Who are the Liberal Democrats?

Low Taxes. Small Government. Individual Responsibility.

Fighting for less government and more freedom

The Liberal Democrats believe government have neither the expertise, nor the rights to tell people how to run their lives. People should be free to make their own choices and accept responsibility for the consequences, so long as nobody else is harmed.

The Government is comprised of politicians and public servants with no special insight or wisdom. Despite that, it constantly tells us what is best for us and how to run our lives. It ties up businesses in red tape - preventing them from investing, expanding and employing.

It sounds counter-intuitive, but every time the government steps in to 'protect' competition, they actually make things worse.

The reality is that only big companies have enough cunning to survive the heavily regulated, taxed and controlled market created by government.


POLICY - LIBERTY

Accessible Medicines

The Liberal Democrats believe that the ability to easily purchase medicines is a vital aspect of maintaining health and vitality. The availability of treatment options within Australia is currently very tightly controlled both by over-regulation of pharmaceuticals themselves and the monopoly powers granted by government to the Pharmacy Guild. The effect of this tight control is decreased availability of medicines and increased healthcare costs, which are passed on to both consumers and taxpayers.
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Cannabis

The Liberal Democrats support the legalisation of use, cultivation, processing, possession, transport and sale of cannabis, with protection of minors and penalties for driving while impaired.

CLICK HERE FOR THE LDP CANNABIS POLICY VIDEO
Senator David Leyonhjelm

The Liberal Democrats believe in:
Legalising the recreational use of marijuana by adults in all jurisdictions of Australia.
Legalising the cultivation, processing, possession, transport and sale of cannabis and its derivative products in all jurisdictions of Australia.
Removing specific prohibitions against the agricultural, industrial and culinary uses of hemp and hemp derivatives.
Allowing the recommendation of cannabis or its derivatives for medical use by authorised medical practitioners.
Implementing penalties for the sale or supply of cannabis or its derivatives to minors.
Implementing penalties for driving while demonstrably impaired by the effects of cannabis use.
Allowing private organisations to enforce cannabis bans.

The Liberal Democrats aim to:
End the nanny state and reduce government interference in private choices made by adults.
Increase the treatment options available to those suffering from chronic disease.
Reduce the burden on the tax-payer from the misguided "war" on drugs.
Avoid stigmatising cannabis users with criminal records for victimless crimes.
Undermine criminal organisations involved in the production and distribution of cannabis.
Protect the rights of private organisations to implement policies in relation to cannabis use consistent with their values.
Protect public safety including child safety.

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Competitive Federalism

The Liberal Democrats support competitive federalism as it was intended by the founders of the constitution.
Where possible, government activities should be decentralised to the State level to allow the benefits of governmental competition, policy experimentation and individual choice. This will also allow the removal of bureaucratic duplication of federal and state agencies.

Democracy

The Liberal Democrats believe in constitutional democracy and support voluntary voting, citizens initiated referenda, fixed parliamentary terms, recall elections, constitutional protection of private property and sunset clauses on legislation.
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Drug Reform

The Liberal Democrats support an evidence-based approach to drug policy based on harm minimisation. The Liberal Democrats support the immediate legalisation of any drug shown to be less harmful than alcohol or tobacco, and the decriminalisation of all other drugs.

Policy and Aims

The Liberal Democrats believe in:

  • The full legalisation of the possession, cultivation, manufacture and sale to adults of all drugs which cause less harm than alcohol or tobacco.
  • Regulation of these drugs to minimise exposure to children.
  • The abolition of civil and criminal penalties for possession of all drugs for personal use.
  • Allowing use of drugs such as MDMA and LSD for therapeutic purposes.
  • Prohibiting driving while demonstrably impaired by the effects of any psychoactive substance.

The Liberal Democrats aim to:

  • End the nanny state and reduce government interference in private choices made by adults.
  • Increase the treatment options available to those suffering from chronic disease or mental illness.
  • Reduce the burden on the taxpayer from the misguided prohibition policy towards drugs.
  • Avoid stigmatising drug users with criminal records when there is no other victim.
  • Undermine criminal organisations by legalising their illicit markets.
  • Protect the rights of private organisations to implement policies in relation to drug use consistent with their values.
  • Protect public safety including child safety.

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Equality before the Law

Over the last 30 years we have seen a diminishing appreciation of the principle of personal responsibility. The growth of the welfare state, poor rulings by courts on personal damages claims and the growth of numerous government funded commissions, councils, authorities and boards have all eroded the notion of individual responsibility.
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Free Speech

The Liberal Democrats believe that freedom is precious, that our freedom is not conferred by government, that government poses great risks to our freedom, and that the role of government is the defence of freedom.
Policy

  • Freedom of speech and expression.
  • A free media.
  • Freedom of association, assembly and movement.
  • Freedom over one's own body, beliefs, privacy and property.

