John Ruddick is the Liberal Democrat Party candidate for the Senate. He recently wrote in these pages about the just-passed Commonwealth legislation permitting the Liberal Party of Australia to claim intellectual property rights over the word “Liberal”. So much for a Liberal party.
This legislation is a fundamental assault on political competition. The Liberal Party seems to have concluded that votes will bleed to the Liberal Democrats or the New Liberals so it has conspired with the Labor Party to change the rules to snuff out competitors. The operating assumption within the Liberal Party seems to be that votes that might be cast for competitors are its birthright and should not be competed for.
An anti-competitive Liberal Party. Reflect on that.
The passion and speed to pass this legislation was also impressive. No consultation. No Senate committees. No proper public consultation. It’s amazing what this government can do when it puts its mind to something. Imagine what else the Coalition could have done in the last eight years if it was equally motivated.
What this legislation shows is the fundamental deception this “Liberal” government is seeking to perpetuate. The so-called party of small government and free markets and competition believes in no such things. In many respects, it was inevitable since the party became infested with the lobbyist and apparatchik class. Over time, the Liberal’s DNA mutated. Let’s call the current mob the Delta strain; extra virulent and extra dangerous.
There is not a corner of Australian society or economy for which this government does not have a (central) plan. Australian government as measured as a proportion of GDP, even adjusting for Covid stimulus, has like the number of Australian government public servants, never been higher.
Is this egregious conduct surprising? Not in the slightest. This is after all the Liberal Party that brought Australia meta-data retention laws, totalitarian standard national security laws and engaged in an unprecedented level of electoral pork-barrelling. And don’t forget the $1.2 trillion, yes trillion dollars of budgeted debt, all before the current lockdowns. This too is the Liberal Party that has done absolutely nothing about the ABC, Section 18c and academic freedom. Yes. That Liberal Party.
On the plus side, there were a few Knights and Dames awarded and politicians and public servants got nice pay increases all while the economy has been on fire. They’re all in it together.
If the ACCC regulated political parties, it would take the Liberal Party of Australia to court for engaging in misleading and deceptive conduct.
Before Margaret Thatcher became leader of the British Conservative Party, the view of her colleagues was that the role of the British Government was to manage an orderly demise of the nation. It seems that the Liberal Government of Scott Morrison believes that it is their role to ensure an accelerated demise.
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