any such private relationship. To implement this principle, we advocate:
A. The repeal of all marriage and marriage dissolution laws and their replacement by contracts where desired by the parties.
B. Property not specified as "community property" not being presumed as such.
C The repeal of all alimony laws.
D. The recognition in law of marriage contracts as an addition to, or replacement for, marriage and marriage dissolution laws.
E. The right of all consenting adults to form marriage contracts without regard to gender, sexual preference, degree of consanguinity, or number of parties to said contracts.
Governments at all levels are intruding on the integrity of families and households. We support the rights of families and households as contractual institutions to be free of government interference. Such governmental interference has undermined the value of families and households as cultural institutions of love, nurture, companionship, kinship, and personal development by forcing families and households to conform to rigid, inflexible design. Moreover, we condemn the usurpation by government of activities long carried on by families and households. This usurpation is accomplished through "morals laws," youth curfews, government welfare programs, child protection services, and public schools. We further accuse government of designing educational programs that place civic and moral education under the control of politicians, and of designing welfare laws that destroy families and households.
We call for the repeal of all family leave laws, which impose the cost of mandatory benefits on business and industry.
Because the right to life, liberty, and property implies a right of defense of self and property, and a right to acquire and maintain the tools to exercise such self defense, and because an armed citizenry is the final defense against government tyranny, we support:
A. The repeal of laws regulating the ownership and bearing of arms, including automatic or so-called assault weapons.
B. The elimination of registration and all other government records pertaining to ownership of arms.
C. The repeal of laws requiring permission from any government agency for any purpose relating to arms and ammunition.
D. The right of airlines and other common carriers to decide their own weapons policies.
Further, we oppose extension of liability to the manufacturers or vendors of arms for crimes committed by the users of such arms.
We defend the rights of individuals to engage or not engage in any religious activities which do not violate the rights of others. In order to defend religious freedoms, we advocate a strict separation of church and state. We oppose government actions which define, aid or attack any religion or define religious membership. We oppose taxation of church property for the same reason we oppose all taxation.
We oppose the involuntary commitment of any person to a mental institution. The power of the State of California to institutionalize an individual who has not been convicted of a crime is a violation of the individual's rights.
We further advocate:
A. The repeal of all laws permitting involuntary psychiatric treatment, or forbidding voluntary termination of treatment.
B. The discontinuation of all government or government-sponsored programs for observational study, experimentation, or treatment.
C. An end to all involuntary treatment by such means as electro-shock, psycho-surgery, drug therapy, and aversion therapy.
D. The privatization of all state-financed mental institutions.
We oppose the regulation of alcoholic beverages by the State of California. Specifically, we oppose setting a drinking age or using zoning or land use laws to restrict the placement of bars or liquor stores. We also oppose road blocks that stop and detain sober motorists on public roads. Private road owners should be free to exclude alcohol abusers or others from their roads for safety or other reasons.
We oppose the efforts of the State of California trying to discourage tobacco use, that use being an individual right. And further we oppose any further state litigation against tobacco companies, support the repeal of all tobacco taxes and the end of all state-funded advertising to convince people to adopt non-smoking lifestyles. Instead, private groups and individuals are welcome to promote their viewpoints. We support the right of employers and business owners to decide rules for smoking at their businesses and properties, without government involvement.
The selection of a candidate by a political party is a matter in which the State has no legitimate interest.
We therefore oppose the system of tax-financed primary elections and call for the nomination of all candidates without governmental supervision or intervention, as a private matter involving only the members of the party concerned.
We also oppose laws which forbid partisan political designations in local elections and, at the state level, for the office of Superintendent of Public Instruction.
We further oppose all proposals to regulate the broadcasting of election results, and all laws governing the broadcast coverage of campaigns, including the fairness doctrine, the equal time rule, and the reasonable access provision.
We oppose any limitation on the amount of money an individual or corporation can spend supporting any candidate or ballot issue on the federal, state, or local level. We also oppose the public financing of election campaigns and the mandatory reporting of campaign donations and expenditures.