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Gun Rights

This is a big issue with Australians, before dismissing the LDP on this single point, take a look at the facts http://www.ldp.org.au/gun_rights
The Liberal Democrats regard the right to own firearms for sport, hunting, collecting and self-defence as fundamental to a free society, irrespective of how many choose to do so. It does not believe governments have a general right to limit the ownership of firearms.
What the LDP is saying here is Disarm Criminals by all means and likely YOU are not a criminal and with that you have every right to protect yourself and your family within solid and responsible gun control policy
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Higher Education

The Liberal Democrats will deregulate and privatise higher education, while retaining loans for tuition fees. It is unfair for those without the benefit of higher education to pay for the higher education of others.
The benefits of higher education accrue to the student. There is little evidence to suggest that an individual's higher education enhances the productivity of others, or makes others more 'cultured'.
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Lifestyle Choices

Adults must be free to make their own lifestyle decisions, including marriage, without interference by the government or any need for its approval.
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National Defence

National defence is a legitimate role of the Commonwealth government. However, unnecessary expenditure on defence contributes to excessive taxation.
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Police and Crime

The Liberal Democrats believe Peel's Principles of Policing should comprise the basis of all police activities. Criminal law exists to serve us, and should be limited to behaviours that cause harm to others without their consent.

Under this approach, all citizens can support and help uphold the law. Indeed, only through widespread voluntary adherence to the law can respect for the law be maintained. The maintenance of public support is integral to effective policing.
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Recreational Gaming

The Liberal Democrats neither supports nor opposes gambling. It considers it to be like any other form of entertainment - a matter of choice for responsible adults. Just as we may turn off the television or refuse to enter a cinema, we may also leave a casino or decline to bet on a horse race.
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Relations with Other Countries

The Liberal Democrats support freedom and democracy at home and abroad.
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Religious Freedom

The Liberal Democrats support freedom of religion but oppose government involvement in religion including funding of programs based on religion and efforts to impose religious beliefs on others.
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Right to Die

The Liberal Democrats believe that adults have a right to end their own lives, with or without assistance, and to have access to information to help them do it. We believe in the inalienable right of individuals to end their lives painlessly, at a time of their choosing, and to be legally able to obtain information and assistance to do so with dignity.
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Right to Ride

The Liberal Democrats believe those who choose to use motorcycles and scooters should not be discouraged by government policies. The use of motorcycles and scooters is a matter of individual choice. So long as nobody else is likely to be harmed, it is not acceptable for the government to interfere in it.
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Road Safety

The LDP believes traffic laws should strike a better balance between safety and efficient travel. Australia is a large country in which motor vehicles are a vital means of transport. Our traffic laws need to strike a balance between safety and the need for efficient travel over long distances.
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School Choice

The LDP believes school regulation should be devolved to state level and funded through school vouchers that promote competition between schools and encourage parental choice.
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Small Government

The Liberal Democrats will ensure that governments are restricted as to what they can do and kept accountable through extensive checks and balances.
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Smokers Rights

The Liberal Democrats are neither pro-smoking nor anti-smoking; we are pro-choice.
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Victimless Crimes

The Liberal Democrats do not generally support the criminalisation of victimless crimes and seeks to reduce the intrusion of government into these areas.
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POLICY - PROSPERITY

Affordable Childcare

The Liberal Democrats believe that the Australian child care industry is needlessly over-regulated leading to burdensome regulatory compliance costs.
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Budget

Within a small government context, the Liberal Democrats believe government should fund recurrent activities entirely through taxation and balance liabilities and assets to achieve the equivalent of zero net worth.
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Deregulation and Privatisation

The Liberal Democrats oppose the ownership of businesses by governments and the provision of services that could be provided by the private sector.

We are opposed to the ownership of businesses by governments and the provision of services that could be provided by the private sector.
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Energy Security

Energy is crucial to our modern way of life. Indeed, the availability of energy at affordable prices is one of the key forces in our economy. The Liberal Democrats do not believe in either subsidising or unfairly taxing any particular source of energy, including nuclear.
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Free Trade

The Liberal Democrats support free international trade in goods, services and capital. It is a simple fact that Australians benefit from free trade and foreign investment.

We are a pro-trade party. In Australia, other small parties hide behind the rhetoric of 'fair trade' and protectionist populism. However, the welfare of Australians is not improved by xenophobia and irrational economics.
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Humanitarian Aid

The Liberal Democrats believe government foreign aid, other than short term humanitarian relief, should cease.
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Immigration

The Liberal Democrats would increase opportunities to live and work in Australia while carefully guarding access to welfare and citizenship.

Policy

  • Negotiate Free Immigration Agreements (FIAs) with compatible countries to allow unrestricted movement of citizens between those countries.
  • Replace the current points-based quota system with a tariff system where immigrants pay for the right to become a permanent resident (PR) in Australia.
  • No eligibility for welfare for PRs except where reciprocal arrangements have been established through a FIA.
  • Increase barriers to citizenship so Australia can sustain a high level of immigration and relatively free movement of people without the risk that new immigrants will undermine our democracy or social harmony.
  • Adopt a liberal approach to temporary residency for workers and tourists.
  • Detain unauthorized arrivals for security and health checks, after which they can be temporarily released on payment of bail equivalent to the immigration tariff while their application to stay (as asylum or other) is processed.

