On the hope of the incoming Federal Senate

It’s been a long time coming, but there appears to be some light at the end of the tunnel – a long tunnel made all the darker during the last few years with the Rudd-Gillard-Rudd government. That they managed to not only erode personal freedoms and expand government bureaucracies to the extent they did shows how easily Germany in the 1930s moved to the extreme (and voted-in) Nazi regime. The Abbott government will have a tough time undoing the damage put in place.

However, there is a glimmer of hope: with the election of representatives from the Liberal Democrats, Family First and the Palmer United Party, it is very likely that liberal principles may be at play in passing legislation.

I am here reminded of the foreword by Thomas J. DiLorenzo to Two Essays by Ludwig von Mises: ‘Liberty and Property’ and ‘Middle-of-the-Road Policy Leads to Socialism’:

Government regulation was extensive enough in 1958, when Mises wrote “Liberty and Property,” but the virtual explosion of regulation since that time underscores another reason why private property is important to free speech. Namely, the more regulated individuals and businesses become, the less likely that they will criticize the government for fear of regulatory retribution. Private property and free markets are prerequisites for genuinely free speech.

We are unfortunately increasingly seeing signs of this. Witness, for instance, the silencing of teachers and principals who have dared to voice their view on NAPLAN; or the (justifiable) concern over criticisms against government bureaucracies that hold power over registration or funding of either individual teachers or schools.

There is genuine hope that with the forthcoming Senate, some alterations may be at hand… but then again, in Victoria, when the Liberals came into power, they did but little (even though they could have) to redress Labor’s bureaucratic establishments of the VIT and the VRQA. Perhaps it will require not so much the support of the Liberal Democrats and other parties, but the insistence from these so-called ‘micro-‘parties!






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