It’s time to deliver Major party status to minor party policy
The most nauseating and illogical political thinking to emerge in Australia throughout this pandemic is that from rusted-on Liberal Party or more specifically Scott Morrison supporters.
Had you engaged in any exchanges with them, you would have heard this by now.
“Don’t vote for minor parties or the ALP will win government. The Liberal/Nationals government is really bad but the ALP will be worse.” or something similar.
While it can legitimately be argued that the ALP may be worse, it can only be argued that the difference would be at the margins. It would be like trying to identify identical twins from each other, you would need to search long and hard to find small differences to make any identification possible between the two.
If you can imagine having to choose between a long slow painful death from two different diseases then you would have the perfect analogy for the voting choices we currently face in this country. It’s a case of dumber or even dumber.
We can choose to vote for the ALP and impose upon ourselves a quick decline into a socialist utopia with authoritarian law, massive debt and no future, or we can vote for the return of a Liberal-National coalition government that will achieve over a longer period a quick decline into a socialist utopia with authoritarian law, massive debt and no future.
While many may argue that this observation is an exaggeration, I would argue those very same people cannot see the political trees through the socialist forest. I can explain to the fifteen-year-old boys that I coach in my basketball team that words need to match actions for them to mean anything and they can understand that concept.
In contrast to those teenage boys, if you go to the Liberal party website and read their values and beliefs and you then compare them to the collective actions of their m.p.’s in government, then you will quickly realise, as I have, that my teenage boys have a far greater depth of understanding about hypocrisy and double standards and how they define your character than members of the federal Liberal-National government have.
Think I am being unfair? then consider the following
The Liberals proclaim on their website that they believe in “In the basic freedoms of thought, worship, speech, association and choice.” Well for such warriors of freedom, how do they justify their recent deportation of a tennis player for the dreadful crime of having the potential to inspire others to think in a way, that they as a government, don’t want their citizens to think in our society.
So much for free thought.
What about a comparison between their words on free speech and the reality of their actions?
Over the past two years, anybody who has spoken out in opposition to the government’s preferred narrative, is demonised as an anti-vaxxer, conspiracy theorist or worse. Even if the federal Liberals didn’t demonise and defame people with opposing views, they were political cowards and stood by as some of the vilest, most oppressive and pathetic people we have seen fill the various premier’s offices across this country did the dirty work for them. Like a good mafia boss, Scott Morrison let loose his national cabinet thugs to bully and intimidate law-abiding citizens while playing dumb to their actions with that god awful smug grin of his.
Then compare their words and actions surrounding the basic freedom of choice? People in this country have been given no choice over things such as vaccine mandates, no choice over pre-covid or early covid treatments such as Ivermectin and Hydroxychloroquine and now that they are pushing booster shots, they are forcing people to take the goverments preferred vaccine of choice in Pfizer and Moderna. Why do we not have the choice of the newly approved Novavax or the Astra Zenica vaccine so many of us have already chosen as an option for these booster shots. Instead, fifty-one million doses of the newly approved Novavax vaccines will be paid for by the Australian taxpayer used for the few who remained unvaxxed and the surplus then donated to other countries. Some choice!
Through their website, the Liberals proclaim “We work towards a lean government that minimises interference in our daily lives.” Well, how’s that one going for you after the past two years?
The seeds of hypocrisy were planted well before this term of government. You can trace it back to when Tony Abbott and Joe Hockey to their credit tried to address the nations largess towards national government debt. They attempted this in a similar manner to that of John Howard and Peter Costello when they inherited the Hawke/Keating government’s debt. Unlike Howard and Costello though, Abbott and Hockey were shown the door by Malcolm Turnbull and his so-called moderate members of the federal Liberal parliamentary party and the descent into quasi-socialism for the modern Liberal Party started.
We may not have realised it then, but the Liberal Party as we knew it in Australia died at that point in time.
