Why I joined a political party for the first time.
I have had a keen interest in politics from a young age which began with the dismissal of the Gough Whitlam ALP government in the seventies. I was raised in a conservative household, so when Malcolm Fraser led the Liberals to back to back landslide victories to get rid of Gough times felt good. Like most kids, before I could think things through for myself, I supported the Liberal party because my parents did.
As I grew through my teens and into young adulthood I started to explore politics with some greater enthusiasm and as I was also a keen student of history I was particularly drawn to wartime politicians especially those who actually fought or led in wars.
Winston Churchill, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Julius Caser, Abraham Lincoln, Alexander the Great, Napoleon Bonaparte, George Washington, King Henry the V and King Richard the lionheart are all giants of history and politics.
It was a great learning curve to sit in libraries throughout my youth reading and studying these unique characters.
It also helped that I had parents who grew up through the Great Depression and fought and lived through World War Two. My Dad was a builder who we would call a tradie today. While initially being an ALP man who supported John Curtin and Ben Chifley, he like so many do as they mature, drifted across to conservative politics as he became older, which then was the newly formed Liberal Party under Sir Robert Menzies.
I followed a similar path voting for the Hawke government before crossing over to the Liberals when Paul Keating became Prime Minister. Things were simpler then in politics; it was far more black and white than it is today. Liberals were considered as corporate lackeys who had a silver spoon, born to rule mentality, while the ALP was seen to be the working man’s party and conversely being the Trade Unions lackey politically.
It actually worked out pretty well, the ALP usually obtained a term or two to implement their welfare and social agenda, then the Liberals were given a few terms to fix whatever financial mess the ALP created. Sadly that happened on most occasions. In doing so the LNP governments created the economic results where Australia could afford the ALP’s largesse, as long as it didn’t last in power for too long a period.
Both perspectives had some merit, but as I matured I grew to realise it was never that black and white and in reality, there were more shades of grey to this political game. What you didn’t have so much back then were career politicians straight out of universities, most members of parliament on both sides of the aisle had real-life work and world experiences. That sadly is a rarity in these modern times, especially on the left side of politics but increasingly within the Liberal party as well and our politics today is the poorer for it.
Politics evolves in cycles and unfortunately for Australia since Kevin Rudd toppled John Howard we are caught in an era of poll-driven woke cowards as politicians are more concerned with protecting their political careers than doing what’s right by their constituents and their nation. If a poll or a focus group tells them there is a certain policy position that will guarantee them election they will be all over it like hyenas on a carcass.
No matter what values, beliefs and platforms they may have been elected into office on, they are all easily jettisoned when their precious positions within politics are threatened.
This means conviction politicians are a dying breed and indeed on the verge of extinction. The machinery of major party political rules over nearly every member of parliament. The important word in that sentence is “nearly”. Sadly most people don’t take their politics seriously enough nor follow it closely enough until it impacts their lives negatively. This is one of the reasons we are currently in the situation that we are in.
The left side of politics caved in a long time ago to woke agendas and has been so lost in advocating sensible rational policy decisions that even former decent ALP politicians and members would be hard-pressed to recognise the modern-day version. Former Queensland ALP treasurer Keith De Lacy wrote a brilliant article last week in the Courier Mail criticizing this very thing about the modern Labor Party.
On the Liberal side at least we had an alternative, that was until Malcolm Turnbull became the leader of the Federal Liberal party. It has been a speedy and steady decline ever since. Now both major parties are in lockstep on policy platforms so tightly that outside a few hasher degrees of extremes, it is virtually impossible to distinguish them apart.
Both parties embrace large debt, big government, woke ideas and now draconian measures to force their political will upon the people they govern. Four weeks ago, I wrote a letter to every federal LNP member of parliament. In that letter, I contrasted the way they were governing to their stated beliefs and values that are listed on their federal website. There was so much hypocrisy, double standards and contradictions that the letter went for ten pages. I have sent that letter to them on three separate occasions in that four weeks.
