Thursday, October 27, 2005

Liberty at Sea?

Howdy! and sorry to be away so long. I'm sure I'll have some more updates soon on the LPNC lawsuit. The LNC news front has been very quiet this last month, except for the rumored challenge of the zero dues vote, which has been covered well in a couple recent posts at Liberty for Sale.

A couple readers have asked for my opinion of the upcoming California LP convention, aboard the Royal Carribean cruise ship Monarch of the Seas next February.

Yes, you heard me right, a cruise ship. Four days and three nights sailing between Los Angeles and Ensenada, Mexico. Prices range from $299 to $599.

Both readers expressed a concern about the convention registration essentially being mandatory, since the price of the cruise is inseparable from convention registration. This was a source of controversy at their last convention, when there was an attempt to charge a mandatory floor fee to participate. Obviously those who share that concern will have plenty to worry about here.

I was asked if this was a violation of the Bylaws, but as far as I can tell it is not. It may be a violation of California state law, but I wouldn't know about that. All I know is that we couldn't legally turn away a delegate here in NC, and that it has always been the practice of the national LP to allow delegates on without paying registration. There's probably a legal reason behind that too.

I also am curious if there are any legal problems holding a state convention outside US territory. But there again that is most likely covered in California state law, so that's just an aimless question for now. According to the LPC, a passport is not necessary, so having extra ID is probably not a concern.

People might expect me to take a harder line against this, but I must confess I am having trouble getting past my bias here. I just think having a convention on a cruise ship is really really cool. There was a bid once to hold the World Science Fiction Convention on a cruise ship. They might have even done it.

The price may seem like a chunk of change, but as I understand it this is a great price for a cruise. Considering how big California is, most delegates probably would have to stay in the convention hotel and buy meals for those three days. At California prices, that would easily exceed $100 a day, making the cruise a bargain by comparison.

It would be a hardship for those who are frugal by nature, of which we certainly have our share. I'm looking at the same thing, pinching my pennies so I can afford to attend the national convention in Portland next year. Fortunately at least California Libertarians have a few months to do the same.

I'm looking forward to the reports from that particular convention.


Blogger AB said...

Will the cruise have bars and pools and soccer fields?

10:28 PM  
Blogger Sean Haugh said...

Howdy ab! I've never been on a cruise but believe they all have bars and pools. Soccer fields, of that I am not so sure. What happens if the ball goes out of bounds? ;-)

6:07 PM  
Anonymous Greg Clark said...

Many states have laws about "public meetings" (which would include state political party conventions) being held within the state, but I'm not aware of any that say they have to be on land.

As long as that ship stays within California water as defined by state law. If I recall correctly California claims about 200 miles out under old Spanish law.

It may well be legal, but that doesn't make it right.

I don't like the idea of raising the financial bar to participating in an LP convention. It sounds to me that it is CLP Chair Aaron Starr's plan to rid himself of the "riff-raff."

This IS the guy who has argued for a dress code (coat and tie!) for admittance to the floor of the National Convention.

11:42 PM  

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