|Posted on July 25, 2012 at 2:00 AM|
Libertarian-supportive youth such as this election fairness team in Latin America influence attitudes, say peers.
A survey conducted by volunteers of LIO has determined that over 60% of high schoolers in the US, Mexico and Costa Rica believe that a Libertarian President and members of the Supreme Court is inevitable and desirable 'within two generations'...and a large group (over 30%) that some form of no-less government or voluntary government system' should be generally tried, especially (over 55%) at the local level, and was likely 'inevitable at least locally.'
Most said they were not aware of the problems with ballot laws and third parties and thought that removing such laws while putting more libertarian-based people in local office was therefore paramount. A near-majority said the same for Green candidates--in many countries the Greens are widely supported by those identifying as Libertarians.
LIBERTARIAN CANDIDATES SEEN AS LAGGING INDICATOR, MUST BE EXPERIENCED AS LIBERTARIANS
Over 20% said they would vote for a 'qualified and experienced libertarian candidate with a record of results', 5% for 'a libertarian candidate not experienced as a libertarian,' and over 50% for 'an experienced libertarian candidate that I knew or was working on my favorite issues who was qualified and experienced with a record of results.' There was little difference among respondent subgroups.
Over 70% said they 'would like to see some Libertarians in local' public office, especially appointive boards 'working on specific issues.' They identified Libertarians as focused on rights, choices, data and correct process, and being fair. Over 50% of these thought the main value of Libertarians in public office was 'helping me in protecting consensus and social gains in rights and choice' and over 30% 'starting new specific voluntary programs or ideas and protecting the defenseless.' Over 20% thought Libertarians were the go-to people for seeing 'the law and fairness were followed.'
Of the 60% over half thought they would see a Libertarian President as 'most of the Libertarian ideas were already put into place' and 30% when 'there were more local libertarians making change' to which voters could refer. Over half of these thought a Libertarian 'would be great in a severe national crisis' such as an invasion or ending an extremist takeover. This comports with pro-Libertarian Presidents abroad arising after leading anti-Communist popular revolutions.
Over 60% agreed that legislators were 'living in the past' and 'should not block libertarian initiatives among people who want to use them.' many cited legislation on drugs, sexuality, small business, and the web as irritants. Many noted that the web was becoming an engine of change and agreed 'people are increasingly doing as they please whatever institutions say.'
Among those saying libertarians were inevitable a majority felt the world was improving, among those who self-identified as anti-libertarian most thought the world was getting worse. The libertarian inclined were less optimistic about Libertarian inevitability and the progressive most optimistic.
Respondents tested about 30% each libertarian, progressive and conservative inclined, and under 10% authoritarian. Over 3% in the US and Mexico and 10% in Costa Rica self-identified as 'consciously libertarian or pro-libertarian' and of those chose 'modernist and voluntary choice/rights oriented' as a libertarian description in over 50% of the cases, with 'tolerant/less or no government' as the next most favored by some 30%. This means most people who vote Libertarians do not see themselves as necessarily Libertarian but like what libertarians are doing. In addition, 21% in the US and Costa Rica self-identified with Libertarian, though half had generalized sense of the approach.
Over 70% agreed that 'voluntary communities of libertarian character or law-waiver options that would allow me to choose libertarian alternatives' e.g. that allowed complete personal and market freedom should be legal or tried more. A similar number of those who said they were aware of media and academic portayals of libertarianism or libertarians thought they were for over 30% often too grossly incorrect and did not 'even know basic facts' and over 40% thought fair but 'too general and infrequent.'
In addition, over 80% agreed that 'having Libertarian candidates improve the race' more than any other candidates with Greens next; and 'help me even if they lose by showing where people support more choices and defining the issues.' This comports with staements by opponents that libertarian candidates forced them to be better candidates, document specifics and consider or implement libertarian-direction policy. Of these, over 90% said laws limiting small parties were 'wrong and should be abolished,' and 'harm the right to a fair choice of the voter' comporting with large majorities supporting the view when put to a vote.
CANDIDACIES HELP RECOGNITION, DRIVE CULTURAL CHANGE
In Mexico, a Libertarian-oriented party candidate recieved some 2% of the vote, and in Costa Rica a growing Libertarian-Liberal themed centrist party regularly clocks in over 5% vote totals and has some 10% of the legislature. In the US Libertarians are strong at the local level, and in 2002 the USLP identified as a major problem that not enough people could be trained as libertarians to meet demand. The LIO has registered a project to promote use of Libertarian tools by all officials and mentor Libertarians interested in non-partisan adlective (e.g. appointive advisory boards ) office, with an emphasis on local work.
Both self-identified libertarians and libertarian-leaning reported less use of drugs than conservatives and guns than progressives, suggesting the trend continues where libertarians are simply more self-disciplined and rights-focused than others. Those saying they were from minority, working class/union, or low-income backgrounds tested both with higher self-reported IQ's and more libertarian, suggesting a growing social shift.
Of those who self-identified as libertarians, over 50% said they were aware of libertarian publicity or for libertarian ideas but came based on a communication from a friend, teacher, or handout. The rest were about divided between those who learned from a campaign or were 'in a libertarian-aware' family or circle, with the first somewhat higher in Costa Rica.
ASK ME TO PARTICIPATE
Finally, 10% of the Libertarian-inclined respondents said they would consider getting involved in local public office, and 20% in social entrepreneurship or community volunteering at some point. This suggested opportunities in asking people to start in office or volunteering as opposed to merely asking for their support in long term growth.
Over 2300 respondents were surveyed in each country in 2 independently run studies of over 1100 respondents each. Questions were formulated based on pre-survey of focus groups. The data is suggestive that as Libertarian concepts spread they acquire increased acceptance, and the massive and rapid growing cultural change wrought by LIO supporters and libertarians in general...and what Libertarian-oriented or direction contact groups can expect in their own countries as they organize interest.
In 1970 LIO volunteers tested US respondents and found most people rated as fascists/authoritarian (over 40% for more intrusive government and less economic and civil rights' and of which most agreed that 'some form of dictatorship would be best for the US' ). A similar study by the University of Michigan isolated similar data. That number is now under 10% suggesting a strong change towards participation and away from authoritarian cultures in all areas.
A study for India and China is underway. Ranges are rounded down to country minimums and for purposes of ease of presentation. We thank the volunteers who helped arrange the study.