The status of the Libertarian National Convention, which was originally scheduled for Austin, Texas over Memorial Day Weekend, has been threatened by the COVID-19 pandemic, and within the last week, the host hotel canceled the event without consulting the party.
In light of this, the Libertarian National Committee is meeting Saturday, May 2 to decide on how—or indeed whether—to proceed with a convention.
There are a few proposals on the table that are bringing out the debate among Libertarians for which way to proceed with the nominating convention.
One option being discussed is to cancel the convention entirely, which would trigger another two-year term for all current members of the LNC, including Chair Nick Sarwark, and enable the LNC to choose the LP’s presidential ticket. Another proposal that is likely to be debated at Saturday’s meeting would allow for remote voting.
The debate and anger is strong among hardworking Libertarian candidates about which direction to take. In a Facebook post on Thursday, Smith, the Mises Caucus-endorsed candidate for LNC chair, said this:
“On Saturday, during the LNC meeting, I will refuse to circumvent our bylaws to hold a virtual convention, (which will be an absolute mess) a rump convention, or a cancelled convention so long as there is any option on the table to have an in-person national convention.
“LNC members and Chair candidates should not be using backroom deals, or committees who don’t have that authority to circumvent the bylaws for their own personal gain and motives. Our delegates should be given the chance to show up and direct the business of the party like they do every two years. What they choose is how our party proceeds for the following two years, and the most fair way to go about that is laid out in our bylaws already. No changes needed.”
“Should July roll around, and there not be any option to meet, we can explore the nuclear options. This will also give the party more time to think about those options, and plan them while holding out for an in-person meeting.”
The conspiracies are already running rampant among the Libertarian base. They believe this move will allow the LNC to nominate Justin Amash without any consultation by the delegate block. However, what they fail to realize is the world we live in now. No one could predict we would be sitting here with COVID-19 hanging over our heads and uprooting the normal life we are use to. I would bet that the LNC goes the route of a virtual convention that will allow the delegates to have a voice, but at the same time having to alter the rules to make this type of convention happen. It is called adaptability and something we have all gotten use to the past two months as we are cooped up in our homes having to conduct virtual work.