Platform

(As
revised in convention, July 18, 2020)

STATEMENT
OF PRINCIPLE:

The
Libertarian Party does not believe in or advocate the initiation of
force to achieve social or political goals.

PREAMBLE:

Libertarians
seek a society based on personal liberty and responsibility—a
society in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives.
The most desirable method of realizing such a society is to follow
the natural order that arises when the inalienable 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 interfere with those same rights of others. The
peace, prosperity, and diversity that such freedom brings is a goal
toward which Libertarians aim.

The
essential precondition for a free society is that people have the
freedom to follow their own dreams in their own ways without
government interference. This precondition allows that the only
legitimate function of government, where it exists, is the protection
of the inalienable rights of its citizens. To that end, government at
all levels should be strictly limited to the essential services
necessary to uphold individual rights, maintain public order, and
adjudicate disputes. Government at the state and federal level should
be involved only in issues not best handled by local or regional
government.

I.
STATE GOVERNMENT

  1. We
    oppose interventions by the federal government in state, local or
    personal affairs that impair regional efforts to secure more
    liberty.

  2. The
    state government has no duty to enforce federal laws not authorized
    by the US Constitution, and which do not protect the life, liberty,
    or property of Michiganders. Federal agents enforcing such acts and
    powers in Michigan must face state level criminal prosecution.

  3. We
    support proportional representation in the Michigan State Senate,
    until such time as the Senate can be eliminated.

  4. In
    the absence of a declaration of war by the United States Congress,
    we oppose any use of Michigan troops by the federal government for
    any purpose other than natural disaster relief.

  5. Individuals
    have the right to defend themselves and others. Article I, Section 6
    of the Michigan Constitution states: “Every person has a right to
    keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state.” We
    oppose any law that dilutes the right of a law-abiding person to own
    a firearm or other means of self-defense.

  6. We
    oppose any form of discrimination by government based on race,
    ethnicity, religion, gender, sexual orientation or any other group
    or individual identification. Each person has the same inalienable
    rights that the State has a duty to protect.

  7. State
    government should be removed entirely from the licensing process,
    including, but not limited to, 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.

  8. We
    support returning to a part-time legislature, which is sufficient to
    carry out the legislative duties as prescribed by our state
    constitution.

  9. 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.

  10. We
    oppose immunities for any public officials or employees for illegal
    acts or omissions. Like any individual, they should be subject to
    criminal prosecution and held personally liable for any injuries
    caused by their actions. Therefore, we seek to abolish the
    protections of qualified immunity.

  11. There
    should be maximum separation of legislative, executive and judicial
    powers.

  12. We
    believe the government should not force individuals to alter their
    schedules through the practice known as daylight savings, as the
    manipulation of time is not within the government’s legal
    authority.

  13. We
    oppose the federal government’s inhumane policies toward
    undocumented immigrants and asylum seekers. We support laws that
    would discontinue cooperation by state and local agencies with
    Immigration and Customs Enforcement for undocumented immigrants.

II.
ELECTIONS

  1. 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.

  2. 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 ranked choice voting or
    proportional representation.

  3. Campaign
    finance laws are unwarranted restrictions of free speech or
    association and should be repealed.

  4. The
    time during which voters may circulate any statewide petition should
    be extended to two years.

  5. Voters
    should have the power of referendum on all existing or new
    legislation.

  6. We
    support efforts to make voting less difficult for all voters.

  7. While
    incarcerated, citizens should retain the right to vote.

III.
COURTS

  1. The
    current practice of forced jury duty should be replaced by volunteer
    juries.

  2. 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.

  3. 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 at the expense of the perpetrator. The victim should have the
    right to pardon the perpetrator, provided the victim is not
    threatened or coerced.

  4. Private
    adjudication of disputes by mutually acceptable judges or mediators
    should be encouraged.

  5. We
    oppose no-fault laws that deprive the victim of the right to recover
    damages from those responsible for causing harm. In addition, we
    oppose all mandatory insurance laws.

  6. The
    right of trial by jury should be allowed in all civil or criminal
    cases.

  7. The
    use of civil asset forfeiture to enforce laws circumvents
    constitutional protections and should be ended.

  8. Random
    police roadblocks and other searches without probable cause bypass
    constitutional protections and should be prohibited.

  9. We
    support equal treatment and oppose discrimination on the basis of
    sex and sexual orientation in any judicial proceeding adjudicating a
    parental right, privilege or obligation concerning their child.

  10. Any
    individual who violates the rights of another should be held liable.

  11. We
    deny the legitimacy of criminal prosecutions of persons who have
    victimized no one. To prevent false prosecutions, we affirm the
    right of alleged victims to end prosecutions by freely asserting
    their objection to it. This does not preclude prosecution in cases
    where a victim remains silent, nor shall it preclude prosecution
    where a victim has been coerced into objecting.

  12. No
    person should be denied due process on the basis of age or
    citizenship.

IV.
PUBLIC SAFETY

  1. We
    believe the largest threat to public safety is the government
    itself, and thus the right to bear arms exists primarily to ensure
    the people the ability to effectively resist tyranny.

