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Independent vs. Libertarian: Know the Difference

Shumaila Saeed
By Shumaila Saeed || Updated on December 25, 2023
Independent describes a person not affiliated with any political party, while a Libertarian is someone who advocates for minimal government and maximum personal freedom.
Independent vs. Libertarian

Key Differences

An Independent is an individual who may vote for candidates from any political party or none at all, choosing not to commit to a particular political ideology. A Libertarian, conversely, has specific beliefs aligned with the Libertarian Party, emphasizing personal freedom and limited government. Independents assess candidates and policies on a case-by-case basis without a predetermined party platform. Libertarians, while they support a broad spectrum of freedoms, may still adhere to a consistent political philosophy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
Independents are not bound by the platform of any party and may have a wide range of beliefs that do not fit neatly into the platforms of established parties. Libertarians are part of a distinct political group with defined principles, particularly stressing individual liberty and skepticism of state power. While Independents prioritize flexibility in their political choices, Libertarians prioritize their core principles of liberty and minimal state intervention in both economic and social matters.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
The term "Independent" is often used to describe voters and candidates who do not align with the traditional political parties. "Libertarian" not only describes a political affiliation but also a philosophy that has its roots in classical liberalism and a significant emphasis on individualism. Independent politicians can embody a variety of political positions that span the left-right spectrum, whereas Libertarian politicians typically advocate for policies that are consistent with Libertarian philosophy.
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Shumaila Saeed
Nov 08, 2023
It's important to note that being an Independent does not necessarily imply centrism, as an Independent can hold extreme or mixed views on the political spectrum. Libertarians, in contrast, follow a more predictable pattern rooted in their emphasis on reducing the role of government in all spheres. In some cases, an Independent might agree with Libertarians on specific issues but would not identify as a Libertarian due to differing views on other policies.
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Nov 08, 2023

Comparison Chart

Political Party Affiliation

No affiliation to any party
Affiliated with the Libertarian Party
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Ideology

Varied, not tied to a specific set
Specific ideology emphasizing personal freedom
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Views on Government

Can vary widely
Generally favors minimal government
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Policy Decision Basis

Case-by-case assessment
Based on principles of individual liberty
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Political Spectrum Placement

Can be anywhere on the spectrum
Usually on the side favoring less government control
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Independent and Libertarian Definitions

Independent

Free from outside control; not subject to another's authority.
She was fiercely independent and made her decisions alone.
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Nov 08, 2023
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Libertarian

Someone who values individual freedom over collective regulation.
As a libertarian, she believed in personal responsibility rather than government mandates.
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Independent

Not depending on another for livelihood or subsistence.
He's been independent since he got his first job at sixteen.
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Nov 08, 2023

Libertarian

A member or supporter of the Libertarian Party.
He campaigned as a Libertarian in the local government elections.
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Independent

Capable of thinking or acting for oneself.
Her independent thinking was encouraged at the progressive school.
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Nov 08, 2023

Libertarian

A person who advocates for civil liberty and minimal state intervention.
The libertarian argued for the decriminalization of drug use.
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Nov 08, 2023
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Independent

Not governed by a foreign power; self-governing.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

Holding beliefs that prioritize free will and voluntary association.
His libertarian views made him skeptical of the proposed regulations.
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Nov 08, 2023

Independent

Free from the influence, guidance, or control of another or others; self-reliant
An independent mind.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

Favoring a free market economy with little government oversight.
The libertarian economist wrote extensively about the benefits of deregulation.
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Nov 08, 2023

Independent

Not determined or influenced by someone or something else; not contingent
A decision independent of the outcome of the study.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

One who advocates maximizing individual rights and minimizing the role of the state.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Often Independent Affiliated with or loyal to no one political party or organization.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

One who believes in free will.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not dependent on or affiliated with a larger or controlling entity
An independent food store.
An independent film.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

One who advocates liberty, either generally or in relation to a specific issue.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not relying on others for support, care, or funds; self-supporting.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

A believer in right-libertarianism, a political doctrine that emphasizes individual liberty and a lack of governmental regulation, intervention, and oversight both in matters of the economy (‘free market’) and in personal behavior where no one’s rights are being violated or threatened.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Providing or being sufficient income to enable one to live without working
A person of independent means.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

A left-libertarian, an antiauthoritarian believer in both individual freedom and social justice (social equality and mutual aid).
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not dependent on other variables.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

(philosophy) A believer in the freedom of thinking beings to choose their own destiny, i.e. a believer in free will as opposed to those who believe the future is predetermined.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Of or relating to a system of equations no one of which can be derived from another equation in the system.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

Having the beliefs of libertarians; having a relative tendency towards liberty.
He has libertarian views.
A libertarian capitalist.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Independent Of or relating to the 17th-century English Independents.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

(dated) Relating to liberty, or to the doctrine of free will, as opposed to the doctrine of necessity.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Often Independent One that is independent, especially a voter, officeholder, or political candidate who is not committed to a political party.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

Pertaining to liberty, or to the doctrine of free will, as opposed to the doctrine of necessity.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Independent A member of a movement in England in the 17th century advocating the political and religious independence of individual congregations.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

