Orlando, FL – Libertarians met in person for the second sitting of their National Convention from July 7th through July 12th at the Rosen Centre Hotel Orlando Convention Center. Meanwhile the majority of delegates participated through the Zoom teleconference application. This hybrid approach had it’s challenges, but most core functions of the Convention were completed with the exception of the platform report.
What follows is a few impressions of people who were physically there along with essential facts like the officer election results.
Ryan Roberts, had a fresh perspective that didn’t involve comparisons to other conventions:
For my first experience I had a good time. I got to meet a lot of like minded and friendly people at the convention! It was great seeing Spike, Jo, Matt Kibbe, John Monds and many other well known libertarians. The AirBnB that the Mises Caucus provided was comfortable and I am very thankful for the assistance they were able to provide!
It was also the first national convention for Libertarian Party of Oakland County Chair Connor Nepomuceno:
The Orlando convention was my very first national convention, and I would say on the whole that it was a wonderful time. I was happy to meet and hang out with a lot of the people that I had only ever interacted with online. Of course, I couldn’t meet all of them because many stayed at home.
I thought the act of conducting business in a bifurcated way (in person and online) was clumsy, and I hope we never do something like that again. I think it exaggerated some factional issues in the party.
I’ll leave you with an anecdote:
Outside the convention hall was an exterior balcony that smokers came to congregate at, known as the “Smoker’s Coughus.” Meanwhile, there were Sheriff deputies inside enforcing mask orders that FL has in place. So, 10 feet away from them we were outside passing around joints, having a good ole time, not giving a damn about them. A Libertarian experience if there ever was one.
I’d also like to add to the public record that upon my return to MI, I had a COVID test done and got a negative result.
Wayne County affiliate Secretary Daniel Ziemba contrasted the two sittings:
I found the in-person convention far more engaging and
fulfilling than the previous online convention, with the most prominent frustration being the apparent lack of confidence on the part of perhaps 60% of the online delegation that those present in-person had the best interests of all delegates at heart during the first day’s events. Those in the room nearly unanimously supported the course of action eventually taken.
Hopefully the party can find more unity in action should a similar situation occur in the future. Beyond that, Andrew and I purchased the gold package, and shared some very enlightening conversations over meals, which we shared with Alex Merced, Jacob Lamont, and others. I thought the safety precautions in place were pretty reasonable, with daily temperature checks, mask requirements in hallways, and generously spaced tables in the hall (and plenty of wide open spaces at the corners remaining for anyone who wanted extra isolation) providing plenty of protection from the coronavirus.
Finally, on Sunday evening after the convention concluded, we shared cigars and talked with with Nick Sarwark, Danny Bedwell (LP of MS chair), Ken Moellman, and a few others (to include a party member we recruited on the spot). I found that meeting some of the people I had previously only known electronically helped to settle needless tensions developed online, and reminded me that we are on the same team (and a large team at that), united against the forces of a political system which would rather we remain silent.
Of course our State Chair is no stranger to national conventions…
It was an honor chairing the Michigan delegation to the Libertarian National Convention; both the first session on Zoom and second hybrid session in Orlando with remote participation. Our delegation cast a full slate of 34 votes on every ballot. We conducted 13 ballots; seven in the first session for POTUS and VPOTUS and six ballots in the second session for LNC officers.
A special appreciation goes to Andrew Chadderdon for organizing and troubleshooting the LimeSurvey polling and having an incredible amount of patience. Below are the results of how our delegation voted.