The ballot choice in California elections does not always offer a true difference of philosophy between candidates. The electorate often has no positive feelings toward any candidate, but, on the contrary, often has distinctly negative feelings toward all candidates. Therefore, the Libertarian Party of California endorses:
A. Placing on all election ballots, beneath each election office, the option "none of the above is acceptable."
B. The provision that any elective office remain vacant if the category "none of the above is acceptable" receives a plurality of votes, until a subsequent election to fill the office is held.
We call for the abolition of the State Constitutional Office of Lieutenant Governor, which has no real purpose.
We oppose a full-time legislature in California and support efforts to make the job of legislator at most a part-time one with drastically reduced salaries, staff, and expenses.
We recognize the right to political secession. This includes the right of secession by political entities, private groups, or individuals. Exercise of this right, like the exercise of all rights, does not remove legal and moral obligations not to violate the rights of others. Those who wish to secede should not have to obtain permission of those from whom they wish to secede.
Each person has the right to offer goods and services to others. Government interference can only harm such free activity. Thus we oppose all government intervention in the economy. Any law enforcement in economic matters must be limited to protecting property rights, adjudicating disputes, enforcing voluntary contracts, and providing a framework in which voluntary trade is protected. All efforts by the State of California to redistribute wealth or to control or manage trade are inconsistent with a free society.
Taxation is government's confiscation of property of its citizens. Because of its non-voluntary nature, it cannot be justified, regardless of the purpose for which the proceeds are to be used. Therefore, we oppose taxation of any kind. To that end, we support any and all initiatives to cut or abolish any tax. We call for:
A. The repeal of all income taxes.
B. The repeal of all sales and use taxes, including special taxes on so-called sinful activities.
C. The repeal of all corporate and business taxes and fees, including special burdens on business inventories and out-of-state business firms.
D. The repeal of all gift and inheritance taxes.
E. The repeal of all property taxes.
F. The abolition of all tax-collecting agencies, including the Franchise Tax Board and Board of Equalization.
We oppose all suggestions to split the owners' property tax rolls in order to increase the burden on business property, and to increase revenues.
We oppose all efforts to repeal or undermine existing laws requiring greater than a simple majority vote to raise taxes.
We further oppose any compulsory withholding of any taxes or fees from the paychecks of California workers.
We advocate that so-called "public services" be funded in the same manner as private organizations¾ through voluntary contributions and charges for services for which the user has voluntarily contracted.
We recognize the right of property owners to control, use, transfer or dispose of their property in any manner that does not violate the rights of others. We believe that rights to land and any related water, oil or mineral rights are entitled to the same respect and protection. We reject any governmental assertion of "police powers" to regulate private property under the guise of "furthering the public health, safety, morals, or general welfare." Therefore, we advocate¾ on a statewide basis whenever possible¾ the following:
A. The abolition of zoning laws and building codes, which may be replaced by restrictive covenants, among other voluntary means.
B. The abolition of all rent control laws, regulations, boards, mandatory low-income housing quotas in new developments, and all condominium conversion restrictions.
C. The abolition of the Department of Real Estate whose regulations restrict and delay urban condominium developments and rural residential subdivisions and commercial land developments and whose licensing procedures for real estate brokers limit occupational mobility and competition in the market for the sale of real property.
D. The repeal of eminent domain and all forms of condemnation of property.
E. The privatization of government-held lands, including parks and beaches, and the abolition of the California Coastal Commission and all other regional land use agencies.
F. The adoption of private remedies, including civil legal action, for redress of property rights violations.
G. The abolition of any restrictions on a landlord's right to maintain "adults only" rental units.
H. The end to government-mandated privileges for the handicapped, such as reserved parking spaces, special access ramps and special rest rooms on private property. We are confident that private property owners, either through their search for a broader market for their services, or out of admirable charitable inclinations, will provide an ample supply of such facilities.
We reject the idea that the financing and control of education is a proper function of government, and call for the privatization of public education in California. Therefore, we advocate the following:
A. An end to compulsory busing.
B. An end to compulsory school attendance.
C. An end to interference with home schooling, in particular, an end to the policy in some counties of not allowing home schooling parents to file private school affidavits, and an end to the effort by local truant officers and social workers to control who can teach and what they can teach.
