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Apr 11, 2014

Antony Green seeing libertarians everywhere

Like Frank N. Furter of Rocky Horror fame, Antony Green, the ABCs election guru, is not backward in his desire to show us his favorite obsession.  In Frank’s case, it was making a man with blond hair and a tan, in Antony’s it is minor parties.
The rise of minor parties has driven him to distraction to the point where he rails against them at every opportunity, real or contrived.  One of his serious bugbears is the success that some of them have had since they started sticking together and preferencing each other ahead of the majors in elections.
The thing that really gets right up his nose though, especially since the 2013 election of LDP senator elect, David Leyonhjelm is libertarians in general and the LDP in particular.  During the cold war the Liberal and National Parties saw reds under the beds, Antony is seeing libertarians every where, tens of thousands of them, running rampant across the entire political landscape that he knew and loved, like a plague of rabbits:
It appears there is a growth industry in libertarian parties. One of the consequences of the Senate's registered ticket vote system is that it is possible for multiple parties to occupy the same area of the political spectrum without hurting their chances of election. 
In every other electoral system in the world, the current batch of libertarian political parties would be cutting their own political throats by running against each other, but ticket voting allows multiple parties to swap preferences with impunity, having first expanded their pool of first preference votes by standing multiple parties. 
At the 2013 election, the Liberal Democrats, as well as the advantage of a name that could be confused with the Liberal Party, and the advantage of the first column on the NSW ballot paper, also boosted their chances with other parties feeding them preferences. …
What bastards!  Can you imagine the Libs, Labor, Greens, or Nationals being so unprincipled as to attempt to maximize their vote?
Not likely; they would be too couth and cultured to do such a thing other of course, than granting themselves an unlimited pit of taxpayer dollars via the electoral funding scheme that hands them funds in the tens of millions.  In addition to this, they have a mutual grooming relationship with big business, (You scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours) that brings even more in via corporate sponsorship.
Antony is looking at single-issue parties and assuming that those who are based on wanting their cause liberalised are libertarian.  This is a common error, also made by ‘glass half full’ libertarians who see any party or person holding a policy that they agree with as a sign of them being libertarian.
Nothing could be further from the truth.  Most of the single issue parties tend to be quite authoritarian but feel that the government has gone too far in relation to their particular cause. Rather than questioning whether the government has a place in it at all, or in any of the other causes SIPs represent, they accept unlimited government authority as a fact of life and only want changes to what their own problem is.

Some treat the concerns of other SIPs with the same contempt and disdain that ruling classes have traditionally held for their downtrodden minorities in the past.  Few of them did the LDP any favors and most of them preferenced as part of the minor party coalition which the LDP were not part of, and away from us in strange and counter productive ways:
Shooters and Fishers; at elimination their votes went to HEMP, which has no policy on guns. Considering their leftist inclinations, they are probably opposed.  When Hemp was eliminated, SFP preferences played a large part in electing PUP which is definitely anti- firearms.
Sex ; their votes went to ALP.  Labor has no history of support for Eros Foundation (neither do we, but we have libertarian outlook which addresses most of their concerns)
Voluntary Euthanasia; went to HEMP which has no policy on VE.  We support it directly.
Wikileaks; votes went to HEMP after the Greens which has no policy on government transparency.  Assange claims to be a libertarian.  
Motoring Enthusiasts; votes went to Shooters then PUP.  Libertarian, ORP have directly supportive policys.
Fishing and Lifestyle; votes went to the Liberals, then to the Greens ahead of the LDP.
If Green were to take his job seriously, he would do a bit of basic research and discover what the term ’libertarian’ means, and do a proper analysis of the nature of the parties that he assumes fall into that category. After that he would issue an apology for his stuff-up.


  1. This is a great Jim. Antony was referring to the election of Liberal Democrats Senator David Leyonhjelm as the "Donkey Senator" and so I pointed out that the no 1 spot on the ballot would only rate about 1 or 2 % and David gained almost 10%. No other Senator was elected from the no 1 "donkey" spot! I then used the example of LDP candidate in Gippsland who gained 5% when he (Ben Buckley) was bottom of the ballot paer in a list of 13. That 5% would have got David Leyonhjelm elected. I also pointed out that in federal election 2010, the LDP was positioned at the last spot, far RHS on the ballot, had a high primary vote and just missed out on a Senate spot. Antony Green then claimed that the LDP win was because of "name confusion". So, I pointed out that the LDP candidate, David Leyonhjelm already had a high profile because of his articles in Farm Online and for his blogs on on-line opinion. He refused to accept that LDP had wone "fair and square". Get used to it, Antony, the Libertarian movement is here to stay.

    1. I noticed that post and think from memory that I commented as well.

      At some point, he made the specious argument that the difference between Liberal votes in the senate and HOR being fairly large was a clear indication that name confusion was to blame. He neglected to mention that this was inevitable in the case of a a minor party achieving 10% of the vote in the senate without standing any candidates in the house of reps.

      Antony appears to be a little selective as far as using facts is concerned.

  2. As much as I wanted to vote above the line for the LDP in the Senate, for the very same reason I allocated preferences below the line. In QLD the preference for KAP was very high, about #8. The LDP is all about deregulation, free markets and personal accountability. KAP is all about heavy handed regulation of both public and private life, tariffs and protectionism and a big no on personal rights and responsibility.

  3. That doesn't surprise me, I am aware that quite a few of our members do the same thing.
    Preference deals are difficult to do, especially when a number of parties in the minor party coalition refuse to deal with us, so it becomes a matter of giving precedence to those who will.

    Some of the others could have done much better had they been prepared to deal with us. Some of those who did deals dudded us in their own GVTs, including Wiki and Voluntary Euthanasia. Bob and us might not have much in common, but in fairness, he and the DLP honoured their commitments.

    This issue has become very much a moot point as we have once again led all of the minor parties in the results. I am fairly certain that Palmer will lose his lustre by the next election and will be back in the pack, so if we can get a decent preference flow we will get people in.

  4. Excellent article. Was looking for the [like] button, but will have to just tell you directly instead. :)

  5. Glad to see you over here, and I am really pleased you like it.

  6. First the very definition of Libertarianism is not what Christians should behave. We should be more inclusive, more tolerant. And when somebody slaps on your cheek, you give the other one. To love your neighbours etc. We should not have the mentality of "US" the good, Vs "Others" the evil.
    - Restrictions of individual freedom is against the principle of liberalism. Who are they to determine what sort of dress code a girl can or cannot wear? Why are they restricting the educational opportunties of their young ones? I heard that the member even had to buy their computers from their designated supplier and often at hugely inflated prices.
    - The more you read into the organizations like political parties eg Liberals, PUP, the more you find one thing in common. And that is CONTROL. Control of fertility, control of member's free thoughts and control of man power.
    - And you may find their leaders say: Oh members can leave at anytime - which usually dont end very well for the said member.
    - This kind of society is regressive, and doomed to fail from the start.

    And furthermore, there are generaly two kinds of people that join things like parties to push libertariansim:
    1) The sheeps - the majority. Who are kind hearted, and willing to be lead. They generally your nice next door neighbours, and would never hurt anything.
    2) The wolves in sheep skins - the minority. Who are usually appeared kind hearted at first. But generally uses their hierarchal system for their own advantage - anything from dodge business to empty sense of self righteousness.