Richard "Dick" Illyes

Richard “Dick” Illyes

Mayes Middleton has introduced a bill that would destroy the Libertarian Party.

The Libertarian Party is the only third party with ballot access in Texas. Apparently, he believes they will split the conservative vote in 2020 and elect Democrats. The Democrat turnout machine is much better organized than the Republican, and deep pocket progressives are planning to turn Texas Blue in 2020. Turnout is everything in runoff elections.

There’s a much better solution, instant runoff voting.

If voters were able to cast a runoff vote during the first pass, there would be no need for a second runoff election. If the ballots had a second runoff section for all races with more than two candidates, voters could make a runoff selection at the same time they cast their first choice vote. Everything would be known on election night.

There are two flavors of instant runoff voting, ranked choice, where voters rate the candidates as first, second, third, etc., and the simpler version proposed above, where voters simply cast their second choice vote at the same time they cast their first. If their first choice isn’t in the runoff their second choice vote is used. Third party voters can choose a major party candidate as their runoff choice, allowing a true majority result.

Ranked choice is hard to implement with many of the existing systems used in Texas, but just having a second block for races with more than two candidates is no problem. It would allow the true choice of the voters to be expressed. It’s a much better solution than outlawing third parties.

These are strange times. The major parties have coalesced around one issue, abortion. The Democrats and Republicans have driven out all local party officials who aren’t extreme on one side or the other of the abortion issue. Campaign volunteers are given the third degree on abortion and driven away if they’re not pure enough. Republicans claim to see abortion as the basis for a second Civil War. Everyone must be forced to take a side.

Outlawing third parties is another move toward complete polarization. It’s a bad move in a bad direction.

The national and Texas Libertarian platforms say that the government should be kept out of the abortion issue. That means no tax dollars for Planned Parenthood, but also no change to Roe vs. Wade.

Libertarians want smaller government and lower taxes, and they want to keep government out of people’s private lives. These are widely held positions in Texas. Mayes Middleton may be able to destroy the Libertarian Party, but his effort isn’t likely to force them to vote Republican. It’s also certain to backfire, giving the big money progressives another issue which with to beat up the Republicans.

There’s a much better solution, allow voters to make their second runoff choice at the same time they make their first. Runoff elections could be a thing of the past in Texas. This is the year to do it.

Richard “Dick” Illyes is a Libertarian Party activist and lives in Dickinson.


(20) comments

Ray Taft

Libertarians and Democrats are on the same radical government coin. Leftist Democrats are on one side, Libertarians the flip side.

Democrats want the government to force people to allow them do whatever they want to do. Libertarians want government to get out of their way so they can do whatever they want to do.

One obvious proof is the libertarian stance on abortion. Illyes wrote: ” change to Roe vs. Wade.” Meaning that Libertarians want abortion to stay legal just like Democrats do. Never mind anyone’s right to life.

Illyes wrote: “..allow voters to make their second runoff choice at the same time they make their first.” Illyes wants people to be able to vote more than once as long as it benefits Libertarians. Democrat’s want their supporters to vote early and often. Never mind the one person, one vote rule.

Same radical extremist government coin, Democrats are on one side and Libertarians on the other.

Bailey Jones

"Democrats want the government to force people to allow them do whatever they want to do." lol [cool]

George Croix

No, Ray. They don't want to force people to allow them to do whatever they want.
They just want to make enough promises to give the voters OPM so they'll get elected and then they can claim that what they do is because the people want them to, not due to force.
Same result, but why spoil the beauty of the plan with facts....
It's pretty much like when you can say you 'wiretapped' or 'surveilled' somebody, but that wasn't really spying on them........[beam][beam][beam][beam]
Can't fix that.....

Gary Scoggin

I don’t agree with everything the Libertarians stand for, but I do agree that we need to make ballot access easier, not harder. In that, Mr. Middleton’s bill is a disappointment.

George Croix

You mean, of course, ballot access for voters and candidates legally allowed to be either, or both, and following the rules in place to do so.......
Absolutely....100% with you on that....

Charlene Adams

Anyone meeting qualifications should be allowed on the ballot. This is America and those are the principles this country was built on. Election laws should not be “adjusted” to help any party or limit candidates to only two parties.

Paul Sivon

Thank you, a supporter of freedom is rare in the “comments” section. Usually it’s the same old partisan BS driving the thread by the same old partisan people

Paula Flinn

Amen to that!

Richard Illyes

The move to destroy the Libertarian Party is already backfiring. Conversations on Democrat websites in response to the bill are talking about restoring LP ballot access as a major part of their 2020 campaign. That will certainly draw most Libertarian voters. A fair and logical way exists, Instant Runoff Voting. Let the actual choice of the voters be heard.

Jim Forsythe

Dick, could you tell us what the differences in the Libertarian Party and the other two main parties? I know that I can read the differences, but would like to hear what your take on what is different.

Richard Illyes

Check the Texas LP Platform at You can also check my campaign website for some specific proposals In the Positions section I set out several proposals that I believe will help in several problem areas. In the Blog section I enlarge on them and other issues. To me the big issue is having the free market handle almost everything. Contract out government projects instead of creating armies of government employees. End monopolies of all types. I am a believer in the Non-Aggression Principle and have a write-up on it in both sections.

