Libertarian Party (United States)
The Libertarian Party (LP) is a libertarian political party in the United States that promotes civil liberties, free markets, non-interventionism, and laissez-faire. The LP was conceived at meetings in the home of David F. Nolan in Westminster, Colorado during 1971 and was officially formed on December 11, 1971 in Colorado Springs, Colorado. The founding of the party was prompted in part due to concerns about the Vietnam War, conscription, and the end of the gold standard.2012 presidential nominee Gary Johnson states that the party is more culturally liberal than the Democrats, but more fiscally conservative than the Republicans. The party has generally promoted a classical liberal platform, in contrast to the modern liberal and progressive platform of the Democrats and the more conservative platform of the Republicans. Current policy positions include lowering taxes, allowing people to opt out of Social Security, abolishing welfare, ending the prohibition of illegal drugs, supporting same-sex marriage rights, and supporting gun ownership rights.In the 30 states where voters can register by party, there is a combined total of 330,811 voters registered under the party. By this count, as well as in terms of the popular vote in elections and number of candidates run per election, the LP is the third-largest party in the United States. It has also many firsts to its credit, such as being the party under which the first electoral vote was cast for a woman in a United States presidential election, due to a faithless elector.Though the party has never won a seat in the United States Congress, it has seen electoral success in state legislative races. Three Libertarians were elected to the Alaska Legislature between 1978 and 1984 and another four to the New Hampshire General Court in 1992. In 2011 Rhode Island State Representative Daniel P. Gordon was expelled from the Republicans and joined the LP, making him the only Libertarian State Representative that year.