D. Repeal of the Proposition 98 funding guarantee for K-14 public education.
E. Unlimited tax credit, equal to the amount of the assistance, for any individual or business sponsoring a person in an educational institution.
F. An end to licensing and regulation of private and parochial schools.
G. Allowing students to attend any school regardless of district boundaries.
H. Resisting the introduction of federally mandated or encouraged national education standards.
I. An end to government- or tax-funded pre-school programs.
J. A replacement of tax funding of government schools, at all levels, with tuition or other voluntary means.
K. An end to government subsidy of private education and an end to all government subsidies to students, such as Pell Grants and the federal student loan program.
L. An end to tax-financed research (such as research in military hardware and techniques, farming techniques and applications of high technology) in California educational institutions.
M. Retention of tax-exempt status for all private schools, including religiously-affiliated schools.
N. Abolition of California's monopoly lottery system for finance of education.
Artistic expression and its development should not be a concern of the State. Such a concern is an attempt to mandate aesthetic judgment and taste.
There should be no involvement of the State in the arts, neither a supportive nor negative role. As we oppose censorship, so we oppose government subsidies, grants and commissions to both individual artists and organizations such as tax-supported museums.
Taxation of any individual to support another¾ whether an artist or not¾ is a form of theft. Taxation of an artist to support another artist is a form of censorship.
Therefore, we oppose all government programs concerning the arts, such as the California Arts Council, and urge their prompt dissolution.
Government welfare programs violate the individual rights of two groups: those who have their property coercively taken from them and given to others, and those who receive this stolen property and whose economic lives are, thus, extensively controlled by the State. The need of one person is not a claim on another, and we therefore urge an end to government welfare programs.
We believe that ending government interference in the economy will greatly decrease the need for welfare.
The current oppressive burden of taxation and government provision of welfare impair and stifle the ability of people to make donations to meet the needs of those who cannot support themselves.
We also recognize that there exists a large group of oppressed people whose very survival is currently dependent on welfare programs. This group was largely created by State action. Many groups in our society are subsidized with tax money, but only the poor are blamed for it, even though their potential jobs are destroyed by minimum wage and licensing laws and their homes are destroyed by Community Redevelopment Agencies.
We advocate the development of private voluntary programs to aid the dependent and oppressed to become truly independent, self-supporting, productive individuals. We therefore call for:
A. An end to participation by the State of California in the Food Stamp, school lunch and Medi-Cal programs.
B. The end of State aid to families with dependent children, State aid to the disabled, and general relief programs.
C. The privatization of state, county, and district hospitals and other government-funded health services.
D. The privatization of government-funded job training, retraining, and employment development programs.
E. The privatization of state-supported child care.
F. The non-adoption by the State of California of welfare programs terminated by the federal government.
When fires, floods, earthquakes and storms bring disaster, Californians should look to self-help, mutual aid, charity and voluntarily purchased private insurance for relief. To seek relief through government subsidies is to impose a further disaster on taxpayers and on the economy as a whole. Such government subsidies also encourage people to live and work in disaster-prone areas (at the expense of others who are more prudent). Those who choose to dwell in or start businesses in risky areas should, when disaster comes, assume the responsibility for their choices. They should not count on coercing others to bail them out.
When disaster strikes, imposing price controls or rationing is counterproductive. It deprives property owners of their right to dispose of goods at a voluntarily agreed-upon price, and it leads to artificial, government-imposed shortages of goods that are in great demand.
We call for the repeal of all legal tender laws and reaffirm the right to private ownership of, and contracts for, gold. We favor abolition of government fiat money and compulsory government unit of account. We favor the use of a free-market commodity standard, such as gold coins denominated by units of weight. We favor deregulation of financial institutions and other businesses by ending the following:
A. Requiring the chartering of banks.
B. State usury laws.
C. The limiting of branch banking.
D. The governmental definition of different classes of financial institutions.
E. The proscription of types of business which financial institutions are allowed to conduct including the underwriting and sale of insurance.
