Victoria Proves: Out-Lefting Labor Guarantees Election Loss

There can be no doubt: the election of the Andrews Government will be a disaster for Victoria. Their anti-growth policies, their subservience to radical unions, and their complete lack of any sort of economic coherence, will severely hurt every Victorian household.

But let one thing be clear: This disaster was clearly of the Liberals making. And the blame rests solely with Denis Napthine, his advisers, and the 104 Exhibition St machine.

By embracing a policy platform squarely to the left of Labor, and refusing to campaign on any sort of Liberal principles, the Napthine Government all but guaranteed Labor’s win.

Make no mistake: Under the Baillieu-Napthine Government, the Liberal Party was anything but.

Rather than making the tough choices necessary to reform Victoria, they squibbed a golden opportunity, wasting their time in government, and dedicated their election campaign to doing nought but promising handouts, subsidies, and welfare.

It is little wonder that Liberal party members deserted the party in droves, and polling booths were left unmanned?

It is little wonder that the vote for minor parties in the Legislative Council rose from under 10%, to a staggering almost 25% as conservatives and Liberals desperately searched for parties that better articulated their values?

Or that conservative commentators such as Andrew Bolt wrote: “The passion we could muster in a public defence of this government could hardly warm a hamster”  while Quadrant Magazine, Australia’s Conservative Journal of Record,noted  “Baillieu and Napthine and the back-stabbing, spiteful sheltered workshops that were their cabinets stood for nothing” ?

In the last week of the election, the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance ran a poll in Victoria, with over a thousand respondents, many Liberal Party members. While admittedly not scientific, the results were rather telling:

Almost one third of Liberal Party Members said they would not voting 1 for the Liberals in the Legislative Council.

Just think about that for a minute, and what it says. When a third of your own members won’t vote for you, it says a lot.

The reason the Liberals lost was they betrayed their base, and gave no reason for Victorians to trust them. Pure and simple.

The Liberal apparatchiks argued that they needed to be “moderate” to win an election – but history has proven this to be a lie.

No Liberal Government Has Ever Won Election By Trying To Out-Left Labor.

This is a simple fact of electoral politics in Australia – when faced with Labor and Labor-lite, the Australian public will vote for the ALP which at least has the courage of their convictions. From John Howard to Tony Abbott, it is the Liberals who don’t pander to the elite, and pledge to cut the size of government, who get elected. Campbell Newman was pilloried in the media for enacting reform – yet is now soaring in popularity. The facts speak for themselves.

This is not a question of being principled vs being pragmatic, for the evidence is clear: Being ideological IS pragmatic, and is the only way of winning elections.

The Napthine government attacked Labor for wanting to cut taxpayer funding for failed green subsidies. They promised no-strings-attached cheques to parents. They bailed out Coca-Cola. They threw money at Live Music, to multifaith groups, and promised so many grants to green groups, that some of the groups they promised money to didn’t even exist! They proposed  $127 million for “public health” campaigns including giving tens of millions of dollars to professional activists and lobbiests and – wait for it – $20 million on a website, .… the list goes on, and on, and on. And to cap it off, they bitterly attacked Labor for wanting to trim taxpayer subsidies to the renewable energy scam!

Is it any wonder that Liberals Party members deserted the party? Why would anyone who supports Liberal principles go out and campaign for a party that has breached every single one of them?

Those responsible for this debacle are desperately trying to blame the Federal Government. This does not stand up to the slightest bit of scrutiny: The Victorian Liberal Party has been trailing in the polls since 2012. Its problems are solely of its own making.

The Victorian Liberals wasted 4 years focussing on insignificant issues like banning solariums and cage fighting, and refused to tackle any of the real issues or push through any sort of meaningful reform. While granted, some Liberal Ministers, such as Matthew Guy, tried their utmost with some success, and were able to achieve real results, and, this election has brought some new very capable new Members (like the excellent Louise Staley), this positivity was more than outweighed by the overall depressing state campaign.

And all because the Victorian Liberals decided to take the easy way out.

The lesson from the Victorian election is loud and clear: A Liberal Party that embarks on a big-government, left-of-Labor campaign, will be, without question, consigned to defeat.

This is what has happened before. Every. Single Time.

The lesson from the Victorian election is crystal clear – and it is now up to other Liberals to wake up and accept it.

Australian Greens Coordinator Wants To Murder Political Opponents

The left keep telling us how tolerant they are.

Except, of course, for anyone who disagrees with them, where it would appear that nostalgia for Stalin’s terrors is alive and well in the Australian Greens.

Here is yet another example: Damiya Hayden is a campaign co-coordinator for the Australian Young Greens. This is her in a discussion on Facebook with former Menzies House Managing Editor John Humphreys:

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Damiya Hayden’s Facebook lists that she works for the Australian Young Greens as their Campaigns Co-Coordinator:

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Yup, that’s right, a Campaign Co-Coordinator with the Australian Young Greens would happily murder people who disagree with her if only she could get away with it.

Charming people, these tolerant lefties, aren’t they?

