I talked to my sister the other day—the one who moved to Canada in the early 1970s. During the conversation, she started bemoaning that Prime Minister Stephen Harper had called a federal election. Being a Canadian trapped in an American body, I have a hint about how things are run.
At least she had the good grace to sound apologetic.
“And when’s your election date?”
A bit of a pause.
“The middle of October.”
“Yeah, so shaddup.”
Now that I’ve set international relations back 50 years, let’s turn to the Independence Party of Minnesota (IPM). It’s hard to forget, being “Jesse’s party” and all, but let’s also remember that IPM (and the Independence Party of America) spun off from Ross Perot’s Reform Party—or that the reason former Governor Jesse Ventura left that party was because of the rise within it of Patrick Buchanan.
According to the IPM Web site:
“We believe defined values are essential to guiding political reform and assuring policies that benefit all. These are our core values:
(1) A democratic process with integrity and broad citizen participation.
(2) A justice system that is fair, wise, unambiguous, swift, affordable, and accessible to all.
(3) A society that is inclusive, embraces diversity, and protects everyone’s rights.
(4) Government policies which encourage and expect personal responsibility.
(5) Government that is fiscally responsible: equitable in its collection of taxes, careful in its spending, and honest in its financial reporting.
(6) Government that is a good steward: protecting the environment, preserving our public institutions, prudently managing public assets, and leaving for our children a better world.
(7) Government that is controlled locally whenever possible.
(8) Rights of privacy and personal liberties under the US Constitution, the Minnesota Constitution, and the Bill of Rights of the United States shall be strongly defended.
(9) An educated citizenry with the knowledge and understanding to preserve our freedoms and maintain our prosperity.
(10) Political leadership that acts for the greater good and prepares us for the future.”
Farther along in the IPM platform is the following:
“• We support lowering the minimum age to run for state elective office to 18 years of age.
• We believe that many rural economies are challenged by a lack of access to the highest quality telecommunications, technology, and transportation. We support policies that will allow rural businesses to compete effectively in the global economy, and we also support government initiatives to assure that affordable and state-of-the-art Internet connections are readily available to all citizens.”
Under the section titled “Protecting Liberty, Justice, and Security”:
“• We support the separation of church and state for the benefit of all.
• We support high standards of morality, family values, and personal responsibility, but we oppose having the government impose state-sponsored morality or values on people of good conscience with differing views.
• We believe that all law-abiding citizens are entitled to the full rights and protections of citizenship, and that discrimination on the basis of race, gender, ethnicity, sexual orientation, or religion is contrary to American values.”
Under the “Principles” heading—which includes integrity, dignity, justice, responsibility, service, and community: “All citizens deserve equal rights, protection, and opportunity under the law. In our party and public affairs, we are ever vigilant to promote only those rules and laws which assure equity and freedom for all citizens.”
Of all the 20-some IPM candidates running in Minnesota, probably the best-known is former Senator Dean Barkley, especially as he has started eating into both incumbent Senator Norm Coleman’s and challenger Al Franken’s poll results.
Other candidates can be found at the Minnesota Secretary of State’s Election Center site.
Independence Party of Minnesota
Independence Party of America
Minnesota Sec. of State