What is a Liberaltarian, from a practical viewpoint?

I haven’t spent much time studying what exactly Liberaltarianism is, but for me it is a simple short hand for my general political philosophy in which, on non-economic issues, I prefer the government to stay away … or at least neutral. But on economic issues, with money and material being the center of modern society, government has a role to level the playing field. In short, money is power and a democracy is best that tries to keep power widely distributed rather than concentrated. When it comes to economic issues, power is widely distributed by regulating against excess. When it comes to social issues, power is widely distributed when people can do as they wish. Here’s a rundown of issues that were approved in the Virginia General Assembly, and how I would say a liberaltarian should vote. Not surprisingly, a liberaltarian disagrees with both parties on many non-economic issues (tending to vote with the Democrats when the issue is one fraught with religiosity, and with the Republicans when the issue is one of public health, like banning cigarettes in bars), and tends to agree with the Democrats on economic policy.


Drunken Driving. Would require people convicted of their first DUI to equip their vehicles with breath-testing machines for six months (HB2041). NO

Death Penalty. Would expand death penalty for capital murder to also include perpetrators who knowingly participated in a capital murder with the intent to kill, but didn’t take a life (HB2358, SB961). NO

Novelty lighters. Prohibits the sale of novelty lighters to juveniles and requires stores place lighters out of children’s reach (HB2578). NO

Handgun training. Specifies that handgun competence training can be completed electronically or online (SB1528). YES


Fighting blight. Would allow cities to offer tax abatement incentives to prod people to renovate or demolish vacant, boarded-up houses and to fast-track the permitting process for doing so (HB1671, SB1094). YES


Bullying. Directs the Board of Education to adopt guidelines to help schools deal with the use of electronic means to bully, harass and intimidate, otherwise known as “cyberbullying” (HB1624). NO

Truancy. Would allow parents and principals to petition a juvenile court judge to suspend the driver’s license of a student under 18 who misses 10 consecutive days of school (HB1826). NO


Smoking ban. Would ban smoking in restaurants and bars but amended to allowing smoking during hours minors are admitted, permits smoking in room from rest of establishment only by a door and permits smoking when rented for private parties. Ban would begin Jan. 1, 2010 (SB1105). NO

Smoking and driving. Imposes $100 fine for smoking in a motor vehicle in which a minor is present (SB1106). NO

Autism. Would provide tuition assistance for private schooling of autistic children. (HB2104) YES


Prayer and State Police. Would restrict the State Police superintendent from forbidding volunteer chaplains to express religious beliefs and require a disclaimer in event programs that chaplain’s expressed beliefs are not endorsed by State Police (HB2314). NO

Abortion. Would require women to be given the opportunity to see an ultrasound image of their fetus before an abortion (HB2579). Would require doctors to offer to anesthetize a fetus before abortion and provide information that a 20-week-old fetus can feel pain (HB2634). NO


Seat belts. Would make failure to wear a seat belt a primary offense, meaning police could stop a driver solely that offense (SB1161). Riders in the back seat of a vehicles would be required to wear seat belts (SB1502). NO

Teens and cell phones. Police could ticket a teen driver with a provisional license who is using a cell phone while driving (SB1227). NO

Text messaging. Would make sending and reading text messages while driving a secondary offense (HB1876). NO


Fundraising. Prohibits governor, lieutenant governor, attorney general and legislators from attending fundraising events during the General Assembly session (HB1634). Bans campaign contributions made through stored value cards such as a prepaid credit card. (HB1658). YES

Redistricting. Would establish a seven-member redistricting commission, with one member a compromise between the two political parties. (SB926). YES

Early voting. Qualified voters may vote in person 3 to 15 days before an election at a specified time and site provided in the locality (SB819). Qualified votes may cast absentee ballots in person without an excuse for not voting on Election Day (SB810). YES

Campaign gear at polls. Permits voters to wear buttons, stickers, or items of apparel that contain a candidate’s name or a political slogan when voting (SB867). YES


Union limitation. Resolution to enshrine in Virginia’s constitution a state law barring mandatory union membership (HJ640). NO

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