Rather like Robert Clayton Dean in America, when I cast my libertarian eye at the Australian political scene, I find little reason to cheer. Australia is due to have a Federal election this year, although the exact date is at the pleasure of the Prime Minister. So election date speculation abounds, with some saying in August and others saying October.
The government here is dominated by the old line ‘conservative’ John Howard, who is basically a right-wing statist. In power since 1996, after a moderately good start at cutting back the state, the government has been in decline ever since and is now a menace, wandering through society causing havoc wherever it goes.
As it happens, last night was Budget night, where the government gives its annual account of its rapine and pillage of our wallets. With the election looming, this is a classic ‘tax-cut and spend’ pre-election budget, although the ‘cuts’ to taxes are not really cuts at all, but mere adjustments of the brackets. Therefore, you have a chance to earn ‘slightly’ more money before the government decides that half of your income belongs to them.
If London readers wonder why their city is full of very clever Australians, that is one of the bigger reasons why.
This is, by the way, the supposedly ‘free market’ party in power. It will in all probability be replaced by Mark Latham and his Australian Labour Party. On economic issues there is very little difference between the two parties, just a disagreement about where to splurge the tax-take on. I can only echo what Mr. Dean said in his survey of his own country’s political scene-as it is, one simply despairs of advancing the libertarian agenda in current Australian politics.