By crikey, I’m a little bothered we’re always at sea politically.
The Left is pounding us with wave after relentless policy wave.
The Liberal Party has drowned, its body face-down, bobbing and drifting. We libertarians, classical liberals and the otherwise centre-right are in danger of the rip sweeping us to sea.
Things are perilous. Just look at the eddies and currents fatiguing us:
- Familiar places and landmarks being renamed in costly rebranding programs
- Activists undermining joyful time spent on Australia Day
- Oversized government expenditure now exceeding 50% of our entire economy
- A hundred separate genders yet female athletes and prisoners forced in with biological males
- Citizens now being denied access to much-loved national parks
- Flag confusion
- Victorian bullets in the back
- Multiple treaties with multiple tribes, a native patchwork of 500 jurisdictions
- Some kind of republic
- Locked in your home for hundreds of days
- 15-Minute cities, free movement lost on the altar of climate alarmism
- The Voice To Parliament.
If we continue only to oppose these ideas, as is the conservative instinct, but not counter with our own, we’ll soon lose more freedoms than is already the case.
We need bold classical liberals and pugnacious libertarians to fiercely propose striking new policies.
Take the Voice To Parliament as an example.
… classical liberals cannot support systemic racism.
But first, here’s a quick primer for our international subscribers. The Voice To Parliament is a government body proposed by referendum to be enshrined in Australia’s Constitution. It’s stated purpose is to recognise Indigenous people as the first inhabitants of Australia and to act as an advisory board for any bills coming through the Federal Parliament which impact Indigenous people. The body would be comprised exclusively of ethnically Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people. The motivation for the Voice To Parliament is that Indigenous people suffer poorer life chances and that this is the result of British colonial invasion and ongoing occupation. The Voice to Parliament is said to be just one step in a process of Reconciliation, the duration and shape of which is unspecified.
In short, what’s being proposed is a new third-chamber of the Australian Parliament with a racial-eligibility criterion to participate.
Yes, it’s as bad as that sounds.
Predictably, the Labor Government along with the socialist Australian Greens will vote “Yes.”
The feckless Liberals are confused and unable to take a view. Their paralysis is painful to witness.
Their Coalition partner, The Nationals, are deeply-rooted and sure in saying “No” and have weathered the storm of a confused defector.
So what do we do?
First, we vote “No.” We do so because we as classical liberals cannot support systemic racism.
Good so far but now we must plan to seize the initiative.
Second, we ask ourselves, “By what power or mechanism can the Labor Government even legislate something as abhorrent as systemic racism?”
The answer is in the Australian Constitution. Like the United States Constitution, Australia’s has an enumerated list of areas in which a Commonwealth government can legislate.
It’s section 51.
Run your finger down that list and you’ll discover subsection 26 furtively trying its best not to draw attention to itself …
Section 51 (xxvi)
“The Parliament shall, subject to this Constitution, have power to make laws for
the peace, order, and good government of the Commonwealth with respect to
the people of any race for whom it is deemed necessary to make special laws”
Yes, you read that correctly. The Constitution anticipates that a Federal government may legislate on the basis of race.
I don’t know about you but I find this abhorrent. What happened to equality before the law? What happened to judging not by the colour of one’s skin but by the content of one’s character? I’m thinking of 1933 Germany, 1970 South Africa, of Rwanda at its most bleak. Why look at people from a racial perspective at all? If we must have legislation, let’s not discriminate by the amount of melanin in the skin!
So, here’s the front-foot classical liberal in me …
At the very next electoral opportunity, let’s put a referendum of our own to the people. Let’s rescind section 51(xxvi) from the Constitution!
In one fell swoop, no Commonwealth Government will ever again be allowed to make laws with respect to race.
The benefits are:
- No elevating one ethnic group at the expense of the other
- No targeting one ethnic group for the purpose of disadvantaging them
- No costly Department of Indigenous Affairs and the countless agencies which grift off it
- The Federal Government has one less legislative jurisdiction, has its wings slightly clipped
- With the money saved, we can repay at least some of the suffocating debt
- Indigenous communities will be treated like all others and so weaned off the teat of the state. Same opportunities. Same laws.
- Indigenous communities stuck in a cycle of inter-generational welfare receipt will learn self-reliance quickly.
It has a lot to recommend it.
So rather than simply react to a Leftist proposal and not respond in kind, let’s advocate a bolder, muscular kind of original liberalism, of classical liberalism, of libertarianism.
End systemic racism. Abolish s51(xxvi)!
Then we’ll never have race-based laws again.
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An entrepreneur who has employed 1,470+ people, Kenelm was admitted to the BRW Fast 100 three times with businesses in Australia, NZ, Singapore and New York, where he lived for 12 years. Kenelm’s investment firm performs mid-market leveraged roll-ups. He was a regular columnist for the Australian Financial Review. Kenelm is the Founder of Liberty Itch.