Wednesday, April 05, 2006

The Liberal party are not "liberal" in any sense

Australians now live under one of the highest taxing governments on the planet. If we were being governed by the Labor Party, or some other far-left group such as the Greens or Democrats, perhaps most of us would expect such a situation to emerge.

But the Liberal party has been comfortably in power at the federal level for 10 years, and has done little to reduce the tax burden and cut government spending. John Howard's socialist credentials are strong indeed, with taxes now eating up 30 percent of our GDP.

The media, rather than attack the Liberal party for deviating from its philosophy, has mostly bothered to criticise *what* the government spends the money in and where it's priorities are. The fact that the Liberal party should represent a free-trade, small government agenda is totally overlooked. It goes to show that when you give people power, they don't like to hand it back in a hurry.

The word "liberal" is interpreted differently in the US. It generally means left-wing over there. Sure, it relates to left-wing economic policies that tax and spend heavily. But it also includes left-wing social policies, such as legalisation of drugs and recognition of gay partnerships. Our Liberal Party are definately socially conservative so, the US definition of liberal doesn't fit.

The other definition, usually referred to as classical liberal, is defined by Wikipedia as:

Classical liberalism (also called classic liberalism) is a political ideology that embraces individual rights, private property and a laissez-faire economy, a government that exists to protect the liberty of each individual from others, and a constitution that protects individual autonomy from governmental powers.
As such, it is often seen as being the natural ideology of the industrial revolution and its subsequent capitalist system. Ideas such as freedom of speech, freedom of religion, freedom of thought, and free markets were first proposed by classical liberal thinkers before they were also adopted by thinkers of other ideologies.
Laissez-faire doesn't mean 48.5% top tax rates and heavy regulation!