George Croix

They ALL...ALLL.... 'talk about' all kinds of stuff during campaigns.
The kicker is getting them to give a fig about what they 'talked about' once they get elected.
The, when they DO produce at least SOME of what they promised, it's either 'never enough' or 'too much'.......
The Libertarians and several others DO have some good points and stated values/goals. In fact I like a lot of the Libertarian message. But they are all...all...sideshows to the main event for my whole life, and the population coming along now, increasingly more interested in 'free stuff' and obsessing over internet rumor and 'facts' and swallowing whatever talking points the usual suspects toss out than in actual beneficial enterprises and efforts, pretty much means the alternative Parties all STAY sideshows, absent some successful major mind control effort or Facebook Promise-athon gone 'viral' or 'liked' in mega numbers.
UNTIL an alternate Party to the Big Two comes along and proves nationally viable before the end of the primaries season, so that a vote for one of them might possibly result in a win, then it's exactly like going to either a strictly Ford or Chevy dealership with your Kia and demanding warranty service...wasting your time......imo....

Carlos Ponce

How well did the Libertarian Party do in Galveston County in the 2018 midterms?
US Senator candidate Neal M. Dikeman 0.81%, 0.78% statewide
District 14 Representative Don E. Conley III 1.76% county, 1.44% District 14 wide total
Governor Mark Jay Tippetts 1.78%, 1.69% statewide
Lt. Governor Kerry Douglas McKennon 2.19%, 2.21% statewide etc.
Biggest splash in the 2018 midterms was Matt Pina (3.44% county, 3.13% state) running against George P. Bush for Land Commissioner.
In the 2016 Presidential election, Libertarian Gary Johnson garnered 3.16% of Texas voters, 3.29% of Galveston County voters.
Republicans all won with a greater margin than the entire opposition combined so it really didn't make a difference whether Libertarians were on the ballot or not.
The Republican symbol is the elephant. The Democrat symbol is the donkey. The Libertarians should adopt the "tadpole". Yes they make a splash .... but do many notice?
Keeping them on a Texas ballot makes no difference on the outcome. They just take up a few pixels on your voting screen.

Gary Miller

Could this be the year of a third party? According to recent polls Independents are the largest block of supporters for Trump. Larger in fact than the whole "big tent" of Democrats. Is it possible Independents could replace many spineless Republicans and many greedy and lawless Democrats? Could Trump create the winning third party without knowing he was doing it?

Rusty Schroeder


Wayne Holt

Gary, you are in good company. Martin Armstrong, one of the most accurate financial prognosticators of the past 35 years, has clearly gone on record that, indeed, independents and third-party candidates will be coming into their own over the next two election cycles. What we are seeing world-wide with the election of non-politicians like Trump, the Yellow Vests in France, the erosion of old political dynasties like PAN in Mexico, the Brexit chaos and on and on...are just the echos of people all around the globe who are fed up with the major parties and political bromides on offer from the established parties.

It is growing rapidly here in the US with the revulsion of conservatives to RINO politicians and the estrangement of the Democrat Old Guard against the new generation. The message is simple to those who are willing to hear it: If you are not actively engaged in trying to reflect what your constituents want, if you are mysteriously growing rich as a servant of the people, if you are insisting on the punishment of those who have the temerity to expose government wrongdoing while sitting on your hands regarding justice to those same wrongdoers...if that is your model, be you Democrat or Republican, be prepared for a sea change. And I say not a moment too soon.

We are at a turning point in American history. The decisions we are making now about how we are governed, by whom and using which principles, will define what America becomes over the remainder of this century and beyond. I am much more encouraged by what I see among rank and file Democrats and Republicans than what I see in the leadership of either party. So, bring it on...let's restore America with a peaceful revolution that puts the citizen back as the sovereign and dethrones autocrats, the corrupt and the opportunists of either party.

Wendy Maceo-Melton

The third party is alive and well, The Trump Party. Unfortunately, with the rise of the Party of Trump, meant the death of the Republican Party. To tell the truth, I'm sad to see it go. There were many honorable, good, reasonable Republicans. We're left with not one honorable, good, reasonable party in its place. RIP, Republicans!

Gary Scoggin

Exactly, Wendy. Trump - and the evangelicals and tea partiers before him - took the Republicans from a party of liberty and free trade to a party of busybodies and protectionism.

Carlos Ponce

Contrary to your belief, the Republican Party is well and strong as long as they adhere to Conservative beliefs.[beam]

George Croix

"Is it possible Independents could replace many spineless Republicans and many greedy and lawless Democrats?'
There better be one heckuva lot of Independents, Gary, and a candidate that can win the general election, because in the categories you mentioned, both of them, there's a target rich environment......
I'll be first in line to vote 3rd Party if they ever show by the end of the primaries that they just might have a shot to win The Big One.....

Until then, my choice boils down to, imo, voting against the greater of two evils.....

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