Category Archives: Liberty

Leyonhjelm on OPM

Finally someone in Australia standing up for taxpayers and liberty. Politicians addicted to OPM (Income Tax alone is $183.6 bn for 2014-15!).

Treating non-voters as criminals… Pay $20 or else

Compulsory Voting in Australia is a complete farce and needs to go.

Hundreds of thousands (probably millions) of people go to polling booths to vote because they do not want to get fined for not going. Many of these simply get their name ticked off and put empty voting slips in the boxes. State coercion to vote clearly does not work. State coercion to simply show up works on some people. If people want to take part in voting in a democracy than that’s their choice.

Check out this notice given to persons who failed to vote at the recent Federal Election (click to enlarge)failure_to_vote

Look at the no holds barred language…

  • “it is a criminal offence to fail to vote with a valid and sufficient reason”
  • “a criminal conviction may be recorded against you”
  • In other words… “the State has control over you, so don’t f*#k with us”

    What a joke. Australia’s compulsory voting system (along with compulsory preferential voting) is a laughing stock of the western world. Where else could an ordinary citizen be treated as a suspected criminal for a small sum for not voting (or choosing not to participate in democracy)?

    Retirement of a libertarian great

    A great last speech by Ron Paul – arguably the most influential libertarian of all time, thanks to his hard work and the freedom of the internet.

    His books well worth reading, particularly Liberty Define and End the Fed.

    Australia’s compulsory voting system to be challenged at High Court

    It’s great to see this will finally be challenged on a constitutional basis. State cohesion is never the answer. Freedom of choice is. What is the difference between Mr Holdmdahl receiving a fine for not voting and 730,000 other Australia’s that reluctantly showed up at a polling booth to submit a blank vote? Both camps chose not to make their vote count.

    Supreme court rejects Adelaide man Anders Holmdahl’s fight for right not to vote

    AN Adelaide man says he will take a legal challenge against compulsory voting to the High Court, after the state’s Supreme Court today rejected his argument that voting should be optional.

    Anders Holmdahl said he was “not surprised” that the Full Court of the Supreme Court had ruled against his appeal against a conviction for failing to vote in the last Federal election.

    Mr Holmdahl, 65, set up his legal challenge by deliberately failing to vote and then refusing to pay a $20 fine.

    Chief Justice Chris Kourakis and Justices John Sulan and Tom Gray today unanimously rejected Mr Holmdahl’s argument that compulsory voting went against the nation’s constitution.

    Mr Holmdahl argued that the constitution stated it was the right of every Australian to vote, while the electoral act stipulated it was a duty.

    After the ruling, a defiant Mr Holmdahl said he was determined to pursue his case in the nation’s highest court.

    “We suspected that this was going to happen because there is too much political pressure at the moment and we will take it to the High Court,” he said.

    “Compulsory voting is definitely unconstitutional … what is the difference by putting in a blank vote which about 730,000 Australians did at the last election and not turning up at all, the result is exactly the same

    “Why shouldn’t we be treated as adult people and be given a choice on whether we want to vote or not?”

    Former Liberal Senator Nick Minchin was in the court for the judgment and said he supported Mr Holmdahl’s crusade.

    “I’ve always said that compulsory voting is an infringement on the democratic rights of Australians so I am delighted this case was brought to court,” Mr Minchin said.

    “I hope it will be taken to the High Court. I think the Australian Electoral Act’s requirement on Australians to vote whether they want to or not is wrong and I think it should be tested in the High Court.”

    Which reminds me of this Julie Bishop article at the last election:

    Vote – or else?

    What does Australia have in common with Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Cyprus, Ecuador, Fiji and Greece? How about Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Mexico, Nauru, Peru, Singapore, Turkey and Uruguay?

    According to the Australian Electoral Commission, these are the nations that, along with Australia, have compulsory voting in national parliamentary elections and enforce it through fines, sanctions and other penalties. …

    Some argue that democracy confers rights and responsibilities, and if you have the right to vote, then it is your responsibility to do so. That may be so, and we also have a right to free speech but that doesn’t mean we are compelled to exercise that right.

    In my view voting doesn’t equate with other intrinsic obligations. It doesn’t seem fair to force people to vote for candidates they don’t know or care about or want to support.

    Australia’s first nine federal elections were held under voluntary voting, with compulsory voting first enforced in 1925. Since then, Australians have become used to compulsory voting.

    Turnout has never been below 90 per cent and while the number of informal votes can vary, there is little evidence as to what extent this represents acts of error, apathy or protest.

    Numerous surveys and polls reveal strong public support, with generally more than 70 per cent in favour of compulsory voting. That is not so surprising given that Australia has had no other system for the past 85 years. …

    Those against compulsory voting argue that it is inconsistent with the freedoms associated with democracy. It is argued that political parties and candidates take the public for granted and rely on laws of compulsion and enforcement to get voters to the ballot box, rather than enticing them through attractive policies. …

    What I’m also against is the compulsory preferential voting (full allocation of preferences) which is used for the lower house elections across most states in Australia and for the Federal Election. Why should one be forced to number every box, when perhaps only one candidate stands out (and the rest should get nothing)? Last federal election my electorate only had 3 candidates and preferencing wasn’t so attractive…

    In comparison, in the New South Wales state elections, there is optional preferential voting. You can choose to either number ever box or just allocate a 1 to the candidate you most prefer. This is a huge difference, and makes it harder for the political parties to simply rely on preferences to get their candidates elected. Voters should have the chose to allocate or not to allocate, if indeed they choose to donate time from their lives to vote in the first place.