  2. 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 the
    state constitution Article I, Section 6

  3. As
    we believe that government transparency is essential to public
    accountability. Complaints of police misconduct should be should be
    open to public scrutiny. We support the revision of the Freedom of
    Information Act to remove the exemption of these records.

  4. Once
    free from incarceration, all rights should be restored immediately
    and the classification of “felon” should not impede one’s
    constitutional rights.

  5. State
    prison facilities should be used only for the incarceration of
    individuals who have proven themselves a threat to others.

  6. Curfew
    laws should be repealed as an individual’s behavior is not the
    responsibility of the state or municipality.

  7. Laws
    requiring the use of seat belts or other personal protection devices
    are misguided, paternal, and should be repealed. Individuals must
    assume responsibility for their own safety.

V.
VICE LAWS

  1. 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 alcohol. All those presently incarcerated or ever
    convicted solely for the commission of these victimless crimes
    should be pardoned and their records expunged.

  2. Voluntary
    communities may enforce rules that prohibit certain activities to
    which all members subscribe, such as substance-free dorms.

  3. We
    call for the repeal of all laws criminalizing actions between
    consenting adults. Libertarians support the repeal of all laws
    criminalizing the offer of sexual services for compensation by
    consenting adults, as well as the repeal of all laws criminalizing
    voluntarily seeking out sexual services for hire.

  4. The
    natural, lawful, unalienable, and absolute rights of the citizens of
    Michigan to cultivate and utilize the natural plant known as
    cannabis shall not be infringed. All local and state laws regarding
    cannabis should be repealed, nullified or otherwise abrogated. All
    prior and current non-violent cannabis related convictions should be
    null and void and expunged from those individual’s records.

VI.
TAXES

  1. Whereas
    taxation is theft, the legislature should find more voluntary means
    of supporting state services, such as lotteries and user fees.

  2. The
    income tax should be repealed.

  3. 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.

  4. The
    remaining personal property tax on Michigan businesses should be
    repealed.

  5. 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.

  6. We
    oppose any sales or use tax, including on the Internet.

VII.
ECONOMY

  1. We
    believe in the free market, thus the complete separation of the
    economy and the state.

  2. 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 Michigan
    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. We also call on
    the legislature to end the state monopoly on lotteries.

  3. 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.

  4. The
    condemnation of private property for public use should only be
    allowed when necessary for the protection of the rights of the
    citizens.

  5. We
    recognize all mutually agreed upon forms of trade, including, but
    not limited to non-fiat currencies such as precious metals,
    cryptocurrencies and bartering.

  6. We
    oppose all government restrictions upon voluntary peaceful use of
    outer space, though this does not absolve launch providers or
    payload owners of damage they may cause to others.

VIII.
POVERTY

  1. 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, private charities, and mutual aid
    societies have always been more humane, more effective, and
    willingly borne by the givers. Therefore, we call for the complete
    disbandment of the welfare state.

  2. We
    oppose all attempts to criminalize the victims of coercion, such as
    the homeless. We therefore call for the immediate repeal of all laws
    against sleeping, camping, eating, feeding, or solicitation.

IX.
EDUCATION

  1. Education
    is an individual or parental responsibility and best handled at the
    most local level. We advocate the separation of school and state.

  2. Because
    parents 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, tax credits for private
    school tuition, and home schooling.

  3. 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.

  4. All
    individuals, regardless of age, are entitled to the protections of
    the constitutions of the United States and Michigan. Random drug
    tests, locker searches without probable cause, censorship of student
    publications, corporal punishment, or any similar actions violate
    those rights.

  5. All
    votes relevant to school operations, including millage proposals,
    bond issues and school board elections, should be placed only on the
    regular, biannual ballot.

X.
ENVIRONMENT

  1. Aside
    from public safety, there is no greater concern for the people of
    Michigan than having a safe, healthy environment. We look forward to
    the day when all property not required for police and court
    functions is returned to private ownership and control.

  2. 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 their property.

  3. 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.

  4. We
    support efforts to hold all individuals, businesses and governments
    accountable for the pollution they cause. With respect to so-called
    orphan sites, where those responsible for contamination of ground or
    water either cannot be found or cannot be made accountable for the
    damage they caused, we support the use of the Natural Resources
    Trust Fund currently earmarked for expansion of state parks to be
    redirected to clean up.

X.
HEALTH CARE

  1. The
    most fundamental property right is an individual’s right to own
    and control their own body. All individuals have the right to
    determine their own health care needs and treatment. Exercise of
    this right does not remove the moral obligations not to violate the
    rights of others. We recognize the state, when it exists, has a duty
    to protect the rights of others, particularly those in society who
    are the most vulnerable, including the very old, the very young, and
    the mentally handicapped. The state, where it exists, does have a
    duty to protect the life of all individuals, and should prosecute
    those who utilize force or fraud to end life.

  2. 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.

XII.
SECESSION

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.

XIII.
INCLUSION

The
Libertarian Party of Michigan ratifies and hereby includes in this
document the platform of the national Libertarian Party.

XIV.
OMISSIONS

Our
silence about any other particular government law, regulation,
ordinance, directive, edict, control, restriction, regulatory agency,
or activity should not be construed to imply approval.

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