Turnbull’s moderates took over and since then a Labor-lite Liberal Party has overseen an explosive rise in our national government debt that would make the spendthrifts within the ALP ranks blush.
Australia is headed for one trillion in federal government debt by 2025 after having zero debt in 2007, the majority of it created by LNP governments. How is that lean government? A high school dropout could manage their household budget in a more lean fashion than the Liberals could, yet they still insist they are the nations best economic managers. If Australia was a corporation, the shareholders would be baying for their resignations if not their blood.
What about the second part of that stated belief?
Under a Liberal federal government and three Liberal state governments, do you think they are providing less interference in our lives or more? Across this nation, we have endured border closures, vaccine mandates, compulsory masks, expulsion from things such as pubs, restaurants, cafes and sporting events, simply for not making a choice the federal Liberal government and their state colleagues wants us to make. Our kids have been denied their school classes and their social interaction with their mates while being given the privilege of being masked up like good little hostages when they did get to attend school. To rub salt into their wounds they have had their sports cancelled or restricted. All of this for the section of our society that is literally at no risk from this virus.
Families have been separated, supply chains decimated, hospitals put into emergency situations, the small business, hospitality and tourist sectors decimated and much, much more.
Yet when questioned on this Scott Morrison, shrugs his shoulders and smugly replies that all of it is a state matter and that his government is not enforcing things such as vaccine mandates. From a technical point, he is right, but the federal government controls much of the state funding through GST revenues and they could easily dismantle things such as vaccine mandates and border restrictions if it could muster the political courage and will to do so. The fact that they can’t, is telling about their own convictions or lack thereof, that they have in their own beliefs.
Taking all of this into consideration, how much of an act of political bastardy was their treatment of Novak Djokovic? It was nothing more than a vote gathering exercise that sadly many Australians swallowed hook, line and sinker. Instead we should have questioned where was this chest-beating behaviour when we needed the feds to stand up for Australian citizens rights when they were being trampled by the pretend totalitarians who call themselves premiers. You know, the pretend totalitarians that Liberal Prime Minster Scott Morison emboldened with the worst political decision I have seen in my time watching politics, the formation of the illegitimate national cabinet.
These are only just some of examples of hypocrisy that you can find listed on the federal liberal website in comparison to their actions in Government. You could write a much lengthier article about the contradictions between their words and their actions (Oh sorry, I actually did), but instead of going over old ground, I would prefer to start focusing on our other options when we finally have the opportunity to cast our votes at the upcoming federal election. The options that rusted-on Liberal apparatchiks will not recognise or give any credibility to. Never mind that much of the Liberal voting base that actually engages in critical thinking, are deserting the LNP coalition government in droves for those same minor parties.
If you are one of those traditional Liberal or National party voters that are making the inane argument that “Yes they are bad, but they are not as bad as the ALP”, then please admit that your expectations for Australia are dreadfully very. Please admit that you endorse high government debt, draconian government overreach on peoples lives, that you believe in the suppression of free speech thought and debate. Please admit that you now embrace the worst of green ideology though the insane renewable climate change debate, and that you are comfortable with the LNP campaigning against a zero emissions target by 2050 back in the 2019 election, yet now hypocritically they embrace it. Can you tolerate the fact that your LNP are stealing ALP policy?
Are you content with the continued long march of leftist ideals through our institutions unopposed by this LNP government for fear of upsetting the woke left? Do you endorse the implementation of big government through ridiculously large bureaucracy and insane red tape that make running a small business close to impossible and the continuous kowtowing and pandering toward international organisations such as the UN, WHO and the WEF in preference over Australia’s national interests and her citizens. Your LNP government obviously does.
What will it take for you to review your support of this current version of the LNP coalitions? A merger with the ALP?
To be blunt, if you continue to support and vote for the LNP then you are endorsing this socialist governance just as long as it is not being delivered by an ALP government.
Is this what you want for our nation, its future and our kids future? It’s certainly not what I want for my country nor the legacy for my generation to bequeath to the ones that follow us.
