Party Platforms Can Offer Insights Into Candidates

By Mary Anne Broshek, for the Beacon

One of the ways to get a feel for how a candidate will vote is to read the party platform of the candidate’s party. Below is a taste of a relevant document from each party, plus a link to where you can read the entire document online. Platforms change over the years, so hopefully these will give you insight into the most current goals and a good background for asking questions.

The order below is based on the order of the parties on this year’s Andover ballot.

I have also included material from the New Hampshire Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC). This is included because the RLC has endorsed two candidates on the Andover ballot – Jenn Coffey and Josh Youseff – plus 122 others statewide.

Libertarian Party

Preamble of the Libertarian Party Platform:

As Libertarians, we seek a world of liberty; a world in which all individuals are sovereign over their own lives and no one is forced to sacrifice his or her values for the benefit of others.

We believe that respect for individual rights is the essential precondition for a free and prosperous world, that force and fraud must be banished from human relationships, and that only through freedom can peace and prosperity be realized.

Consequently, we defend each person’s right to engage in any activity that is peaceful and honest, and welcome the diversity that freedom brings. The world we seek to build is one where individuals are free to follow their own dreams in their own ways, without interference from government or any authoritarian power.

In the following pages we have set forth our basic principles and enumerated various policy stands derived from those principles.

These specific policies are not our goal, however. Our goal is nothing more nor less than a world set free in our lifetime, and it is to this end that we take these stands.

The full Libertarian Party platform is at

Constitution Party

From the Constitution Party Web site:

Seven Principles of the Constitution Party

Life: For all human beings, from conception to natural death;

Liberty: Freedom of conscience and actions for the self-governed individual;

Family: One husband and one wife with their children as divinely instituted;

Property: Each individual’s right to own and steward personal property without government burden;

Constitution and Bill Of Rights: interpreted according to the actual intent of the founding fathers;

State’s Rights: Everything not specifically delegated by the Constitution to the federal government, nor prohibited by the Constitution to the states, is reserved to the states or to the people.

American Sovereignty: American government committed to the protection of the borders, trade, and common defense of Americans, and not entangled in foreign alliances.

The full Constitution Party Platform is at

New Hampshire Democratic Party

From the Who We Are section of the New Hampshire Democratic Party (NHDP) Web site:

For more than 200 years, Democrats have fought for the interests of working families and equal opportunities for all Americans. We believe in an America where we don’t just look out for ourselves. We’re proud of our individualism, but we also know that we rise and fall as one nation. Throughout history, Democrats have worked from the ground up to bring about the change that matters.

From a summary of the NHDP platform provided by the NHDP:

New Hampshire Democrats are united for New Hampshire’s future. We stand for a strong economy and good paying jobs, strong families, healthy communities, justice for all, and respect for one another. We pledge to preserve a government that helps where it can yet limits its power where it must to guarantee freedom for all.

Democrats will continue to build a vibrant and diverse economy centered on innovation, an inviting business climate, and career education to create thousands more good jobs and provide our middle class a fair opportunity to prosper. We support efforts to encourage industry and small businesses to diversify and innovate. Democrats lead the way on building a green economy because we know that green industry is vital for growing our economy, creating thousands of new private sector jobs, protecting our environment, safeguarding our security, and building up the middle class.

We are Americans, citizens of New Hampshire, and friends and neighbors first. Although we may have different beliefs we respect the right to be heard yet maintain civility during discourse. Whenever possible we work with Independents, Libertarians, and Republicans – our neighbors and friends – to move New Hampshire forward. When we disagree we do so with respect.

The full NHDP platform is at:

New Hampshire Republican Party

The New Hampshire Republican Party’s Platform Statement of Principle begins:

We, the people of the New Hampshire Republican Party, do stand united in our dedication to preserving freedom, limited government and unlimited opportunity for all.

We believe, above all else, in the founding principle that all people are created equal, endowed by our Creator with the right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, unimpeded by intrusive government regulation and control.

We believe that the New Hampshire and United States Constitutions were written by our forefathers to limit our government, not our freedom.

We believe that individual liberty is guaranteed under the Constitutions of the United States and New Hampshire, that the liberty of the people must be protected above the power of the government, and that it is only through an adherence to our founding documents that we will continue to grow as a free, Constitutional Republic.

We believe that the Founding Fathers gave the 1st Amendment its pre-eminent position with intent that religious freedom deserves to be protected.

We believe that our founding fathers placed the 2nd Amendment in a position of prominence with intent; that law-abiding citizens of the United States of America have a right to protect and defend their lives, their families and their property without government infringement.

We believe in free people, free markets and free enterprise. We believe that happiness and success are the result of individual effort, hard work and dedication to a purpose. We believe that economies flourish when individuals and business owners retain as much of their hard earned income as possible, to spend and invest as they see fit.

The rest of the principles and the complete platform are at

New Hampshire Republican Liberty Caucus

Condensed from the New Hampshire Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC) Common Sense For New Hampshire document:

It is common sense that we want our government to create the best conditions for New Hampshire citizens to enjoy prosperity and happiness. It is also common sense that when we create those conditions, it will attract freedom-loving people and businesses from across the country.

In order to create such conditions, we have developed an agenda called Common Sense for New Hampshire. This agenda is based in three core action items that are essential for achieving a New Hampshire Advantage.

The first item, “Promoting Jobs and Economic Opportunity,” focuses on the principles and policies that lead to free markets, which can be summarized as low government spending, low regulation, and low taxes. The basis for this item is the Classical (now sometimes called “Austrian”) economics, which our nation’s founders took for granted.

The second item, “Fixing Health Care in New Hampshire,” details how the state will be crippled if it allows the federal health care law to stand. This item focuses on ways at the state level that we can stop enforcement of the federal health care law in New Hampshire and create market conditions that will promote health care advancement and a greater variety of health insurance plans in New Hampshire that are less expensive than those offered in other states.

The third item, “Protecting the Rights of Parents,” states the plain truth that parents know best how to raise and educate their own children – both in morality and in the principles that ensure prosperity. The state system is failing our children in each of these senses, and it’s time we give parents the tools they need to ensure that their children are well equipped for the future.

The full Common Sense for New Hampshire document is at: The RLC’s 2013-2014 legislative agenda is at: