A great election cycle for the Libertarian Party. Here in Colorado the LP won two county-wide partisan elections by landslide proportions. Additionally, one race took over 50,000 votes in a single county in a losing effort.
Nationwide, some high profile candidacies were disappointing. Carla Howell managed only 1% in the race for Mass. governor. At the same time her ballot initiative to end the state income tax won over 45% of the vote. That was more than 10% better than the polling numbers predicted. It's hard to understate the significance of that vote in a leftist leaning state like Mass., and in spite of universal opposition from Republican politicians. Safe to say, similar ballot initiatives will be coming to a state near you, and soon.
The best news of all were the unexpected Republican victories, taking control of the federal legislature. It seems they took a page from the Democrats by bringing out the vote in a highly organized election day effort. I don't think there's so much of a shift in mainstream philosophy as simply a better organized Republican party. Democrats assumed, naively, that the electorate would be incensed by the Republican 'theft' of the 2000 presidential election and vote against them this time around. The truth is that the Republicans and independents felt even more strongly that the Democrats made an attempt to circumvent the legal process in Florida.
So, why do I, a partisan Libertarian, see a positive in Republican victory? After all, gridlock is the next best thing to libertarian government. It's because the minarchists in the Republican Party have nowhere to hide. They'll have to put up or shut up.
I'll make a few easy predictions; under Republican rule, the federal government will continue to grow, probably at a faster pace than ever. Government intrusions on a personal level will become more egregious. Small government advocates will have no place in the Republican Party.
Coming elections will provide fertile ground for libertarians of both the large and small 'L' varieties.
UPDATE - Dale Amon touts the Mass. results.
:: Walter 11:16 PM [+] ::