Sunday, September 01, 2013

Party Games 30/54 Liberal Democratic Party

The Liberal Democratic Party is a strongly libertarian party. They seek a limited role for government to play in society, preferring the free market for all things. This leads to an interesting mix of policy positions.

They are want to privatize nearly all government services (public transport, schools, the ABC and SBS, Australia Post), and limit regulations on business. They do have a novel idea on how to do some of the privatizations. Restructure the asset as a business, determine a number of shares to be created, and give each Australian an equal number of shares to do with as they like (although it would suck for someone born the day after the share give away).

Their defense plans are different. They want to reduce the standing army while beefing up participation in the army reserves, keeping the standing army mainly as an officer corps and specialists troops. Presumably much of the Navy and Airforce would be in this permanent section (fighter pilot for example, being a rather specialist skill). They would also create an expeditionary corps made up primarily of foreign citizens with a small number of Australian citizens as officers. This would be funded by hiring it out to the UN and friendly nations for peace keeping activities.

They do have some good ideas. They are pro gay marriage, for free trade, and encourage motorcycle use (but don't think helmets should be mandatory).

In terms of budget, they want not only a balanced budget, but a government with zero net assets. The first I can get behind, the second just seems ridiculous. Even if you want a limited role for government, would it not make more sense for it to have assets (say owning a building rather than renting) than have to balance out that asset with equivalent debt on which interest must be paid. So keep the net assets low, but zero seems a bad number to aim for.

The thing is, I think the government has a bigger role to play and can do more good than leaving everything to the market (natural monopolies being a big example), and that it can be appropriate for society to say we as a whole want to do this and that government is the way we want to do this.

The Liberal Democratic Party is running candidates for the senate in all six states.

twitter: @auslibdems

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