But then, maybe they’re just grumpy that their vote is in freefall nationally…

What The Media Won’t Report – Green Vote In Freefall

While the Australian media continues campaigning for the Australian Greens, an interesting fact seems to have been left out of their reporting of both the Victorian State Election, and indeed the previous Federal Election, and all state elections before it.

The Australian Greens vote is in freefall.

Let us look at the numbers.

In the 2010 Victorian Legislative Council Election, the Australian Greens 12.01%. This election, they only received 10.29% – a steep fall of 14.3% [UPDATE: Current numbers have the Greens at 10.8%, reducing the fall slightly to 10%)

The situation is even more accentuated Federally.

In the 2010 Federal Election, the Australian Greens received 13.11% of the vote. By 2013, this had plummeted to 8.65% – a staggering drop of 34.01%

The same pattern appears in every state election held recently.

The Greens vote fell a whopping 36% at the last Tasmanian electionfell a 25% at the 2013 West Australian electionfell 10% at the 2012 Queensland state election, and also fell at the 2014 South Australian election. Even in the Australian Capital Territory in the 2012 Legislative Assembly Election the Greens vote fell 31%! 

The numbers speak for themselves.

Australians around the country are comprehensibly rejecting the radical ideology of the Greens, and nothing their fawning fans in the media can do will change this simple fact. 

Tim Andrews is the Executive Director of the Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance, and co-Founder of Menzies House. 

How Do You Rate The Victorian Government?

The Victorian election is just seven days away!

The Australian Taxpayers’ Alliance is running a series of short polls on the performance, policies, and promises of the major parties – and your input would be welcome!

Our first questionnaire is on how well you think the Liberal Party did governing Victoria, and what you think of their promises this election campaign: Did they do enough to reform Victoria? Do you agree with their spending proposes? Do their policies represent your values? Let us know what you think!

This survey will take less than 5 minutes to complete, and your input will be very valuable!

You can do the survey here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/s/LZHGYQC

(It goes without saying that all answers will be kept anonymous and your details will not be sold onto anyone)

So whatever you think of the Victorian State Government, hit the link and let us know!

How A Chance Visit To A Grocery Store Changed The World

It was September 1989 and Russian President Boris Yeltsin was in the United States to visit the Johnson Space Centre, and chose to make  a chance visit to a local grocery store.

The Houston Chronicle reports:

Yeltsin, then 58, “roamed the aisles of Randall’s nodding his head in amazement,” wrote Asin. He told his fellow Russians in his entourage that if their people, who often must wait in line for most goods, saw the conditions of U.S. supermarkets, “there would be a revolution.”…

In Yeltsin’s own autobiography, he wrote about the experience at Randall’s, which shattered his view of communism, according to pundits. Two years later, he left the Communist Party and began making reforms to turn the economic tide in Russia. You can blame those frozen Jell-O Pudding pops.

“When I saw those shelves crammed with hundreds, thousands of cans, cartons and goods of every possible sort, for the first time I felt quite frankly sick with despair for the Soviet people,” Yeltsin wrote. “That such a potentially super-rich country as ours has been brought to a state of such poverty! It is terrible to think of it.”

Click HERE to read the rest and to see recently discovered photos of the visit.

Posted by Tim Andrews

Napthine’s effective allocation of resources (for the procurement of votes)

display pic Lee Kavanagh on the unprincipled vote buying of the major parties. 

In the lead up to the Victorian election, the major parties resemble nothing so much as bidders at an auction. They’re stepping over each others toes trying to find creative ways to promise the electorate its own money back. The voter, increasingly jaded and entitled, strikes a casual pose: “Alright, what do you got?”

Napthine drives a hard bargain. A $75 million dollar youth unemployment strategy, a $3.9 billion dollar public transport boost, a $100 million dollar infrastructure fund. Nice. Subtle. All public goods, right? Who could accuse him of buying votes. We should all care about youth unemployment, public transport, and regional infrastructure. Only it’s perhaps a little too subtle. So he has added a rather more tangible inducement to the pot: if your kid’s in 4-year-old kindergarten he’ll give you $100. Yes, you specifically. No strings. Just vote for Denis Napthine. Dubious as their classical liberal credentials may be, one has to concede they have a shrewd grasp of rational self-interest.

But Labor is not to be trifled with. They have some well directed inducements of their own. For instance, did you know that only an Andrews Labor government will fix Epsom Primary School? Just for kicks, guess which parties electorate that’s in. They’re not relying solely on the eminently buyable mother demographic, of course, cricket fans, firefighters and the civic-minded, and many other demographics will also have funds and developments lavishly heaped upon them, should Labor win.

And who can blame the voter for responding to incentive? It’s a clever trap they’ve been caught in, really. If the results of the election determine whether or not ones childs school falls into disrepair, who can really permit themselves the luxury of principles? Do you want Billy to learn in a state of the art classroom or not? Yeah, well it’s going to cost your civil liberties, your peace of mind for the next nineteen days, and a fair chunk of your income.

At this juncture, the Liberal Party has a choice to make. Which farce are they going to lay on an electorate which wants to be taxed less and lavished more and doesn’t understand the connection? Are the Labor party taking too much of our money? Or are they not spending enough of it? Is it possible to run with both? Actually, yes, yes it is. I don’t think the average Australian has fully grasped that it’s his own money being thrown at him, which suggests a tantalizingly simple campaign slogan. Never mind that it’s impossible: less taxes, more spending! Only a Liberal government will take less and give more!