If you support this LNP government then you not only are as bad as the ALP social media bots such as the infamous @PRGUY on Twitter, you are even worse than them. Those bots actually believe in totalitarian socialist government and they don’t care about the outlandish spending of our taxpayer dollars, nor the rights or well-being of this county’s citizens. No, the LNP apparatchiks are far worse as they support blindly a political party whose actions represent everything they claim to be opposed to. This exposes them as the charlatans that they are. The ALP bots at least believe in their propaganda and vile ideology.
The saying “When a person shows you who they are, then believe them.” applies in spades to the Federal Liberal-National party coalition. We didn’t want it to be so and we remained loyal until the last election, but many of us are now wide awake and we see who they are and we want none of it.
So this rationale that a vote against the LNP is a vote for the ALP is not only inane, it demonstrates that anybody who argues this point has a complete lack of understanding of our democratic system and our political history.
Any individual generally or any individual from any of our political parties can stand as a candidate for election to our parliaments. We have far more than two choices in that system and in our current climate we should be carefully exploring those choices. This is especially so on the conservative/libertarian side of politics. Despite this depth of choice, many conservatives or libertarian-leaning citizens within our electorate seem anchored to the view that our elections are a contest between two major parties; team blue versus team red.
Liberal Party voters and supporters who push this narrative actually demonstrate a complete lack of historical knowledge of the party they claim to support. If they knew their political history in this country, they would also know that Robert Menzies formed the Liberal Party from a collection of smaller conservative political parties with similar ideals and values.
“From 1942 onward Menzies had maintained his public profile with his series of “The Forgotten People” radio talks—similar to Franklin D. Roosevelt’s “fireside chats” of the 1930s—in which he spoke of the middle class as the “backbone of Australia” but as nevertheless having been “taken for granted” by political parties.
Menzies called a conference of conservative parties and other groups opposed to the ruling Australian Labor Party, which met in Canberra on 13 October 1944 and again in Albury, New South Wales in December 1944. Outlining his vision for a new political movement, Menzies said:
… [W]hat we must look for, and it is a matter of desperate importance to our society, is a true revival of liberal thought which will work for social justice and security, for national power and national progress, and the full development of the individual citizen, though not through the dull and deadening process of socialism.
— Robert Menzies
The formation of the party was formally announced at Sydney Town Hall on 31 August 1945.claim
Three things stand out for me from that historical summary, unlike Menzies, the modern Liberal party has forgotten who the backbone of Australian society is and is indeed taking them for granted. Secondly, during the War years, the Liberal Party was not just a minor party, it was a non-existent political party and it took someone with the status, endeavour and leadership courage of Sir Robert Menzies to bring those minor conservative parties together to form the political giant that would be the Liberal Party. Menzies created something from nothing that would go on to dominate Australia’s political landscape for the past 76 years.
Finally, that brief description of the Liberal party policy platform by Menzies is eerily similar to the values promoted not by today’s federal Liberal Party, but instead to that being put forward by the Liberal Democrat Party.
If Menzies were to return today and not be told which party was which, I have no doubt that he would reject Morrison’s version of the liberal party and instead embrace what he would see within the Liberal Democrats.
Had the Australian electorate in Menzies time had the same attitude as many do today, then Menzies and his conglomeration of small conservative parties would never have achieved what they did for this country.
Another important observation from that period, was for Menzies to achieve this, it took a term of an ALP government and the disintegration of the United Australia Party as a conservative political force during those war years to bring Menzies vision for Australia to fruition.
This political history also gives us the lessons we need today as we enter into an election year federally, as well as state elections in Victoria and South Australia. Supporting and uniting conservative minor parties is a force for good for our nation and the citizens within it. A “true” conservative government would usher in responsible lean government, the empowerment of individual freedoms and liberties, the support of family, the support of small business and entrepreneurship and a return to balanced budgets and debt reduction.