One who holds to the doctrine of free will.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Independent Chiefly British A Congregationalist.
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Oct 19, 2023

Libertarian

Someone who believes the doctrine of free will
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not dependent; not contingent or depending on something else; free.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

(politics) Not affiliated with any political party.
The independent candidate
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Providing a comfortable livelihood.
An independent property
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not subject to bias or influence; self-directing.
A man of an independent mind
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Separate from; exclusive; irrespective.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

A candidate or voter not affiliated with any political party, a freethinker, free of a party platform.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

A neutral or uncommitted person.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

(sports) A team not affiliated with any league or conference.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not dependent; free; not subject to control by others; not relying on others; not subordinate; as, few men are wholly independent.
A dry, but independent crust.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Affording a comfortable livelihood; as, an independent property.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not subject to bias or influence; not obsequious; self-directing; as, a man of an independent mind.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Expressing or indicating the feeling of independence; free; easy; bold; unconstrained; as, an independent air or manner.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Separate from; exclusive; irrespective.
That obligation in general, under which we conceive ourselves bound to obey a law, independent of those resources which the law provides for its own enforcement.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Belonging or pertaining to, or holding to the doctrines or methods of, the Independents.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not dependent upon another quantity in respect to value or rate of variation; - said of quantities or functions.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not bound by party; exercising a free choice in voting with either or any party.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

One who believes that an organized Christian church is complete in itself, competent to self-government, and independent of all ecclesiastical authority.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

One who does not acknowledge an obligation to support a party's candidate under all circumstances; one who exercises liberty in voting.
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

A neutral or uncommitted person (especially in politics)
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

A writer or artist who sells services to different employers without a long-term contract with any of them
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Free from external control and constraint;
An independent mind
A series of independent judgments
Fiercely independent individualism
An independent republic
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not dependent on or conditioned by or relative to anything else
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Independent

Of political bodies;
An autonomous judiciary
A sovereign state
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Independent

Not contingent
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Independent

Of a clause; able to stand alone syntactically as a complete sentence;
The main (or independent) clause in a complex sentence has at least a subject and a verb
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not controlled by a party or interest group
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Oct 19, 2023

Independent

Not influenced by others; impartial.
The independent investigator was hired to ensure an unbiased review.
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Nov 08, 2023

Independent

Not affiliated with a political party.
She ran as an independent candidate and won the election.
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Repeatedly Asked Queries

Can an independent be a libertarian?

Yes, an independent can hold libertarian views but chooses not to formally affiliate with the Libertarian Party.
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What defines an independent voter?

An independent voter is not registered with any political party and can vote for any candidate in elections.
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What are core libertarian beliefs?

Core libertarian beliefs include individual freedom, limited government, free markets, and personal responsibility.
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What is the Libertarian Party's stance on healthcare?

The Libertarian Party typically advocates for less government involvement in healthcare.
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How do independent candidates run for office?

Independent candidates run without the formal support of a political party, often petitioning to get on the ballot.
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Is libertarianism left or right?

Libertarianism is typically considered right-wing on economic issues and left-wing on social issues.
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Do independents lean toward a political side?

Independents can lean toward any side of the political spectrum or remain centrist.
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Are there different types of libertarians?

Yes, there are many types, including minarchists, who want minimal government, and anarcho-capitalists, who want no government.
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What is the historical origin of libertarianism?

Libertarianism has roots in the classical liberal movements of the 18th and 19th centuries.
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Can a libertarian believe in some government programs?

While less common, some libertarians may support limited government programs, especially if they increase overall freedom.
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Nov 08, 2023

Do independent politicians caucus with other parties?

Sometimes independent politicians caucus with a major party to gain committee assignments in legislatures.
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How do independent voters impact elections?

Independent voters can swing elections, as they are not predictable voters for either of the major parties.
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What do libertarians think of taxes?

Libertarians typically advocate for lower taxes and fewer government services.
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Nov 08, 2023

Why do some choose to be independent rather than join a party?

Some prefer the flexibility of being independent to evaluate candidates and issues without party bias.
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How do independents shape policy?

Independents can shape policy by supporting legislation on an issue-by-issue basis, often acting as tiebreakers.
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Is there an Independent Party?

There is no single Independent Party; the term refers to any candidate or voter who is not affiliated with a recognized party.
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Nov 08, 2023

What distinguishes libertarianism from anarchism?

Libertarianism advocates for minimal government, while anarchism advocates for no government.
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Nov 08, 2023

Why might someone switch from a party to become libertarian?

Someone might switch due to disillusionment with the current parties' stance on personal freedoms and government size.
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What is a common misconception about libertarians?

A common misconception is that libertarians are against all forms of government.
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Nov 08, 2023

How can I register as an independent?

In the U.S., you can register as an independent by selecting 'No Party Affiliation' or a similar option on voter registration forms.
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Nov 08, 2023

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Shumaila Saeed
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Shumaila Saeed, an expert content creator with 6 years of experience, specializes in distilling complex topics into easily digestible comparisons, shining a light on the nuances that both inform and educate readers with clarity and accuracy.

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