In response, I have had Queensland m.p.’s George Christensen and Luke Howarth not only get in touch with me, but they were just as happy to conduct interviews as well. I also missed a call from Gladys Liu and received an email from Gavin Pearce which effectively contained a typically say nothing statement that politicians write so often. George and Luke in particular were both brilliant in their responses and preparedness to engage in respectful discussions with me and more importantly with my small but dedicated band of social media followers. This is despite them both having different positions on the subject matter we spoke about.
That’s four members of parliament out of over one hundred of them that have taken the time to reply to my continued attempt to communicate with them. I am currently in the process of contacting each of their electoral offices.
In contrast, over the past eighteen months, I have enjoyed direct and long conversations with staff of Liberal Democrat politicians David Limbrick and Tim Quilty and enjoyed a long phone call with their new prized recruit John Ruddick. I have been watching events closely for the past eighteen months and in Victoria, I have witnessed David and Tim rise in parliament time and again delivering speeches that are from the heart, that are full of integrity and more importantly empathy.
They have attended protests and taken the time to listen to people’s concerns instead of denigrating them and they have trumpeted the rights of individuals over that of the state and called for smaller government. Their message was music to my ears and what I thought was once one of the key platforms that the previously great Liberal party stood for.
Since I wrote that letter, I watched in horror as a Liberal Prime Minister and Premier uttered words I never thought I would hear from any politician in this country. They spoke strongly, but also out of both sides of their mouths, about the implementation of segregation, discrimination and oppression of my fellow Australians who had the temerity not to take their health advice.
I was both disgusted and horrified.
This was in complete contradiction to the values that the Liberal Party was founded up. I wouldn’t have expected those words even from a Labor Party leader though I would have been far less surprised. As a lifetime supporter and voter of the Liberal party, the words “NO MORE” were screaming at me from my mind and soul.
I need to do something.
So that night, for the first time in my life, I decided to become a member of a political party. I jumped online and joined the Liberal Democrats. For the first time in my life I believed there was a fight worth engaging in and that I needed to become a warrior in that fight. For the first time any upcoming elections were far more worthy of my attention than just walking into a polling booth to cast a vote to avoid a fine.
This week I will also join or support the United Australia Party as Craig Kelly has not just been a Warrior, he has been our Spartan King at the Australian version of the Thermopylae pass that is our federal parliament. Just last week he and George Christensen put forward a bill that would have made it illegal for employees to mandate vaccines. Craig and George were the only members of parliament to vote for this legislation. Every other member voted against employee’s right to not be vaccinated. Yet Scott Morrison dares to speak about fighting for freedom when asked whether the Afghanistan War was justified.
Just as our political leaders abandoned Afghanis freedom in the most incompetent military withdrawal in history, our political leaders led by the Prime Minister himself have engaged in a concerted attack on Australian’s freedoms, liberties and way of life here at home. If you know your history it’s not outlandish to compare the circumstances we find ourselves in to those of the American colonials before the American War of Independence. That war was fought over the implementation of taxes that the thirteen colonial states believed were unfair and unjust. We are facing a fight for far more important ideals than those. Yet it was through that War that the American declaration of independence was written and declared and through victory in that war that the American Bill of rights would be born.
In that declaration of independence the following words originally written by Thomas Jefferson in 1789 are contained within:
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.”
Not just magnificent words and some of the greatest written in human history, but is this not the fight that we now find ourselves in here in Australia two hundred and forty-five years later? I say yes it is and it is one we cannot lose, it is a fight we are all compelled to join in. Hopefully, it can be resolved through a polling booth rather than the end of the rifle as happened back in those historical days.
If you observe our politics closely enough there are flickers of hope that can be potential embers of liberty to be grown into flames of freedom, but only if we support them and fan those flames.
Many people talk about major and minor parties, but in Australian politics, you only hold the status of a major party if you can garner enough votes to win government. It’s long past time Australians turn their support to another breed and gave our minor parties some serious major party status and deliver the current ones into a political purgatory to reflect on their sins.
If you support liberty, if you support freedom, if you want to live a life free from government overreach and if you want to see your hard-earned tax dollars managed diligently and spent wisely then there is no way you can vote for either of the current major parties.
This is why I joined the Liberal Democrats.