With Katter & Palmer running celebrity candidates in Queensland and a pretty average preference flow, it is unlikely that my friend and freedom-lover Gabe Buckley (Liberal Democrats) will get over the line this time around. But it’s not impossible. As an exercise in procrastination and idealistic dreaming, I’ve been looking at the numbers and worked out what we need to win.
To start with, both major parties will get two quotas in their own right (>28.6%) leaving two spots up for grabs. I assume that the Liberals will get about 10% over quota, and will be odds-on favourite to pick up a third spot thanks to preferences from Fishing, Christians and a few others. If current polling is accurate, then Labor will probably only have 3-4% over quota, and are out of the running for the final spot. From this point, I’m going to work backwards.
Last year, American funny-man Jon Stewart asked a series of questions to libertarians. Since then, plenty of people have responded, giving fairly comprehensive answers. I agree with some of those answers, but I thought I’d put together my own “short answers” anyway… only six months late.
1. Is government the antithesis of liberty?
We need definitions. If “liberty” means people being allowed to act voluntarily with each other (as I define it) then the antithesis is involuntary behaviour — e.g. violence, coercion, theft, murder. The government certainly does all of that, but they are not the only example (eg mafia, rapists). Further, some libertarians will suggest that if a limited government is able to decrease “private” violence & coercion, then they might even be a force for good. (This idea is known as the “night-watchman government” or “minarchism”.)
It’s worth quickly noting that government does not mean “governance”. You would still have much governance in a libertarian society (for example, cricket rules).
Soon to be added… Macedonia, Serbia, Romania, Qatar, and maybe Burma, Moldova and Ukraine
People talk. That’s what we do. And sometimes we talk about each other, and sometimes people tell stories that aren’t necessarily fully accurate. I have always found it quite amusing when I hear strange stories about myself, and thought I’d put together a “best of…” for rumours about me.
For the past two weeks I have been in Cambodia working on my little project here. I started the Human Capital Project (HCP) back in 2007 as a non-profit organisation that provides “personal equity” finance for poor rural students so that they can go to university. Every year around September I treck back to meet with the continuing students and interview new applicants.
But these trips are also a good opportunity for me to do some reading, exploring, thinking and life planning. Yesterday (Sunday 19/09) I managed to finally get over to Kratie to see the rare Irrawaddy freshwater dolphins and on Friday (24/09) I’ll be playing a game of soccer for a team that is in the national 3rd division. I’ve enjoyed exploring maths, philosophy and art with Hofstadter and read economic papers by Fischer and Potts.
Travelling is also good for my soul. My “wandering years” (2005-08) are behind me now, but it’s still good to get away from the computer and current affairs and routine and the usual crowd, and have more time for my mind to wander.
But it will also be good to get home. The week after I get back I will join my parents, Karen & Ash on a trip to NZ to celebrate my mum’s 60th birthday, and then I’ll go straight over to Sydney for the Mont Pelerin Society meeting and to catch up with friends.
Last week Aidan McLindon and Rob Messenger quit the Liberal National Party (LNP), and have decided to stay in the Queensland parliament as independents. I don’t know the people involved, and I don’t know the background, so I’m not going to comment on that.
But one thing that did catch my attention was Aidan’s “seven principles” of government. In summary, his “philosophy” is that the government should help people and do good stuff. Amazingly, those fluffy buzz-words were actually reported with a straight face. I think Aidan missed a few, so I thought I’d help him out…