Thursday, October 29, 2009

My letter to Senator George Brandis

Liberal Senator George Brandis recently gave the Alfred Deakin lecture.( The transcript was published in the Australian.) He went to considerable length to position the party as the party of freedom, something Malcolm Turnbull has also been pushing. At the same time he distanced himself from the conservatives, especially Tony Abbott.

I fully agree the party's central philosophical direction should always be  liberty, but to ignore its conservative base is suicidal. The mainstream of Australian life is conservative. It has to appeal to that base if its to succeed. Now, the Australian people don't give a stuff for political philosophies  but the do care about the policies politicians put out to address their concerns.

So this conservative libertarian sent the Senator the following letter:

Dear Senator Brandis,

Today I read your recent Alfred Deakin lecture and was moved to write to you.

Personally I don't regard conservatism as a political philosophy. I regard it as a world view based on practicality, compromise and common sense. Conservatives don't appose change but they are sceptical of it. As such conservatism is not exclusive to any party , Labor leaders like Wran and Hawke were conservative. As the Australian mainstream is essentially conservative a political party has to conservative to succeed.

I read Mr Abbott's book but as a small government liberal, I was disappointed by his big government, centralized government approach. In my view the end result would be big taxes and increased bureaucracy. We would eventually end up with a nation wide version of the NSW Rees government.

However to his credit, practical conservative Tony Abbott did provide policy options for various social issues everything from extending Medicare to include dental work to paid maternity leave for mothers.

I think its up to you and other self declared liberals of the party to come up with a proper response to "Battle lines". The conservative in me wants to know how different would your policies be? What different direction would they take?

I have been assured by House of Representatives members that Senators don't have much to do so perhaps you can turn on the word processor and come up with some liberal policies.


Ralph Buttigieg

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