Tyler Nixon's response to an earlier post ("Revenge of the comic book nerds") is indicative of the traditional idea of a third party achieving meaningful political impact:
The Libertarian Party here will forever be moribund until/unless they can really get their asses in gear and achieve an organizing critical mass.
It begins with candidates. They need to learn to be less picky and arcane about self-proclaimed but barely articulated standards for selection....
The Libertarians need to start realizing the "half-a-loaf" principle and begin working with like-minded potential candidates. ...
One of the reasons I fought so hard to preserve fusion candidacies as an option in Delaware was to permit parties like the LP to remain relevant, even when they seemingly recruit no one for any races. I would be glad to try to work with them again if they can realize they need to get real about politics and realized that being a debating society is not the way to run a successful political party that achieves the real change we libertarians (yes, small 'l') want.
I respect Tyler's opinion, but I think he's wrong.
Libertarians first have to create a recognizable, state-relevant "brand" within Delaware politics, and this has to be done before the party starts fielding large numbers of candidates. People have to come to associate real, substantive stances on Delaware political issues with Libertarians.
How is this to be done?
I think there are two essential steps in the process. First, Libertarians AS LIBERTARIANS (with the identification consistently used) have to begin to speak out in pragmatic terms about specific Delaware issues. They have to do this in the Nudes-Journal, the State Rag, on the radio, in the blogosphere, at school board meetings, etc. We have to get people used to hearing the term Libertarian associated with real positions on key issues, like eminent domain in Wilmington, the Still-Venables amendment to prevent gay marriage, the internet pharmacy bill, the UD freshman mind control program, and others.
Secondly, I think the Libertarian Party needs to get into the business of publishing voter guides for state elections. We need to develop a list of issues and questions, send them out to all candidates, and then rate the candidates in terms of individual freedom and smaller, transparent government. Republican, Democrat, or (unlikely as it seems) IPOD, everybody benefits when the candidate in each election who most favors human freedom actually wings. Then, instead of running or nominating fusion candidates, Libertarians need to endorse particularly strong candidates.
Such voting guides would need to be substantive and fair. They need to be well enough done so that the Libertarian Party earns the reputation of being an honest broker in relevant information. And they need to focus attention on the issues we hold as important.
So the question I have for you is, if you could ask a few Libertarian-oriented questions of all candidates for public office in Delaware, what would those questions be?