F. The prohibition of branches of out-of-state banks.
G. All laws or regulations controlling, regulating, or prohibiting the raising of funds or the sale of securities by an individual, partnership or corporation for any legal business purpose.
H. The Equal Credit Opportunity Act, the Community Reinvestment Act and other measures that force banks and mortgage companies to fulfill quotas in making mortgage loans, and the federally sponsored lending code drawn up by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development that seeks to impose such quotas under the guise of voluntary social responsibility. Such measures enforce governmental group preferences and will artificially channel scarce capital into unproductive projects.
Fundamental principles of justice require that persons be held accountable for the harm they cause others. We therefore call for individuals to be liable for damages intentionally or negligently (and proximately) caused by themselves or their property. Employers may be liable for injuries to their employees caused by the employer's property in the course of employment; but employees may voluntarily consent to assume the risk of any occupational hazards of which they have reasonable notice.
We hold that fault and causation should be the basis of liability in tort. We therefore oppose all governmental no-fault programs. We further oppose government-imposed rules that would base tort liability on any sort of cost-benefit analysis.
We oppose the legal doctrine that it is a tort to induce a party to breach a contract. Liability should attach only under the laws of contracts to the party who is in breach¾ never to a third party for mere advice or persuasion.
We call for the abolition of the legal doctrine of strict liability. No action should lie against a manufacturer, distributor, or builder for harm resultant from use of his or her product without proof of fault. This is not intended to preclude any action where a consumer alleges breach of a sales contract or express warranty.
We call for applying joint-and-several liability solely to cases in which the defendants actually acted in concert or agreed by contract to be bound jointly and severally. We condemn the common practice of applying this doctrine to independent actors in an attempt to steal from "deep pockets."
We call for the abolition of "class action" suits by classes that are involuntarily created but we uphold the right of consenting plaintiffs to voluntarily join their suits together.
We oppose all government-imposed ceilings on damage awards as unjust denials of the principle of responsibility for one's deeds and as denials of just redress of harm. In addition, we oppose proposals to limit attorneys' prices or fees, contingent or otherwise.
We call for repeal of the Unfair Competition Act (UCA). No attorney, public or private, should be allowed to bring suit against a company for marketing practices, without representing a named plaintiff. No such action should succeed, absent proof that a real consumer has actually been harmed or misled.
We call for repeal of the Medical Injury Compensation Reform Act of 1975 (MICRA). Artificially imposed limitations on recovery for actual and proven wrongs are inappropriate mechanisms to lower medical malpractice insurance premiums.
We hold that individuals and business firms that declare bankruptcy are not fulfilling their contractual obligations to their creditors. The government should cease providing an avenue through bankruptcy laws for violation of the rights of those creditors who have provided goods or performed services and are entitled to payment under the terms of the contract.
In the case of insolvency of a business enterprise, we recognize the need for legal means by which assets may be liquidated and debts discharged, especially where initiated by creditors. Though we believe that each individual should bear the risk and cost of failure, it is a legitimate function of the law to prescribe means to preserve assets and protect the security interests of claimants from fraudulent or preferential conveyances. The current state of the law, however, serves more to create excessive exemptions by which the bankrupt debtor may retain substantial assets while escaping responsibility for legitimate obligations.
Accordingly we call for reform of existing bankruptcy law to severely restrict the extent and nature of assets that may be exempted from distribution to creditors. We encourage and applaud the use of private mediators to assist debtors to work out solutions that are acceptable to both debtors and creditors.
We recognize that transit service has become a major problem in many areas. This problem can be solved properly only through voluntary action in the free market. Governmental interference in transit services has been characterized by monopolistic restrictions and gross inefficiency. We therefore advocate the following:
A. The repeal of all laws restricting transit competition, such as the granting of taxicab and bus monopolies and the prohibition of private jitney services.
B. The repeal of Clean Air Act rules that require auto trip reduction. These rules fine employers who do not force their employees to participate in car pools, take mass transit, bicycle, walk, work four-day weeks, or telecommute.
C. The privatization of all public roads, freeways, waterways, and publicly-owned transit systems, and until such time as the roadways are privatized, the contracting out to private enterprise of the functions of the Department of Motor Vehicles, Caltrans and other transportation agencies.