I’m sure the problem with this kind of campaign is obvious to classical liberals. Both parties are content to make this election about a budget. If they can make this about divvying up the public coffers they can keep from talking about policy or principles, which is something two parties with horrendous policies and no principles must avoid at any cost. With these obscured by the vocal bidding war, the major parties can devote themselves fully to the effective allocation of resources…to where they will procure the most votes.

Lee Kavanagh is a student of political theory and frequent commentator on current events.

NSW Minerals Council Wins Media Release Of The Year

The Australia Institute jumps the shark again

November 07, 2014

In their latest attack on mining, the Australia Institute have ‘jumped the shark’ yet again.
Only this time they have ‘jumped the shark’ while skiing on the back of a shark and wearing a sharkskin suit.
“Today they are seriously claiming that some of the world’s largest energy companies don’t actually supply any energy to anyone,” NSW Minerals Council CEO, Stephen Galilee said.
“Their parallel universe must also be virtual reality.”
With almost three billion people globally without access to electricity, it’s no surprise that our major trading partners place a priority on providing cheap and reliable electricity to their populations.
It’s why global demand for NSW thermal coal continues to grow, with increased volumes exported into all our major trading destinations, including the developing economies of China and India.
And it’s why, according to a recent research paper completed by Robert Bryce, Senior Fellow, Centre for Energy Policy and the Environment at the Manhattan Institute:
“Growth in coal consumption has been critical in providing electricity access in developing countries. Based on the results of three different estimates…between 1990 and 2010, about 830 million people—the vast majority in developing countries—gained access to electricity due to coal-fired generation.”

Click HERE to read the rest

Liberal Use of Public Funds

display picLee Kavanagh takes a look at the classical liberal credentials of the Liberal Party in advance of the Victorian election.

The attitude of the Victorian Liberal Party towards fiscal sanity is revealed in their press releases, a stupendous amount of which are announcements of spending projects from whose tone one might infer that the value of such projects is measurable in dollars; each dollar spent as valuable as the rest. Why else do they invariably trumpet the dollar figure in the title of every such release? Why is it “$4.3 million pedestrian overpasses” they’re so pleased to announce and not simply pedestrian overpasses?

Take a gander at the news releases of Denis Napthine, leader of the party: funding, funding, seminar, fluff, funding, funding, funding, funding, funding, funding, funding, etc. Among the more egregious (in principle, not in dollar value) of these numerous announcements of spending is $300,000 to subsidize a private sporting event through the “Coalition Government’s Raceday Attraction Program.” It would appear that the Coalition government has fallen prey to the political disease of our times: an inability to demonstrate care for one’s constituency except by spending money. If one values education, naturally one spends money on education. If one values literacy, naturally one gives generous grants to restock libraries. If one values the contribution of horse racing to our culture or economy, one creates a “Raceday Attraction Program” through which to spend money. Down in the polls, the Libs are no doubt desperate to demonstrate they care about their constituency. Hands will be shook, gymnasiums opened, but above all, dollars will be promised and dollars will be spent.

Of their five-point plan for the economy, two of the five are spending; one of the three which is not (the maintenance of a budget surplus) is touted as allowing for more spending on infrastructure. Of their plan for transport, naturally nine of nine points are spending. Their plan for community safety is threefold: spend, reduce civil liberties, and increase police powers. Hospitals, again (naturally) mostly spending, including “a record $15 billion for hospitals and health services.” See: the Liberal party cares so much about it’s constituents that it’s breaking records in spending. Finally, jobs will be created by spending in excess of $30 billion dollars.

In the lead up to the election, the Liberals have been quite busy demonstrating they care: about Krishnas, about the youth, about rugby, about Fairhills High School in particular, and on and on. Is this really the way of a liberal party?

Classical liberalism posits that the role of government is the maintenance of law and order and national defence. Daily, the Liberal Party affirms the competing concept of government, that of the big government left: that the role of government is the maintenance of schools and hospitals, the refurbishment of private kitchens, the vocational training of the masses, even the lighting of sporting ovals. The Liberal Party affirms: we cannot even play rugby past 7 unless the government says, “Let there be light.”

If there is a role for a classical liberal party in Australian politics, it is surely posing as a counterpoint to this mindset. The role for a classical liberal party is in demonstrating that spending money (while obvious and easily exploited) does not automatically translate to gains for society, and that those who spend the most money are rarely those who actually care the most. It is incumbent on such a party to find a way to say: we care about your communities, and your schools, and your hospitals, but we can best help not through grants and funds and “Programs,” but by getting out of the way. It is incumbent on such a party to effectively deliver the message of classical liberalism: that society grows not through grants or subsidies or government funds but through a robust civil society unhampered by big government.

Such a party the Liberals are not. It is increasingly evident to even the simplest observer that the only thing liberal about the way this party operates is its liberal use of public funds to curry favour.

Lee Kavanagh is a student of political theory and frequent commentator on current events.