A 17%er is a politically active person who cares about liberty. Only about 17% of politically active people do care about liberty for everyone. The other 83% care about things like political power, clout, or money, or they care about being part of the crowd who aims to gain power, clout, or money, or they care about getting or maintaining special privileges for themselves (see power, clout, or money for routes to privilege).
"Seventeen percent" comes from taking note of statistics in three races.
First was Hughie Tweedy's race for Iowa State Representative in 2000. Hughie and his political views were well-known among the like-minded in Lee County. He ran as a Libertarian against an entrenched incumbent of the most active party in his county and a much lesser known candidate of the second-most active party of the county. In this three-way race between R, D, and Libertarian, Hughie got 17% of the vote.
Next was Clyde Cleveland's race for Governor of Iowa in 2002. Clyde ran an energetic campaign and became well-known for his political views in his hometown of Fairfield. In the race with Clyde were a one-term incumbent governor and a several-term congresscritter, both of the two most active parties in the state, and an unknown minor party candidate. In this four-way race among R, D, Libertarian, and Green, Clyde got 17% of the vote in his own Jefferson County.
And then there was my race for the At Large seat on the Fairfield City Council in 2007. I ran a $10 campaign, but my name and my views were well-known due to my four years as city councilor for Third Ward. In the race with me were three others. One was an unknown candidate whose campaign chair was a county supervisor and whose campaign treasurer was a past city council member of eight years, and both were influential in the most active party in the city. Another candidate was a local officer of the second-most active party in the city and a several-time candidate for office. The third candidate appeared to be unknown and unaffiliated with any particular party. In this nominally non-partisan yet actually heavily partisan four-way race among R, D, Libertarian, and unaffiliated, I got 17% of the vote in Fairfield.
Judging by the results of these three races, it seems that 17% has special significance for libertarians and liberty-oriented people.
Friday, June 11, 2010
Posted by Christy Ann Welty at 8:44 PM