Australia: Why vote Liberal when the main parties look the same?

Australia: Why vote Liberal when the main parties look the same? By Chris Kenny.

The cancer in politics now is that the main parties are overpopulated by people without community roots, policy values or philosophical aspirations. Our political class is full of functionaries who have more personal ambition than political conviction, as they pursue poll-driven and media-led campaigning for victory rather than an improved state or country. …

The only clear value that dares speak its name in contemporary politics is the delusional and ubiquitous aim of “saving the planet” — which happens to be one of the few issues on which Australian policy can have no discernible impact and on which there is little serious debate between the major parties.

At a time of spiralling electricity and gas prices, and a looming supply crisis, the major parties hardly differ on climate and energy policy. They engage in bipartisan national self-harm, forcing an energy-rich nation into energy poverty, while neither party wears political pain because they dare not expose the folly. It is a duopoly of deceit. A corrosive coupling. A climate cop-out.

Differences on economic management have fallen by the wayside, too, as Coalition govern­ments surrendered their aversion to deficits and debt during the pandemic. Worse, the unprece­dented government interventions during the pandemic — onerous rules, border closures, lockdowns, and mandates — saw the Liberal Party abandon its foundational commitments to small government, personal responsibility and individual freedom.

On top of this is a lowbrow campaigning mentality that has reduced the electoral contest to handouts at 10 paces. The NSW Coalition government that was defeated last weekend had promoted back-to-school vouchers, sports vouchers, creative vouchers, energy rebates, toll rebates, dine and discover vouchers and car purchase grants, and promised a taxpayer-funded, non-means-tested children’s savings scheme.

The new left just promised more money for the bureaucracy, the core of their constituency:

By opposing this scheme and resisting a big government move to eliminate cash from all gaming machines operations, Labor actually had a more right-of-centre agenda. The only prominent policy Labor leader Chris Minns took to the election that was to the progressive side of the Coalition government was his pledge to scrap a public sector wages cap. …

Climate change and covid — for which big government appears to be the answer — swallowed the usual issues:

There is a retreat from core Liberal Party values that must be arrested. Writing in The Australian Financial Review, former federal Liberal leader and foreign minister Alexander Downer focused on the public mood.

“A combination of hysteria about climate change and Covid-19 has successfully pushed the public — especially the young — into abandoning concepts such as sound money, individual liberty and responsibility, and competitive markets,” he wrote. “The state knows best and it doesn’t matter how much it spends. That’s the prevailing zeitgeist.” …

Liberal Party surrendered, and went along with the left’s media:

The Liberal Party has surrendered on these issues and failed to offer an alternative — so, unless we trust the pollsters implicitly, we do not really know how voters would have reacted if the counterarguments had been made and a real alternative had been available at the ballot box.

At the most recent federal and state elections, anyone looking to vote for a party prioritising energy affordability and reliability over climate gestures, and favouring personal liberties, self-reliance, and individual choices over pandemic fearmongering, could find no such option unless they were prepared to plunge into the political backwaters of One Nation. These logical policy positions should be solid Liberal ground. …

The lily-livered policies and palpable lack of conviction displayed by the Liberals can encourage voters to drift off to Labor, the teals, anywhere, to vote for parties that at least show some certitude.

Core Liberal values are timeless and easily applicable to younger voters and contemporary issues. They speak to standard human instincts and proven economic and social realities. It is all there in the Liberals’ “We believe” statement, attached to every Liberal website. These values are not “hard right”, old-fashioned or ideological; they reflect the commonsense, main­stream, successful and fair approach the green-left parties can never emulate.

Climate change and covid are tailor-made  issues for the left, because in both cases big government appears to required — to stop every one and every country from emitting CO2, and to close borders and lock down.

Interestingly, big government caused both climate change and covid.

  • The climate change “crisis” was initially caused by a modeling error in climate models, then kept in place by western bureaucracies that only hired scientists who believed the carbon dioxide theory of global warming and by the suppression of criticism and critics.
  • Covid, of course, was concocted in the labs of the world’s two most powerful governments.

Is there anything that government grants in the right hands cannot do?

hat-tip Stephen Neil