LDP President’s welcome message

Welcome to the Liberal Democrats – Australia’s only classical liberal (or libertarian) political party, and the only party that truly believes in shrinking the size of government. 

The liberal tradition does not fit easily into the usual left-right spectrum. In Australia the Liberal Party (sic) has borrowed the word, and yet they pursue an uninspired big-government-conservative agenda. At the same time, in the USA the word “liberal” has been co-opted by the political left, and in the UK the term has evolved to mean something close to centrist. So what do we mean? 

For the Liberal Democrats, the word “liberal” is more than just a convenient label. It is our philosophy and our reason for existing. We use the term in the classical sense of meaning “live and let live”, where people have the freedom to live their own lives as long as they respect the rights of other people to do the same. This covers traditionally “left-wing” causes such as drug law reform, same-sex marriage, and protection of privacy; and it also includes notionally “right-wing” issues such as the freedom to work, trade & invest without excessive taxes and burdensome regulation. This mix of policies may look awkward at first glance, but the consistent theme is individual liberty and scepticism of government.

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2021 Liberal Democrats AGM

A bit over 20 years ago a small group of young Canberra libertarians got together at the Kingston Hotel and outlined our plans to launch a new political party. Flash forward to this year and that small group had become a national network of thousands of members, with several important electoral victories under our belt, and playing an important role in the Australian liberty movement. It was a moment worth celebrating, and thank you to everybody who came along to our 20th birthday celebration in Canberra earlier this month.

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Case for a classical liberal political party

Humphreys, J. (2007), “Taking Classical Liberalism to the People“, Policy, 23:1 (August 2007), Centre for Independent Studies, Sydney, pp40-43.

Classical liberals have been disappointed by the performance of the Liberal Party, and are likely to remain disappointed my any major party. While a minor party may not win government, they have several benefits from having an explicitly classical liberal political party such as the Liberal Democrats:

  1. Better advocacy and reaching more people
  2. Changing the parameters of political debate
  3. Being copied by the majors
  4. Votes and preferences