    It is clear that our voting system in Australia is anything but perfect. A serious debate is needed, and we have every right to question existing systems.

    ~ Scott

    The Drones are coming

    This Foreign Correspondent feature was on a couple of weeks ago, and worth a look. Huge questions about personal liberties and privacy… and then there are prying Governments. Full version can be seen >here<

    The Real Ron Paul Revolution

    Ron Paul’s race for the 2012 US Presidential Election is all but over. The result wasn’t unexpected. Romney (backed by Goldman Saches and the Federal Reserve banking system) may have used every trick in the book (and then some) to secure the official Republication nomination, but the lasting change Ron Paul has had on the US political landscape will be felt for generations to come. Millions of people world wide have woken up and released that the US foreign policy is completely wrong and blow back is inevitable. Millions have released that the two party Republican-Deomcrats system is corrupted by insiders and lobbyists (particularly the banking aristocracy) and that both major parties will do anything to uphold the Federal Reserve System of control. Millions now know that 70 years of Keynesian (big government) economics has failed and that the answers lie in substantially less Government intervention and through the principles of Austrian Economics (sound money). Millions want Government out of their lives, wasteful spending on pet projects to end and personal liberties protected.

    Ron Paul is arguable the most influential libertarian of all time (thanks in a huge part to the freedom of information on the Internet – which we must fight to maintain). His books have been highly influential, and would recommend them to anyone who wants less Government and banking control in our lives.

    Ron Paul video just before the Republican National Convention (his own venue)

    The Real Ron Paul Revolution – 31 August 2012 – Ludwig Von Mises Institute

    If there was any doubt that Ron Paul was not going to win the Republican nomination for the presidency, it was undeniably removed when on Tuesday Mitt Romney received the 1,144 delegates needed to clinch it.

    Does that mean Ron Paul failed? No. It is an open secret that the campaign was really about education all along. And in that regard, Ron Paul’s campaign was wildly successful. Chances are, any young libertarian you meet today will tell you that their chief influence in becoming a libertarian was Ron Paul. Ron Paul has swelled the ranks of the liberty movement to a greater extent than perhaps any other individual in history. If that’s not success, I don’t know what is.

    Where should the energy of the Ron Paul rEVOLution be directed next? What cause is the most appropriate successor to the Ron Paul campaign? Another national political campaign? No, because, again, the Ron Paul campaign was never chiefly about winning office in the first place. Moreover, real, lasting progress toward liberty cannot be achieved through the offices of a gargantuan state. The most appropriate successor to a campaign of ideas is another campaign of ideas.

    And which nonprofit, educational organization is most in harmony with Ron Paul’s message? You’re looking at it. Ron Paul is an ardent adherent of the Austrian School of economics, a champion of private-property rights, and a fierce critic of the Federal Reserve, fractional-reserve banking, and militarism. And the Ludwig von Mises Institute has been at the forefront and on the same side as Paul with all these issues for 30 years. That is why Ron Paul will be speaking at our Supporter’s Summit this October.

    Ron Paul’s legacy is not in his legislative record but in the number of minds he changed. The way to perpetuate his legacy, then, is to continue — and ramp up — the “Paulian” educational campaign. And the most Paulian nonprofit educational organization in the world is the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

    Must read Ron Paul books:
    * Liberty Defined
    * End the Fed

    The Ten Principles of a Free Society

    The Ten Principles of a Free Society
    by Ron Paul – From the the Appendix to his book, Liberty Defined

    1. Rights belong to individuals, not groups; they derive from our nature and can neither be granted nor taken away by government.
    2. All peaceful, voluntary economic and social associations are permitted; consent is the basis of the social and economic order.
    3. Justly acquired property is privately owned by individuals and voluntary groups, and this ownership cannot be arbitrarily voided by governments.
    4. Government may not redistribute private wealth or grant special privileges to any individual or group.
    5. Individuals are responsible for their own actions; government cannot and should not protect us from ourselves.
    6. Government may not claim the monopoly over a people’s money and governments must never engage in official counterfeiting, even in the name of macroeconomic stability.
    7. Aggressive wars, even when called preventative, and even when they pertain only to trade relations, are forbidden.
    8 Jury nullification, that is, the right of jurors to judge the law as well as the facts, is a right of the people and the courtroom norm.
    9. All forms of involuntary servitude are prohibited, not only slavery but also conscription, forced association, and forced welfare distribution.
    10.Government must obey the law that it expects other people to obey and thereby must never use force to mold behavior, manipulate social outcomes, manage the economy, or tell other countries how to behave.

    American Libertarians

    ron_paul_image

    For a couple of years I have been following American congressman Ron Paul. He isn’t the typical “populist” politician that offers to increase government handouts, to bail out businesses and banks, and to sit back and let central banks run our monetary system. He advocates the complete opposite. No central banks, no money manipulation, reign in the American military empire (non interventionist), and reduce government spending dramatically. He has gained a lot of popularity amongst young voters, whom realise that the endless pockets of government spending leads to an inevitable destiny of bankruptcy.

    CPAC 2011

    Ron Paul at CPAC

    Ron Paul’s son recently became a Senator as well. Quite a good speech.

    This is also a good visual on what Ran Paul was referring to in his speech. America’s public debt is out of control. Its currently over $14 trillion.

    The US annual deficit is ballooning so quickly out of control, it is already likely well past the point of return (I argue this occured well over a decade ago). America is bankrupt. End story. The earlier they look at changing the monetary system, the sooner the economy will repair itself. Government and the Federal Reserve are the problem, not the solution.