November 24, 2013

THE SAMENESS OF ANGLOSPHERIC POLITICS:

A classical liberal manifesto (Rafe Champion, 20 November 2013, Online Opinion)

Classical liberalism has the potential to  reach beyond the free trade and the libertarian agenda to recruit  conservatives and also well-meaning and caring people on the left who are interested in the outcomes of policy initiatives as well as the intentions.

Why is this spectre haunting us now?

Soon there will be a visible and identifiable classical liberal presence in Parliament, starting at the top with the Prime Minister.  George Brandis is on side with some CL principles, Joe Hockey is good on some and other Liberals will be supportive.  Being the  national leader Mr Abbott will have to temper his enthusiasms and engage in the art of compromise but that will not apply to the senators elect  David  Leyonhjelm of the Liberal Democrats and Bob Day of  Family First.  Leyonhjelm is an impressive media performer and he provides a clear liberal/libertarian message that resonates with a lot of Coalition supporters and  others who have never encountered classical liberalism before. That is a really novel development in Australian politics and it will be a great support to the classical liberal cause.

Add to that the growing confidence and capacity of the liberal/libertarian agencies and commentators. In addition to the relative even-handedness of the Murdoch press the blogosphere provides a number of outlets for the classical liberal message.  The young turks at the IPA are showing some form as they demonstrated in the defence of  free speech. The Centre for Independent Studies has been camped on the intellectual high ground for a long time and the good work goes on, especially in bringing to town one of the world's leading exponents of classical liberalism, Deirdre McCloskey. The so-called "shock jocks" of the airwaves might be alarmed by the label of "classical liberal" but most of the time they support "the spectre" both in their own commentary and in the views of many of the people who phone in.
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Posted by at November 24, 2013 7:16 AM
  

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