D. An end to government financing of mass transit projects.
E. An end to government regulation of private transit organizations and to government favors, including subsidies and access to powers of eminent domain.
F. The transfer to private ownership of airports and air traffic control.
G. Allowing foreign transportation service companies to offer commercial service in the United States.
H. The privatization of Amtrak and the end of government regulation of and subsidies to railroads.
I. The abolition of state and local agencies such as the California Public Utilities Commission, the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, the California Department of Transportation, the Bay Area Rapid Transit District, the Metropolitan Transit Authority, and various other local and regional transit authorities.
J. The repeal of laws mandating that manufacturers or vehicle owners install seat belts, air bags, or other restraints. We also oppose laws requiring the use of such devices.
K. The repeal of laws mandating motorcycle, bicycle, or all-terrain-vehicle helmet use.
In order to achieve a free economy in which government victimizes no one for the benefit of anyone else, we oppose all government subsidies. Relief from taxation is not a subsidy. The promotion and development of private business should be in the hands of marketplace entrepreneurs. We therefore call for the abolition of all agencies that distribute special privileges and subsidies to business and farming concerns.
In particular, we call for the elimination of the state government's principal dispenser of welfare to business, the Department of Commerce, and with its demise, the elimination of the Office of Business Development, the Office of Small Business with its government loan programs, the Office of Local Development, the Office of Foreign Investment, the Office of Competitive Technology, the California Film Commission, and the Office of Tourism. We favor the free market in the electronics industry; therefore, we oppose bestowing cash subsidies, cut-rate government loans, loan guarantees or other assistance, on the electronics industry to develop high definition television. We also oppose the imposition of technical standards on the high-definition television industry by the government. Any such standards should instead evolve from marketplace experience.
We oppose subsidies to military industries even when they are attempting to convert to civilian activities. Such subsidies prolong dependence on government funds and divert companies from seeking to discover what consumers (rather than politicians) want. We likewise oppose subsidies to communities adjacent to military bases that the U.S. Department of Defense has closed down, and we oppose their transformation into Project Areas under California Redevelopment laws. Only complete privatization of the sites can provide a sound and enduring basis for restoring economic prosperity to such communities.
We advocate the repeal of all licensing laws, whether for the purpose of raising revenue or for the purpose of controlling any profession, trade, or activity. No individual should be legally penalized for not possessing certification. No consumer should be legally restrained from hiring non-certified individuals.
Certification of competency can best, and should only, be provided by the free market. Examples of free-market certification are adherence to voluntary professional standards, and bonding by those organizations or individuals who would accept financial responsibility for the actions of the bonded party. In their own best interest, indemnitors would determine the competence of a particular professional before certification, bonding or insuring against malpractice.
We advocate the use of private civil litigation, as opposed to regulation by government agencies, to combat product mislabeling, misrepresentation, and default of contract. The right to produce and purchase products and services must not be restricted by law.
Regulations intended to protect consumers have often had the opposite effect, since government rarely knows as much about consumers' needs as they do. So-called consumer protection laws are often used by established businesses to stifle innovative rivals. In addition, such laws have caused considerable harm by lulling consumers into assuming that government would protect them from bad products and services. In the free market, consumers would be protected because:
A. A good name is an asset to a business and it can best be maintained by fair and honest dealing.
B. The use of certificates, guarantees, and warranties issued by manufacturers and suppliers of goods and services is a protection to the consumer.
C. Both professional and non-professional people can voluntarily form associations for the specific purpose of maintaining high standards both in work and behavior.
D. Privately-owned consumer protection organizations producing journals and magazines would proliferate in a free market.
We therefore endorse and advocate the following:
A. The elimination of all government consumer affairs bureaus or departments.
B. The repeal of all laws regulating the production, transportation, sale, possession, advertising, quality, safety, or use of any product or service.
As we support the right of all individuals to enter into contracts, so we oppose all government interference in employer-employee relationships. Therefore, we oppose government-mandated "right of access" to private property for purposes of union organizing, government-sponsored elections on establishing unions, and government-defined collective bargaining units. We support an employer's and labor union's unrestricted right to exercise freedom of speech, consistent with private property rights, during a labor-organizing campaign.
