Libertarian vs. Liberal: Strong Opposition on 40% of Ballot Measures

What’s the difference between a Libertarian and a liberal? Maybe 40%?

Ken Santema, Libertarian SoDakLiberty blogger, has summarized his positions on all ten statewide ballot issues. Let’s compare his positions with mine:

Issue Dakota Free Press SoDakLiberty
RL 19: Incumbent Protection Plan Voting NO! Voting NO!
RL 20: Youth Minimum Wage Cut Voting NO! Leaning YES
IM 21: 36% Payday Loan Rate Cap Voting YES! Voting No.
IM 22: Anti-Corruption Act Voting YES! Voting NO!
IM 23: “Fair Share” Union Dues Voting Yes. Voting NO!
Am R: Regents/vo-tech authority Leaning Yes. Leaning NO.
Am S: Crime victims bill or rights Voting No. Leaning NO.
Am T: Independent redistricting Voting YES! Leaning YES.
Am U: Unlimited interest on payday loans Voting NO! Voting No!
Am V: Open non-partisan primary Voting YES! Leaning YES.

I use more exclamation points than Ken. I’m also more inclined to vote Yes.

Santema and I agree on five of the ten ballot measures. We both want to protect independents and party members alike from the incumbent-protecting predations of Referred Law 19. Santema shares my concern that Amendment S sounds good but doesn’t add any value to our existing statutes protecting crime victims. We agree that Amendment T’s independent redistricting won’t solve all of our electoral problems but is better than gerrymandering. We both want to quash the payday lenders’ effort to “play around with the SD Constitution” with Amendment U. We agree that Amendment V’s pros outweigh the cons of an open nonpartisan primary.

We’re leaning opposite on Amendment R, but we neither one sound inclined to fight about it. That’s six issues where we won’t be crossing swords.

We are most opposed on the three initiated laws, which makes some sense on blind ideology: the liberal wants to enact three new laws, while the Libertarian opposes more “regulation.” But neither Santema nor I are blind ideologues. We take market positions on IM 21: Santema says the government should not intrude on the lending market with rate caps, while I contend that the government rightly regulates the free market to prevent business practices that exploit neighbors in dire circumstances. Santema contends IM 22 gives taxpayer dollars to politicians, which he finds odious; I support IM 21’s “Democracy Credits” as a way to give citizens more say over how some of their tax dollars are spent, not to mention over who gets elected to spend the bulk of their tax dollars. Finally, in a more ideologically muddled area, in opposing IM 23, Santema supports “right-to-work” and other statutes that force unions to provide representation to non-members for free, while in supporting IM 23, I support easing that regulation and allowing unions to charge for services they render.

The Libertarian and the liberal are only fighting hard on 40% of the issues on the ballot. That ratio corresponds to calculations I performed in 2014, when I found I could get along with 52% of the Libertarian platform.

That’s why I like sharing my ballot measure stances on my campaign cards. Don’t let party labels fool you: we Democrats, you Libertarians, you Republicans, and everyone else can find more agreement than you might think.


2 Responses to Libertarian vs. Liberal: Strong Opposition on 40% of Ballot Measures

  1. Darin Larson

    Cory, I am tentatively in agreement with your recommendations on the statewide ballot measures. A mental cheat sheet for me (since there is no R or D attached to the measures) is as follows:

    If the measure is under 21, I won’t vote for it. 21 and over makes it legal for me to vote for it.

    Sucks to be U or S; I’m voting for RTV.