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Intellectual Property

The Liberal Democrats support intellectual rights in return for private creative endeavours, but opposes increased restrictions, such as is happening with copyright. The Liberal Democrats also believe that intellectual rights laws need to take into account the changing nature of society and technology.

Policy

  • Abolish copyright on material produced by the Australian Government (subject to privacy concerns).
  • Put into the public domain or auction off patents owned by the Australian government.
  • Reduce copyright duration to 15 years from publication or broadcast, or the life of the author (whichever is greater).
  • Reduce patent duration to 15 years.
  • Establish an orphan works defence for copyright infringement.
  • Repeal the technological protection measures and electronic rights management sections of the Copyright Act.
  • Support legal protection for trivial, non-commercial copying, such as sharing between friends.
  • Clarify patent law to explicitly exclude things that are not inventions such as discoveries of nature (including human genes) and abstract concepts (such as business methods).
  • Establish an independent invention defence for patent infringement.

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Money and Banks

The Liberal Democrats believe that inflation is taxation by stealth, that the Reserve Bank should be more accountable, and that banks should be free to fail.
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Natural Environment

The Liberal Democrats value the natural environment within the context of a prosperous society that provides equal protection under the law and is based on respect for individual freedom, personal responsibility, small government and the defence of private property.
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Quality Healthcare

The Liberal Democrats will drastically reduce government interference in the right of individuals to manage their own health. We do not need government to maintain our houses, to maintain our cars, to maintain our wardrobe, or to maintain our bodies.
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Right to Work

Industrial relations laws hurt employees and employers and cause unemployment and dependency. They only help union leaders, lawyers and bureaucrats.
Policy

  • Abolish income taxes on low paid workers.
  • Abolish the ban on low paid work, referred to as the minimum wage
  • Abolish minimum employment conditions, referred to as the national employment standards (while retaining occupational health and safety rules).
  • Abolish minimum wages and conditions for employment in certain industries and occupations, referred to as awards.
  • Remove 'unfair dismissal' restrictions (while retaining sexual harassment rules), and remove rules preventing dismissal of employees for failing to carry out their duties.
  • Allow individuals to be represented by a union provided membership is voluntary.
  • Remove restrictions on negotiating employment contracts, including obligations to negotiate with unions and restrictions on agreements between employers and individual employees.
  • Remove industrial relations provisions restricting how employers carry out their business, including requirements for union entry onto premises.
  • Remove restrictions on workers operating as independent contractors if that is what they prefer.

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Targeted Welfare

The Liberal Democrats will modify the welfare system to foster a culture of independence and civil society without neglecting the genuinely needy.
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Taxation

The Liberal Democrats believe Australia needs a low tax future. Continuing to tax discourages Australians from working and saving, impedes investment, and imposes unnecessary compliance costs on individuals and businesses.

Policy

  • Limit the federal government to defence, immigration, basic public services (e.g passport services, regulation of hazardous materials, air and sea transport regulation), and assistance to the least well off.
  • Stop all transfers from the federal government to other levels of government, including grants from the pool of GST revenues.
  • With the associated savings, cut federal taxes by more than half, through:
    • lifting the tax free threshold to $40,000, cutting personal tax rates to a flat 20%, and cutting the company tax rate to 20%; and
    • abolishing tobacco, alcohol and fuel taxes, import tariffs, carbon pricing and mineral resource rent taxation.
  • Limit state governments to the provision of: police, courts and prisons; fire services; animal control; roads and other transport services; libraries; local amenities; basic public services (eg consumer protection, building standards), means-tested vouchers for health and schooling, and welfare services.
  • Replace insurance taxes, taxes on vehicles, stamp duties on property transfers, along with various other nuisance taxes collected at the state level with less inefficient taxes, while ensuring that the overall level of a state or territory's taxes as a proportion of state GDP declines over time.

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PHILOSOPHY

The Liberal Democrats stand for greater freedom, smaller government and personal responsibility. We promote the following principles:

1. Economic Principles

  • Free markets and freedom of choice
  • Low tax, limited public spending and minimal regulation
  • Widespread ownership of private property

2. Social Principles

  • Civil society and volunteerism
  • Civil liberties and individual freedom
  • Individual liberty and personal responsibility under the rule of law

3. Government Principles

  • Constitutional liberal democracy
  • Ethical and impartial government under the rule of law
  • Devolution of power including decentralised government and competitive federalism

4. International Principles

  • Free trade in goods, services and capital
  • Free trade in ideas and culture
  • Freedom and human rights

MORE on LDP Philosophy

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