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Democrats and Libertarians at Cutting Edge
August 12th 2005

Democrats and Libertarians at Cutting Edge

Libertarian Party

St Petersburg, FL--Slow but sure, an innovative local coalition of Libertarians, Democrats, Greens and 14 community groups is attracting attention and even changing attitudes nationwide--not only about elections, but inter-party action.

"We basically looked at what we could agree on, held public forums on election problems, and went from there," said Michael Gilson-De Lemos, chair of the Pinellas Libertarian Party and a coalition spokesman.

Articles in local papers such as the St Petersburg Post and a lengthy piece in the alternative Weekly Planet are among those following the coalition, noting that other Supervisors of Elections in Florida are opening up public review of electronic voting procedures, a coalition recommendation. Among other recommendations are reduced ballot requirements and a more participative citizen process with an advisory board.


While not front page news, national articles and links are also growing in the independent media, widely read by political aides and community activists looking for cutting edge items. Recently it was selected as an under-reported story by Independent TV, leading to a bevy of inquiries.


While the local Republican leadership declined to participate in the forums, rank and file Republican interest has been strong. A former Republican Councilman leads one of the coalition partners, and at least one conservative talk show host has invited the coalition members to discuss their findings on syndicated radio.

Locally the coalition has been present at board meetings that are taking up the recommendations for study, including one to look at revisions of County Charters. Additionally, one group in the Tampa Bay area has adapted the model, inviting the parties to join as a group to look at community problems.


"The major parties have at times been afraid of dialogue with the parties such as the Libertarians. That time is coming to an end," said one coalition member. Democratic Vice Chair Arlin Briley noted that Americans want to see more dialogue and continual improvement, and "That's what we're trying to encourage."

The coalition certainly got it. Its forums on election problems were standing room only, and generated the bulk of the recommendations along with a study of local election systems. The report is at the coalition website , which also has a link for people to discuss their election concerns.


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By Mike Davis
Mike is a freelance writer

Libertarian Books

Keywords and Misspellings:  Libartarian Libertarian Democrat Greens Floreda 


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Copyright 2005 Best Syndication                                            Last Updated Saturday, July 10, 2010 09:38 PM