None of this has been achieved by this modern version of the Liberal Party which day by day has progressively goosestepped in a determined manner to become a mirror image of the ALP.
If another Menzies type era is the result of what evolves from an ALP election victory and a single of term ALP government, then bring it on and to those who say we cannot afford an ALP victory, I would retort that history tells us we cannot afford not to have anything else but.
If that’s the case then as unpalatable as tolerating an Albo ALP government may seem, it may well be the price that history shows we have to pay and its something that we also can survive.
In other words, short term pain for long term gain
What we actually cannot afford is another term of a Labour-lite government implemented by the modern LNP and then one or two terms of a proper ALP government.
In an ideal world, by now a Menzies-type leader would have emerged to unite conservative forces for this election. I have participated in zoom meetings for LDP members and listened to candidates and those who run the party and sadly there is no Menzies type individual on the horizon that I can see.
Quite the opposite, what I have discovered is that there is too many within the minor parties that are caught up in petty differences and minor ideological and personal conflicts for that to happen. They need to be shaken to their core so that they can start focusing on the bigger picture of our nation, our people and the society we want for the next one hundred years. Maybe that’s what an ALP victory would achieve. One thing is certain, we cannot repeat our voting behaviour of the last fifty years or else we risk further misery and heartache for this nation for the forseeable future.
Once you can get your head around all of this, then you can research the various minor parties, what they have to offer, their policies and their candidates. For conservative voters such as me that are searching for an alternative to the Liberal Party, there are three main options; One Nation, The United Australia Party and the Liberal Democrats.
All of them have their strengths and failings, all of them deserve support, while all of them have done things to diminish their potential.
As I have already said, what is abundantly clear to me is that there is no individual to emerge as a major leader who could unite these minor parties or this country just yet. Having said that, the same criticism could be comfortably directed at both major parties.
So the question that any keen political mind should be asking, is for us to emerge from the madness of the past two to three years what minor party provides us with the greatest hope to achieve that? For me it comes down to three things, a party’s policy platform, what party can deliver competent responsible government if given that responsibility and privilege? and finally which party has the personalities and individuals within those ranks who can not only write good policy but deliver on it when in parliament or preferably government. Words are pointless without genuine convictions, people and actions behind them.
Over the coming weeks and months, I will be writing articles covering each of those parties in greater depth, but the party that stands out for me at the moment is the Liberal Democrats. While branding themselves as libertarians, their policy platform outside one or two areas sits extremely comfortably with a person who has conservative values. It should also be noted, that being conservative and a libertarian isn’t necessarily mutually exclusive, in fact, a true conservative who embraces the empowerment of the individual should have no issues at all with accepting most, if not all libertarian values.
Due to this, the Liberal Democrats have attracted several former Liberals into their ranks as well as candidates for the upcoming Federal election. Campbell Newmann, John Ruddick, Kenelm Tonkin and the indomitable Ross Cameron will bring both governmental and party structure experience along with some sharp political minds and thinking. More importantly, those former Liberals will be more than comfortable pushing and selling the recently published “Freedom Manifesto” as the Liberal Democrats policy platform.
No fair-minded person could read this document and claim it will be detrimental to Australia’s interest. This document is the Liberal Democrats greatest asset and if implemented would prove to be Australia’s saving grace.
Another important factor in the Liberal Democrats favour is that the most ethical person alongside Craig Kelly, that I have witnessed on the political landscape over the past three years is standing for the Federal Senate. That person is David Limbrick. If successful, he will be missed here in Victoria but he will serve the nation and the state of Victoria in a much better manner in Canberra where we desperately need people of his ilk.
The Liberal Democrats aren’t without fault though, their “sand in the gears” campaign was foolish and ill-advised. Thankfully it didn’t last long, but they demonstrated that they are just as susceptible to stupid political stunts as either of the major parties. Of more concern for me though is their lack of ambition, as their only goal is to obtain a balance of power situation in the senate. This will only be useful if the ALP don’t secure an outright majority in alliance with the greens as sadly I suspect they will. Also, any balance of power situation can only be used where the LNP and ALP don’t vote together on legislation.
