Wednesday, October 31, 2007

What is the appropriate function of the National Party and Office?

We need to maintain the formal structure of a political party while we organize first at a local level. Many of our supporters first contact us through the LP or its state affiliates. We do not want this to change.

Basically the NLP performs three functions. It maintains a mailing list, publishes a newsletter, and puts on the National Convention. The presidential campaign is separate. It has to be.

The LP National performs one function well, another marginally, and a third with varying success.

The first is to maintain an informational service that makes lists available. Their model is to use the list as a fundraising resource. A better use is to make it available free to candidates and at a slight markup to others but make it clear that use of the list does not imply endorsement of any activity for which it is used.

The second is to publish a newsletter. Presently, the national newsletter functions as an in house organ for the National Office. It should instead encourage the dissemination of success stories and help people connect in useful ways.

The third function is to put on the national convention. This should be run to enable members to optimize their local projects. Instead it is used to promote the projects of the National Office and its employees and contractors. This must change.

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