Sunday, August 23, 2009

Libertarians and the Liberals

Tim Andrews wants to know if libertarians should join the Liberal Party. Various people including Danny Hayes, have commented. My response is below.

If you want to have a direct effect on Australian politics you need to join a political party. A minor party like the LDP is a waste of time, they have been unable to elect a single person to any level of government. That leaves the two major mainstream parties. If like Mr Humphreys, you believe the Labor party is your best bet then go ahead, join them. You can try arguing the benefits of the free market with the comrades.

I as a conservative libertarian ( if there's such a thing as an Australian Reaganite, then I'm one) prefer the Liberal Party. Thats the party that supported the free market policies of Hawke/Keating and when in government privatized Telstra and the CES, freed up labor markets, turned a budgetary deficit into a surplus and was able to deliver tax cut after tax cut. That the party while accused of being socially conservative didn't try to impose internet censorship, instead gave people a sensible choice.

Its a mainstream party that has to appeal to the broad electorate. So requires policies and leaders that have that appeal. However it is the party of enterprise and the individual , but its commitment to those principles are only as strong as the commitment of its members. We can certainly use more classical liberals so "should libertarians join the Liberal Party? -" Yes Please.

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