We support the right of persons to voluntarily establish, associate with, or not associate with labor unions. An employer has the right to recognize, or refuse to recognize, a union as the collective bargaining agent of some or all employees. Therefore, we oppose "right to work" laws because they prohibit employers from making voluntary contracts with unions. Likewise, unions have the right to organize secondary boycotts, if in so doing they do not violate individual rights or existing contractual agreements. We do not countenance individuals or associations, whether management or labor, making efforts to coerce collective-bargaining agreements.
We oppose government interference in contract negotiations, such as compulsory arbitration or imposing an obligation to negotiate. We call for the repeal of all government laws and regulations interfering with employer-employee relationships such as the wage and hour laws, the Wagner Act, the Taft-Hartley Act, the California Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the California Farm Labor Act.
We favor replacement of the current workers' compensation system with a system of strict liability of employers for on-the-job physical injuries¾ a liability that can be modified or waived in contractual negotiations.
We repudiate the notion that the government should decree wages in accordance with its arbitrary political notions of comparable worth, and oppose all laws based on this concept.
We support the right of private citizens and organizations to rightfully acquire natural resources for the purpose of conservation. However, the desire to conserve natural resources is not a valid excuse for the violation of individual rights, and we therefore oppose such violations.
We oppose government-mandated conservation. Conservation should be the choice of the owners of private property. We therefore advocate:
A. That methods be devised for the transference to private ownership of all currently unowned and government-held property, including waterways and airspace.
B. That conservationists buy areas or resources they wish to conserve.
C. The repeal of laws mandating the recycling of waste products and laws offering government loans to finance recycling plants.
D. That laws providing for governmental protection of endangered species be repealed, allowing private wildlife groups and private conservancy funds to assume responsibility for such efforts.
E. That all conservation laws controlling or regulating the use, development, sale, or production of resources¾ e.g., land, minerals and woodlands¾ be repealed.
F. That private deed restrictions be the method of choice to conserve natural resources for future generations.
The history of government water projects in the State of California has been one of increased taxes to finance dams, canals, and pipelines. The state government has supplied subsidized water to growers who in turn produce federally subsidized crops, especially rice and cotton. Government-run water rationing has channeled water to political favorites and burdened the public with arbitrary cutbacks. Government-aided insurance programs have subsidized those living or doing business in flood-prone areas, and created regional antagonism between beneficiaries and victims of water policy.
We advocate basing water rights on principles of appropriation and transferability.
We also advocate the transfer of all water works to private ownership. We oppose the tax financing and eminent domain land acquisitions for all projects and facilities in the state water plan, including the Peripheral Canal. We favor repeal of all government drought and flood emergency powers and all government ability to impose water rationing. We propose elimination of all government flood insurance programs. We favor an end to all government weather-modification programs, and we favor holding private weather-modifying firms liable for damages they may cause. We call for the elimination of the current doctrine of "use it or lose it" that automatically transfers unused privately-owned water to governments or other claimants. Under the current doctrine of prior appropriation, recreational use is not considered a beneficial use. We hold that owners of land adjacent to bodies of water should be able to establish riparian property rights through "first regular use" of the water for recreational purposes.
California's farmers, the people who feed much of America and the world, have been plowed under by government intervention. Federal government subsidies to producers, state and federal regulation, and state and federal taxes have distorted the market in the agricultural business. Federal government export policies hold California's farmers hostage to the political whims of both Republican and Democratic administrations. Federal government embargoes on grain sales and other obstacles to free trade have frustrated the development of free and stable trade relationships between California farmers and peoples elsewhere in the world.