The major parties will see the emergence of the minor conservative parties as a threat to their future electoral success and their continued grasp on power. Don’t underestimate the potential for the LNP and ALP to work together to play political games to dilute the impact of minor parties just to ensure their own survival. They will both compromise their values in a heartbeat to do so.
If either of those scenarios played out, then our greatest hope, the freedom manifesto of the Liberal Democrats will never see the light of day. That would be a tragedy of significant proportions for this country. In my opinion, to implement the freedom manifesto into reality, the Liberal Democrats needs to win seats on the government frontbench in the lower house. They can achieve that either through an expanded coalition with the LNP or they can dare greater things and look to win government in their own right.
Menzies knew this in 1945 and won government from nowhere in 1949 and held onto it for 23 years as he implemented a policy platform very similar to what the Liberal Democrats are proposing now.
If only we had a Robert Menzies within the Liberal Democrat ranks or within our political ranks more generally. Instead the LDP candidates have fallen for the trap of churning out attacks on their political opponents and their failures rather than promoting what makes them different and how their policies would make life better for everyday Australians.
To me, this is bizarre as some legitimate work and deep thinking has gone into that freedom manifesto document, yet LDP candidates seem reluctant to share it. It’s fine to attack your opponents, but also include an example of how you would be different. I did this for two LDP candidates of my own volition to try and give them an idea of what I meant, yet in the week since then I have not seen them replicating it.
To me this is both frustrating and disappointing as I know from my experience and those that I speak and interact with, that this attack dog approach simply turns them off as they are looking for answers and a party to unite us, instead of the division and negative mentality we currently receive from the major parties. The Liberal Democrats have those answers through their Freedom Manifesto, they should be shouting about it from every rooftop they can find.
Social media is that rooftop that gives the Liberal Democrats a great opportunity to spread their positive message but their party account has less than fifteen thousand followers. Compare that to the Liberal Party which has 147 thousand followers and the ALP that has over 185 thousand followers. Even the Nationals have over 30 thousand. Social Media should be the one area in marketing that the minor parties can have a chance of an equal fight, but the LDP, UAP and One Nation have fewer followers than individual social media influencers.
The minor parties need to address this, especially the Liberal Democrats who amongst the middle class that Robert Menzies referred to, they are largely confused as a smaller branch of the Liberal Party. Fortunately, many of their higher-profile candidates have significant followings.
Despite these minor concerns, my party of choice for a better future for Australia is the Liberal Democrats, but it has much work to do for me to retain that confidence. My position could change for example as we move closer to the election and parties release more information on their respective policies and candidates.
Of course, all of this takes care of itself if voters take a closer at their politics in a broader fashion other than through the prism of team red and team blue.
History shows us that we may be surprised at the future we could usher in for this country if we just opened our eyes to the different offerings before us. After all, outside the Howard era, the major parties have been a major disappointment since 1970. That’s fifty-two years of under-performing government, some would argue it has been shambolic, incompetent and corrupt government. Why would any thinking person continue to reward that with their vote?
So, as a voting public, we can either wait for a Menzies type individual to ride on in like a knight in shining armour, or we can take matters into our own hands by collectively being that leader. We can show leadership by acting as responsible citizens who research our history, who research our minor parties and who research what they have to offer. If we do that then we can make a major choice to turn a minor party or two into a major political force through the way we vote.
If we fail to do so then we choose further, mediocrity, more mismanagement, more suppression of liberties, more corruption by taking the soft option as voters of sticking with the major parties who have failed us so often and so badly for so long.
The major parties have shown us who they are, let’s believe them and have the courage to look elsewhere for something that is better and that can provide the deliverance out of our current dire situation.
Our nations future and that of our children demands that we do so.