I am 23. I am a university student. I am a musician. I am a Catholic. And I am a member of the Liberal Party of Australia. It is perhaps the last of this list that is most unusual for someone my age. It is almost expected that those who are politically active in their university years are geared more towards the socialist side of the spectrum. Believe me there are many who are. On my first day of University, I signed up for the UOW Liberal Club and within a month I was a member of the Party that I had identified with for many years.
Like many people in my age group, I was raised with one Prime Minister and one alone. The inimitable John Winston Howard. In 1996, I was just 5 years old when John Howard came into office in a landslide victory. I was 16 when Howard ended up losing government and well as his own seat in 2007. I was 19 when I first voted. I was 22 when I first campaigned.
When I meet new people, discussion turns to politics and current affairs, as it often does. I am very upfront, and I’m sure many would say vocal, about my political views. The question then invariably comes up; why the Liberal Party? Why would a young, uni student join the Liberal Party.
I can usually sum it up in one sentence. Because I love freedom. Which is true and accurate by all accounts. The Liberal Party is the only party that will consistently fight for freedom. The freedom of markets, the freedom of the country’s people from government over-regulation, and the freedom to express oneself in a free and open society. But it is more than just freedom that has attracted me to this Party. It is the reputation of sound economic management that has allowed private enterprise to grow. It is the commitment to the traditions and institutions that have allowed this country to become as strong as it is. It is supporting the lifters not leaners. It is about providing opportunity for all.
I am fortunate, as is this country, that the majority of people in Australia feel the same. In spite of what the relentless moaning of the vocal left in this country would have you believe, the majority of people in Australia are not outraged by the Abbott Government or its policies. You, the reader, may in fact be outraged by a conservative government, but being the loudest does not make you the majority. Of the roughly 13 million voters who participated in the 2013 Federal Election, the majority, close to 7 million people, voted for a change of government. The people of Australia voted for a responsible government that could make the tough decisions to ensure this nation’s prosperity well into the future. A government with the willingness to stand by its convictions and not simply bow down to populism, like the previous Labor Government. And I believe that the Australian people will be given just that. With a tough budget, the toughest in close to 20 years, just around the corner, the strength of the Abbott Government’s convictions will be on full display for all to see.
There will be pain from this budget. There will be anger. But it is necessary to ensure the strength of this country well into the future (the specifics of which I will write about in a future article). In all of the pre-budget hype, the one line which has stuck out most to me came from the Treasurer Joe Hockey.
He said, “Nothing is free, someone always pays.”
The certainty of this is not debatable. If the Government is giving you money, or subsidising an industry, or offering tax incentives, they are taking that money from somewhere else. The budget, and this is true of all governments, is designed to allocate priorities. Where money is most needed? Who will benefit most? How can this budget encourage greater economic growth? Should the Government be providing something that is already being provided by private enterprise? These are the questions that every government should be asking itself before a budget.
But as with everyone else, I will have to wait and see for the budget tonight. Contrary to wailing of the Left, this is not the 5th term of the Howard Government. This is the first of the Abbott Government. He is his own man, a man beholden to no one. And I firmly believe that he is the man to lead us into the future.
Only time will tell. As always, and as it should be, the people are the final say. This Liberal/National Government has 3 years to prove its worth to the Australian people, and I have the utmost faith that they will be found wanting.
Words by SAM TEDESCHI. If there are any policies or issues you would like to see discussed, please send them to firstname.lastname@example.org or leave a comment below.
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