The agricultural problems facing Californians today are not insoluble, however. Government policies can and must be reversed. Farmers and consumers alike should be free from the meddling and counter-productive measures of the state and federal governments¾ free to grow, sell, and buy what they want, in the quantity they want, when they want. Five steps can be taken immediately at the state level:
A. Abolition of the state Department of Agriculture;
B. Repeal of all state marketing orders so that producers may voluntarily establish their own promotion programs;
C. Repeal of all state programs that promote exports and subsidize the marketing of exports;
D. Privatization of agricultural research and the ending of agricultural research programs of state colleges and universities and state agencies; and
E. Ending of governmental involvement in agricultural pest control. A policy of pest control should be implemented whereby private individuals or corporations bear full responsibility for damages they inflict on their neighbors.
Pollution of air, water and land violates the rights of individuals to their lives and property. Physical harm to health or property by pollution is as real as harm due to assault or theft, and must be dealt with through objective legal procedures. In order to handle the problems of air, water, soil, radiation, and noise pollution, we call for an extension of the laws governing such torts as trespass and nuisance to cover persons who cause substantial damage by intruding on the persons or property of others. Current government measures concerned with pollution often bypass court proceedings, without concern for restitution to the victims of pollution or the rights of the accused. Governments, being major contributors to pollution, must be held legally responsible for their waste products.
We oppose all anti-litter tax laws and all mandatory bottle-deposit laws.
We call for the repeal of the Clean Air Act and call for the abolition of the federal and state Environmental Protection Agencies and the return, to the jurisdiction of the courts, of all questions of violations of the rights to life and property.
We support holding property owners fully liable for damages done by their toxic waste. We oppose the creation of governmental funds, backed by the taxing power, to finance toxic waste clean-up.
California's energy crises are caused by the state's interference in energy markets. We support:
A. The creation of free markets for all energy types through the repeal of all government controls over energy prices to consumers and costs to distributors.
B. The right of persons to build, own or use refineries, pipelines, power-generation units, or any other asset, as long as they don't violate the rights of others.
C. The abolition of the federal Department of Energy and the California Public Utilities Commission and their component agencies, without the transfer of their powers elsewhere in government.
D. Privatizing all government-owned energy assets such as the Strategic Petroleum Reserve, the power marketing agencies, and mineral-bearing on-shore and off-shore lands.
A. The refusal of government agencies to permit the development of energy sources located on government-held land.
B. Any government requirements intended solely to conserve energy, such as artificially-low speed limits, subsidies for insulation, and preferential treatment for users of "alternative" energy sources.
C. Any taxes on energy producers.
D. Implementation by California of federal programs for coercive government control of energy production, distribution or use.
Government-operated or supported monopolies abridge individual rights to free trade and should be abolished. We call for the repeal of all laws which establish or support monopolies. Specifically, we call for privatization of water supply, garbage collection, transit systems, and telecommunications. Further, we support the right of any person or group to conduct a lottery.
We call for repeal of any law which prohibits competition with government monopolies. Therefore, we condemn the government-enforced monopolistic practices of the medical, legal, and other trade and professional associations.
We call for complete deregulation of the insurance industry, including abolition of the Department of Insurance and the office of Insurance Commissioner. Government has no right to set or approve insurance rates, force insurance companies to write any particular lines of insurance, or regulate who may sell insurance or found an insurance company.
We oppose government-mandated insurance, including automobile liability insurance. Failure to obtain insurance, however, does not relieve drivers from responsibility to pay restitution to the victims of their actions. We oppose no-fault insurance laws, which represent an attempt to relieve people of responsibility for their own actions.
We oppose regulations that would force insurance companies to adopt "community rating" and raise prices for low-risk customers in order to artificially subsidize high-risk customers.
We advocate the freedom of all individuals to engage in voluntary informed consent agreements which do not violate the rights of third parties. We therefore oppose any government-imposed standards which require or restrict the right of insurance companies or employers who contract them to use genetic or other screening and/or testing methods.
We also oppose state unemployment insurance, workers' compensation insurance, and state disability insurance, which are hidden taxes and grossly inequitable. If these benefits are part of an employment agreement, they must be voluntary between employer and employee, and be purchased through the free market.
Our silence about any other particular law, regulation, ordinance, directive, edict, control, agency, activity, condition, or machination of government should not be construed to imply our approval of such. Nor does our advocacy of the right to perform certain activities imply an endorsement of the activities themselves.
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